Saturday, March 19, 2011

How I Stopped Resisting and Bought a PlanetDoll

When PlanetDolls first appeared on the market, they came without a faceup option.  At the time I didn't want the added expense of sending a doll out for painting, so I resisted.  Then I resisted a while longer because none of the artist faceups that I saw appealed to me.  They either made the doll seem forlorn and sad, or else they were painted with a heavy hand or in a style I didn't care for.  Nope, I thought.  Don't want one.

Except maybe Riz.  Riz is cute. 

Still I didn't buy.  I spent time online, studying the dolls' sculpts, comparing one to the other.  Their appeal grew.  So did my feeling that it was time to attempt another faceup of my own.  There was no need for me to buy a new doll for this purpose.  I have several U-noa faceplates awaiting brush, watercolor pencil and pastel.  Nevertheless, I found myself checking Denver Doll to see which PlanetDolls were in stock.  No Riz.  Or else, the Riz in stock came only in tan skin.  I could have ordered Riz directly from PlanetDoll, but that would have meant a wait of from six to eight weeks.  I already have dolls on order which will take months to arrive.  I wanted instant gratification.

In the end, I bought Emma.  She is the same size as Riz, i.e., 43 cm.  Emma was in stock in normal skin.  She arrived the same week I placed the order.  Today I did her faceup.

Some of my faceup tools:  brushes, sponge applicators, Holbein
pastel sticks, Derwent watercolor pencils, PearlEx pigments,
water cup, toothpicks (for applying glue), cotton swabs, kneaded eraser

Normally when I do a doll's makeup, I remove the faceplate and put the body aside.  PlanetDolls do not have a removable faceplate.  The pate, or top of the head, comes off instead.  I would have to remove the entire head in order to work on it.  I looked inside.  It seemed simple in theory.  I would give the S-hook a half-turn, pull up the elastic sufficiently to loop a length of wire through to hold it, remove the S-hook and then the head.  Unfortunately, the S-hook would not budge.  This doll is so tightly strung that I cannot remove her head.  (My SoulKids are constructed the same way.  Their elastic will have to loosen considerably before I can take any of them apart.)

Faced with a dilemma, i.e., how to paint the doll's face without soiling the body, I placed the doll in a plastic bag with her head free, wrapped it tightly around her, and secured it with rubber bands around the neck and legs.  Not elegant, but it would do.

Her body shrouded in a plastic bag, Emma awaits completion of her faceup.

To make sure that the resin was clean of any manufacturing residue, I wiped it with a cotton ball and nail polish remover.  (My remover contains only pure acetone and water, with no additives.)  I then cleaned the surface with soapy water, rinsed it and dried it with a soft cloth.  Then went outside to spray with Mr. Super Clear (MSC).  This seals the surface so that color does not penetrate the resin.  It also gives the resin a bit of "tooth," which helps color, especially powdered color, adhere to the surface.

I like to apply pastels first.  Using a craft knife, I scrape some pastel into a dish, so that I am working with a powder instead of a stick.  I dip a foam applicator into the powder, then apply sparingly to the doll's face:  pink on the cheeks, under the bottom lip, and in the ears; a gray-brown to define the brows and put a bit of shadow on the eyes.  The rest I do in watercolor pencil.  I may have said this before in my post about U-noa Sist's faceup, but it bears repeating:  do not use wax-based color pencils or crayons.  The last thing you want on your resin is a waxy build-up or "bloom".  If my hand were steadier, I would use acrylic paint instead of watercolor pencil.  As it is, I have better control with the hard pencil, which I can sharpen to a fine point, than with a flexible brush.  And if I need to soften the pencil stroke, I can either rub it with a bit of paper towel or a kneaded eraser, or apply water sparingly on the end of a small brush.

Emma in her new faceup, LeekeWorld wig and EGL dress
from Gracefaerie's #14 Mini Wardrobe for 43 cm Narae.
It's a good idea to spray the face with MSC a couple of times throughout the painting process.  Otherwise, you may lose a perfect eyebrow when trying to remove less-than-perfect eyeliner, or vice versa.  I ended up wiping off most of my faceup when things started to go awry, simply because I had neglected to follow my own advice. 

When I was nearly done, I touched up the faceup with PearlEx powdered pigments to give it some sparkle.  I'm not sure it really accomplished the purpose, because spraying with MSC seems to have taken the shimmer off.  I added 3D Crystal Lacquer to her lips for shine and to her eyelids to enhance the liner.  I glued on her eyelashes.  When the glue was dry, I put in her eyes.  She came with blue-gray acrylic eyes.  They were nice, but I wanted to try something different.  We toyed with different colors of glass eyes before deciding on the plum colored acrylic Safrin eyes she is wearing in the photos.

Emma is a rock solid doll who stands securely without a doll stand.  Without clothes, she gives the impression of being stocky.  I wondered if we would have anything she could wear.  The navy dress with purple flowers has appeared in these pages before, worn by SoulKid Linn; it's from a pattern designed for Narae, who is as small as they come.  The snap at the waist is a big snug, but the fit otherwise is ample throughout.  It looks like outfits won't be a problem.  I just have to keep them coming!

The end result:  Not sad, not sultry.  Perhaps sulky?

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! I am a Planet Doll junkie-1 MSD-boy and 5 tinies(4 girls and a boy). I am hoping they eventually make Emma into their Mini size.