I finally finished the art dolls that I was making based upon the Romantic Rosabella online class that I've been taking during the first session of Artful Gathering 2016.
The online class was taught by Hally Levesque who is an exceptional art doll artist, photographer and a bit of a history buff. This was my 2nd class with Hally. Last year I took her Bonnets and Beaus: A Regency Doll Project Online Class and loved it. My review of that class is here.
Hally Levesque, is an amazing art doll artist that I greatly admire. She makes the most beautiful historical cloth, primitive folk art, and character original art dolls. If you would like to learn more about Hally her Creative Doll Works website is here and her blog is here.
For this class I was only going to make 2 dolls but could not decide which color I wanted the base to be so I ended up choosing seven different colors from solid color fabric my sister had given me.
I figured at least one or two of the dolls would come out nicely and was pleasantly surprised when they all did. Even though the dolls are all similar looking they all ended up having their own little personalities. To no surprise most are "Diva's" or at least they think they are.
I had been saving some of the beautiful hand dyed and batted alpaca fibers my sister had given me over the last two years and was thrilled I would be able to utilize some of it here. Her alpaca roving batts worked beautifully in creating my dolls long, braided hair. If you would like to see more of my sister's alpaca fibers she sells her alpaca fiber products in her Rock Garden Alpaca's Etsy shop here.
Each of the dolls is handmade with hand sculpted paper-clay faces, arms, and bonnets. Each has handmade silk ribbon flowers as well as painted flowers down the front of the dolls dress. Handmade silk ribbon flowers are also used for their bouquets and to decorate their bonnets. Each doll also has lace and tulle gathered overskirts in the back which combined with the silk ribbon flowers makes the doll very romantic and very elegant looking.
I was looking forward to taking this class as it would be the second time I would be sculpting the doll's faces and arms and then painting them with acrylic paints. Also, the bonnet was to be sculpted as well with paper-clay. Acrylic painting of any sort is not my strongest skill - so I knew this would be very challenging. At the very least it was going to be interesting if not comical.
Hally is an amazing teacher and every detail in her doll making process is well documented and explained. She takes you through every detail of her handmade process in a manner that works for both a beginner doll maker to experienced doll artist.
Last year I created a cheat sheet of sorts that took me through the face painting step by step process using colored pencils. Painting the faces requires multiple steps and several layers of blended paints so my crude cheat sheet from last year was very helpful along with the class video's. This year I was happy to see that Hally included a colored sheet of the step-by-step process for painting Rosabella's beautiful face in the class handouts.
Rosabella's dress also includes handmade silk and satin ribbon flowers and painting flowers and leaves around the silk ribbon cluster. Hally takes you through this process in a very detailed manner. Between the class illustration printouts and class video's you had no doubt how to paint the flowers around the silk cluster and how to create the handmade silk ribbon flowers.
Rosabella's bonnet is a handmade paper-clay beret. I made one of my dolls with a beret and had no problem adapting Hally's process to make different bonnets for the remainder of my 6 dolls.
I have learned a great deal in both of Hally's classes and so love taking them that I've signed up for her Wee Winter Whimsies - Primitive Folk Art Dolls for the Holidays online class in Session 2 of Artful Gathering.
I absolutely LOVED Hally's "Romantic Rosabella" class and I'm looking forward to her "Wee Winter Whimsies" class in Session 2. This class teaches you how to make 6 different little primitive dolls which are made as tree trimmers and stand alone stump dolls. They're cloth sewn and cloth painted so that should be a real challenge for me.
If you are interested in learning how to make art dolls you should take one of Hally's classes. You won't be disappointed