Saturday, December 31, 2011

Doll Shoes




We took a bag of donations to the Thrift store, then went in and looked around. I found a pair of children's shoes for $2.50+tax. My plan is to try and take them apart very carefully in order to be able to use them as a pattern for making doll shoes. The full size pattern will fit the feet of the My Size Barbie that I got, not too long ago, and a scaled-down pattern should fit my BJD's feet.






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Friday, December 30, 2011

Thoughts On Modeling Legs Nº 6




I'm still doing small computer sketches so I can remember what I'm thinking about. Ryo Yoshida talks about balance when working on the legs. Maybe this is what I need to focus on a little more?






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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thoughts On Modeling Legs Nº 5




These are some notes about placing ball joints. I still have some questions about how I am going to do the hip joints.






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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thoughts On Modeling Legs Nº 4




I found this photo reference in my morgue from a series of photos taken by Japanese photographer, Akira Gomi, from the World Wide Beauty Project. I am not sure if it is still up on the Internet anywhere? Things seem to come and go so quickly. That is why I saved it to disk when I found it. I never know when a web page or web site is going to disappear forever? That reminds me, I need to save pages from this weblog to disk, because I never know when it may just go poof!



Image edited 2011-12-28.


I like this photo reference because the girl's legs are slender enough to show spaces between the legs, even with her feet together. Also, a front, rear, and side views are shown. The next step is to compare this photo reference with my working drawing, and to see where I may need to add or subtract from the overall shape of the wax legs I am modeling.




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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thoughts On Modeling Legs Nº 3






Image Source.


The advice that Ryo Yoshida gives on page 30 of Yoshida Style is:

Joints are intersections where muscles cross. The ball joints will be added later, but please make sure that the muscles are modeled properly first. It's complex, but modeling will become easier if you understand the muscles and their structure.


The muscles attach to the skeleton at various places which create levers. It is those levers which allow us to move around as the muscles contract and relax. It is quite complex. Yoshida says:

The muscles of the arms and legs are complicated. Try to be conscious of the flow of the muscles as much as possible when you sculpt. The lower front side of the deltoids with the upper arm biceps and the back of the upper arm triceps. The brachioradialis muscle that runs down from the elbow with the flexor carpi radialis muscle and the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle etc. Try to keep all these complicated muscles in mind as you sculpt, but if you understand them from the beginning there shouldn't be a problem. If you emphasise the muscles of the arms almost unlimitedly you will create a burly, wrestler-type body. Please refer to a number of naked photos and anatomical drawings first.


So that is where I am presently. I am looking at various sources of Artistic Nudes, as well as videos at YouTube of female athletes, gymnasts, dancers, contortionists, and others who are moving around. I have already mentioned ReferenceReference.Com. Another very nice reference source for Artistic Nudes is the Live Model Pose Tool.

It is very complicated, especially for someone like me, who has never done very well with Artistic Anatomy. The combination of Latin names, and all those intertwined muscles, makes it look like a bowl of spaghetti to me. The key is to try and learn just one muscle at a time. It takes time. When the muscles that inform the surface anatomy have been learned, then they can be modeled in the figure in a convincing way.

When My Eyes Glaze Over, I just stop and do something else for awhile. Since the weather has turned cooler, I have picked up my knitting needles and yarn, and am starting to knit again. My current knitting project is a simple pair of wrist warmers, with holes for my thumb, and fingers.




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Monday, December 26, 2011

Thoughts On Modeling Legs Nº 2






Yoshida Style Ball Jointed Doll Making Guide.
Ryo Yoshida.
Tokyo, JP: Hobby Japan, 2006.
ISBN: 4894254603




As far as putting the 2D artistic anatomy information into a useful 3D ball jointed doll, the best book I have found is Yoshida Style. Pages 29 and 30 give a brief description about modeling the legs, using anatomy book diagrams of the muscles of the legs. The photo sequence in the book is very good, but the trick to actually getting the most from Yoshida Style, is to also have the English translation of the Japanese text as well.

This is what Ryo Yoshida says about the important muscles of the leg:

The line of the legs viewed from the front at the inner thigh and around the knee creates the difference between left and right and so is very important. (Sartorius muscle, rectus femoris muscle, vastus lateralis muscle, vastus medialis muscle)





So here are those four muscles, from the front view.






These are the leg muscles from both the front and back views.



Too much information. My Eyes Glaze Over !!! (MEGO)




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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thoughts On Modeling Legs Nº 1






Modeling the Figure In Clay.
sculpture by Bruno Lucchesi, text by Margit Malmstrom.
Watson-Guptill Publications

* Hardcover: 144 pages
* Publisher: Watson-Guptill (April 1, 1980)
* Language: English
* ISBN(10): 0823030970
* ISBN(13): 978-0823030972
* Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
* Weight: 1.6 pounds




I have been doing a lot of research, including looking through books I have in my studio's reference library, searching the Internet with Google, and watching videos at YouTube. As I have mentioned, it seems to be taking me some time to get my head wrapped around modeling the legs.

For one thing, I decided to try and model the legs as one piece, in order to get a better overall form to them. This is the way that Martha Armstrong-Hand does it, as well as Ryo Yoshida. Then after getting the proper form, they cut the legs at the joints, and add the ball joints and sockets.

So what I did was attach the lower torso to a modeling stand, then stick the legs to it with wax. As a result, I have chopped off a good portion of the ball joints I had attached to hips. This is going to require a subsequent reworking of the hip sockets as well.

But since I do not have my head entirely wrapped around these major changes, it is taking me awhile to implement the changes that I want to make, that are based more on a feeling that I have, rather than solid knowledge.

Modeling the Figure in Clay: A Sculptor's Guide to Anatomy is a fun book to look at. In it, sculptor Bruno Lucchesi models a clay figure over a wire armature, starting with the bones of the skeleton, and slowly adding muscles to the bones until he has created an anatomical figure. At the end, he covers the muscles with skin to complete the figure. He seems to be quite competent, and obviously has a good grounding in artistic anatomy, a subject that I am not very good at, at all. However, the way he models this figure is not the way a figure is modeled in clay. This is not a modeling book, but an anatomy book.

The problem with anatomy books is that they all show two dimensional plates of a three dimensional figure. Some abstract thinking is required to translate the 2D information into useful, informed 3D information that can be used for making an articulated ball jointed doll.




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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cinderella




I love this song. Julie Andrews is so beautiful in this TV production from 1957.



Rogers and Hammerstein
Cinderella
My Own Little Corner

I'm as mild and as meek as a mouse
When I hear a command I obey
But I know of a spot in my house
Where no one can stand in my way
In my own little corner in my own little chair
I can be whatever I want to be
On the wing of my fancy I can fly anywhere
and the world will open its arms to me
I'm a young norwegian princess or a milkmaid
I'm the greatest prima donna in Milan
I'm an heiress who has always had her silk made
by her own flock of silkworms in Japan
I'm a girl men go mad for love's a game I can play
with a cool and confident kind of air
Just as long as I stay in my own little corner
All alone, in my own, little chair.

I can be whatever I want to be....
I'm a slave from Calcutta
I'm a queen in Peru
I'm a mermaid dancing upon the sea
I'm a huntress on an African Safari
It's a dangerous type of sport and yet it's fun
In the night I sally forth to seek my quarry
and I find I forgot to bring my gun!
I am lost in the jungle all alone and unarmed
when I meet a lioness in her lair!
Then I'm glad to be back in my own little corner
All alone, in my own, little chair




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Friday, December 23, 2011

Modeling Legs




I have been busy researching about modeling the legs. The bones and muscles under the skin are what informs the surface anatomy. I am not very good at anatomy, so it takes me awhile to figure stuff out. In other words, I am struggling with the legs. Sometimes, it is so much of a struggle that I wonder why I don't just make some very simple generic shapes for the legs, and keep on going. But in the end, I keep studying because I know that I will not be very happy with legs that look like tubes on my finished doll.



Hopefully, when I am less confused, I will be able to show what I am doing.




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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pressure Pot Conversion



Juli, over at Just This and That has finished her conversion of a 2.5 gallon paint pot into a presuure pot for resin casting. She has detailed the conversion in three parts:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

She is currently molding a tiny reindeer to be cast in resin!




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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Modeling Wax Legs




I have a mark on my hot plate dial that is set to where the wax will soften enough for modeling, but not quite melt.






I use a wooden spatula shaped tool to apply softened wax to the legs. The softened wax is a lighter brown than the cool wax.



I have also been editing my working drawing by using white acrylic paint as white-out to erase lines, then using a permanent marker to make new lines. This is because I have changed the size of the hip joint balls from two inches in diameter to two and a quarter inches in diameter.




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Monday, December 19, 2011

More Modeling




This is the back view, showing some of the wax used to stick the parts together. See yesterday's post for the front view.






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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Modeling On Stand




I don't know if this is going to work, or not. These are all solid wax doll parts modeled over cardboard armatures. I am sticking the parts together with wax.






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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Decisions Decisions




One of the nice things about having a Hobby is that there are no hard and fast deadlines to meet. Sure, I make my own deadlines, but if I don't make them, nothing is lost. From what I understand about Martha Armstrong-Hand's method, she first sculpts the doll in oil-clay over a wire armature supported by a modeling stand. Then she removes the oil-clay sculpture from the modeling stand and cuts it apart at the head, arms, and legs, leaving the torso in one piece. This gives her six parts in oil-clay.



In #1 above, the oil-clay doll has been removed from the modeling stand, and the lines for cutting have been drawn. In #2 above, the cuts have been made, making six oil-clay doll parts.




Because oil-clay is so soft (which makes it an excellent modeling material), Martha made plaster molds of the oil-clay doll parts, then cast them into carving wax, as shown in #3.



In #4, the carving wax parts are further cut at the joints to facilitate making all the joints. In this example, there is a three-part torso, making a total of sixteen carving wax doll parts.




Each of the sixteen doll parts in #5 below, need a combination of balls and sockets for articulation.



In #6 above, the light green areas are where balls will be added to the carving wax doll parts. Martha had separate molds for casting carving wax balls of different sizes. Sockets are indicated by dotted lines.




In #7 below, the dark green areas denote where sockets are added. The light green areas are where carving wax balls were welded to the carving wax doll parts.



The main difference between the method used by Martha, and the method I used, was that I made all the doll parts separately, using cardboard armatures and modeling wax. Now I am thinking that it might be a good idea to put the limbs together, and model them in one piece, instead of trying to model them in individual pieces. I am looking for a better form than the one I have now. Then, once I have the limbs modeled, I will mold them in moulage and cast them in carving wax. Then I will cut the limbs apart and add carving wax balls to the limbs. This is what I have been deliberating now for such a long time. It was hard to make up my mind about this. That is why it took so long.




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Friday, December 16, 2011

Reference Reference




I found this wonderful drawing reference site called ReferenceReference.Com. The reference videos include a front and side view of males, females, children and animals. Although it is touted as a reference for animators, I think it is also useful for dollmakers, sculptors, and others who work with the figure.







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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bill Of Rights Day




Today is Bill of Rights Day in the USA. The Bill of Rights is 220 years old today. It is in danger! We are not a police state, yet....


Image Source.



Occupy Wall St.
American Civil Liberties Union
Sign Petition AGAINST the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)




Portrait of Benjamin Franklin by J.S.Duplesis (c.1785).


I believe this is relevant to dollmaking because the Bill of Rights guarantees all Americans the right to express themselves. It wasn't too long ago that the artwork of Hans Bellmer was declared degenerate by the Nazis in Germany, and he was forced to flee to France in 1938. That is what can happen in a police state. If you give up even one Right, then you essentially give them all up, because they will all topple like dominos.




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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

China Painting Porcelain Dolls




I just found this site about china painting porcelain dolls. This kind of information is kind of hard to find. Free Porcelain Doll Painting Tips.






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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

29 Ways




Some inspiration. I have several different copies of this list, evidently from paulzii.tumbler.com.






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