*deep, heartfelt sigh*
China painting is the stage in the dollmaking process when things start to get interesting.
The transformation of blank bisque faces is always a bit of an adventure. No two dolls will ever look quite the same, even allowing for different eye colours.
The slightest change in the angle of brush when painting lips can create a smile, smirk, pout, moue, sneer, grimace or scowl.
Similarly, the merest alteration in eyebrow lines can indicate surprise, concentration, worry, delight.
Also, getting both sides of the lips symmetrical is a challenge, even working under a magnifying lamp.
Every time I start china painting I have to allow time to 'get my eye in'... to get a feel for the brushes. Invariably, starting out, I'm too heavy handed, so I have to practice for a while to find just the right lightness of touch. Fortunately I can practice paint as many dolls as necessary in order to get in to the zone, as I can simply wash the paint off and start again.
Once in the zone, it makes sense to stay there. If I get up and go to make myself a cup of tea, when I get back to my desk it will take several minutes for my eyes to readjust again, and to regain my painting rhythm.
Yesterday and today I've been carrying out the longest, most time-consuming first painting.... cheeks, lips, pupils, and eyebrows.
They're now all done, loaded into the kiln and set to fire for china paint, up to 675 degrees Celcius.
Tomorrow I will add further detail, refine the lips and eyebrows and add the black gloss pupils and they will be fired again.
A third china paint firing will take place on Thursday if further details/refinements are required.
While the firings are taking place I'll be making a start on the small selection of trial Frankendolls, which I made using toy animal heads and doll bodies. I want to be able to create shading and gradations of colour on the animal heads, so I will use acrylic paint instead of china paint, which is the preferred painting method for porcelain dolls.
|Looking forward to dressing these tiny animal dolls!|
It seems an age since that first day of casting, several weeks ago. I am soooooo looking forward to finishing this whole batch of dolls, although when the paint firings are finally completed there is yet another stage to go before they can be dressed.
Is it any wonder I only embark on a batch of casting three or four times a year....?