Jan. 14th, 2017
Left: Side view showing contouring of face. Pleased with it; lots of depth. Haven't added eyes or ears yet, and probably won't on this sample. Life size. I like the size it turned out; you can see the glasses fit well. I will have to add more stuffing onto back of head or under wig to get that shape correct. Andy may want me to work on the expression (how to stitch a scowl instead of a small smile?) but I sure feel better about this as a starting place than I did after my first fumbling attempts!
Center: Ruthie Rumble 3/4 view. Sculpted nylon over batting base head (sewed and stuffed Sharon Mitchell's Patroness pattern, pic below, just using batting; turned and stuffed as for doll, and added more stuffing, over top of base but under nylon, to nose and cheeks before sculpting). Will try to remember to get more working in-progress pics when doing next (still practicing) head.This is just my third practice head; the first two were definitely a part of my learning curve and went right in the trash.
Right:Front face. Showing some added colour with watercolour pencils. Wig is not the one ordered for finished doll; just one I had in my stash from last year's Jedi Librarian costume. Glasses are mine, but I think I will have to find a pair of granny frames for her? You can see where the chin laddered badly and I had to stitch it up. Would that happen if I doubled the nt\ylon or of I used the larger thigh section from a pair of pantyhose rather than the knee highs I used here? Still think other material might be sturdier in the long run than hosiery.
Need to read though the Lisa Lichtenfels workbook I have on the Basic Head to get some more ideas/information about building up the base and sculpting over it. She does it from a skull form, adding muscles and layers to get to the skin. I'm wondering if I should spend the money and get her Basic Body book as well; might have some hints for working large; the majority of her work is life size and hyper realistic. Ha...signed up for an Amazon Credit Card and got a 50.00 free gift card, which I used to purchase the Basic Body book via Amazon. :) .http://lisalichtenfels.net
( See More steps in head construction )
First and second practice heads. Lol, I think I had the stretch going opposite ways and that accounts for head shape differences, besides any head done in this technique is going to be unique, due to stuffing and tension of the sculpting stitches. Think I like the first head a little better, with the more bulbous nose, and its not quite so angular as the second. A little plumpness will go better with the body shape too. However, you can see on the second how lower set eyes (in this case drawn and couched) look better; definitely will have to recess and inset the ball eyes. Feeling better overall about my abilities.
Recieved the acrylic eyes I ordered for the doll; that was quick. Just pinned them in to get an idea of how they'll look.(first photo on left) Lol, I will be careful with actually positioning them so she won't look quite as wall-eyed as here, and you can tell I used two different shades of stockings as the eyelids here as well. May either have to sink the eye sockets a bit more or slit them to insert the eyes, so they don't pop and stick out quite so much. But with that, along with shaping the eyelids and adding lashes and brows, I think the eyes will work fine.
Going to have to see what kind of lycra fabric I can find, and probably buy a couple small quantities. I am just not convinced of the durability of the nylon hosiery. Darn having to buy online without being able to see or feel the actual fabric. Sharon sugested a 2 way stretch t shirt knit. But it all depends on what I can find available. may have to self dye if I can't find a good nude flesh tone- that's important to getting the right look. Guess I could practice faces some more or switch over to pattern making for the body now.
I picked up some different batting and poly fill yesterday from JoAnns. (who is currently having a 50% off such sale; I'd ordered a big box of polyfil from elsewhere because JoAnns didnt have the 10lb size in stock, but got the same price and discount). Anyway, the new filling is called a "Dry polyester packing" and is almost tacky to the touch, meaning it won't move and shift like the regular poly fill. That makes it good for firming and shaping the features such as the nose. The batting is also somewhat "dry" compared to the regular; I used it almost like a fabric to sew and then stuff the base head form. Will probably use a combination of fills in the doll; regular stuffing for the large areas of the body and the dry for detailing the face and hands.
Also emailed Mr. Sopko (Andy) and sent him photos of the sample head to get his imput and to see if I'm headed in the right direction of what he wants.
Later: Got a reply back from Andy. He said: "Wow, Wow, wow!" :) So That means I am on the right track of things as far as pleasing the customer.