Portraits of Fantasy Dolls and other Creatures
At the bottom of the page you can read about my inspirations and working methods.
Fantasy Animals and Creatures
As long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by fairy tales and fantasy stories. A long time ago I discovered that by making fantasy dolls/creations out of clay I could really express myself. In the beginning I mostly used ‘paté a bois’ for the heads, hands and feet. This wood based powder, mixed with water, works similar like clay. When it’s dry, it’s light, yet firm. It can be sanded and painted just like wood. Because the result always remains a bit course and there is a lot of sanding involved, I switched to air drying clay which is especially suited for sculpting dolls. The heads of the creations are painted with acrylic paint. Sometimes other parts like hands, feet or fabrics are painted too.
The last few years I mostly made creations with a rod in base to build the creation on. At a certain time I found it no longer necessary to make a complete body with arms and legs to get the result I wanted. The result I am after is mostly a fairytale/fantasy look and feeling. After a while I introduced some new forms and techniques to make different images. For example the wall-sculptures only existing of a face and wings which forms the portrait of a fantasy figure. Another variation are the animal like creatures seated on a cone and the elf figures (smaller then the rod based figures) which have a cardboard roll for a base.
I like experimenting with new materials and forms. The character and overall look of the creations are for a big part determined by its color. By using just 1 or 2 colors with their nuances the creation gets its fantasy appearance. My fantasy creations are ‘born’ during the process of making and ‘grow’ to their completion.
The original drawings are made with pencil, color pencil and pen. They are often changed a little with digital techniques and sometimes some color or special effects are added. There are a few which are inspired by existing fairy tales like Sleeping Beauty with the sleeping guards, or Tom Thumb who is so small that he can ride on a mouse, or the little mermaid. The illustration of witches flying to a mill at night is made for a rather unknown story: “The mill of the devil”. There is also an illustration for the story “The metamorphoses of Piktor” the metamorphosis from a bird to a plant to a butterfly. The drawing of the rather angry looking bird is made with a mouse skull I found as an inspiration. However, many of the images you can see here come from my own imagination. Invented animals are often depicted, but also elves, fairies, witches, princesses and others who often occupy the fantasy world.
A while ago I experimented with making molds. The results are a series of silly figurines which make you smile. The figurines are firstly sculpted and then cast in very firm, dense plaster and hand painted with acrylic paint. Even though they look similar, the different ways of painting them makes them unique once again.
The most recent creations are little sculptures with an air drying stone look clay. Because I want to retain this look, I do not paint the clay and combine the sculpted parts with natural materials, such as burlap, natural string, feathers etc. The fur I use is imitation though.
If you want to see more about the making of new creations, silly experimenting and adventures in the kitchen garden it is a good idea to read my blog