Mixed Media

Mixed Media

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Customizing Monster High Dolls....Part One: Section One- Face Paint Removal

This Year, instead of coming up with a bunch of completely unachievable resolutions, I set out some simple goals. One of these was to make time for more artful pursuits. By this, I meant taking the time to finish up projects and learn/do things I have wanted to do.

This resolution lead to my decision to try my hand at customizing several Monster High dolls. Sounds easy right? Well.....Maybe not as easy as I thought. I scoured the Internet for tutorials and tips. I found some to be really helpful and others to be almost useless. So, I decided to document my journey customizing dolls.

Since I will be working on several dolls at once, you will see a few different faces. For these dolls, I will be doing complete hair repaints and hair reboots.

Supplies Needed for Initial Prep Work (Paint and Hair Removal):

Monster High Doll of your choice

100% Acetone

Cotton Swabs

Cotton Balls

Dish Soap

Paper Towels or Lint Free Cloth

Stove and Small Saucepan (to boil water)

Sharp Scissors

Small Hemostat

Wax Carvers or Similar Tools

Mr. Super Clear UV Cut Flat

Acrylic Paint (to match replacement hair color)

Paint Brush- Flat White Synthetic

misc. containers for paint and water

First, chose the Monster High doll you would like to use. For this section I will be using Getting Ghostly Spectra Vonderguist and an original Ghoulia Yelps.

Gather together your MH doll, cotton swabs, cotton balls, and 100% Acetone.

Secure doll's hair away from face

Now for the fun part! Dip your cotton swab in acetone and begin removing factory paint

Work quickly and switch out your cotton swabs often to avoid smearing paint around. Once you have removed all that you can with the cotton swabs, dip a cotton ball in acetone and go over the entire face.

Once you are happy with your paint removal, give your doll a quick wash under warm water with dish soap.

Here are Spectra and Ghoulia with their paint removed and ready to have their hair done.

Stay Tuned for Part One: Section Two- Head and Hair Removal

Monday, June 8, 2015

Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves

When my plans changed in regards to pursuing Graduate studies, I set a few goals for 2015. One of these goals was to complete at least three doll and/or miniature challenges. I started January out right, looking at challenge options and making plans. The next thing I knew, five months had passed and I had not completed a single challenge! Then I saw that CDA ( Cloth Doll Artistry) had a most interesting Second Quarter Challenge.
Something with this challenge struck a cord in me and inspiration has taken hold. First, I built and decorated a miniature caravan to get my creative juices flowing.
Now I have until the end of June to complete my challenge doll.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Basic Faces and Smoothing Wrinkles

The wrinkle in my Art Nouveau/Rosemaling piece has been smoothed. The main cause of this wrinkle was to much water meets to light of weight paper. I typically use Stonehenge paper as it is versatile, has a nice weight, and is Made in the U.S.A. In most situations, it actually wrinkles less than tradiditional watercolor paper. Applying multiple layers of color and water to the Stonehenge paper seems to break it down. I have found correcting these wrinkles is a little differently than you would do with standard watercolor paper. It is actually important to lay down more color with a light hand to create a heavy wax layer that builds up the paper. It took me two days of layering, lightly wetting and flat-weighting, but the nasty wrinkle along my young Norwegian maidens face is now gone and I can get back to work doing finishing details.
I started the face detailing on my Americana piece also. Everything done so far was done with Neocolor II crayons. I had some bleed off into her teeth. She looks like she has been enjoying a nice Cabernet. My next step will be to continue with The crayons going through and softening up all the details giving everything a bit more of an aged look.
I have started drawing out a third piece which I plan to use the Neocolor II crayons as the main base. Just looking at what I have done so far, I can really see the differences in these products. I am also coming up with a pretty lengthy list of each products merits and downfalls.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Wrinkle in my Plan!

I have encountered a wrinkle, literally. I ended up with a doozy of a wrinkle right in the face of my Norwegian maiden after coloring in the face with Neocolor II crayons and a water pen. It was the perfect storm of not enough dry time, to light of paper, and a bit to much water blending. Is's fixable, but is going to take a few days of delicate working. Since I'm not one to sit still and work on only one thing at a time I decided to draw a design to use with the Derwent Inktense pencils.
My sweet husband asked me why I never draw anything "American". This gave me a good chuckle. What did he want? Stars, stripes, flags, fireworks and eagles? Why Not? Since the Derwent Inktense pencils are both bright and subdued at the same time, I felt they would be perfect for some kind of "Americana" piece, but I wanted to keep with an Art Nouveau style. This is what I came up with. Art Nouveau meets Americana.
Of course my husband absolutely loved the design paying it the his highest complement by saying " I would hang that in my office." I think that was also a hint that he was laying claim to this piece.
Here it is colored in with the Inktense pencils and water pens. For the rest of the face and detail work I will most likely use Neocolor II crayons and Prismacolor pencils. I am not thrilled with the hair, but with some more working I think it will come around.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Art Nouveux Meets Rosemaling-Part One, Faber-Castell Gelatos

After several days of experimenting with Faber-Castell Gelatos using some of the more common techniques, I was about to throw in the towel. Used dry, I felt like they didn't move enough. Spritzed on a gessoed surface I found them to be grainy. I decided to instead use them like watercolors. After applying to a ceramic surface, I added water with a dropper and mixed colors with a palette knife ( both of which were found in Gelatos Tool Set). I then used a water pen to apply colors to a line drawing done on Stonehenge paper with varying sizes of black Micron pens.
I find large Corelle-ware plates work great for mixing colors. The are as big as a large tile, but the curve of the plate keeps any water from escaping. The Faber-Castell Mix & Match Gelatos Tool Set (pictured) comes with some of the most commonly used tool for Gelato application.
The pigments of the Gelatos took on a very delicate look when used with a water pen. They reminded me of the colors that would be seen in Art Nouveux pieces, but at the same time they brought to mind some Norwegian textiles that I have. I decided to combine Art Nouveux style with traditional Rosemaling.
Here is the piece filled in with the Gelatos. As there are limited colors available in this line, this is probably all that I will do with this product line on this piece. Stay tuned for the next segment as I continue to work.

Monday, September 8, 2014

So Many New Things to Try! Gelatos, Inktense pencils, and Neocolor II crayons

Besides connecting people around the globe, the Internet has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for artists and crafters. Products that would have once been found only in elusive art supply catalogs and expensive stores, can now be found on numerous online venues at competitive and even discounted prices. Learning to use these products still involves some trail and error, but a quick Google search can usually product a myriad of sites and videos that provide tips and techniques. In the last few months, I have been spending less time sewing and sculpting and more time drawing. With my schedule freed up from school, but often occupied with baby visits, I have had to find projects that can be easy put away and picked up later. This has led me to several new ( or at least new to me) products.
Faber Castell Gelatos are Chapstick like sticks of pigment that seem to be used primarily in card making, art journals, and mixed media projects. These are my newest acquisition,so I have had very little time to experiment.
Derwent Inktense pencils are water-soluble ink pencils that become permanent with the addition of water. They can be used on paper, canvas, leather, and even fabric.
Neocolor II water-soluble wax crayons by Caran D'Ache are bright crayons that go on smooth and take on a watercolor look when used with a wet brush or water pen. Like Inktense pencils, they can be used on paper, canvas, leather and fabric. They are available 126 colors ( set shown is 84 piece). Over the next few weeks, I will be going over the positive and negatives of each of these products along with what I have been doing with them.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Crafting Tornado

My husband has informed me that it looks like a " craft tornado" has hit our house scattering projects near and far. The eye of the storm seems to be my work table, which is actually quite clean. I guess the problem with having so many projects going on at once is that I have them set-up to work on in stages. Yesterday both my Hoffman Challenge fabric and the miniature wallpaper from Spoonflower arrived. By the end of the night, I even managed to get the initial layer of oil paint applied to the first of my two Alabama babies.
I am thinking I will paint the second one with acrylics so I can see the difference (other than dry time). For now, I should really clean up the aftermath of my last few days of creative inspiration.