>Painting Faces… of a different kind.

>I took a bit of a detour from my normal pastimes this evening and played with paints.
My family has a lot of doll collectors. My Aunt is the main leader, and my mom and my cousin are also doll folk.  I used to collect them as well… starting off with American Girls and Barbies, then Gene (who was based on the idea of an old movie starlette).  My aunt gave me a lovely USO Gene doll this weekend and it made me pull out my couple of dolls and enjoy them again.  They’re pretty darn neat- even my husband is getting a kick out of their tiny little detailed outfits.  Of course, this led to trolling around the internet and looking at what else is new… and man, if you like vintage clothing or old movies and things in miniature there’s a whole slew of dolls out there that are pretty spiffy.  Just look at what this talented lady does when she combines Gene with classic movies or couture.
Looking at all the options out there lead me to OOAK dolls, or repaints.  Fascinating stuff- there’s some really talented folks out there.  I’m totally new to this world or ball jointed dolls (though my cousin told me about them a while ago), and remembered I had a Tyler Wentworth my mom gave me when I graduated fashion school.  She’s a modern fashion design doll and as well as her arms and legs moving like normal fashion dolls she has elbows and knees that bend as well.  It’s really amazing what folks do using the dolls and fashion poses– they really look like real people sometimes.  Here’s another link to neat photography inspired by the 1920s.
I was never really a big fan of my Tyler’s face.  I guess I’m more of a vintage gal, so of course I wanted red lipstick and more vintage beauty.  So… being  adventurous tonight I used this tutorial and tried to give her a bit of a vintage makeover.  Eh, not too bad for a first try- though my hand isn’t nearly as steady as other folks, I’m much happier with her new look.  Next up I try to figure out styling her hair to be more vintage.  We’ll see what happens!

Well, at least this gives me something to do with the… oh.. two bins of fabric scraps I have in the garage.  Like I need to add anything else to my regular rotation of hobbies.  But it is a quite pleasant diversion.
I’ve decided to start pocketing money away for one of these dolls.  An old Hollywood costume designer? Yes, please.
Fashion is fun.  Even when miniature sized.

9 Comments on >Painting Faces… of a different kind.

  1. Robin's Egg Bleu
    October 26, 2010 at 5:26 am (14 years ago)

    >When I was in high school, my mom started buying me Effanbee dolls of old Hollywood celebrities. I didn't mind how the males looked, but I did NOT like the painting on my Mae West, Judy Garland 'Dorothy' or the Vivien Leigh Scarlett. This was back in the early 1980's that I realized nail polish remover was pretty good at eliminating the dolls face paint. I was a portrait artist, so I figured I could do a better job painting the dolls and in fact, made them look substantially more 'real'. This was eons before 'repaints' appeared on the market. Unfortunately, I stored my dolls for many years and when I opened them up, mice had nested in the boxes and also chewed up their little faces…noses mostly, completely ruining them, and I never even took a photo of them. Sigh.I had some Gene's and repainted them as well, but I gave them away years ago to a friend who was more into sewing for dolls than I was at the time. They're really fun to recreate and individualize.

  2. casey
    October 26, 2010 at 10:36 am (14 years ago)

    >Oh my goodness! This is too funny that you posted about doll collecting and repainting them… I was a pretty keen Barbie collector through high school (though too poor to be able to afford much. hehe!) and bought a Gene right before I graduated. I kind of moved away from it until the past year, when I started eying the repro Barbies and hunting on Ebay for affordable Gene dolls! lol. I also used to repaint/re-root my Barbies as well, and have also been contemplating that the past couple months. Looking at some of the sites you linked to is making me all excited about the possibilities! I mean: who can resist the opportunity to make some fantastic outfits in miniature?! I love the repaint you did–it definitely gives her more of a vintage air. *sigh* Now I'm going to be thinking about dolls and repainting them all day… lol.♥ Casey | blog

  3. Sarsaparilla
    October 26, 2010 at 11:41 am (14 years ago)

    >You've opened up a new world for me! I love Diane's Whidbey Island blog – she made this gorgeous black and white cocktail dress for her doll, inspired by the dress Grace Kelly wore in "Rear Window."Good job on the vintage makeover on your Tyler doll!

  4. Sarah @ ColorKitten
    October 26, 2010 at 2:43 pm (14 years ago)

    >Nice job on your Tyler! I have never been able to really get into the Tonner dolls because of their faces — but I loved Gene. I still remember getting my first doll and outfit from Ashton-Drake. Someday I hope to finish off my long dormant AD Gene outfit wishlist!I always meant to sew for her, but life got in the way — if you start making 16" vintage please post about it!! Maybe I can get inspired!

  5. Lauren
    October 26, 2010 at 3:25 pm (14 years ago)


  6. BaronessVonVintage
    October 26, 2010 at 11:17 pm (14 years ago)

    >wow, this is fascinating. I am personally obsessed with 1920s boudoir dolls and other flapper items that have handpainted faces on them (I've got some shoe shapers with cute little dames on the handles and two awesome hat stands. Hmmm, maybe I'll do a little post to introduce you to my girls). I think the makeover is the best thing ever. You are so fun and creative!!

  7. AnnieLindsay-Smith
    October 27, 2010 at 3:21 pm (14 years ago)

    >she looks like lauren bacall!

  8. Wearing History
    October 27, 2010 at 6:12 pm (14 years ago)

    >Robin's Egg Bleu- how heartbreaking that your dolls got eaten! Little jerky mice :(You've got an amazing talent- I'm sure they all looked wonderful.Casey- it's so funny that we both were really into it and are just getting back into it again! Great minds. I swear if we ever connect in person we'll be a force to recon with! Lol!Sarsparilla- I love that rear window dress! She made some from Funny Face, too, that I love. It's so creative! Seems a lot more managable on a small scale. Gives something to do with scraps from "real life" clothing :)Sara- Thanks! I am with you- not a fan of tyler's face but I love gene. I do like what they're doing with the newer Tonner dolls, though :) There's a gal on Ebay called "Hello Dolly Boutique" that makes vintage patterns doll sized. They look really neat!Baroness- I know what you mean! I have only one boudoir doll in she is in a very sad state and needs a makeover. They're SO cool. Speaking of which, I found a lady online who sells reprints of 1920s and 1930s vintage patterns for boudoir doll clothes (along with any other doll pattern ever it seems). I'll see if I can track it down and send you a link :) I'd LOVE to see pics of your girls!Many thanks everyone!

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