This is a super exciting post because my 1st ball jointed doll made totally from scratch is finished and it feels amazing to look at him!! I will definitely be making more dolls in the future and no matter how much I progress this doll will always be precious to me.
Introducing my 1st Ball Jointed Doll Simon.
Simon in hoodie.
Simon seated on chair.
Simon in knit hat.
Simon with hood down.
Simon seated cross legged on crate.
Simon standing in tee shirt and shorts.
So after stringing the doll and making sure that all the joints work and fit properly the next step is to take the doll apart and paint it with a mixture of gesso and modeling paste tinted with acrylic paint to a light flesh tone. The gesso and modeling paste seal the stone clay. I gave the doll five coats and sanded it between each coat. At the end it had a very nice smooth finish. Before reassembling the doll I did the face-up on the head which is blushing the face and adding color around the eyes, eyebrows, lashes and lips. I also glued eyelashes on the doll which I trimmed after. For my first face-up I think it turned out pretty good!
Once the face was done I strung the doll and blushed the body to bring out the details of the sculpt. I used chalk pastels and a soft brush to add color and depth. Blushing is not difficult and it makes a big difference. All that is left now is to dress him up and put on his wig. So excited to be this close to the end!
Arms and legs drying between coats of paint.
Head and body drying between coats of paint.
Head after face-up.
Body laid out to be reassembled and blushed with pastels.
Front of body before blushing.
Front of body after blushing.
Back of body before blushing.
Back of body after blushing.
Ready for wig and clothing!!
This is a really exciting post for me because it’s the 1st time I’m seeing my doll strung together standing and posing. To string the doll you need 3 pieces of elastic. For SD size ball jointed dolls 3mm elastic is recommended. For the legs cut 2 pieces approximately double the length of the distance from the neck to the knee and for the arms cut one piece that is double the length from one elbow across the chest to the other elbow. You can play around with this if you want your doll strung more tightly or loosely. There are some good videos on YouTube that can help with stringing. The important thing is keeping the left and right parts labeled so nothing gets mixed up.
It’s a great feeling seeing all the parts come together and seeing your doll stand and sit. I had to make some adjustments to the knees but he was able to stand on his own though I prefer to have him on a stand for safety. I was able to get him to sit in a lot of different positions which was awesome. Next I’ll be taking the doll apart again to paint it.
Doll ready to be strung with elastic for the 1st time.
Doll strung with elastic.
Testing joints in seated position.
Doll with crossed legs.
Striking a pose.
Working on the leg joints in this post. Now that I have the hollow balls I carved out the top of the the upper leg enough to sit the ball into it and then I cut a hole into the half of the ball that will sit into the leg to allow for the elastic to go through. On the top half of the ball you will cut a slit for the elastic to move along as the leg bends up and down. You secure the ball using slip and additional clay. Once it is dry you can sand it to a nice round shape.
I made a double joint for the knee to give it more mobility so it is a separate piece that fits into the upper and lower leg. For more information on the double joint go to Everyday Art by Kathy O’Connell. At the bottom is the foot which has a hook that secures to the elastic and completes the leg. Once I had all the pieces finished I strung the legs with elastic to test the joints.
Ball joint added to upper legs.
Left and right upper legs.
Slit cut in leg joint for elastic.
Foot joint front view.
Foot joint side view.
Working leg joints side view.
Working leg joints front view.
Testing knee joint.