Sunday, August 05, 2007

Big Nose Fae Critique

I need your help! I am in dire need of some constructive criticism. Tell me what you think of this doll. Does it need something? Is it finished? Please don't write things like "she's great" or things along that line. While it is nice, it is not helpful. This doll needs something, but I am stuck as to what it might be. You can leave comments up until Tuesday evening. After that time, I will turn off the comments for this post. I will work on some other dolls in the meantime. I really appreciated your time.


whimsymoon said...

Very good so far! The thing that pops out at me is that the wings are blue and yet the costume is a monotone ochre. The colors go well together but because they are "separate", the wings look
like an afterthought. I would add something blue
to the costume such as a blue pendant around the neck. Or maybe a variety of blue beads hanging down from the hat....almost looking like braids. She's lovely though!

JudiA said...

First of all, she IS great :-)

Since you asked though, y immediate impression was that her wings don't match the rest of her. As I look at your photos I see a subdued and subtle tone-on-tone color scheme EXCEPT for her wings. Either she needs different wings, or she needs more color elsewhere on her person to integrate the look. Also, the wings have a very clean, edgy and modern look that doesn't quite "go" with her age or the style of her costume.


P.S. Congrats on the magazine cover!! Oh my!

Megan said...

Hi Melisa

I agree on the comments on the wings - they struck me as not going with the rest of her.

She's very "plain" she reminds me of "Nursey" from Romeo and Juliet. She's kind of got that renaissance medieval/pious thing happening - which you could go with - or embellish her a lot more with beads and a diadem thing hanging in the middle from her turban and a string of beads (like rosary beads). If you stick with plain can you make her something to hold in her hands - such as a leather bound book or leather bag? Some keys like a chatelaine around her waist would be good too.

Hope this helps!


Natalie said...

Hi Melisa,

This doll is another Beauty.
As previously mentioned, the wings stand out, thus interrupting the "flow". Personally, I would do away with them altogether. I think they distract from the doll. Also, she is costumed quite elaborately, but she hasn't any shoes. The shoes would be a good way to introduce a darker shade of taupe. The color could be repeated to the waistline by making a sash. I also like the idea Megan mentioned about adding keys to her waist.

Can't wait to see what you come up with...



colleenbabcock said...

melissa, I think she needs some accents in a colour - something a bit punchier. Maybe pick up the colour in the wings with some beads or trims.

Karen Mallory said...

I love your doll but the wings don't go. I think you should make her some golden wings as I love the doll and rather see new wings. I like the chatelaine idea and maybe little gold beads for buttons on the blouse and perhaps the same trim or similar to what you used on the headpiece for around her sleeve bottom and skirt bottom. It still leaves the impression of plain but adds sparkle. You could also add a grassy or woodsy element to make her seem more fairy like.
hugs Karen

Nina Originals said...

Personally I think the wings don't work and are a distraction. If you feel the doll must have wings (which I don't), the wings should reflect the current costume (which is great) in color and style.
The bare feet also call attention to themselves. Perhaps if they had shoes or even sandals?

Jacque Uetz said...

Melissa, I love the doll but in my opinion she needs another couple layers of skirting hand hemmed and more to the sleeves.I would go with the others and leaves the wings off..I love lots of embellisments myself and would add bunches of beading in mute tones.I can't wait to see what you come up with..:)

Tami said...

Beautiful doll! So far this is my favorite face. But I agree with everyone that these wings don't go with her. I personally like wings and would love to see a different pair that's more golden and plain (fewer holes) to match. Since she looks very austere and like she belongs to an order she should have some sort of sandals. And finally you have this beautiful gold trim on her headpiece, but it's hardly picked up elsewhere on her costuming. I can't wait to see how you change her.

kay susan said...

I think she's lovely! I agree with the comments about the wings, but I don't think she IS a fae, I think she is a kind of very rich, medieval, mother superior type of fantasy, so I think her decoration needs to be richer, more gold to match her headress, a chatelaine is a lovely idea, maybe a string of 'worry beads', love the idea of a book in her hands and I agree she could do with something on her feet. Can't wait to see the final result!

Vee said...

Melissa...... to me her hands look almost injured and bandaged... I wonder if she were holding something or had them at different heights or angles..or try to bend her fingers inward somehow to make them look more natural ....if it would it help dissuade me of that.
I, too, feel that the skirting needs "something" extra to give it a more richly "finished" look. Perhaps some trim on the lower third or shorten this skirt and give her petticoats just peeking out from beneath ...or add more layers on top or underneath. Maybe you could use some blues or green tones in the extra layers or trims as well as at her throat or in a bodice trim to pull it all together.
Love the profile!!

Sherry Goshon ODACA said...

First of all I love if she were mine and that is how I have to approach it...
I would rub the edges of the wings with antique gold rub and buff this will make them blend more with I would buy some beads the color wings...I would beat the bodice and points following the design and then I would add a few beads to the hat where the gold trim is...this will make it flow better...

Megan said...

Hi Melisa

Me again! Thought I would add something I forgot to say last night - I would "puff up" the sleeves (draw them in around the arm) and finish with some trim to match around the turban and add trim around the bottom of the skirt too - I agree about the bare feet too as the rest of her is well dressed.It might be the angle of the photograph but her feet seem proportionally larger so are attracting attention to the lower part. Re the hands - your face sculpting is fantastic - sooo detailed - the hands (being mitt style hands) don't reflect the same level of detail - I would make individually wired fingers to match the complexity of the face - or maybe you can start sculpting hands and feet as well as heads. You obviously love doing the faces! Colour wise if you wanted to add another colour I'd go for a mossy green organic foresty colour or autumn gold tones - but not too much bling - I like the restrained palette - something I'm not good at!

You've got some really great feedback here from everyone - good on you for being so brave!


Katie said...

She seems a bit serious and I'm wondering what she's thinking about. I think she needs something to do with her hands. A prop of some type. I think that would also make it look less like her hands are bandaged. A staff, a wand, a branch, something with feathers?

Katie said...

Oh yes, and I agree about the wings. Beautiful as they are they detract from her simple elegance.

Shashi Nayagam said...

Hi Melissa,
I think everyone has said what is needed or not needed and I agree fully with them. No wings and trims to the edges of the sleeves and dress even if their are no shoes that will look ok.
The doll is amazing!

Dee said...

Hi Melissa,
I love this doll, and the taupe/white/gold color palette. As said before, the wings don't go with the doll - in either color or style. She reminds me of a James Christensen character - without all the embellishment (see the book "The Art of James Christensen, A Journey of the Imagination" - a great source of inspiration).

She looks unfinished, which to me, is why she looks like she needs something. I would add beading, and perhaps give her something to hold. If you want her to have wings, I'd change the style. If you google "wings" (images), you will be bombarded with many wing styles that may be more appropriate for this doll.

Keep up the good work - she's a wonderful doll.

Dee said...

Me again,
I also think she should have some sort of medieval-looking footwear.


Lonnie Bullington said...

There are three things I keep in mind when I buy a doll or when I make a doll:
1) What is the doll doing? In the case of your doll I don't know. I also see a very stiff presentation. Arms are 90 degrees. Elbows stuck out. Hands are flat and fingers are fully extended. Your lady is not very comfortable. If she is in the position you have planned her to be then you could sit how she sits in front of the mirror. Look at your body position, hands, fingers, toes, legs, arms, body and head. Move into a more normal position. Feel what needs to be changed. Look at your doll and compare. You will see the hands need to be sculpted into more of a cup position and that her elbows need to come in a little more.

2) Does my eye travel through the piece? She is art after all, so must employ some of the tricks art performs when trying to get our attention. Leslie Molen teaches that you must make the eye travel, up and down and all around. Your doll has fits and starts. You can correct this several different ways. A) Color comes in threes. You did that with the taupe/gold silky fabric. Now you need to do it with the white. White is at the top, in the middle but you need to put it at or near the bottom of the dress. I think that is why you got suggestions for shoes. They knew their eye needed to move down the piece.

B) Light colors make a piece float. Dark colors anchor the piece to the earth. I would not pull any of the color from the wings into her costume. She won't be as ethereal if you do. C) Texture adds interest. She has a face that has a lot of character your eye wants more. The dress lacks sufficient character to make the eye happy. Adding texture, textiles such as velvets, lace, knits, etc. or trims will bring out character in the dress. You can also do this with layering. You have started this in this piece by having the white tight sleeved chemise, the bell sleeved under dress and the brocade bodice and over skirt. Where you need to add to it is on the bodice and over skirt. Their size and hence the weight of their contribution to the whole piece is to small. I would make the bodice not break at the waist. I would cut the pieces more like a coat would be cut, lengthwise. Make the bodice and the tab one piece and have the seams go up and down on the bodice. I might even split the bodice down the front and let the under dress show through. You could use some pretty white silk ribbon to lace up the front then. I would also consider adding more of the overskirt tabs to the bodice making them longer or make the tabs with curvy sides to be more organic and not so linear. By removing the break at the bottom of the bodice and adding longer tabs you will be able to balance the contribution of the dress to the face. You will also cause the eye to travel down the piece.

And my last question, 3) Does the piece make me think? Do I wonder? Is there mysteries to understand? Does the piece cause me to pause?

Overall your piece is the beginning of something great. Don't take the wings off ( they are what would make me pause and wonder, why would this little taupe fairy have such dazzling wings?), don't add shoes ( to much fun seeing those toes!), don't add any more trim, (to much froufrou for our sedate lady, just get rid of the horizontal line on the bottom of the bodice) and do add the book or travel case (Where is she going?, What is she reading?). Press her cloths, she is much to refined to start her journey with a wrinkled skirt.

Hope this is helpful. You can contact me if you have questions about this post. I have enjoyed watching your journey. As Susie Oroyan says in her books you have the "it". May you be successful and experience the joy of creating something wonderful.

Lonnie Bullington
LJ Studios