Friday, 26 March 2010

Nature Girl

Well, here she is in all her glory – my very first art doll. Thanks to Jo for choosing this project and to Sue Roddis for the inspiration from her article in Craft Stamper. I do know my doll is rather girly, but I think I am happy with my efforts, although I have definitely got to the stage that I have looked at her too much!

I decided to take the main picture out in my garden because she looked like she belonged in the natural world. It was a bit breezy though and she kept slipping down, so she's turning up her toes a bit!! My starting point for the theme of my doll is the gorgeous and enormous Patchwork Butterfly stamp from Elusive Images. I stamped and embossed the wings onto black card and then painted the wings with H2O paints. The size of the wings then drove the size of the overall project.

I constructed the doll’s body, as Sue did in Craft Stamper out of strips, but I have ended up covering rather a lot of it up. It was a good robust construction though, as I managed to cut the arms out of the same panel too. I felt I needed a shapely doll and dress and used the free template that Jo had mentioned to me on the Enchanted Gallery website. Where would we be without these generous crafters that freely share their work? I used this template for the arms, legs and dress shape. The head uses one of my favourite little stamps called The Dreamer from Stamp Dreamer. I think this company has stopped trading now. This stamp is actually in a rectangular panel and at first I didn’t think I could use it. You can see the stamp in my earlier sneeky peek. Then I thought that the draping around her head looked a bit like her face was in a bud, so very apt for my natural theme.

I stamped the face onto brown card and coloured the image with Coloursoft pencils. I covered the frame with the flowers that make up her hair. These are the smaller flowers from the Martha Stewart hydrangea punch, each individually coloured with 4 or 5 different Distress Inks. I added a metal flower from a cheap necklace, I painted with Viva precious metal gold paint. I made a little necklace out of tiny flower shaped sequins that are nail gems from the Pound Shop!

The doll’s body was first coloured with gesso and then acrylic paint applied with a baby wipe. It was then overstamped with a lace tag stamp from WS Designs, in brown Versafine ink. The bodice is cut from Artylicious paper from my Graphicus Guild membership pack with little flower brads added. The hands were made from little Magenta maple leaf peel offs backed onto more paper. (Whoops - did I really say peel-offs?!)

The skirt is made from a number of layers of stamping. The first layer is made of Prima paper ivy leaves. Next is a layer made from a huge Beeswax stamp of beech leaves stamped onto orange mulberry paper and cut out. This is followed by an Impression Obsession Butterflies and Blossom petal set, stamped in black ink onto gold paper. Then another beech leaf layer stamped onto more Artylicious paper. The final couple of stamped layers are petals cut from a stamp from the Elusive Images Big Flowers set. These were stamped onto more Artylicious paper, individual petals cut out and then edged with Distress Ink.

I thought these layered up looked like scales on a pine cone, which again worked well for my Nature Girl theme. Finally I edged the dress with a strip of gold paper punched with the Martha Stewart Fall leaves edging punch, backed with a darker paper and cut to shape. I added a little twig with some lichen from my garden, a bee charm and the word Bee-lieve from another Beeswax stamp. The word Nature comes from a Paper Artsy stamp set that finding this link I see has artwork from the very talented isa Norris.

Last, but not least, I drew some stripey legs using a Copic fineliner and Inktense pencils (I never draw anything, I must have been feeling very brave) and added shoes made from more of the paper leaves with more leaf peel offs and little dragonfly brads I had painted gold. I mounted the whole thing using a coffee stirrer (which is probably not visible) on a piece of natural bark and with some pine cones from my garden.

Are you still awake after all that?! She was certainly fun to make and I can see the attraction of making art dolls now, so thanks to Jo and Sue for the choice and the inspiration.


Lynne K said...

Wow! She's absolutely fabulous! So many wonderful details - the dragonfly shoes, her necklace, her hair, etc. etc. And I just love her butterfly wings. Totally gorgeous.

craftimamma said...

Wow, Oh Wow Elaine! I'm speechless! She's absolutely wonderful! What a lot of work you've put into her and it really shows how much you've enjoyed making your Nature Girl. Wonderful specific theme you chose to follow.

Only problem is i'm supposed to be following this on Sunday, Eeek!!!

Lesley Xx

Anonymous said...

She's outstanding Elaine...she really is. And the photography is stunning too. Wonderful work x

judith@poppy cottage said...

Well, Elaine, she is every bit as beautiful as I thought she was going to be! What a stunner! She has a lovely serenity about her too, which I love, and the colours are just so rich. The little details are perfect, the bee and the dragonfly brads, the hydrangea petals, and the metal flower. As Lesley said, oh dear, (or words to that effect), we're meant to follow this? She is absolutely fabulous, and you should be really chuffed with the finished result. Judith xx

chris f said...

Wow - wot a stunna (to quote The Sun)(not that I read it) she looks as gorgeous as the fairy at the bottom of every child's garden! I can tell you enjoyed this. Hope to see Sue soon, will tell her how inspired you've been! Wonderful stuff.

Suzi B said...

Hi Elaine this is great! I saw Sue today and she asked how things were going with the dolls...she'd be impressed!
Sue B

Jo said...

Wow! Lots of surprises in the big reveal. She is a real nature girl and I can't imagine anyone but you making her. She is girly but in quite a spiritual way. She is a real child of the earth. The details are superb and I can see I'll keep coming back to the picture and seeing new things each time. Excellent!

Val said...

Hi Elaine - a real stunner, everything about her is just so meticulous - and beautiful photography as well.

Janet said...

Elaine, your doll is fantastic! I love your attention to detail and ingenuity in using items in her decoration. Lovely colours and textures. You must be very proud of her!

Janet xx

Suzanne C said...

Lovely natural and earthy feel! Love how she turned out. Her hair is so fun made from the little punched flowers. The feet turned out lovely too.

erasercarver said...

Absolutely stunning doll, Elaine, I think she is beautiful and the nature theme you chose works perfectly.