The most amazing part of doll-making for me is the transformation between a bare, clay face and once the face is painted. While I often have an idea in my mind of how the doll will look, I am almost always surprised. There is always some little detail, some quixotic expression - the particular arch of an eyebrow, the tint of the lips - that seems to arise out of nowhere. I think of it as the doll demanding its own character, and it is so delightful. Just like in so many fairy tales, books and old episodes of the Twilight Zone, the doll seems to come to life. Here are a few ladies I'm currently working on in that nascent stage just before they become who they are going to be:
Even the shape of the face tells me relatively little about how the doll will end compared to she gets her make-up on and her hair did. Exhibit A: here are two of them all (well, partially) gussied up:
The tricky part is making the hands ahead of time in a gesture that I think matches my idea of how the doll will eventually turn out. If she evolves along the way, then I have hands that might not seem right with her final form. We'll see how these do (shown here in their rough stage):
Or these, which are a little further along:
What will they tell me?