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Fear Of Faces -- Easy Cloth Doll Faces
by Barb Keeling, Keeling's Krafts


Doll making is not a new thing of course, but the style of dolls has changed a great deal. The "art doll" is now very popular. They are "character" type dolls, some of them very whimsical, others lovely, realistic & dimensional. They all are fun to make. There are loads of patterns available for all sorts of delightful "art dolls". Doll Displays have become an important addition to many Quilt Shows. 

We are often vendors at Quilt shows with a large collection of these fun dolls and patterns. Our booth is always filled with a great deal of laughter. The dolls often make us think of ourselves, friends or family. One of our dolls is called TILLY IN THE TUB. She is a nice full figured nude doll sitting in a big washtub full of "suds" holding a scrub brush in one hand and a sponge in the other. She is a riot. Many claim THEY were the model for this lovely lady. Each one of our dolls will remind you of "someone". 

Most of us have done dolls for our kids and grand kids but many have never taken on a doll project where it has a somewhat realistic face that is painted on. The most frequent comment we hear in our booth is, "I'd love to make a doll but I don't think I can do the face". The quilter is not concerned with their ability to make the doll, for they are all very comfortable with their sewing skills. However the painted doll face may seem a little intimidating. This FEAR OF FACES is very understandable, for most of us are not artists. I am very creative but my artistic abilities are not one of my talents. 

My husband Doug, is a fantastic artist. He has watched me "struggle" with this art part of doll making. Knowing that I am not alone with this problem, he has designed a book on doll faces called "FOCUS ON FACE". It is designed for anyone who suffers from "Fear of Faces". He has created a way of doing doll faces which is like using a "color book". There are over 75 faces to work with; men, women, & children. Many of you have watched Doug's demonstrations at Quilt Shows and you have seen how easy his technique is to do.

"Focus on Faces" book 
Fabric to make your doll face.
Regular lead pencil
Gel or Micron Pens: Fine line, brown, black & red 
Prisma color pencils. 
Good colors for shading are: 
Pale vermilion, yellow ochre, carmine red, light & medium peach, white, pink, terra cotta, blue, light umber, henna, black. You may not use all these colors for each doll but they are good colors to include in your pencil collection. 

Here is how it works. 
1. Trace one of the doll faces out of the book onto a piece of fabric you want to use for the doll head. Trace using a very light pencil. 
2. Use a light peach and begin the shading. Work very lightly for it is lots easier to add color than it is to try and lighten a color you made to dark. 
3. After doing the shading do the eyes, eyes brows & lashes.
4. Once you like the light shading begin to darken it to suit your taste.

This all sounds great & wonderfully easy, but you may be very uncomfortable doing the shading because you have no idea where it goes. Doug's book is especially helpful because it not only gives you the face design, but the shading as well. Each one of his face designs has the pattern you trace onto the fabric. Also he gives you another copy of this face design that shows 
you where to put the shading. You lightly color in the shading. You will be amazed at how that face will "come alive". You will soon be able to face the faces with great confidence. 

The book will also give you instructions for how to work with the pencils, how to make an iron-on transfer, enlarging and reducing pattern sizes and so much more. Many faces are really beautiful, some funny, others have great character. All in all you will be able to do over 75 dolls all with different faces. There also is a good "generic" body pattern you can use with any of the face designs. The "FOCUS ON FACES" book will help you lose your "fear of faces". 

Any shop or club who is interested in having us teach a class, please contact us. We offer a fun class which includes Doug's Face Painting technique and Barb does a most informative segment on accessories. She shows things like making long Doll Fingernails, No Sew Beading, Beaded Glass Slippers and creating your own Sprinkle Fabric. This dynamic duo is available for fun filled classes. The "FOCUS ON FACES" book by Doug Keeling is available on our website or send check or money order for $19.95 pp.  "Mention you saw the book on GetCreativeShow and we will send you a free face painting kit with the purchase of the book."

Visit our Website for other neat stuff. 

Barb Keeling 760 806-9109

Doll Crafts ToDo/Keeling's Krafts 
Barb Keeling 
247 Havenview Lane 
Oceanside, CA 92056


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