Years ago I was a regular contributor to American Miniaturist magazine as well as DHM. I had to put my miniature hobby to the side and close my mini business to pursue my mixed media art as well as my unforeseen venture into writing. I had created a character, Ophelia, on canvas and then it turned into three books, which are full of my own illustrations. For the past few years I have been selling my art and books at local art festivals as well as art galleries.
I also have a graphic design business and back when I was contributing my miniatures I would occasionally ask AM if they had any freelance work. Well, four years later I got a wonderful phone call from AM and was asked to be the new editor.
So here I am, back in the wonderful world of miniatures! I now have seven issues under my belt and absolutely love searching for and seeing all of the wonderful miniature artists that are out there. So, because of all of you, I have now decided to make a dollhouse for my beloved character Ophelia.
I will be posting the progress of my house as I go along. I will be sharing my tips as well as tips I get form other miniaturists.
So here is the exterior so far. I am creating the house based on what I had written in my stories a few years ago. There will be a little wiggle room, because I am looking at this as an art piece not so much an exact replica of a place in time. I still have to cap the tower and add more detailing.
I had to find a way to make a slate roof without using actual slate, because of the weight. Which was sad, because I have a shoebox full of tiny pieces of real slate that I have been hoping to use.
I ended up using the wood shingles that came with the house and I roughly coated each one with wall Spackle on one side so they would have the texture that a flat piece of slate has. Once dry, I quickly sanded each piece with fine sandpaper to take off any protruding clumps. All the while thinking, “Okay, now I remember now what it feels like to be a determined miniaturists!” You can’t think about how many shingles there are. You have to only focus on the end result and how it will be worth it.
It’s about patients!
I glued down all of the shingles (See Roofing a Dollhouse) and then painted them with varying charcoal colors while studying photographs of slate roofs. Then I studies photos of moss and tried my hand at that. I had some green foam in my inventory to I used very tiny pieces of that and used tweezers to dip in Tacky Glue then push into the cracks of the slate shingles. Once dry, I used a soft water color paintbrush and made a green wash to coat over the slate in select areas. To make the wash, cut your paint with a lot of water. I also added it up the side of the house as well, especially in corners where moss will seek moister.