Saturday, August 05, 2006

ARTFUL GLORY- Paper Doll Self-Portrait

There's been a lot of buzz lately about paper dolls. "Paper dolls," you ask? Not the kind we played with as kids, of course - the kind we art-minded folk just can't get enough of! Paper dolls stretch the imagination by enticing us to play with so many different media, and they are so easy to create.

For my paper doll, I wanted a theme. I decided that it would be a self-portrait. I wanted to portray myself as an artist- the way I see myself creating and the feelings I have when I make art.

I dedided to dress myself in a zany costume that shows just how much fun art is for me. And, I also wanted to show how creativity puts me in a dreamy, heavenly sort of state of mind. To do this, I decided to mount the doll on a canvas, in a collage-type composition.

*Photo of a face
*Watercolor paper
*Canvas or other element to create collage on
*Rubber stamps of words, stamp of torso, stamp of legs, stamp of angelic wings
(or drawings/cut-out pictures that are copyright-free
*Ink for the stamps (you can also use paint)
*Watercolor paint in shades of blue (OR Caran D'Ache artist crayons
OR Portfolio water based pastels)
*A few beads or other embellishments
*Fabric scraps
*A bit of mohair
*Found object if desired
*Gel medium to glue it down with (if not available, use a good clear glue)

1. Paint the canvas with watercolor paint or color with crayons/pastels. When dry, put it under the sink and let the water run off. This creates a dreamy feel. Allow to dry.
2. Stamp the canvas with a rubber stamp with words, in a repeating motion.
3. Stamp legs, torso, and wings onto watercolor paper and cut out.
4. Make a skirt, pants or whatever with fabric scrap.
5. Cut out face from photo, from chin to forehead.
6. Arrange paper doll parts on the canvas.
7. Using gel medium, glue them down. Don't glue the wings down completely. This will let them "fly."
8. Create a necklace with small beads or desired embellishment. Glue this down with gel medium, as well. Do the same for any other found objects or attitional elements of the composition.
9. Apply a thin layer of gel medium over the paper doll to seal it.
10. Add some mohair for fun
11. To finish off the piece, rub antique gold paint with your fingers along the edge. This adds to the dreamy effect and pulls it all together very nicely.

I had a lot of fun with this piece. When I look at it, it inspires me to do art!

Try making a "self portrait" doll of your own!

Rubber Stamps- Stampers Anonymous
Inks, mohair, more rubber stamps-
Artist Crayons, water based pastels- or


  1. Anonymous12:32 PM

    Dear Rivkah,
    This is too cool. Your use of mixed media is very impressive.
    And, so is your list of supplies.
    Marge B.

  2. Anonymous9:53 AM

    Enjoyed looking at your new stuff.

  3. Dear Rivkah,
    Thank you for being open and sharing so much information. Many sites charge for any tutorial at all and it's hard to know where to begin or which one is appropriate for a beginner. I have made a couple of dolls, which I would like to hide under a bush outside some place.
    I did make the eyes and they look great! That has given me the confidence to try shoes and wings!
    Your site is keeping me busy and I love you for that.
    Wishing you the best, Leanne


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