Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Jury Is In: YiFeng is a Keeper

I received an unexpected gift yesterday:  a beautiful, warm, dry, sunshine-y January day.  Throwing all my other plans out the window, I gathered together my doll painting supplies and got to work on Only-Doll YiFeng.

Truth be told, he has been standing in a corner of my sewing room for the past two weeks, glaring at me:  on the one hand daring me to sell him and on the other daring me to attempt a new faceup.  The longer I looked at him, the more I disliked the faceup he arrived with.  The doll in the company photos looked innocent.  This one looked anything but.  It was the mouth more than anything else.  That hideous brown rosebud mouth.  And the heavy brown eyeshadow.  It was lacquered, for goodness sake!  The shine was driving me crazy.  And don't get me started on the eyelashes:  They reminded me of two fat brown caterpillars lolling above his eyes.

The original YiFeng faceup.  A little too "Chinese opera" for me.

I set to work on him with Q-tips dipped in pure acetone.  I did not want to remove the entire faceup, only the lip treatment and the eyeshadow.  I desperately wanted to keep the eyeliner intact, because I am not good at applying eyeliner.  Neither did I want to damage the eyebrows, because I am no expert at drawing eyebrows, either.  That left me a very narrow space in which to work, and color that was buried under an awful lot of varnish.  It did eventually come off, but not without a few nicks to the eyeliner and one nick to an eyebrow.  The operation took so much time, I was afraid I would lose the sunshine, but the weather held.  (That in itself is unusual, especially in January.)

Because I have so little of it left, I sprayed the MSC sparingly.  Just enough to do the job.  I tackled the eyebrow repair first.  Hunting through my set of Derwent watercolor pencils, I found a perfect color match:  Terracotta.  A few fine strokes blended in with the existing eyebrow.  Perfect.  Black to fix the eyeliner.  I was on a roll.

His lovely sculpt is much more evident now.

I was unable to remove all the original color from the mouth.  In the end it didn't matter, because what I couldn't remove -- the dark line between the lips -- was something I would have had to redo anyway.  I would have preferred to make the lips a little more coral than pink, but didn't see the appropriate color in my pastel set.  My larger pastel set was down in the basement.  I thought of going down two flights of stairs to get it, then opted to go pink.

I added the tiniest bit of pink to the brown blush on his cheeks.  Outside once again to spray with MSC.  I looked him over.  Yes.  Finally.  This is a face I can live with.  Black eyelashes, not so full as the original pair.  Some people don't like eyelashes on male dolls.  I am not one of them.  I had a bit of trouble putting his head back on.  It required pulling up his elastic, and everyone knows by now that I am no superhero in the upper arm strength department. 

With his new, more Western faceup, it didn't seem appropriate to put his Asian robes back on, but I hadn't had time to sew anything.  I pulled out the Beau Brummel outfit (Adams-Harris Patterns) I had originally made for Souldoll L-Heart.  I knew it would fit, because the pattern was drafted on an Iplehouse YID and YiFeng is nearly the same size.  I really want to make him something contemporary.  I have a pair of jeans cut out and ready to sew.  I have selected a tee-shirt pattern.  All I need to do is decide on a fabric for the tee and start sewing.

My weather luck did not hold long enough for Sunday's picture-taking session.  More seasonable weather prevailed, with colder temperatures, snow squalls, and a generally cloudy, gray day.  Should have taken photos yesterday.  Sigh!

The wig is Taiki from Jpopdolls.  The color is Winter Blond.


  1. Wow! I LOVE the new face-up. So much better than should be designing these dolls!

  2. The faceup, especially the mouth, is much better!!