Making Of: Realistic Needle felted Dog -4. Face :)
Updated: May 16, 2019
I love looking at facial expression of dogs, I'm mum of 5 dogs and I never get bored of looking at their faces in sleep, in playful mode, hungry or just being happy.
So it is obvious this is the most favourite part of entire process, at the same time, I actually really struggle to explain how I go about creating faces with character..
In short, I just poke around until it feels right, which, I suppose isn't very helpful tip at all,
I also failed to take video in the early stage of building face (It appears I didn't press record button properly..), now, that's really not helpful and I kind of feel people rolling eyes..
Anyways, I try go through as much as I can and here is how I made this face (this is about 70% done) .
If you read my last post,
I have left the rough shape of head attached to the body but quite soft so I can work detail on it.
From front, it looks pretty round like the drawing.
I don't really mark while felting, but it is helpful if you mark it with colour pen, or put pins down on four points where red line and outline of face meet to keep symmetry.
First, I create the muzzle by stabbing small amount of core wool into the rough shape of round blob then attach it to the face. Star shape needle make attaching quite easy. I use 38 gauge star.
From side, it looks like the first pictures on the top.
It is really rough shape and soft at this stage.
Create bottom jaw, and attach it below the muzzle.
Small amount at time, slowly build muzzle around the base.
Start to make the head more firm by stabbing evenly.
Make indents for eyes using needles, if you are happy with the positions, use an awl to create holes for eyes to go in.
I used plastic eyes with little bars at the back , these can be inserted into the holes I created, later on glued into place so it won't fall out.
I also make my own eyes using glass cabochon for different projects.
I know some people worry about plastic eyes or cabochon eyes falling out, but I'm not that worried, Eye lids should secure eyes as well as glue.
As long as it is not over handled or being plied out, it seems pretty okay to me so far.
This is pretty standard plastic eye for toy making. nothing special. I chose slightly bigger size of eyes than I can see in pictures in ratio, so when I make eye lids, the eyes are in correct size.
Insert the eyes temporally.
Don't need to glue yet as positions might need altering as I build the face.
Add a temporally nose with black wool.
I use these eyes and nose as focal points to build details around.
Refer to the good pictures of the model showing contour of the head,
Start building contour by adding small amount of wool on the face at time.
It is like cray sculpting or playdoh, just simply keep adding or take it away to form shape with wool and needle.
Little tip on finding shape!
It helps me to directly draw on pictures to understand shapes. be careful not to scratch plastic eyes.
As I build contour on the face, it gets compacted and become more firm.
If I can feel surface bounce back when lightly squeeze, I'm happy.
I put base colours on the face when it's firm enough.
I only use very small gauge needle from here, 42 spiral is just enough for me.
Here is very quick video on colouring, I set time lapse little too fast so it's not very helpful.. sorry !
this is going to be mostly covered by longer fur later on so it doesn't have to be perfect.
As I said earlier, this is about 70%, I'm not really happy as it looks too puppy-ish and around the mouth isn't right. I'll have to adjust and add some more details later on, that'll come along the way and may well be after I finish planting fur on the body.
I won't glue eyes in until I feel happy with the face.
So this is it for now! I hope it does give some insight.
If you felt like it doesn't give any magic formula, you are quite right. I don't think there is a magic formula in the way I make it, and I always take time and poke around until the likeliness comes.. but I find it really fun! I hope you do too.
Next I will quickly cover ear making then get to paw making!
Thank you for reading ;)