This is Izzy, made by Kaye Wiggs who calls her doll business “Kaze Kidz.” Kaye is an Australian artist and she was already a very accomplished porcelain doll artist when she fell in love with Asian ball jointed dolls. She dove in and learned how to work with resin and silicone, then gave us her ‘Aussie ball jointed doll’ with Kaye’s unique wide-eyed look. The first of Kaye’s resin creations that I saw were beautifully sculpted heads that she put on the Dollstown bodies. Now, she has a varied line of dolls on distinctive bodies in different sizes and aesthetic styles. The resin has a lovely translucent luster — I’ve read that Kaye put a tremendous amount of research and energy into her selection and formulation of the resin. Kaye introduces new sculpts periodically and they are marketed through JPopDolls.net (link) . Buyers place preorders and it takes a few months for the dolls to be made and shipped. Sometimes a previous sculpt will be reissued in a different resin color. If you miss a beautiful sculpt that speaks to you, you can look for them on the secondary market. But, Kaye keeps giving us more lovely sculpts so I would recommend watching for the next beauty. Learn more about Kaye in this interview with BJD Magazine (link).
This particular girl belongs to my friend Theresa. I painted her face and made her wig. Theresa liked her default faceup but felt that the mouth could be more interesting. Izzy’s mouth with her baby-teeth smile is her most distinguishing feature but her default faceup didn’t show off that peppy little smile enough. Theresa wanted her to be a “sweet little girl,” a brunette, and have a subtle dusting of freckles across her nose.
The Sweet Little Girl:
Izzy is wearing a dress and hat that she borrowed from my Sylvia Natterer doll, Tabea. The orange sweater was handknit in perfect doll sized scale by Monica Cooper (link)
Painting a mouth with teeth can be really challenging. I actually had to wipe this face and start again at one point because I didn’t like how the mouth looked. There is the obvious challenge that the inside of a doll’s mouth is really small and there is a big contrast in color between the white of the teeth and the dark inside of the mouth — getting your brushes to the right area without getting paint elsewhere is the trick. Then there is the issue of getting the teeth to look natural — you don’t want her to look like the “bad dental hygiene” poster at the dentist’s office but you don’t want a shark-white set of choppers either.
*Work on the teeth with every layer of your faceup — don’t wait until the last stage and brush on the white paint.
*Remove any stray paint or pastel that gets on the teeth before spraying your next layer of sealant and making that unwanted color permanent.
*The sealant has a texture — ironically called “tooth.” Each time I spray the sealant, I buff the teeth to remove the tooth in the sealant and make the teeth smooth like real teeth. I use a cotton swab or drawing stump (Like this: http://www.dickblick.com/products/gray-paper-stumps/).
*When applying color to the teeth, I use an almond color instead of bright white — it is much more natural. I like to use watercolor or pastel.
*I use a long script liner brush to get inside the mouth (like this in a size 0: http://www.dickblick.com/products/silver-brush-renaissance-red-sable-script-liner/). With a clean brush, dip only the tip into your color. That way, you don’t get paint on the teeth and lips.
*The last step is to paint the teeth with gloss. Don’t gloss the inside of the mouth so that there will be a nice contrast with the sheen of the teeth.
So long, from Izzy! There are lots of pictures of her on Flickr (link) .