Sunday, 6 October 2013

I Tooled!

Although I've been dolling since November 2005, I never actually finished a toolshaded doll. Oh, I started
This is about as far as I
got with tooled dolls.  Base.
making quite a few of them, but never got any further than the sketching/colour blocking stage. I didn't have the patience to work with Paint Shop Pro and had so many pixel-shading projects that were so much more interesting to make. Lately I felt as if my pixel-shading skills have stagnated, so I felt it was time to do something new. I came up with a plan: make a series of portraits of various of female characters seen in The Song of Ice and Fire series by G.R.R. Martin using different techniques for each doll. The sketches were made during the last school year (I tend to sketch all the time during class), but I didn't get around to using till now. I don't know if I'll ever complete this series of dolls, but doll on has been made ^^

For the first doll, I decided to make a portrait of Cersei using 'regular tooling techniques'. Now I know that there are as much tooling techniques out there as there are toolers, but there seems to be a certain aesthetic that is often found in tooled dolls. I don't think I actually succeeded in capturing it, but it gave me a chance to experiment a bit with the different tools. Toolshading wasn't as difficult as I expected. After all, the basic knowledge stays the same (i.e. colours, where to place the shading,...). It's just the tools that change. I mostly used the brushtool, changing the opacity all the time, and combined it with layers... loads of layers... as in more than seventy (not counting the merged ones) layers for a simple portrait doll. Don't ask me how I managed to create so many layers, because I don't even know. Layers are quite handy, but it gets confusing when you got dozens of them named 'laag 23', 'laag 24', etc. ('laag'='layer'). I did start by neatly naming every layer, but forgot to do so when adding new ones. Thus a lot of time was spent by trying to work out if a certain layer actually contained something necessary to the doll or not XD All in all it was a fun experience, though I do prefer my old MS Paint (not the Windows 7 or 8 one, that one is not pixel-art friendly anymore). Anyway, here's the end result:
My own Alina base
Obviously I didn't doll Cersei as seen in the HBO series based on the books. I read book one before the series came out, so I did have pictures of the characters in my mind before I saw the series. Since Cersei is a) the queen and b) the daughter of a very wealthy man, I always pictured her wearing over the top dresses and jewellery. Loads of jewellery, especially gold jewellery. She's also described wearing emeralds to compliment her eyes, so I put her in a green dress and, of course, emeralds. I wanted to add in a picture frame as well, but got sick of working on the doll, so she'll have to wait for her frame. I would rather make another doll than spend more time on her now. On to the next character!