Saturday, April 30, 2016

Little Darlings Artist Helen Skinner


The first two Little Darlings I acquired are my sister dolls, Anna and Elsa (yes), that I purchased directly from Helen Skinner at IDS back in 2014. I had every intent of only buying one, but when I saw both of them, I knew I had to had to have them. 
Elsa and Anna - Elsa's dress by Darling Little Bee and Anna's by Jazzy Fran

Helen's painting style gives the dolls a more mature look, in my opinion. My Elsa almost looks contemplative, while my Anna reminds me of a sassy teenager.
Close-up of Elsa's face 

Helen's eye painting is deep...almost as if the eyes hold the secrets of things they have seen. The pupils and irises are more defined than some of the other artists', which may be what gives me the sense that these dolls are more mature than my other, more child-like Little Darlings. Elsa's lips are also very pronounced, while her eyelashes and eyebrows are very delicate. 
Close-up of Anna's face 

Now take a look at my Anna doll. Her freckles are absolutely perfect and natural looking. They are all different sizes, and blend in so perfectly with her face you would think the vinyl had to be made that way in the factory. On this doll, the eyebrows are more pronounced while the lips take the background. As with Elsa, Anna's eyes make her look older than my other Little Darlings from other artists. I think if you were looking for a doll to wear the latest fashions and trendy outfits, Helen would be a great artist to choose because her painting style really creates a depth to the eyes. And after all, the eyes are the windows to the soul. 

In the next post, we'll take a look at a Little Darling painted by Lana Dobbs.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Little Darlings Artist Geri Uribe


It's been awhile since I've updated here, so I decided to get back in the swing of things by doing a series of posts about the Little Darlings artists. For those of you who are unacquainted with the Little Darlings dolls, they are 13" vinyl dolls which are hand painted by artists who have been trained by Dianna Effner. She sculpted each of the 3 dolls that are currently available (known simply as #1, #2, and #3). With this post, I would like to focus on Geri Uribe. 

My Arwen, painted by Geri

Geri offers her dolls through, where you can scroll through a visual feast of different Little Darlings. At the time of this post, Geri's orders are currently on hold. In addition to the dolls pictured on the website, you can also request whatever hair and eye coloring you desire. Geri's dolls come with the wigs glued on, but they are easily removable for a change of looks. What makes each Little Darling so special is the mastery and artistry with which their features are painted. 
A close up of Arwen's features

One thing that immediately stands out to me about Geri's painting technique is how delicate the eyebrows appear. Each hair is painted in a manner such that the eyebrows really look like they are growing from the doll's face. I feel like I could just reach right in there and pluck one out! The detail in this feature alone is quite incredible. Little Darlings are especially known for their eyes, and each artist's rendition of eyes is different and special in their own way. My Arwen has gray colored eyes. Notice how the pupils and the irises blend seamlessly together. There is no hard, defined circle like would be seen in an assembly-line paint job. I have observed this about my doll by Geri and others' photos of their Geri dolls: they seem to always have a soft, natural,  dreamy gaze that lends heart and soul to each creation. As for the lips, Geri's lips are not as pronounced as some of the other artists'. I believe, and this is totally speculation, she does this because she paints a strong brow, and so she doesn't want too many strong features on one face. Like the fashion magazines used to always say, if you want a strong lip don't do a strong eye (no clue if they still say this, gauging by some makeup trends today I would say not). 

If I had to sum up the way Geri's painting makes me feel, I would say the way in which she paints evokes an impression  of childlike innocence from each one of her dolls. 

Stay tuned for tomorrow, when I will do a spotlight on Helen Skinner's dolls. Thank you for reading :-)