Sunday, August 25, 2013

Commission Review - Wilde Imagination Parnilla

In the BJD world I don't often run across dolls from Tonner much. They are very popular in the fashion doll repaint category but their dolls are usually made of vinyl and not truly ball jointed but hinged at the elbow and knees. However, they have produced some resin versions of their Ellowyne Wilde and Evangeline Ghastly line. Personally, I've always been interested by the Ellowyne and Evangeline lines because of the beautiful clothing and the darker gothy preesentation of the lines.

For this commission, I was lucky enough to be sent the dressed resin doll straight from the company. She is the 'My Odd Life' Parnilla from the Evangeline Ghastly line and the quality of the clothing is absolutely exquisite. I will do a review of her body and her costume in a later post but for now I will concentrate on her faceup.

Her default faceup is rather heavy like all Evangeline default faceups. Usually the faceup goes rather well with the outfit but this time the choice was a bit questionable in my view. The eyeshadow is a lime green paired with heavy dark green liner and her lips are a dark magenta. To me the colors are rather tropical and seem at odds with her silvery blue outfit. It's true that there are hints of a very pale green in the lace of the outfit but in most lights it just looks silver.

Here's a look at a side by side of her default faceup and my finished work.

I chose to give her an elegant made up look using silvery blue and peachy pinks. I feel like the soft silvery gown she wears would go best with something softer. I kept the general shape of the eyebrows quite similar to the original since I liked the look but softened the arche somewhat. The lip shape on my faceup is also less severe. I think the slightly pinched look on the default looks good with the severity of the rest of the faceup but overall, the default obscures the details of the sculpt.

Here's a better look at her from different angles.

I think the new faceup brings out her bone structure and shows off her blue eyes better. It also softens her profile a bit since the sculpt has very prominent lips.

Finally here is a time chart for the faceup.

As you see, it generally takes me less time for a MSD sized head than an SD sized head. I didn't time the packing yet since I still have her in my sweaty grasp but packing time does not vary much from size to size.

Anyway, I would be happy to hear what you guys think about the new faceup. I will be taking full body shots of her to show how the new faceup looks with the outfit. I try not to be too matchy matchy with makeup and outfits because it can look tacky. For example if someon is wearing a pink outfit, I don't match the eyeshadow but it is ok to use a lighter paler pink or a different shade of pink if you want though a more complementary color scheme would look better. In this case I did sort of match the silvery blue of the outfit but I added some pinks to keep it from being too matchy matchy.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Commission Review - Fairyland Pukipuki Sugar & Ruby - NS

In July, I was commissioned for the largest range in BJD sizes I have ever painted. My commissions included 1/2 size This Alice from Spiritdoll, 1/3 sized Minimee and Iplehouse EID,  two smaller 1/4 sized MSDs and a YoSD and finally two Pukipuki faces. It was quite the experience to see the 1/2 size head next to a pukipuki. Unfortunately I was not able to get a photo of them together since I completed the 1/2 size head and had her on her way home as I was starting on the pukipukis. Next time this happens, if it ever does I'll snap a shot for you guys to compare.

As for pukipukis, I have to say I don't get a lot of practice on this scale so I'm not as good as I am on the larger heads. There was a point when I was customizing obitsus and I could only paint at this scale but that was two and a half years ago and my skills went pooof! Anyway, here are the darlings. They are super cute at this scale.

More under cut

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Commission Review - D.I.M. Minimee Adriana Lima - NS

I love D.I.M. dolls. I love the aesthetic of their sculpts, the body sculpt, the body engineering and the resin quality. In fact, my first doll was a D.I.M. happy body with a free anime styled head because she was the prettiest of the dolls I could afford at the time. However, word on the net is that the Minimee heads are terribly finished and some artists refuse to paint them. When Robyn approached me to paint her Minimee Adrian Lima, I accepted because she told me she had completely sanded the surface and resculpted one ear to the best of her ablities. I also think Adriana Lima is beautiful and wanted to paint a sculpt of her. Well, I'm glad I accepted the commission because here she is!

More info under the cut!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New Lashes in Stock

I just got a large shipment of lashes in from Dollmore and updated my Lash Page here. They started carrying some realistic looking lashes with beautiful soft looking fibers in a soft brown and black. The item name starts with BDG and they come in two lengths. The fibers are very short so they're perfect for all the realistic sculpts I've been painting as well as for smaller dolls like pukipukis.

I also picked up a few of old design they had around for a while called A4 and A6. They only had the style A6 in black. I've used the white version in the Unoa Celestial Moon commission. It's nice and short with a more stylized look than the BDG styles so it works well with more stylized faceups. The fibers on these are graduated with the ends being shorter and the middle being longer. The style is exactly like the ones from ForMyDoll but I think there is more quality control with these since I don't see variation in the fiber pattern the way I do in the FMD lashes. They work well for 1/6 to 1/3 dolls as well as some smaller dolls like Pukifees.

A4 came in brown and black and is a nice graduated lash (shorter fibers at one end and longer on the opposite end). The fibers are beautifully lush but not over the top so your doll looks like they have natural mascara on but do not look as heavy or dolly as the super heavy and curly Switch lashes. Don't get me wrong. I love the Switch lashes but on a realistic faceup and sculpt they tend to look overdone. The A4 works well on 1/6 to 1/3 scale dolls.

That's it for now! I will be using some of these new lashes to finish of August commissions. I'm pretty picky about lashes so I'm glad I was able to get these. I regret getting some of the cheaper strip lashes now. At the time they were the best ones around but now I have a bunch that I probably wont use and they weren't cheap. I will probably include them in a give away. They were my favorites when I first started and I really recommend them for beginners because the lash line is a very soft thin cord so the eyelashes don't pop out when you try to apply them. The fibers are thin but they don't come to a point the way the fancier more expensive ones do so they take away from the realism of realistic faces. They still look great in more stylized dolls but considering they only cost a dollar less than the expensive pairs most ppl who commission me probably will not request them. Anyway...I guess that means a giveaway soon~

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Commission Review - Iplehouse - Doria NS

Iplehouse is one of the best known companies for realistic sculpts. Although they have a slight range in their style, it is more realistic than most companies out there. They also have one of the widest ranges of resin colors to choose from although they still stick fairly close to realism with different shades of skin tones instead of fantasy colors like Soom or ResinSoul. I think this is a fairly smart move on their part because they offer all the realistic skintones on a normal basis and the market is heavily geared toward real skin tones with a fairly strong but much smaller market for fantasy colors. When Iplehouse does produce a grey doll once in a while, the skintone is still quite popular but never as popular as one of the realistic skintones.

This July, I was commissioned to paint a Doria in NS. This was an interesting commission to me because it's not one of the run of the mill natural faceups. While I enjoy working hard to bring realism to a sculpt, I like to try new things and problem solve as well.

The owner sent me a photo of the makeup look and pretty much wanted it reproduced closely. It's a design that cannot be accomplished without an aibrush since it calls for a blue-white blended eyeshadow. No amount of layering pastels is going to produce a satisfactory result so this commission shows why I decided to invest in an airbrush.

Here's a look at the photo my client D.H. sent next to the final result.

More below the cut....

Monday, August 5, 2013

Commission Review - Spiritdoll - This Alice LE WS for Nancy S.

As you all know I'm very obsessed with faceups and commissions and I've been timing myself lately. I thought it might be interesting to some to hear about my thoughts on some of my commissions. Most likely I'll start out reviewing all of them and slowly taper off to ones I find particularly interesting as I build up my reviews since I'm sure I will paint the same sculpts again over time.

First Commission Review is This Alice from Spiritdoll. I find her particularly compelling because she's one of the huge dolls that have started appearing in the last two or three years. Dollmore and Bimong are the other doll producers that are producing made to order dolls in a 1/2 an up size. Bimong's Doll was 1/1 scale, albeit with very idealized proportions. Dollmore's Lusion Doll at 79cm is a similar size to Spiritdoll's Dolce at 75cm although the aesthetic and proportions are different.

This Alice was a limited 50 edition doll produced only in White Skin for the 2013 - Alice in Wonderland theme. As such she is quite rare and I've not seen any other This Alice since I believe there was also a limited ordering period. Very likely there are not 50 altogether so I was very happy to have been commissioned to paint her.

Her stats are a 11.5in (29cm) head circumference and 20mm eyes.

The request was for a pale freckled 12 year old girl with baby blue eyeshadow. I'm usually pretty leery about painting kids with makeup on unless the sculpt is stylized or the makeup is stylized so I was not certain at all about the blue eyeshadow on a realistically painted and sculpted kid. After a few trials where I felt she looked....slightly too precocious shall we say, I decided with Nancy's blessings to keep the blue eyeshadow to a light dusting instead of anything that looked too heavy.

Here's a look at the blue eyeshadow trial:

Trust me. In real life it looked a bit worse. However in the end I think she looks smashing!

Her preview before lashes:

and her final pics....

I had a great time with her. In terms of casting and resin quality, I did find a very obvious bubble on her bottom lip. I patched it with some epoxy clay, sanded it smooth and buffed it. I painted over it with an airbrush to match the resin and voila! Smooth perfect lips. Otherwise the resin was heavy and smooth and the casting held beautiful detail.

Time wise, this girl took a long time. I've decided to break down the timing to better help everyone understand exactly how long it takes me to do everything involved in the process. Here's a chart I made.

I didn't time myself heading to the post office to mail out this package as well as another head but it takes me about 8-9 minutes to walk to the post office, about 4-10 minutes to mail the packages depending on if I can use the APC or if I have to wait on line and another 8-9 minutes to walk back home. I also don't bother to time myself going to pick up the packages or opening and inspecting them but as usual it all adds up. For Nancy, there was a total of 47 e-mails back and forth between us. That's a fairly high number but not unusual although it's usually lower. A lot of times it depends on how friendly the client and I are and if we talk about things other than just the commission or if there is a tweak I am working on. In the end I'm unsure how to time out the e-mails so I don't think I will bother.

As you can see, it took me more than a normal work day to finish this commission. I'm not sure how long other artists take, but this is how long it takes me. I think there is a misconception out there that if someone is good at something, they're a lot faster at it. Here's the truth, you can't rush art. You can't rush painting. It's a physical thing. It takes a specific amount of time to lay down a stroke and if your work is finely detailed, that means you spend that much more time on it.

Anyway, I hope you guys like these charts. I will be putting up more of them. It would be nice if there are any other faceup artists reading this to communicate and talk about how long it takes you guys to do your faceups. I'm quite curious as I can't figure out if I'm super slow or not.