It All Starts With a Drawing/Diagram:
In this blog series, I am going to do a sculpting series. I hope some of you will decide to follow along and maybe we can share pictures together.
I will be starting with a drawing and concept and ending with the doll you see sitting in the chair to the left. She is about 9 inches tall and sits in a chair I bought a long time ago at the RagShop, which has since gone out of business.
If you do a google search for “wooden doll chairs” hopefully you will find a source to get a chair. You can easily replace the chair concept with having the doll sit in any scene. The techniques will be all the same.
Sculpting dolls starts with a diagram for me. I want the doll to fit into the chair and I want the scale to be right, so let me start by drawing a diagram and then see if the diagram fits into the chair.
Getting the Scale Right:
Once I draw the diagram, I “sit” it into the chair to see if it fits about right. If you look closely, you can see the chair in shadow behind the drawing. The arms and head cover over the top of the chair by about 1 1/2 heads, which is about what I want.
The body of the doll should fill about 3/4 of the width of the chair and the feet should reach the floor. The knees also bend at the end of the chair.
This illustration is about 8 heads, which is about the proper size for a realistic doll. It should be between 7 and 8 heads, so I want the doll to be a little “lean” so this should work for me.
How I got the measurements:
I started off before the illustration by measuring the length of the entire height. I started about 2 to 3 inches above the back of the chair, measured down the chair, across the seat, and down the front. I subtracted 1 inch because no one sits entirely against the back of the chair.
From this measurement, I divided it by 8 because every doll is made up of “8 heads”. I have a diagram in the back of my book, Sculpting Fairies in Polymer Clay, that shows a body divided into 7.5 to 8 segments. I will photograph it and upload it.
If you look closely at the paper I drew the illustration on, you can see the “math” on the bottom right hand side.
Cut Out The Diagram:
Once I feel comfortable with the drawing, I cut it out an re-seat it to check the size/width/height.
Here you can see that it fits into the chair and I am happy with it. So now it’s time to create the armature.
You cannot see from this one picture, but I did move the “butt” of the doll a little away from the back of the chair and the knees do fit in the chair.
Keep in mind that this is a working shape. As the doll begins to come alive, it will take shape on its own as the creative process takes over.
Next we will begin the Armature.