I read my doll history books at bedtime. I study the photo’s and dream about dolls. Lately, this idea began to grow in my head about Rosey’s eyes. When looking at painted Schoenhuts and other similar dolls, there is an upper eyelid. When painting Rosey’s eyes, I attempted more of the look of a glass eye inside an eye well. She had a staring eye gaze. I didn’t think to try to leave a bit of wood unpainted and let that be an eyelid. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to try it.
So I did it today.
I removed the paint, carefully scraping the top of the eye area clean. I painted a bluish-brownish line across, then painted white. Using oil paints.
I pulled the line paint down into the whites for shading, then added more white, leaving the edges shaded.
Here I started the iris. Light at first to place them and then darker brown around the edges.
It took a couple of tries, as I have mentioned, Rosey has different eye shapes and it is not easy to get them to match.
Because her eyes are now smaller, I took away some of her eyebrows, as they were too overwhelming for the more delicate eyes. But after looking at the photo’s I decided to take them off completely and paint a thin line. She is after all, not a glamorous bisque, but a humble wooden.
It’s a very different look, one that reminds me a bit more of Schoenhut than the darker more lively eye’s I have given her before. It’s interesting that I never thought of letting there be an eye lid in the curved wooden eye, I guess I was so focussed on the eyeball shape as being like a glass eye. So this is a new experience for me with a wooden doll faceup. I think it will take some getting use to, but I also think it may be something I like. It’s growing on me already, mostly because it brings out new thoughts about her in my mind and I think I sort of needed a jolt.
Oh, and for the bare wooden eyelid, I gently put some beeswax on a tiny brush and “painted”the area to let it get absorbed and protect the wood. It’ll take a week for the eyes to dry, then I will gloss the eye itself, but leave the lid alone. Once the oil paint is completely dry I will then beeswax the whole area and buff to a shine. The shine will eventually grow more matt, but I like the effect, it seems less like raw wood.