Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Making Izannah Dolls and trying to get those Darn Curls

I'm posting a little new 17 to 18" doll I am working on. I have made two of these, they are not the same, one has a little longer head shape, and will be more primitive. The head on this doll is short. The forehead is short. I usually don't slip up and do that, but  (  Oh No )  Goofed up a little, anyway, no problem, as she is pretty and can carry it off I think. I have had several folks let me know that they would like to have a smaller doll. Room is scarce with most people and so smaller is better. I embarked on a mission to make some smaller dolls, which right now include 2 of the about 18" dolls and 3 of the 11 1/2 inch dolls. Today I put the 2nd coat of oil paint on this doll. I was trying to make a little more pristine doll, without so much distressing. I believe she will turn out that way, with a heavier paint job. Debbie Barlow, a fellow doll maker put on a picture of a antique Izannah from a museum up,

 and I was leaning in that direction with the eye placement and shape, and the mouth. I failed to capture the doll, but did get some of the same eye shape and the mouth is good to me. The reason I put her up here is about the curls. Curls for me and most everybody, from what I have seen, is hard to do. I ask myself if I made pretty curls, is that enough, because on the antique dolls, not all of their curls are pretty, I think because the people painting the dolls back then were not all great painters and couldn't make the curls either. The answer is ( if you are making a doll that is not a reproduction, I mean trying to copy the doll exactly ) I think making pretty curls is acceptable, even if they are not like Izannah made them, but I think I am finally finding a way to make them more like her family did back a long time ago. the side curls on this doll are more accurate to me ( thinner, but more simple and more like hers.) The back curls on this doll are not like Izannah made hers, but I like them, so I will leave these alone. When you paint your curls, you have to paint wet on wet. Paint your skin, where ever the neck and forehead hair and curls will go. Mix your dark hair paint. Mix a small amount of skin color, a touch of brown and a touch of burnt umber, just enough to be darker than the skin and put this paint where you want the curls. Now you can get a liner brush for the side curls and ever so lightly pull your dark paint into the other color. Very gently and not to many strokes. The neck curls are pulled with a bristle brush directly onto the skin. Out of Room again, HaHa. The End.


  1. Martha, I think your curls are gorgeous! If I paint just half as well, I might be tempted to try another Izzie doll. Your second doll pictured here is looking quite Izannah-like...very pretty doll. I know this is what you are striving for, but I surely do hope the sweet Martha look doesn't completely go away!

    Your Jerusha and Myrtle Mae are oh so lovely dressed in red over at Such a lovely place to visit.

  2. I love her face painting! You defined the mouth more than you usually do, and it really works for this girl! She still looks to be a Martha Doll, but with a difference. She looks very opinionated. :~D

  3. She's very sweet, I love her curls and face, but you know I love all your dollies. I went to Corgi blog to look at Jerusha and Myrtle. They look fabulous and she has a link to your artwork. Lovely!