In this tutorial, Linda Macario, the Italian BJD doll-maker, shows us how to sculpt a BJD head and apply a face-up.
- Box cutter
- Fine sand paper
- Sculpting tools
- Paint Brushes (Larger for coating, 00 for fine lines)
- Makeup sponge
- LaDoll or DAS (air-drying paper clay)
- Modeling paste (e.g., by LaDoll)
- Chalk powder (or chalk sticks which you can grind into a powder)
- Acrylic paints
- Glass eyes
- Thick wire (stiff enough to hold its shape under elastic tension)
- Eye protection, protective gloves.
- Dremmel tool with spherical grinding attachment (see picture in tutorial)
Draw the face and Create the Core
Draw the front and side view of doll’s head in full scale (1:1).
On a separate sheet of paper, draw outlines of the front and side views, but 5mm smaller than the original drawings. Then cut them out.
Cut a cube of polystyrene and trace the head shapes on it. Then cut the excess polystyrene and refine the block to obtain the head core.
Sculpt the Face
Cover the polystyrene core with a layer of Ladoll clay (5mm thick). Let the covered core dry. Once dry, draw a center vertical line and a horizontal eye line.
Sketch the facial features on the head, following the original design.
Add clay for the eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth and cheeks.
Remember to look at your head from all view points while you are sculpting. It’s very important for the final result.
Add details to the face, shaping the eyes, nostrils and lips. The eyeballs are recessed relative to the eyelids.
Sculpt the eyelids and refine the nose and mouth.
Model all particulars with care, preserving balance and proportions.
Add clay where you need it (here I’ve added some to the forehead.) Remove any excess. Let the clay dry.
Draw the ears in the correct position on the dry clay. The ears should be positioned between the corner of the eye and the corner of the mouth.
Create a small ear with clay.
Wet the clay on the head where the ear will go. Then place the ear on the head.
Add the external ear fold.
Add the inner ear fold, like a small letter C. Then create the deepest points by pushing them in with a sculpting tool. The ear is done. (Making ears requires a lot of practice. Don’t get discouraged if it’s not good on the first try.)
Repeat for the other ear. Be sure to position the ears at the same height.
Once again, inspect the head from different angles and check details. Let the head dry fully.
Create the Eye Openings
Trace a line around the top of the head, right behind the ears. Draw an arrow at the top center point of the head.
Cut the head along the line.
Make holes through the center of the eyes. When you look inside the head, you can see the location of the eyes.
Follow the safety precautions for using the Dremel, such as wearing eye-protection and protective gloves.
Using the Dremel inside the head, carefully grind out the eye sockets.
These are the eye sockets.
Flatten two similar balls of clay and squeeze them into the eye sockets. Then press in the eyes into the clay.
From the front, use a sculpting tool to remove the excess clay. Then position the eyes as you want them.
Here is the face after the eyes have been positioned.
Secure the eyes in place by adding some clay over the eyes inside the head.
Create the Head Articulation
Cut a round hole where the head connects to the neck.
Add some clay to the hole.
Gently press the neck ball into the clay to create the head joint socket.
Rejoin the front and back of the head with some clay. Then let it air-dry completely.
Coat the Head
With fine sand paper, smooth the head. Then wipe the surface with a damp cloth.
Mix the colored paints and add some water to obtain a skin tone coating.
Add modeling paste and chalk base to get the coating to a creamy consistency.
Paint the head with 4 layers of coating.
Clean the eyes. Your head is ready to paint.
Create the Elastic Hook
Create a hole for the elastic bands in the head joint socket.
Make two holes and a groove on the top center of the head.
Create a hook with a wire.
Insert the hook through the head joint socket so it comes out the front hole.
Bend the long part of the hook so it sits in the groove and goes back down the other hole.
Adjust the bends so you can still see the hook like this.
Cover with a little clay.
Paint the Head
Prepare a certain color to paint the head.
Use very diluted acrylic paints and apply them to the makeup sponge.
Apply a light coat of paint to the circled areas. (Do not draw these lines on the face.)
With a pencil, draw two lines for the eyebrows.
Add color to the lips.
With a 00 brush, paint the eyelashes, eyebrows, and fine lines on the lips.