A doll is every little girl’s best friend. But parents and organizations are pointing out that the appearance of mass-produced dolls has a negative effect on young girls’ self-image and self-esteem. Because of this Mattel has been churning out more inclusive and diverse dolls to address the matter. However, the doll’s exaggerated and overdone makeup remains to be an issue. So, as a response, artists have been removing doll makeup and transforming them into gorgeously unique and realistic dolls that little girls and little-girls-at-heart can relate with.
Ukrainian artist Olga Kamenetskaya is one these artists. For years, she’s been unmasking dolls and turning them into something more recognizable. She pares down the excessive makeup on fashion dolls and makes them look like a normal girl with freckles, different facial features and even wrinkles. The addition of these details on “perfect” dolls not only gives them the human charm, but also helps in the world’s mission of creating a safer, more accepting society for young girls to grow up in.
Artist Olga Kamenetskaya removes doll makeup and creates imperfectly perfect faces instead
So, Kamenetskaya starts her repainting process by removing the makeup. First, she erases every speck of the cookie-cutter facial features from the doll’s face. Then, once the doll’s face becomes a blank canvas, Kemenetskaya reconstructs and recreates its face with her artistic touch. Using only her brushes and pigments, Kemenetskaya is able to create realistic features through delicate strokes and meticulous application. She calls this process “body blushing”. Through body blushing, Kemenetskaya is able to give the dolls realistic cheekbones, abdominal muscles and even change the shape of the doll’s nose. After re-creating the doll’s face, the artist then moves on to cover the doll’s shiny plastic skin with matte skin-tone paint. She does this to give the doll a more human-like appeal.
She even creates famous faces such as Emma Watson
“Being already an adult, I started collecting dolls [like] Monster High, and after six months I decided to redraw one. I was so pleased with my first creation, but after a couple of months of practice, I laughed at how terrible it was! I was getting better with each doll. Then appeared constant customers and buyers, and this is how my hobby turned into the main job.”
She transforms “perfect” dolls into perfectly flawed creations with wrinkles and other unique characteristics
The cookie-cutter makeup is removed then re-done
“Like most beginners, I started with drawing with watercolor pencils and only after a couple of years I switched to brushes and paints. The main materials that i use in my work are acrylic and watercolor paints, dry pastel, acrylic clearcoat, and you won’t believe it, eye shadow.”
“I really love makeup! I have a lot of it, and in addition to its direct appointment, I found it extremely useful in my work. After the face painting is finished, the makeup is fixed with acrylic clearcoat and becomes resistant to rinsing with water.”
Then she adds hyper-realistic details through a technique called body blushing
Kamenetskaya offers classes that will teach about the art of removing doll makeup and creating your own custom designs
According to the Kiev, Ukraine-based artist, she can almost any type of doll as her base. She can work her magic on a basic Barbie doll, Blythe dolls, Monster High dolls, Ever After High dolls, and BJDs. Ball Jointed Dolls or BJDs are primarily intended for collectors and artists like Kamenetskaya who prefer to create custom dolls. In the past, the Ukrainian had an Etsy store where you could purchase her work or avail of a series of tutorial videos. However, the store is no longer online and the artist has since moved on to other platforms. She now offers classes at MiRoom. But if you’re not keen on paying for a class, she also posts videos of her talking about different doll modification methods on Youtube.
And, she even recreates TV characters such as Dana Scully
Seeing the enchanting result of her masterful work is definitely an experience. The dolls are so lifelike that you’d expect encounter them when you walk down the street! We’d definitely love to give this craft a try. But if you’d like to own one of her masterpieces, you can contact Kamenetskaya directly via email. Finally, you can also keep up with her work on Instagram and Facebook.