11.19.2010

An Ode to Amphitrite: Part 3

Now that I had some semblance of hair to work from, I started to paint. WW is commonly painted in brighter, dramatic colors, partially to work against the black hair and nose and partially for appeal. Unless you collect Wicked Witch specifically, there are only a few reasons someone will add a green doll into their collection. If you collect for fashion it might never happen. But if the doll has a theme or is tied to Halloween through her colors then she's more likely to be bought. 


An earlier Wicked Witch

However, I like to think of green skin as a state of being rather than an incidental. If she has green skin does that mean she has green blood or is it the same as having brown or dark skin for us? What color would she blush? What color hair would grow out of green skin? What color eyes would a green person have? What would her natural lip color be? What would she color them with? What would a green race do to make themselves attractive? I didn't have the hair or nose to contend with so I already had more freedom with her color palette. I got the basic shape of the eyes done, the brows in and the lip shape in and I suddenly got scared. 

It's that line in Tropic Thunder, you know the one: "You never go full retard". I had it stuck in my head and it would not go away. As an artist there is a fine line between art and commercialism. Some people collect for art, some for the "pretty". Not everyone is going to like the same things and that's to be expected. But it doesn't matter how well the paint job is done, if the concept is too "out there" you are cutting your market down to a select group and the chances that you will recoup the time you put into your art, no matter how cool, are unlikely. 

I like to push the envelope but I also know when to pull back. I equate it to showing cleavage or lots of leg or heavy eye or lip make up, but rarely both at the same time. There often needs to be a balance. For example: My teen suggested I should paint veins on Tisiphone and have them come out around her eyes. I said, "That would be cool but you never go full retard". He asked what I meant and I explained I already had a doll with black eyes and horns, veins might be a bit much lol. He said, "Got it." 

Tisiphone, an Unusual Beauty

Now here's the exception: As an artist I believe if you're gonna do it, go for it! Don't attach expectations of acceptance or money and your doll is probably going to be amazing, whether it sells or not. I love these kinds of dolls because you are creating an "art" doll for yourself, to your own specifications so there's no glass ceiling on your creativity. These are the dolls I find myself saying, "This is either going to be really good or really bad!" Surprisingly or not, 10 out of 10 times they are the most popular, well received dolls I've done. Eris, the Dark Fayries, the Pre-Raph and Natural series', all "my" dolls.  

   
Eris
Pre-Raph Nymph














So here's this doll: she's green, smiling, has blue-ish dreadlocks and I want her to have natural sunkissed make up. Talk about handicapping! Suddenly I'm questioning my judgement. I'm thinking she needs "more" if I actually want this doll to sell! So I intensified up the eye makeup. I took her into Photoshop played with the lip shape and color to see if I could "jazz" her up. The next day I would change my mind and take everything back down because it looked out of place. I would tweak and tweak without really getting anywhere. After a week I had a full repaint. She was well executed and pretty but had no life. I woke up early Monday morning wondering if I just needed to put her away again, work on another doll and come back to her with refreshed eyes. 

Would this nymph return to the closet, never to see the light of day again? Read the final installment tomorrow!

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