What's an art doll

Art dolls are dolls developed by artists and intended as expressive 172 and one of
a kind art objects rather than children's 173 toys.

Art dolls made by pro artists can be considered fine art.
Made using a wide range of styles and media,
some are abstract or tribal, while others are exceedingly realistic.

They range from dolls with pre-manufactured parts to being
wholly fabricated by the artist or sculptor.
The term "art dolls" most commonly aludes to human-like dolls,
but not always. Art dolls can depict animals, mythical creatures, or abstract beings.

Art dolls differ from mass-produced children's dolls. Even though the word doll is attached,
art dolls are not playthings. Art dolls are made by artists as an expression rather than to
develop a child's play toy,and some are sold at art-shops.

National Institute of American Doll Artists

Creative skills

Art dolls demand a wide variety of many skill sets and technologies, including but not just, sculpting, painting and costuming. Technicalities involve knowledge of the several clays used create a human or human-like sculpture. Most art dolls are dressed, requiring sewing. Some are high apparel while some are period or fantasy.

The figure or doll is most commonly dressed or draped in fabrics so that costuming can be elaborate or simple. Sewing and color sense is very crucial, just like a composition if this were a drawing or painting, adding a the sense of time and place. The face is the most burning feature, portraiture is another feature of the procedure. An expressive face or telling smile can elevate a doll to art. Just as the Mona Lisa rises to the level of fine art through skilled methods of representation and modelling of the form, a well-crafted figure rises from be a doll to an art doll.


Many doll artists like to develop context for their artwork as well.
Elaborate settings and props bring additional context to their art, mostly done to draw the viewer deeper into the artist's and the creature's world. An analogy would be the difference between a play and a movie. While the same story can be told as a play and hold the audiences' attention, a movie allows a director to have a much much more elaborate set, drawing the audience further into the story.


Various mixed media can be used to develop art dolls.
While many are made of fabric, other media such as paperclay, polymer clays, wax, wood and porcelain can be used for heads, limbs and hands or for the entire body.

Some artist use pre-made wigs, while others may sculpt the hair whether it is mohair,
real or synthetic hair or other materials.
Some artists have used yarn, string and even burlap to develop hair.
Wool, felt and cloth are among the many variations for making skin.