I have had a few people ask me how I create peg doll people, what is my process, how long it takes me, and a lot of questions about my process. I thought I would bring you behind the scenes for a look at how I create peg doll people (and a sneak peek at part of an upcoming set!)
I start of with a blank doll. At this stage I sand any rough edges and determine the side that is best for the face. It is usually the side with a circle made from the tree ring, when the doll was carved.
All my peg dolls come from an Etsy shop called Early American. I enjoy their dolls and their wide variety of sizes and shapes. Definitely give them some Etsy love!
Next I sketch out my guide lines. I start with a line down the middle of where I want the face, then two more vertical lines on the sides. Lastly I add a vertical line where the eyes will go.
Now I can start sketching!
I sketch out where the arms go first, that sets the tone for the rest of the sketch. Then I just sketch what ever appeals to me. Although I leave the head til last, otherwise the pencil lines on the head of the peg people becomes smeared.
All in all sketching can take up to half an hour’s time. It depends on the level o f details I need to sketch out before hand. Sometimes I can sketch them out in ten minutes or less.
Now I can start painting!
When I create peg people, I start painting light to dark. I don’t know where I heard that phrase of painting before, but it has always stuck in my mind. Paint the lightest color first, and darkest color last. I am not a professionally trained painter, maybe this is well-known. Who knows, it’s just what I do. 🙂
All colors painted, and now it is time for detail work. Base color painting take about 15 minutes. The most time-consuming part is the color mixing. Getting the color just right, the hue just right. I mix almost all my colors, very rarely do I use the color plain from the bottle.
Detail work is up next!
Detail work takes the longest. Sometimes I do a second sketch on the paint blocks to help guide me during detailing. I use very fine detail brushes to do the detailing. Creating peg doll people is very fun, and I love doing it, especially for the level of detail I can create with just paint, a brush, and patience.
Detailing can take upwards of an hour. But the more I make the same doll, the less time detailing takes. A new design on a peg doll takes the longest.
Once the body is done, I start on the head design. Occasionally I have to re-sketch the design as it has rubbed off during my paint of the body. I next to always paint the edge of the hair first and work my way inwards.
Sometimes when I create peg doll people, I have designed it so that the hair is a block color, but for the most part I like making the hair stroke after stroke. It gives the hair a more realistic look, and painting hair is quite meditative.
Almost finished! Now it is time for clean up. I use an eraser to get rid of pencils lines. Occasionally I have to use a bit of sand paper to get rid of some pencil lines, and I also use the sand paper when I create peg doll people to get rid of paint that isn’t where I want it. I also use the sand paper on the bottom to get rid of paint that spills over occasionally.
Then I seal the peg doll (twice for good measure) and I am done!
I hope you enjoyed this peek into my process of creating peg doll people and the sneak peek at an upcoming collection.