Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Making a Poseable Art Doll: Part 8

His eyes are done painting, but the rest of the head needs a little more work.  I am definitely going to change that nose color since it doesn't look right.

You can see holes on each cheek where I removed his barb.  It will be re-added later, I think...  If not, I will patch the hole and paint over it.

I used Ceramcoat paint by Delta.  I was going to use my Vallejo Game Color paint, but it seems after having it for many years many of the colors are not good anymore.  The reason I chose Ceramcoat is because I also paint bisque ceramics at the Ceramic Club I belong to.  Overall, the Ceramcoat paint works rather well.  Smooth, bright colors.  Some colors don't have as good a coverage and need several coats, but I am pleased with the results thus far.

I just LOVE how his eyes turned out.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Poseable Pipefox

This poseable Pipefox took me a few hours to make him.  He is completely poseable and is about 16" long from tip of nose to tail.  The faux fur is dyed using Dye-na-Flow.  His stuffing is batting wrapped around a wire armature.  His eyes are glass beads and his nose is sewed black thread.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dying Faux Fur Test

I bought The Exciter Pack of Dye-na-Flow made by Jacquard. I bought it from Joanns (with a coupon) for under $10.   I also bought white faux fur which I think is 100% acrylic.

For testing these colors, here are the other items I used:
- Sheet of foil to contain my mess.  Also worked as a palete for mixing colors.
- Cheap paintbrushes.  Nothing fancy.  I wouldn't use these for art painting, but they work well for this application.  I didn't want to accidentally ruin a good paintbrush if a cheap one works well enough.
- Old slicker pet brush.  I still kept my old brush so I decided to dedicate it to this project.  I have better ones for use on my pets.

I first made sure to brush the faux fur in the direction the hair lays.  To add color, I put a drop of dye-na-flow color onto the tip of my flat paintbrush.  I painted lightly across the top of the faux fur with the grain.  At first it didn't seem there was enough color and I dripped some color onto the faux fur directly, but I found that lightly brushing would waste less and do a better job.  After brushing the dye onto the fur make sure to brush the area as soon as possible.  By brushing the color lightly onto the top of the coat, you create a little gradation of color and make brushing clumps out easier.  This will reduce your loss of fur from the fabric.  You don't want to brush so much it becomes bald...haha  If the color is not dark enough, repeat brushing more paint onto the fur.  It is better to do a little at a time.  One thing to note though is that when you brush the fur while the paint is wet, that it can get brushed into other parts.  So if you are brushing a pattern or something more intricate, be careful where you brush.

So now for the results...

Above is my first test.  On the left is Emerald Green.  You can see how the lower section is darker than the rest because this is where I dripped color onto the fur.  It doesn't look as good as the brushed parts in person.  On the far right I painted black to see how dark it would be.  In person the black seems to be a very dark cool gray.  Close enough.  The top color is Azure Blue.  You can probably see 2 lines in the middle of the fur where I cut it.  That was done prior to my painting experiment to see how adding texture by cutting looks like.

Top row (left to right)
1:1 brown:white
1:1:2 brown:golden yellow:white
1:2 golden yellow:azure blue

Bottom row (left to right)
1:2 brown:white
1:1 golden yellow:azure blue
1:2 golden yellow:brown

The picture makes the black dye look close enough to the black I painted his paws.  In person (as mentioned above) the faux fur looks like very dark cool grey.  Not too bad considering I don't have to buy extra faux fur just to get black.

Here is my slicker brush I used to brush the faux fur.  You can see how it built up when brushing painted fur.

Although the Emerald Green is very pretty by iteself, I want more of a forest type green for my dragon poseable art doll.  So I will have to mix 2 parts blue with 1 part yellow to get this (according to my test above).  I also liked the beige color I got from mixing 2 parts white and 1 part brown.  I may use this for the tummy of the dragon.  And of course there is the black that I intend to use for the legs and the middle of the back.  And if I do a pattern on him, I can use the black too.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Making a Poseable Art Doll: Part 7

He is starting to look more like a dragon now.  His head has been glued to his body now.  I used fusible batting to pad his wire frame.  (I didn't buy fusible batting specifically for this project.  I only used it because it is what I had on hand so why buy something else when this would work?)  All this sculpted parts are also sanded and primed.  Now to start painting.

I am uncertain still how I will paint him.  The colors I like for him are white, green, blue, and maybe a brown.

I may test dying my faux fur a few colors prior to deciding what colors to use for painting.  This should help make sure he matches from fur to sculpted parts.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Making a Poseable Art Doll: Part 6

The feet are sanded and primed.  They are now ready for painting, but I will have to wait until the head is ready.  I do plan to remove the primer where the faux fur will be glued to the feet so that it adheres well.

I have finished most of the sculpting for the head.  The wire is where the barb will be.  I haven't decided if it would bendable or not.  That creates a whole new level of problems.

Otherwise the only other thing that needs work now is the nose.  It keeps trying to give me problems with symmetry.

And this is how the head look on the body.

My favorite tools for sculpting my dragon are the ones shown in the picture.  I especially love those two rubber tipped shaper tools.  I want to get more of those in different sizes and firmness.

I did FINALLY locate some faux fur that I was okay with.  Note I said 'okay'.  I wanted a faux fur that was plush and soft.  Something that could be dyed to the colors I wanted and have a pattern painted onto it.  Since my dragon is small, I wanted fur that was about half an inch and no more than an inch.

The white faux fur I got from Joann is 100% acrylic I think.  It is about 0.5" thick (estimate), but isn't as dense as I would like.  It is also not as soft as I would like either.  I did find other faux furs there, but none fit all my requirements.  One was short, soft, and super dense... but it was brownish.  Another was dense, very long, white, but laid flat and looked choppy.  I ended up settling for the one I bought because of the length and color options (if the dye works).

This project is more complex than I thought it would be.  Or am I making it more difficult than it needs to?  :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Making a Poseable Art Doll: Part 5

My dragon's paws are finally done sculpting.

I still need to finish the head though.  Then I can prime and sand prior to painting the details.  I should also start thinking what colors to use so I can find the fabric I need for his body and possibly dyes to add details.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Making a Poseable Art Doll: Part 4

I still can't figure out how I want to do his ears.  So for now I will put that on hold.  Instead I worked on the paws of the dragon.

First off I made a bunch of nails.  I made more than I needed so I could pick the best suited ones to be used.  These nails were baked first.

My plan was to make a 4 claw per paw dragon.  Three claws in the front and one claw in the back of each paw.

The paws were baked onto the wire armature.  I tested the head on the body to see if the proportion and balance was good.  If you look closely in the picture you can see his back legs raised off the ground because of the weight of the head.  The head itself will be heavier after I add the ears.  That shouldn't matter much since I plan to add some weight to the back end when all the sculpting is done.  His paws are not complete yet.  But the basic structure is there at least.