Friday, March 5, 2010

The problem with ears

is getting them the right size, the same size, and in the right place. This can be tricky, working on two sides of the head. You've got to constantly check your work from all angles. So I thought I'd try something new today.

I cut two ears from thin cardboard and used Tac'N Stik to attach them to the head of my second Izannah doll. It was easy to shift the ears until they seemed right.

Of course, I had to first sketch the eyes and eyebrows, because they're helpful in determining where the ears are supposed to go.

You've really got to look at the placement of the ears from all angles - from the back of the head, the top of the head, etc. Go grab a buddy and see where the top of the ear is in relation to the eye and brow.

When happy with the placement, I pressed the cardboard ears against the head and traced around them. Now to apply the paperclay, using my pencil marks as guidelines - but first, after finding out the hard way, it's important to score a shallow line along the pencil line. If you don't, when you spritz the dry clay with water so the new clay will stick, it'll wipe right off.
I finger-rolled a snake of clay, and placed it along the marked line for each ear. Using my fingers and clay tool, blended the edges toward the head. This doll with have a cloth covering made of cotton knit, so the ears will be fairly low-profile so the cloth will go over them smoothly.
And because this doll will have a cloth-over, the ear doesn't need to be terribly detailed. Once this clay has dried, I'll refine it a bit more.

This Izannah-inspired doll is being created in Dixie Redmond's Izannah Workshop. Visit the blog for the details HERE.


Robin's Egg Bleu said...

Oh yes, those pesky ears! I tend to do one at a time, and the first one I spend lots of time on, getting it 'just so'...and then I get midway through the second and realize that no matter how careful I am in the placement, it's WAY off.

And I must scrap it off and start over.

Think I'll try your way from now on!

Kate said...

This is brilliant! Such a simple solution to an age old problem.

Diane Costanza Studio said...

I dislike dreawing ears as much as sculpting them. I say, thanks goodness for hair to cover them! You are a trooper to make them each time.


Deanna Hogan said...

I'm glad this has helped - at least with the symmetry of the ears. Then there's the sculpting bit. Ear are funny, complicated things, aren't they?

Diane ~ I'm a cheater, in that I DON'T sculpt ears each time. Lots of my dolls are ear-less with lots of hair to hide that face ;-)

village folk art said...

WOW ... Love this tip. I will use it for sure.
Thanks for sharing ,