Paper and testing Coraline’s hair

I had to head down to meet Keith De Candido so I could finally sign the bookplates for the new Doctor Who anthology, and the restaurant was in the neighborhood of several paper stores that I needed to visit. It’s a good thing too, because with the flooding from the storms here last night, I’m not sure I would have ventured forth if I hadn’t had an appointment. As it was, coming home took forever.

But, I have paper. And to reward myself for the arduous outing, I decided to do hair tests instead of working on Coraline‘s mouth. That should really be the next project, but I have a head that I like well enough to try hair on.

First, shall we admire the paper?

Coraline spends almost all the time in the other house in her dressing gown, pajamas and slippers, so that’s what we’ve decided these Coralines will wear, too. I know that the dressing gown is blue, but I don’t think there’s a description of the pajamas–by the way, if you happen to know that there is, will you let me know?–which leaves me a fair bit of leeway.

Oh, and these papers are all bluer in real life than they are on the screen.

Pajama paper 1

I’m combining this.

Pajama paper 2

With this.

Pajama papers combined

To create this.

Pajama paper topThe scale of the Japanese lace paper’s grid is almost perfect to be like the waffle pattern on that shows up in long johns and the like. I’ll reuse the first paper for her bathrobe, but crinkle it like I would for a washi paper doll to give it a softer texture. (I’ll explain in the video below). For a top, Coraline will have a t-shirt made out of this vine patterned paper. Again, the pattern is small, so it works nicely with her scale.

For the hair, I’m playing with three different papers and two very different approaches.
Possible paper for hair 1 Possible paper for hair 2 Possible accent paper for hair
I like all three of these and suspect that the final will be a combination of them, using the gold paper as an occasional highlight.

One of the two styles I’m considering is using the same technique that one uses to wrinkle paper for washi dolls (Momi-Yuzen). One of the reasons I like this is that it creates a more unified head of hair, while cutting the paper into strands–which is my other option–creates a wilder look.


Test with cut paper hair


Test with washi style hair

You see how the different styles of hair totally change the look of the face? At the moment, I lean toward the washi style with the addition some individual tendrils of hair. I am going to reserve judgment until I have her body assembled. This, also, will change the look of the figure.

And finally, for your edification, here’s what I do to the paper to crinkle it.

To learn more about how you could potentially own one of the three Coraline figures I’m making, swing by Subterranean Press.

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6 Responses

  1. Mathieu René, Créaturiste

    Hi Mary,
    Congrats on the contract,
    And thanks for sharing all this!
    I love the descriptions, and the video apporach!
    I did not know about your blog, it’s looking great!
    Keep it coming!