How do you do faceup commissions

Nov 25, 2019

  1. I send them a picture of another doll's faceup that I found from the internet somewhere.

  2. I send them a picture of a real person's makeup that I found somewhere on the internet.

  3. I describe what I want with my words.

  4. All of the above.

  5. None?

Multiple votes are allowed.
    1. Hello. =)
      I really didn't know how to write that title in a more specific way with the lack of space, but here I will explain better.

      When trying to get your faceup done by a faceup artist, how do you tell them what you want? Do you send them a picture of a nice faceup of another random doll that you found somewhere on the internet, do you show a photo of a real person's makeup that you found from somewhere like pinterest or instagram (or the internet in general) and show them that or do you just describe what you want with words?

      I'm very curious. >.>

      Please use the poll as well and if you want, explain your answer (would be greatly appreciated if you do explain as well). =3

      I apologize if this question has already been asked.
      • x 1
    2. I have only done it once, so not sure how much help this will be. I used a combination of explaining with words and sent her a few screenshots of faceups from pintrest that looked like what I wanted. My boy turned out really well. Most artists I looked at while trying to find one have a section where you can add in a description and pics.They know what they need and will ask for it.
      • x 1
    3. I do pretty much all of the above, personally! Depends on what I have in mind. I've definitely found that most artists like having some kind of visual to go off of, even if it's only as a loose inspiration that I then expand upon with words. Most face-up artists won't copy another artist's work directly (which is good), but most are fine with you showing them an example of another's work if you're just looking for something with a similar color scheme or brow shape or something.
    4. Many faceup artists say exactly what they need when someone commissions them. They may even have a form to fill out.
      Every artist is different, so each one may have something specific that they prefer to know beforehand. :)
    5. As someone who takes commissions: my customers need to fill out a form that allows me to get technical details right. That means, colors for eyebrows/eyelashes, whether lips should be glossed or not, should there be pearl shimmer on the head and so on. That's stuff you can bring across with a few words (yes/no, or black/brown/etc.). That really helps for organization purposes and to get the basics definitely right, aside from what is asked that is supposed to bring across the character itself.
      On top I ask them to please give me reference pictures and talk a bit about the character or doll.

      And how customers do that is completely different!
      Some go really all in and have everything, from artworks to other dolls to self-made sketches to real life people or even just some crudely painted on lines on a photo of a face. Some are very minimal with what they give you, both in words and in pictures.
      Why some do it like that and others like this really differs. For example some who go minimal sometimes do so because they don't really have a specific image in mind, OR because they can't find anything that fits their mental image OR do it because they absolutely struggle with putting into words what they want.

      What I personally prefer the most are artworks, sketches and other dolls. The latter only if it's not a "please do it exactly like this", but more a "lip color like here" or "similar feeling" kinda thing.
      Real people I only like in case it's a) a heavy make-up look that should be referenced or b) if I would paint a celebrity head. Otherwise human references are often just too muddy unless a specific detail really stands out (like scars, heavy freckles etc.). Otherwise it makes one think "what exactly do you want me to take from this? It should look like...a person?". I just feel it's easier to work with 2D or already painted dolls, because then you skip the mental process of imagining how a real human face or detail is supposed to look like painted on a doll.
      On top some written information, but please not a full novel, is appreciated as well.

      Not every artist is the same though. Some absolutely need images to work with and every little detail you can give them, else they don't know how to deliver. Others prefer a "please minimal info, just accept what I whip up" kinda approach.
      It also really depends on what you want sometimes. For a natural standard look just a couple details are enough, for a very elaborate OC with tons of little details it's helpful to have more references to work with to get it right.
      Do you already have a clear image in mind or just have a loose image or a feeling of what you'd like to see in the end (very specific make-up vs "blue eyeshadow")? How much freedom do you want to give the artist, or should he maybe even come up with a concept for you?

      In general I would say, if the artist doesn't give you a form, some written details and images are always appreciated and often needed. What type of images should best be chosen depending on the commission.
      Just imagine what you would need to know to draw an image of the character, that's what the artist needs to know too. Also, it helps to be a tiny bit flexible. You can give the same description and references to five different artists and they will most likely all interpret it a little differently.

      And don't worry when some of the references are a bit crude. I often for scars just get a human/doll photo where the customer painted on a line with their mouse to show me where the scar should be, and that's all that I need :lol:
      #5 Ara, Nov 25, 2019
      Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
      • x 2
    6. I send them pictures of faceups they’ve already done, like I want the eye makeup like this faceup and the lips like that one. I may add a real person makeup photo to specify colors or eyebrow shapes. I’ve gotten very good results using this method.
      • x 1
    7. It helps to find a faceup artist whose style of work is already close to what you're interested in commissioning - look through the galleries of their work for that.

      I send a written description (including a clear list of things I specifically DON'T want - No "chocolate drops" at the corners of the mouth, for example) and include picture examples of what I'm writing about (this style of eyebrow *picture example*, NOT this style *picture example*)

      Most of the time it works, but you do have to cover all the things you can think of and not make assumptions about what YOU think is obvious being obvious to the artist (same goes for clothing commissions), and the other way around. I once had an excellent artist return two heads to me, beautifully painted, but blushed/shaded with blotchy complextions that didn't show up in the photo's.

      I was very upset, and she was very upset - I didn't know that was her standard (and much sought-after) way of painting/shading for redheaded dolls so didn't know to specify not to do it. She didn't know I was unaware of it.

      It wasn't the fault of either of us, but the result was that both heads had to go off to be wiped and repainted. So, it's best to be prepared for potential disappointments when you see the work in person, and to look objectively at the dissapointing thing to see if it's something that isn't that big a problem/you can live with, or something you really have to get redone.


      Unfortunately not always the case - too many assumptions on either side about details. I've been caught that way in the past.

      • x 1
    8. Standard and such means in this case "customer has no specific OC expectations but just that it should be natural and certain details should be included". As in "natural blushing fitting the skintone, textured, light gloss on the lips, color X and Y for this and that, neutral expression with thick eyebrows" and a few images are usually enough granted one knows and likes how the artist already did faces like that in the past.
      I personally ask my customers during the process/send pictures to ask about things that pop up that weren't clarified AND they need to fill out a form beforehand for me, but assumptions can't totally be avoided. One being that yeah, the customer knows how I do things because why else would they commission me?
    9. But, as an example, their idea of "natural" for eyebrows, and your idea of "natural" for eyebrows might be very different (I've encountered that one more than once). Just because they've seen a range of faceups done by you doesn't mean the eyebrow style they regard as being natural looking is the one you would.

    10. I draw a picture of what I want the faceup to look like! Most of the faceups I send dolls out for are really fantasy looking, so it’s muuuuuch easier for me to draw what’s in my head than to try to find something similar. I also describe parts like certain colors or details that I couldn’t get right in the drawing.

      I definitely agree that it’s important to find a faceup artist that already has a style you like. That way there’s some wiggle room for slight variations from your concept, if that makes sense? Like for example, Ilya’s faceup is pretty specific, so I had a drawing and description when I sent him off, but I liked the artist’s work enough that I felt comfortable giving them a bit of artistic license concerning what would look best when turning my 2D concept into a 3D faceup. It worked out great!
    11. It really depends on the face-up artist and the look I want for my doll. Some, as already has been mentioned, have forms you need to fill out. Some are like "give me a general idea of what you want and I'll do it in my own personal style". In the past, I've filled out forms. I've filled out forms and sent pics. I've just sent pics (like "eyebrows like in pic 1, please, lips pic 2, eyelashes and eyeshadow pic 3" or, most recently "make her look like Claire Redfield, here's pics, main reference pics are 2 and 4" - the result was stunning btw). I've pointed at other face-ups by the artist and told them "like this, only a little more cheeky". I've sent a head with the instructions "make her so cute I'll need an insulin shot when I see her". I've sent heads going "here's the head - surprise me" when I had a doll I didn't know what exactly to do with. So far, it always worked out fine. It totally depends on which look you're aiming for for your doll, and of course it helps when you pick an artist whose style in general you like.
    12. That's why the customer should pick some images from the portfolio of the artist as well.

      Look, when I said that I didn't mean "just say natural and they will know what you want". The moment you have a mental, specific image of what you want you are obligated to give something so the artist can fulfill that image. You want very specific eyebrows, give them an image. You are willing to work with a broad range of possibilities, just say natural and see what they whip up based on former commissions.
      I just meant that in a "you need generally (!) less references on a natural standard look vs an OC with a million super specific details and a fantasy face-up". One doesn't need a 5000 words description and 50 images for something like that, that does not mean you shouldn't specify your wishes.

      That doesn't mean mishaps can't happen still, but that's also why one needs to be a bit flexible (as long as it still looks like what the artist usually delivers and doesn't come totally as a surprise based on their portfolio).

      Also, will stop this now, don't want to derail OPs thread any further :lol:
      #12 Ara, Nov 25, 2019
      Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
      • x 1
    13. I usually send reference photos of humans, but sometimes of other dolls or just a description. I don’t like sending photos of dolls because I don’t want to copy anyone’s original faceup, but sometimes I do for basic things like eyeliner done a certain way or a general style like ‘I love this clown doll style, can you do a similar theme but different shapes and colors on a totally different sculpt?’

      I don’t take commissions typically but I do work for my sister and sometimes friends. I prefer photos if you want something specific, but often I get vague descriptions with artistic freedom and I often like those best. Like ‘dramatic feminine makeup’ or ‘natural look for a blond boy’. Sending the wig or eyes you intend to use helps a lot too for matching.
      • x 1
    14. Some of them have a form. More established artists will generally have a style and you’re mostly picking colors and a mood/expression. You have to trust the artist to take the lead, if you ask me. I’ve never been disappointed in a face up going with these guidelines.
      • x 1
    15. I once sent a photoshop and it turned out fine.
    16. I have sent images of previous face ups by the artist I was commissioning and described tweaks and colour changes I'd like. This worked well for me as I didn't want to push the artist away from their own style or ask them to copy work from another artist.
    17. I don't commission faceups (too poor) and I don't do commissioned faceups (too inexperienced), but speaking strictly as an artist who has done a lot of commissioned artwork I can affirm that some sort of visual reference is always helpful. A photo or sketch of a desired faceup would likely help the artist give you what you want. Words alone are inadequate to convey a purely visual medium because everyone visualizes differently. (Think of a cat. What kind of cat did you picture? If it wasn't a long-haired orange tabby with a white bib, you visualized differently than I did.)
      • x 1
    18. I try to go with artists who work with a style I like. For me I try to give an idea of what I want in writing and then send some images of makeup I found for reference. But I also like to let the artist have a bit of interpretation. I also think its good to look at other dolls the artist has painted. I think its similar to tattoos you have to go with an artist who specializes in a style you like and work with their style.