Hello all and welcome to a new and slightly belated edition of Studio Portrait Friday! It was delayed this week because it was my birthday weekend, so I was busy celebrating with my family. This week I started a new Zombuki doll, Iwa-Naga, the sister of Konohanasakuya-hime (Zombuki Sakuya). Here is her sketch; I’ve been coloring in sketches lately so I can be sure to get the colors just right. I promised myself that I wasn’t going to mix custom colors again, only to end up hand mixing almost all of her colors.
Iwa-Naga is going to be on a natural skin tone Pullip MIO, so a bit more pale than Sakuya. She’s supposed to be the ‘ugly’ sister, associated with stone, so I’m determined to make her stonily beautiful. This wig is so integral to her design, more details on it below, but I love that it’s a Hime cut since she’s a real mythical princess.
I’m taking a deep breath to welcome in the fall season, and as the pumpkin spice fills my lungs, I’m overjoyed to see the number of amazing Halloween offerings that are already appearing. Thank you, September! An early standout is this upsettingly good Skelita Calaveras (Monster High doll) repaint by Xhanthi. It’s currently being auctioned off on eBay, ending September 27th 2017. I have no doubt that it will sell for a pretty penny, and with good reason.
The detail on this piece is remarkable; the mummified skin around the teeth is enough to make me bow down to her skills. I also like that Xhanthi decided to mix traditional horror elements into a Dia de los Muertos theme. Dia is fairly well-trod at this point, so it’s always nice when people mix it up. This includes me, by the way; I’ve done a few Day of the Dead dolls, but always want to do more. Just today I was thinking, “What can I do that’s a little different?” This doll accomplishes that.
Earlier this week I posted photos of “Hold On” in the studio and here are her final photos on black. I named her “Hold On” because she’s the second custom in a set, the first of which I’m keeping, who is named “Let Go.” Both are Dia de los Muertos in theme too, but “Let Go” is a personal custom and I haven’t decided if I’m going to publish her online or not.
After I painted her I also felt like “Hold On” had a really strong Junko Mizuno vibe to her, there’s something about lavender being paired with black that always makes me think of Mizuno’s work for some reason. Mizuno is also Laina’s (who commissioned this girl) favorite artist so maybe I subconsciously channeled some of that feeling? Either way, “Hold On” definitely has a lot of different influences.
I’d been meaning to make a “baby” version of the Killbot 10,000kokeshi but, like a lot of the recent designs, the lil’ fella ended up in the drawer for months. When I took him back out he was just the silver painted base so I decided to give him a Day of the Dead theme! I also wanted to experimenting with outlining the skull in colors other than black and I really liked how it turned out.
After that he ended up sitting around the studio for a week before I realized, hello, Dia de los Muertos? He needs flowers! Little Bad Seed is absolutely saturated with embellishments and the design is a complete one, with beautiful sparkling bits from every angle. I decided to just keep with the simple turquoise and silver color scheme and I’m happy I did. Also, yes, all three metal roses are different shades of blue, it’s not an optical illusion!
Hope you like him!
PS: Thank you to everyone who has been picking up blank kokeshi in the shop lately. I only have one set of “A” and one set of “B” kokeshi left in stock, but I have re-ordered them so they’ll be back soon – meaning no shipping delays (in theory!) :D