An Adorable Harlequin

Steven Shipman sculpted this little boy using felting needles, plain core wool and dyed MC-1 Merino Wool Batting.


“The entire body and head are needle felted. The hat, cockade and ruff are constructed of felt I wet-felted. His hair is mohair and he wears a leather belt with a metal buckle and a wooden play sword. The face and hands are blushed using artist’s pastel and the eyes are painted with acrylics.

The eyes of this doll are so perfect, so we asked Steve to share more about his process:

“Regarding the eyes, there are no blanks.  I simply needle felted the eyes as part of the sculpture, as smoothly as possible. Before painting, I prime the eye surface with a mixture of acrylic gel medium and acrylic modeling paste to smooth it further, and finally a coat or two of gesso as a ground for the paint. Then I paint the eyes.

I developed this technique based on how oil-painted doll artists prime the muslin surface of their dolls before painting. Because of the fuzzy felt surface, I must admit that it’s a very delicate process which requires patience (but, then again, so does needle felting!) .”


He is 10.5 inches tall, including the base

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