Art dolls are such a unique way to express creativity, but they can be a little intimidating — especially when you don’t even know what a ball-joint is. That’s what attracted me so much to Connie Fong’s little stuffed dolls. Their assemblage is straight forward and simple enough, while their actual presentation leaves space for trying out and showing off artistic technique. After finding these charming dolls on Connie’s blog, I was very excited to invite her to become a guest artist for Somerset Place. You can only imagine how overjoyed I was when she agreed!
Now, without further ado, please help me welcome the extraordinarily talented Connie Fong to our creative corner of the internet.
I’ve dabbled in most creative areas including jewelry, art journaling, paper dolls, sewing, scrapbooking, and card making; however, I recently just started making dolls. I always thought painting faces was going to be a challenge, so I never pursued this area until I took a wonderful class with mixed-media artist, Danita. After taking her class, I made several dolls and gained the confidence I needed to pursue further doll making; that’s when I signed up for Mindy Lacefield’s class on Primitive Portraits. I love Mindy’s style and her online classes are great — she takes you step-by-step, gives helpful tips, and she shares what supplies she likes to use. I took her style and added my own touch and turned my drawings into these stuffed dolls.
Stuffed Canvas Dolls Material List:
Canvas Fabric or White Duck Cloth Fabric
Canvas Photo Paper (This paper can be purchased at most office supply stores)
Ink Jet Printer
Soft Lead Pencil (9B)
Tissue Paper (I used Metro Tissue Paper)
Adhesive (I used Mod Podge)
Stuffed Canvas Dolls Project Tutorial by Connie Fong:
There are two methods I use to create these stuffed dolls. One method is to draw and paint the doll directly onto the canvas fabric and the other is to draw and paint onto some mixed-media paper and then transfer the image onto canvas photo paper using a printer. Personally, I prefer the second method because then you can reuse your original doll image over and over again for different purposes, such as making other stuffed dolls or taking the image and using it on a greeting card or art journal. I’ll take you through the steps for each method.
Method One – Drawing/Painting Stuffed Canvas Dolls Directly onto Duck Cloth Fabric or Canvas Fabric
Step 1 – Cut a rectangular piece of duck cloth fabric about 8 inches tall and 5-1/2 inches wide (you can also use Canvas Fabric).
Step 2 – Paint some white gesso over the center portion of the fabric where you will be drawing the doll, and let dry before continuing.
Step 3 – Once dry, use a soft lead pencil to draw an oval for the face. Pencil in the eyes, nose and mouth, then draw the neck and body.
Step 4 – Next, watercolor the face. Try to blend the colors and add some shading and depth by making the edges of the face darker and lightening the color towards the center.
Step 5 – Use black acrylic paint to fill in the eyes, eye lids, and brows. Use a very tiny brush and some magenta acrylic paint and color in the lips. Use watercolor to fill in the neck and arms. Don’t forget to create some shading under the neck and on the sides of the arms. Also, paint over the entire dress area, creating shading on the top and sides of the dress. Finally, outline the lower half of the face, neck and arms with the Stabilo pencil to create a darker line. If the line is too bold, you can soften it with a blending stump.
Step 7 – When the paint is dry, cut out a square piece of Metro tissue paper that’s slightly larger than the dress area. Lay the tissue paper on top of the dress area and trace the shape of the dress with a pencil. Cut the tissue paper accordingly and adhere the tissue onto the fabric with Mod Podge or glue ( you can see an example of this in method two).
Method Two – Drawing/Painting Stuffed Canvas Doll onto Multi-Media Paper
Step 1 – Follow the same steps as method one to draw and paint the doll, except this time paint directly onto multi-media paper. Don’t worry, multi-media paper is sturdy enough to hold watercolor and acrylic paint.
Step 2 – Once you’re done drawing and painting your doll and adding the Metro tissue paper for the dress, you’re ready to copy the image onto canvas photo paper. Insert the canvas photo paper into your inkjet printer as if it was regular paper, following manufacturer’s directions.
Step 3 – Photocopy your original image onto the canvas photo paper.
Finishing your Stuffed Canvas Dolls:
Step 1 – Once you have your image painted onto fabric, using the method of your choosing, you’re ready to create the stuffed doll.
Step 2 – Lay some blank canvas fabric underneath your doll image and sew around the image, creating a pocket and leaving the bottom portion open. I personally like sewing around the image twice using black thread, it adds dimension and a decorative touch.
Step 3 – Trim the excess fabric, leaving approximately a quarter of an inch edge. Stuff the doll with polyfil, and once fully stuffed, sew the bottom of the doll closed.
I hope you try your hand at making one of these dolls; you’ll be surprised by how easy it is! Also, thank you, Mindy, for providing me inspiration with those primitive portraits.
Thank you so much, Connie Fong, for the great tutorial. These little stuffed dolls would make great stocking stuffers or even Christmas tree ornaments. You could make one in the likeness of each member of your family, or gift them to creative friends. I think they would be darling on a baby mobile!
We’d love to know how you would use them — let us know in the comment section below.
Don’t forget to visit Connie Fong on her blog: ArtfulPlay
See More of Connie Fong’s Work in Somerset Studio Gallery
Somerset Studio Gallery is filled with hundreds of samples of extraordinary artwork presented up close and in detail. Whether your passion is rubber stamping, calligraphy, or paper crafting, this latest issue of Gallery features everything you love about Somerset Studio including more of Connie Fong’s unique artwork.
Posted: Monday, November 17th, 2014 @ 4:05 pm
Categories: How-To Project Tutorials.
Tags: art, creative, DIY, Guest Artist, How-To, Inspiration, Paper Dolls, Somerset Studio Gallery, Stuffed Dolls, tutorial.
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