Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kamui is Officially Finished

I am soo happy with the way he turned out.  Especially since he is the very first time working with resin and with watercolors.  I am using my Deep blue custom eyes from Ersa Flora and a faux fur wig that I received from B&G Doll.  I think they both suit him well.

Kamui is available for sale with his wig and eyes.  I will be officially listing him on DOA a little later and I will also list him for sale on Ebay at some point in the near future.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

So Close and Yet Still So Far Away

Finally got a chance to do the detail work.  It was a little disconcerting working with the liquid watercolors for the very first time.  I loved the ease of them but I think I may need to find some higher quality ones to get a little better color.

Of course the kit I got for my anniversary didn't even come with white.  Who on earth can paint with no white paint?  I always thought white and black were staple colors used for blending.  Must have been a marketing ploy to get you to buy more paints.

There are a few things I would like to change about how this has turned out.  The eyebrows are not quite even in one small spot, but humans are not perfectly symmetrical either and the difference is close enough to not detract from his beauty.  I would like to have done some much finer lines in the eyebrows and lips.  For once I am perfectly pleased with the eye lines and lashes.  The final blush will tone down the white and black in the lashes and blend them to perfection.  I know this because I have already finished the final blush.

So after this I did the final blush (really loving him right now) added 2 coats of MSC and this morning I applied the first coat of gloss.  Now my problem is that the gloss is some pretty tough stuff and I have never worked with any paint that is not water soluble.  Needless to say I may have ruined my favorite brush.  I did rinse it with pure acetone, but I am not sure if that worked.  Really need to buy some Windsor and Newton brush cleaner.

I have only a little left before I am finished with Kamui.  My next project will be a Dollzone Mini BB Leo that I have decided is female and named Rem Severim.  She will get a dramatic faceup and full body blush including her wings.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sam Worthington Minimee Update.

I spoke with Denny from DIM last night and I will need to do a new modifications picture.  Apparently my original wasn't detailed enough for them.  I don't have access to the software until later tonight.

I am sorry, I haven't had any time to work on Kamui in the last few days.  Been trying to get the house ready to sell.  Will have a new update on him soon though.

On a completely unrelated note, we are almost ready to list our house on the market.  I have been having too much fun decorating this time though.  I can't believe that there are no western decorations readily available in a small Wyoming town.  I had to go with a more contemporary Asian type theme in our front rooms and western in our bedroom.  Of course my work room is all anime theme.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's Alive!! Blushing is done...For Now

I think the blushing is pretty good on Kamui.  Especially since he is my first.  I am kind of scared to do the nxt part though.  The paints scare me a little with all the work I have already done here.

I am using low viscosity water color paints to do his detail work.  I have done face-ups before, but they were on vinyl dolls and if you mess up you have to go back and pretty much re-do the whole thing.  I am hoping the by coating the head in MSC after each step will save me from having to do that step over if I mess up later.  At least that is kind of what I have been told.

If this all works out well I will do a faceup and body blush on my Dollzone mini BB Leo next.  I have had her for a year now and she still has no face.  Not that I didn't try.  I had commissioned an artist to do her face-up and body blush.  And after more than 6 months and $40.00 I finally have her back as blank as ever.  HEH oh well I can do this myslef.

First Layer of Blushing is Complete

Sorry for the grainy picture.  the lighting around here is not the best.  I didn't realize that it was such a bad pic until I had already started the second layer of blushing.  Guess that will teach me to check the picture before moving on.

I started out by shaving my pastels into a nice powder, then blending some colors to get what I wanted.  As you can tell here I am going in very light layers rather than using a darker color to begin with. 

Since Kamui is a Manga/Anime character and he is supposed to be a warrior, I didn't want him to look overly made up.  Hopefully by the time I am done I will have achieved the look I wanted.  I do want him to have a somewhat living appearance though so some color is necessary.

UGGGHH Eyebrows!!

I did a little research on DOA before starting my Adventures in Eyebrows. I have always had troubles with them, even on my 1/6 scale dolls my eyebrows are difficult. First I decided to try the Eyebrow templates that were created by DOA member, batchix. I must be the only person in the world that can't use them. The eyebrows are beautiful and well drawn with a rather large selection of styles so there is plenty to choose from. The web site gives very well written and detailed instructions for how to use the templates. So why is it that when I tried them poor Kamui ended up looking horrified?

I erased my markings and tried them freehand using the template image as more of a guideline to view as I went rather than taping them to the head and tracing them. My results were much more to my liking but still not quite right. Time to erase and try again. Third time...Fourth time...Fifth time's the charm. I got a nice light sketch of the eyebrow shape that I want to use for the final product. Funny, they seem much darker in person.

I also traced out some of the eye shape that I want to paint in. I ended up using a picture of Kamui from the manga and the eyebrow templates as my design guides to get the location and shaping correct on the eyebrows.

Once I got the eyebrows I wanted I gave him a light coat of MSC to help avoid accidentally erasing them if I mess up later. Next step is to blush his face and give the eyebrows a little more depth. Wish me luck.

Here is a link to the eyebrow templates and the instruction for how to use them if you are interested in giving them a try.

Got the preview pics of the Sam Worthington Minimee

The Artists at DIM are amazing. They nearly got him perfect. Nearly. His ears are too big and his eyes are too high but his mouth and nose are perfect.

Have a look, what do you think?

Here are some overlays that I did to check the sculpt. This isn't an exact process though so some considerations had to be taken.

And lastly the scribbled up modification suggestions that were sent to Denny at DIM

The original sculpt was so close that I almost hated to have changes made. But the Elvin dumbo ears just killed me (and everyone else in our go), the the eyes being so high just takes away from his Sam cuteness.

Now we wait...again...for another 3-4 weeks, but the end result will be so worth it......I hope.

Sanded Kamui and Coated Him With MSC

The eye holes on my Kamui head were pretty rough and his right eye, the one on the left as you are looking at him, was just slightly smaller than the other. So I spent a little time with my 400 grit sandpaper and evened them up and smoothed them out. I washed the head in some warm soapy water, lightly went over it with some pure Acetone (used with extreme caution) then washed it again just to be sure all the acetone had been removed from teh head. Finally I went over the whole thing with a Mr. Clean Magic eraser just to be sure that any production residue, or other residue for that matter, had been removed.

After all the sanding and cleaning I gave the head a nice light coat of Mr. Superclear (MSC) and left it in a clean safe place in the garage to dry for a few hours. I am pretty pleased with the results so far. The next step will be to lightly draft out some of the features.

Happy Anniversary to ME!

AAWWW hubby is such a sweetie. He bought me everything I will need to do some softer more realistic face-ups on the resin heads. I will post pictures later. Mostly because I forgot to take any, but here is a list of what I got, I don't think I missed anything.

A Watercolor kit that contains
10 liquid paints
watercolor pencils
plastic pallet
drawing pencil (will not use for dolls)
eraser (will not use for dolls)
small bottle with lid
wire mesh container to hold everything
a second set of brushes (now I have one for dark colors and one for light)
a big fluffy brush for blending
Windsor and Newton gloss and flat varnishes
Smudging sticks
Kneaded Eraser
New watercolor pencils
A Box cutter with blades that is retractable like a pocket knife

Dremel bits (to do the detail carving on the battle damaged head)

So pretty much everything you need for face-ups except the chalk pastels which he had bought me last year for a different project.

They Eyes Have It

In my last post I mentioned my custom eyes by Ersa Flora. I would like to take a few moments to elaborate. I commissioned several sets of custom eyes from her while I was preparing for my heads to arrive. I sent her my designs or ideas and she created beautiful eyes for me. Below are pictures of the eyes I received. She has since changed her methods and begun producing even more beautiful eyes (if that's possible)

Battle Damaged Marcus Wright eye
(designed and created by Ersa Flora)

Non Damaged Marcus Wright
(designed and created by Ersa Flora)

Jake Sulley Avatar/Na'vi Eye Glow in the Dark Version
(Designed by me, created by Ersa Flora)

Jake Sulley Avatar/Na'Vi Eye Metallic Version
(Designed by me, created by Ersa Flora)

Deep Blue Sea
(Designed by me, created by Ersa Flora)

These are the eyes I am using in my Kamui Shirou head from the last post.

Jelly Eyes
(designed and created by Ersa Flora)

Many of these eyes are exclusive to me at Serenity Moon Studios and can not be sold anywhere else. I will be offering a group pre-order for them in the DOA marketplace a little later this month. I will keep you posted as to exactly when they will be available.

Regular Ersa Flora eyes can be purchased directly from the company, or from the following authorized sellers.

Dolls Department 25, Parabox, Safrin, CA Dolls, ATWD & Feather Fall

Kamui Shirou Minimee Preview

Kamui has arrived. I took him out of his box and inspected him closely. The result...I love him! After inspecting him I decided to try on a spare wig and a set of eyes that I had designed and had a dear friend on DOA make for me. I actually like the look. I didn't want Kamui to look exactly like Kamui so the slight differences are surprisingly pleasing. I may decide to go with a slightly darker wig later.

Wig by B&G Doll
Eyes by Serenity Moon Studios and Ersa Flora (Serenity Moon Studios Exclusive)

Introduction and Concept

Recently I ordered a few resin minimee heads from DIM (Doll-In-Mind). The first batch of heads are of Sam Worthington. The actor who played as Jake Sulley in the movie Avatar, Marcus Wright in Terminator: Salvation, and Perseus in Clash of the Titans. Of course these are only some of his more recent movies. The second batch are of him as his Avatar self. Who wouldn't fall in love with a big blue mankitty?

I will be carving up one head to create a battle damaged Marcus Wright, dying some others to match the blue of the Na'Vi characters, and simply painting faces on the remainder. I have purchased extra of the heads in case I should decide to sell some to help me cover the costs of purchasing them.

I decided to pick up another head that was being offered on the DOA (Den of Angels) market place to practice on. Kamui Shirou, from Clamp x, will be my very first resin subject. I have painted faces on 1/6 scale dolls like Volks, Obitsu, and Barbie but they are completely different materials not to mention the size difference.

As a result I have decided to try and document my attempts at the faceups and modifications that will be necessary to obtain the looks that I want. My first subject will be Kamui Shirou. I have already started some of the base work on him, but since I took pictures I will go ahead and create posts to document his progress. Please keep in mind that this blog may not be updated on a regular basis.

Hopefully during the next year or two I will also have Minimee heads from these actors/series (Group orders have been started for them at DOA if you are interested)

She-Ra Princess of Power

Jake Sulley Na'Vi (dreaming version)

Spirited Away

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagaan

Adam Baldwin
Summer Glau
Nathan Fillion

The Never Ending Story
Childlike Empress

Singers, Vocalists, Musicians
Taylor Swift (for my daughter)