It always starts with an idea.

Have you seen my latest art dolls? I played with the woodlands theme to make a little collection of art dolls to play with while they are adopted from my official gallery store. You can adopt a Bunny, A fox, an owl, a Bear or a little girl.

Would you like to learn more about the process from start to finish?

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Everything, no matter how simple of complex of an art project, it always starts with an idea. Mine always begin in my sketchbooks. That’s where I pour everything that comes into my mind at a given time of day, so I record it to use it later when I need an idea to start working.

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I had these dolls blanks for a long time, waiting for one of my art attacks to give them life. And I’m so glad I had them because now that Autumn is creeping in, I felt the need to create something about the woodlands, specially after looking at one of my favorite books, “Where the wild things are” and I got an idea after looking at the kid in his pajamas.

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So I set up to work. I got my needle felting tools and after an afternoon of hard work and pricked fingers, the dolls started to take shape. Furry forest critters that will inhabit the vast woodlands of Danitaland.

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It really is a lot of work, slowly felting the wool into the fabric stuffed bodies, specially when I injured my left hand and now I am basically working single handed. but I kept on going and progress really started to show.

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Once done with the rough work, it’s time to create the details of each of the dolls. The little girl has a pine tree brooch holding her cape.

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And each of the little furry animals has a fluffy cottony tail in their cute behinds.

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And then, it’s time for details! I pick up a pencil and start drawing their faces. Mouths and eyes first and then the sketch of their beautiful, sparkly living eyes.

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Someone told once that I am very brave because I make the dolls first and then I make the faces, knowing that if I make a mistake the doll will be no good. But that does not stop me at all. I’ve always thought of making the body first because once I see it, I know what face will the doll have.

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And just like that, they are lining up ready to get their beautiful faces detailed with paint and mixed media materials to give them the final touch.

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After all the hard work, they are ready! Fluffy furry bodies ready, lively eyes painted and it’s time for their formal photoshoot to get them ready for adoption!

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I really had a blast with them, it was a lot of fun to pose them and then play with them, having tons of adventures on my clover forest here in my backyard.

It was so much fun indeed that my photographer had to remind me that we were there to actually take pictures, not to play. But in the end no one can resist them and we ended up playing with them a bit before wrapping up the photo session.

And now, here they are, ready for adoption on my official website and my Etsy store.

Click on your favorite to see more images of them, and you can adopt them right away!

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A little pain won’t stop me

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You know I got hurt last week and I’m having to wear a very ugly brace on my hand that prevents me from moving it, but that is not going to stop me from creating!

I found these little dolls on my blank doll bag and I decided that brace or no brace, pain or no pain, the art must go on.

I’m working basically one handed, so I am much slower than I want, but I’m committed to doing this. Stay tuned because new cute dolls are coming soon.

My interview with Miriam Schulman

I’m very proud to have been interviewed by Miriam Schulman on her “Artist chats” series, where we talk about my latest solo art show, “Among princesses and wolves“, the motivation behind it and what makes me tick ūüôā

But we also talk about my new upcoming online class, “Handcrafted Holidays” where I teamed up with another 9 artists. We will teach you how to create a variety of beautiful handmade gift ideas to share the handcrafted spirit in your gifts!

Click on the images and links to learn more about this super fun class, there’s lots and lots of things to discover and we will have a great time learning from amazing artists!

SIGN UP TODAY!

See you in class very soon!

Among princesses and wolves

On June 8th, 2016, I had the honor to have my second solo exhibit at Gameros Manor, in my hometown, Chihuahua, Mexico.

The museum I showed is a beautiful Art Noveau mansion built in 1910 that now serves as the regional art museum of Chihuahua.

I was lucky enough to show my art on one of the main rooms in the second floor, just in front of impressive stairs and a massive stained window, and I felt just like the high society ladies that lived there during the times of the Mexican revolution, with fluffy dresses and elegant jewelry.

This exhibit was called Among wolves and princesses”, I got inspired by the original fairy tale stories from the Grimm brothers and many others.

I did extensive research and I learned a lot about the original stories, which have a much darker tone that the sugar coated versions that have been passed to us over time, and god forbid, the saccharine Disney versions.

I also had the opportunity to work on large format paintings, something I don’t do very often, but it was super fun letting my darker side lurk around in the canvas, with new interpretations of the fairy tales I had read since I was a child.

Opening night came and I got to give a short and emotional speech that made me shed emotional tears, I was very happy to see all my family and friends gathered for such an special occasion.

My parents helped cut the ribbon for the official opening and everyone came in to enjoy my art… I was so nervous because I did not know how many people was going to attend outside my friends and what were they going to think.

It turned out to be a packed night! There was lots and lots of people and a queue formed outside to let people trough, and everyone was taking selfies with my paintings and me… It’s such an unusual experience having complete strangers asking to get a picture with you!

My super sister decorated the pace and turned the food table into a little handmade forest with cupcakes, candy and moody lighting and decorations, she made sure everyone had an amazing experience there.

I really had a wonderful time, and I treasure the memories I made, the friends I met and the comments I got about my work. It really made me feel proud of being an artist and doing my part to make the world a better place.

The paintings will return to me soon and I will share the ones that have not been sold at the museum in case you are interested, they are a twist of my usual work with moodier colors and more mature themes, but I am sure you are going to love them.

Just take a look at the main piece, sleeping beauty, and you will know what I mean,  bound by thorns, naked and vulnerable as she holds a rose in her hands, but her body hides a secret that only once you look you understand.

I’ll let you know when they are back and prints and the originals are available for you to enjoy.

Many special thanks to my friend Marcela for getting me the show, and to the University of Chihuahua for providing the venue for my second show.

Art doll tutorial with DecoArt fabric paint

I’ve been using acrylics to paint my dolls for a long time and I love them for covering the entire surface. But when I want to make a soft doll I want a paint that stays soft as well. That’s when I discovered DecoArt SoSoft Fabric Paint.¬† It’s permanent, washable and really, so soft.¬† So I thought I’d give it a try and see how well it worked. I also used some other products like Photo transfer medium and some stencils.¬† Want to see the process and learn to make your own? Just follow these easy steps:
1. First, gather your materials.¬† You’ll need:
2.¬† Laser print or photocopy the face you’re using and trim it.¬† Using the Decoupage Transfer Medium apply a layer to the muslin and other to the printed paper. Place image face down to the fabric and apply another layer on top making sure to smooth it out, working from the center to the sides. Remove excess medium with a damp cloth. Let it dry.
3. When It’s completely dry, apply water and let it soak a bit. Slowly remove the paper with your fingers, rubbing the paper until it comes off.
4.¬† Your fabric will be wet when you’re done removing the paper. You can let it air dry meanwhile you work on the body.¬†¬† I started by applying Yellow Ochre to the muslin with a stencil.
5. Then I mixed some Blue and Green to make a beautiful Aqua and use the same stencil in a different position. I also use some deep brown and red.
6. Then I used another stencil and used it in the center of what would be my doll’s dress and painted around the head with the aqua color I just mixed.
7. Then I painted the face using yellow for her hair, aqua for the eyes and some red mixed with white for the cheeks and lips.
8.¬† When everything was dry I sew freely around the doll’s head and the body of the doll, attaching them together.
9. Then I used my writer to add more details.
10.¬† Use a piece of fabric as the back of the doll and add a thin layer of cotton batting and the doll’s front.
11. Sew around everything and cut the excess.
12. Your doll is ready! You can further embellish it with some buttons or ribbons.¬† You can use your kid’s or grand kids faces to make them personalized dolls. It’s so much fun!

Prima watercolor pencils

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The second product I got for review is the Prima Marketing Watercolor Pencils.
They come in 6 sets of 12 pencils.¬† I got the Earth Tones, Hair and Skin Tones and the Basics.¬† After making a quick search on google for an official color chart I think I’ll have to get the Scenic Route too… Those colors are my faves!
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When you open the boxes they look like this.
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I like the fact that they have the color on top, it’s easier to spot them when you’re using them. I’ve used other brands and they all look the same and you have to be checking the name or the point and that sometimes can be a pain.
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The first that I tried out is the Classics set.
They’re pretty intense when dry and the colors are beautiful.
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But again, it’s when you add the water when the magic happens.
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And the more water you add the more they dissolve and spread out.
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The earth tones are a little bit less soluble than the classics, and when they were wet were so much stronger than when they dried (typical in watercolors). But I didn’t see as much change in the classics in vibrance.¬† Maybe because they are more vibrant?
Here’s the scanned swatches. They’re as closed as the original as possible, but you know how things look different in different monitors?
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And here are the Hair and Skin Tones.
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I like this set because it has a variety of colors to make any skin color you’d like and you can make them as saturated or as light as you’d like by just adding less or more water.
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I used them to sketch a girl on the watercolor paper before painting it to have a foundation on which to paint my girl without the harsh lines of the pencil to show through.  You can also use them before the acrylic on your canvas and they will blend beautifully.
Using watercolor pencils to sketch a girl before painting it by Danita

Prima Marketing Watercolor Pencils

Click on your favorite Prima Marketing Watercolor Pencils to get them delivered to you by Amazon.com

Pros: Easy to use, the tin package can be used as a blending palette, beautiful colors, last a long time, easy to transport.
Cons: Have numbers instead of names (I wish they have both), You get repeated colors if you get all sets (which can also be a pro if you use those colors a lot), a bit of color shift when dry, don’t specify lightfastness.
Lightfastness is a property of a pigment or paint that describes how resistant to fading it is when exposed to light. Light striking a painted surface can alter or break the chemical bonds of the pigment, causing the colors to bleach or change, in a process known as photodegradation
In conclusion, I think they will be great in my mixed media projects, specially for outlining before painting with watercolors or acrylics.  I will definitely go and get the Scenic Route set!