The Eyes Have It

Innocence, Sherry West, SherryWestArt, 2018


Coming up with an extremely appealing facial design is probably the number one aspect of designing a doll, paperdoll, coloring page, digital or rubber stamp or character. You want something that is universally appealing to all ages, genders, nationalities, so that’s a daunting task. Plus, it’s not easy to create beautiful designs that haven’t been used before and don’t look like something else that’s already out on the market. So, when you create one that works, you keep it and use it!As an eBay doll seller/redesigner, I’ve learned that doll companies use the same basic face style on each of their doll models. So, following that well-established tradition, I’m doing the same with the current crop of images I’ve been drawing. You can use the same basic face (as long as it’s an appealing design), tweak the features a bit and have an entirely new creation! Plus, it makes it much easier, faster and cheaper for the designers and companies. All of the well-established doll companies do this: Madame Alexander, Mattel, Kish, Tonner, etc.

PINK ROSES, Sherry West, SherryWestArt, 2019

As the old saying goes…it‘s all in the eyes. The eyes are the number one part of the figure that have to be right. If they are off in any way, nothing else works. It is through the eyes that the viewer is drawn to the image, so they need to be beautiful and engaging. Creating the hair style, body, clothing, accessories, color palette and details fall into place fairly quickly and easily once the eyes and face are set.

Roses, Sherry West, SherryWestArt, 2018


I‘m still learning how to design a good coloring image (and stamps) and am learning it might look easy but it isnt! So many things go into designing an image – composition, balance, line style, direction, line width, subject matter, and more!

Someday I would love to design paper dolls, figurines and dolls. I love modern dolls produced by Madame Alexander, Kish, Tonner, Maggie Iacono and others. I collect and am knowledgeable about hard plastic, composition and vinyl dolls from the late 1930s to the early 1960s. My love for dolls strongly influences my designs on paper.

Lady of Roses, Sherry West, SherryWestArt, 2018
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