Tag Archives: Art Doll

Met the spooky spool doll family!

It’s this time of the year again. I am in Halloween mode again and after the success I had with my paper clay art dolls (Thank you, they are almost sold out!!) I decided to make something else.

I found these wooden vintage thread spools I got from my grandmother and thrifty stores and set out to make a new set of Kokeshi art dolls.

I started out choosing the best spools, and then I glued wooden heads to them. I like how they look with their huge heads and their whimsical air.

Then, I sketch out who will they be with pencil and wait for the glue to dry.

And while they are drying, it’s time to try out different outfits! That’s a very fun part! Paper hats, vintage fabrics, crepe paper, tinsel and what not I find in the studio.

This year, I upped my game with them. Their faces are not only hand painted, but also carved out with fire. Each doll has a custom face I drew, burnt and painted to make each other very special.

Then, cones the painting. Following the lines I used to draw the faces, I paint each one them. very carefully with my fine brushes and artist’s paints, each doll has a very special personality.

Then, the dressing! Yay! Each doll has their own outfit designed according to their personality. Some are whimsical, some spooky, and all of them are made with lots of Love.

The final details, their paper hats. And now they are off to their official photoshoot before they are ready to be adopted.

Do you like them? I do! And looking how humble materials like vintage spool threads, wood spheres, little pompoms, paint and collage paper become art dolls makes me very happy.

Now, meet the entire family on my online gallery and art shop, danitaart.com

Happy Halloween!

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All about little red riding hood

Danita Art Doll WIP Work in progress art doll paper clay head faceYou already know what happens when I get obsessed with a theme, right? I will not stop until I am utterly and completely satisfied with exploring every option and technique about it.

This past days my obsession has taken me to work with Little red riding hood, and I have been watercolor paintings, paper dolls, classes, and now, an art doll.

Little red riding hood art doll handmade paper clay Danita ArtWorking with her all night, I just had to add her to my ever growing collection of art dolls. Each one of them holds a little piece of my soul, and I just love making them. Now, Little red riding hood is looking for a home! Go and see more of her on my online shop!

MEET LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD

Buy maybe a doll is not what you were looking for? How about an original painting inspired by little red riding hood? I have one for you!

Danita watercolor little red riding hood original painting

I made here while I was in the forest last month, filming my latest online tutorial “Sketching in the woods” where I teach you how to paint a little red riding hood watercolor portrait just like this one.

SEE THE WATERCOLOR PAINTING

 

SIGN UP FOR THE PAINTING CLASS

And then, last, but not least… A little red riding hood paper doll! I have been working on this original paintings turned into poseable dolls.Poesable art doll template DIY paper crafts project by DanitaNow you can create your own with my downloadable pattern. It’s ready to be printed, colored and assembled so you can have you very own Danita Paper doll.

GET A DOWNLOADABLE DOLL PATTERN

I hope you liked what I have been doing with little red riding hood. Let me know in the comments section what you think and which one of the little red riding hood girls is your favorite!

An art doll mini tutorial by Danita

I am having a great time and work creating an art doll collection. I have been working non stop on the dolls and I thought it would be fun to stop for a moment to tell you the story of the doll creation using images from the doll making process and turning the tale into a mini tutorial.

Danita Art Doll Materials Tools List Messy Desk

Look at my desk… Someone told me that a messy desk is the sign of a creative mind, so I guess that makes me one of the most creative people in this planet. No contest on that.

But hidden within the mess, there are secrets to be found, like all the materials and tools used when you create an art doll. Can you spy them all in this picture? There’s one you can’t see but it’s the most important one of all… Love for what you do.

Danita Art Doll Making Dollmaking Dollmaker Tutorial Steps How to

The first thing you want to do is pick the fabric for your doll bodies. Something resistant and sturdy that is also breathable is my weapon of choice, but you can choose anything you wish as long as it’s workable into small flexible pieces.

I create the patterns from my dolls from a standard but usually let the doll dictate what she wants to be, so the dolls are never the same, always different from one another. I really insist on that to give each doll a personality.

Danita Art Doll Handmade Techniques Tutorial Stuffed Bodies Muslin Polyfill

Once your bodies are cut and sewn, it’s time to stuff them! The perfect time to do this is while binge watch on my favorite TV shows and movies. I always buy a huge bag of Poly-Fil, grab my trusty stuffing tools and set to work!

Danita Art Doll Heads Tutorial Paperclay Paper Clay How To make

Once the bodies are filled and my binge for TV and movies satisfied, the dolls move to my working table to start making the doll heads using paper clay, my sculpting tools, and as a new addition to my dolls, glass eyes!

Danita Art Doll Sculpting Sculpture Paper Clay Tutorial How to Secrets

Making a doll face with paper clay starts with a very rough surface that you have to sand and work until you have a smooth surface as a foundation, and let’s be very careful not to scratch the glass eyes with your sanding block.

Your hands and the sculpting tools will be of great help here. I polish, remove and add clay all over the place until I am happy with how things are looking. It’s a very labor intensive process so it’s important that you take your time working this step.

Danita Art Doll Head Face Paper Clay Paperclay Sculpture Handmade Dollmaking How to

They always look very strange while you work the doll making steps. Next, after I am happy with the way the face is looking, I start to trace out features with a stabilo pencil because the next step is to paint the face.

Danita Art Doll Painted Head Paperclay Paper Clay Tutorial WIP

I use a lot of materials at hand here, specially with pan pastels and stick pastels, ink pencils and acrylic paints with the same techniques I use on my mixed media paintings. Getting the right amount of blush and color on the eyes is crucial to make the doll very realistic and with a lovely expression.

Danita Art Doll Handmade Eyelashes Painted Detail Face Techniques Tutorial

Once I am finished with the face, it’s time to add more features to it to make it even more real. I love how I have learned how to bring my mixed media and watercolor paintings into the real world with my Art dolls.

Danita Art Doll Dress Hand Made Sewing Tutorial Clothes for dolls

And did you know that sometimes I spend more time choosing the perfect fabric for the doll that making it?

A piece of my soul goes into each doll I make, to me they are alive in a way and I can hear them whispering what they want. Sometimes they know right away, sometimes they will take their time choosing who they want to be, but it’s a very important step and I must get it right.

Wouldn’t you be the same if you were given the freedom to choose who you want to be? It’s a very important decision and one must take all the time it’s needed.

Danita Art Doll Clothes Trouser Handmade Tutorial Tecniques

All the clothes on my dolls are handmade, most of the time from scratch. You can see here that I took a piece of fabric and turned it into trousers for this little girl.

I insist on everything being handmade. It adds to the uniqueness of each doll and to her final personality.

Danita Art Dress Handmade Fabric Clothes Unique OOAK Tutorial How To Make

The dress is made with a fabric I found on a thrifty store somewhere during my travels. I will collect fabric, lace and props I find during my too frequent visits to antique and second hand stores and when the time comes, I will be ready for the perfect doll to wear it.

The lace on her also came from a very old box of lacy thing I was given by a friend. They are very precious to me because some of them come from another time, and there will never be one like it again. Using old, used things with a new purpose makes everything magical.

Danita Art Doll Choker Gold Cameo Handmade Corset Tutorial

Once I’m done with the dress, I will add accessories to the doll. She is wearing a very nice choker with a cameo I made myself here in the studio with golden colored flakes and jewelry resin, like the ones I use on my original jewelry, only very small.

The dolls are pure mischief when they are finished. I really love to play with them in the studio while they impatiently wait for their final photos. We have lots of adventures and sometimes they even help to make other dolls.

Danita Art Handmade Doll Paper Clay Paperclay Sculpture Fine Art Toy Finished For Sale

Now the final step is to place them for adoption on my online gallery and shop, where they will sit on my virtual showcase, waiting for the perfect match that will take them to their forever home.

Penelope was very lucky! She did not last five minutes on the virtual shop front when her new adoptive parents picked her up. She is now very grateful to the people who gave her a forever home to start a new story in their hands. I’m really looking forward to hear from the stories and adventures they will have together.

I really hope you liked this little insight into my work. I wish I could live closer to my friends and fans so we could get together and learn what I teach on my online classes.

Danita Art Workshop Live Classes Dollmaking Doll Making Mixed Media Painting Tutorial How To

And luckily, the opportunity to spend some time learning with me in person is coming very soon. I have been invited by NW Country Art Retreats to teach a 4 day workshop in their beautiful place near Mount Rainer in Washington State.

I hope you can join me. Together, we will create a beautiful art doll just like the one we saw how to make on this tutorial, plus much more. And I will be just delighted to be in your company, working, laughing and sharing a beautiful time together.

A doll with a sweet tooth

Danita Art Handmade Doll Toy Girl Original Dollmaker Maker Making

My latest doll is a little girl with astonishing green eyes, who happens to love cotton candy.

I was thinking about my childhood delights and how much I loved to eat that delicious pink and fluffy cotton candy when I visited the fair or the zoo.

It felt like eating clouds, so soft and unsubstantial, but it still left that sugary taste in your mouth. I loved to think I was a bird and I flew to the sunset clouds. Now that I am a grown person, I don’t indulge on cotton candy that much, but I still remember how it made me feel and I wanted to evoke that feeling with this doll.

Danita Original OOAK One of a kind Art Doll Maker Making Dollmaking Handcrafted Paper Clay Cotton Candy

I didn’t think it was a good idea to use real cotton candy for her treat, so I dyed wool, needle felted it and placed it on a stick so she sn have an everlasting sweet. Yay!

For her eyes and face, I used a mix of techniques that involve a lot of materials, starting with paper clay that I sculpted and then painted with acrylics and shaded with my derwent inktense color pencils, the same ones I reviewed last week.

Danita Art Original OOAK Doll Ceramic Porcelain Hands Dress Handcrafted Pink Yellow

Her dress is special too. I picked up a very light cream fabric with pink and yellow flowery accents, because, after all it’s Spring! I think it goes very well with her dark wool hair and her sweet face.

Did you know that sometimes I spend more time choosing the fabric for her dress than any other step? To me it’s very important, I need to be super extra sure that it’s the right one for the doll and she always helps me choose. I show her several fabrics and she decides which one will it be, and so far, all of them have always been delighted with their choice!

Danita Doll Art Handmade Ceramic Porcelain Boots Shoes Laces Ribbon Silk Pink

And finally, the shoes. Another important decision! This time she chose to wear high boots with pink lacy bows on them. I had the perfect silk ribbon for them, and they are just lovely!

Just like the hands on my dolls, they are custom made. I pour ceramic and resin into vintage, early 20th century doll molds for each of them, so each one has a very unique and one of a kind outfit and body.

I really believe that going that extra step of making each one of them old school, by hand instead of mass producing them or ordering premade items makes each doll special, just like the person that will adopt her in the end.
Danita Art Doll figure Sculpture Handmade Handcrafted Dollmaking Dollmaker Cotton Candy Girl
Do you like Belle and her cotton candy? We hope so! Drop me a comment here my blog, or via email after you see all the pictures of her in her official photo shoot page. There’s lots of them to enjoy!

The critters of love

You know I am always looking for excuses to create little wood kokeshi doll collections!

They are perfect because I love working on projects at the time and I rarely visit one of the projects, so these collection are perfect for me because I can make a collection while keeping them fresh and exclusive, and it’s always such a thrill to work with them. I love to make each one individually unique, with it’s own personality.


Since Valentine’s day is coming soon at Danita Art, I decided to create a pack of wild woodland creatures with hearts on them, and they have made my shop their home while they are waiting to be adopted.

Don’t worry, they may be wild but they can easily be tamed with love and candy bribes. They are already taking over my heart, and I am sure each one of them will steal your heart too.

See more of these beautiful dolls on my online shop, danitaart.com and choose your favorite, Don’t walk, run to my shop before they hop hop hop to their forever homes!

The road to perfection is full of bumps

Lady Clementine is one of my latest paper clay, handmade art dolls. She has a very interesting story on how she evolved and changed as I was bringing her into our world, and I thought it will be fun to show you.

Well, you already know that everything starts with an idea, and sometimes this idea is sleeping on my mind so deeply, that not even I know it’s there.

Lady Clementine started like one of my regular paper clay art dolls. I started painting her face with my Golden AcrylicsHolbein Watercolors and Sennelier Oil Pastels to give her a beautiful set of eyes and hand sculpted features.

Then, just like that, the idea came from it’s slumber and she awoke. She was coming from my world into ours and she needed my help. So, I gave her a glittery horn and a unicorn princess was born.

And being a princess, a unicorn princess to be exact, meant that she needed to be perfect. We tried lots and lots of hair until I found the perfect shade for her.

A perfect shade of pale pink that goes with her magical presence and her limitless innocence.

A lacy gown, pure white and vaporous like magic is what I had in mind for her clothes, so we got to work. Almost done!

But… Alas! Her face was perfect… for someone else. So we talked over and decided we needed to start all over again. No shame, no anger. She commands and I must obey.

Art behaves in very strange ways. Sometime I start with a very clear path but something happens that takes me in a totally different direction. Her eyes are now green and she has glitter in them to reflect the magic within.

Now her face has softer features, her eyes shine with magic and she looks much more innocent than in the beginning. She is ready to step into our world.

Our photographer said she was a challenge to capture her beauty. Like the magical creature she is, she proved to be elusive and mysterious, but in the end with some convincing she let herself photograph. Definitively, Unicorns are very difficult to catch on camera.

And here she is, in all her royal glory. Ready to be adopted and loved in a home that will teach her all about the human world. Will you take her home with you and protect Lady Princess Clementine?

Send in the snowmen!

Are you ready for the first snow fall of the year? Here on my side of the world things are just starting to get cool and snow may still be far away, but that does not mean I can’t start getting ready to create holiday art so you can decorate for Christmas, right?

I found some plastic dolls on a thrift store and I took them home with me to give them new life. Then I made new heads for them using paper clay and I hand painted each one.

Next I took some fabric scraps from my art doll projects and created onesies for them, and then I decorated their clothes and hats with vintage style tinsel and pompons.

A little more paint and lots of love to give them a vintage, kinda shabby look to remind me that old, discarded things can be given a new lease on life and that’s it!

Now they are ready to be adopted on my online gallery. Who will you take home?