Collectors have been repainting dolls for quite some time, and trends come and go with the passing of each new doll collection offered by the manufacturers. Repaints tend to sell better right out of the stalls by the original artist, and rarely do we see secondary market sales as strong for any artist’s work. There are exceptions, of course…but typically, those buying repaints are doing so because the beauty of the painting consumes the eye to such a point, one is compelled to add the doll to his or her collection. So much so, that you will easily see artists such as Kim Goodwin, Magia 2000, Laurie Leigh or Noel Cruz repaints soaring into very high figures.
Celebrity memorabilia collectors may play a part in driving this more so than the doll collector…for example, Kim Goodwin’s Marilyn Monroe repaints have a vast audience amongst the Marilyn Monroe fans – people who are not specifically doll collectors per se. Laurie Leigh’s work has shifted into mostly commissioned work, which keeps her pretty busy these days – getting on her commission list is a privilege, as so many of her clients will tell you.
The true beauty of custom work is that it extends into so many different types of skills…not just repainting, but re-sculpting, custom coiffures – even body blushing and skin tone alteration. There’s no limit to the imagination of our talented pool of artists. If you are considering buying a repaint, be mindful of a few pointers:
What kind of paints do they use – and do they use sealers? Paint quality will affect the lasting power when caring for your doll over time – some sealers will yellow with age and sunlight – ask the artist, they can tell you how to care for your new purchase.
Celebrity Work – was the celebrity created from a generic head sculpt, such as Barbie or Gene – or was the head already sculpted by another artist in the likeness of that celebrity? This is important, because you can often see the artist’s depth of range when taking generic dolls and re-creating likenesses through paint or re-sculpting work.
Don’t fear the brush stroke. Often, brush strokes are visible in photography because of the scale of the subject matter and the highly sensitive digital technologies we use in today’s cameras. Best to let your eye be the judge and see the work in person. Brush strokes often add to the depth to a character, and you may find the difference between photo and reality are vastly different. Many artists are more than willing to let you see and approve work.
dollbid is proud to host current auctions for beautiful repaint work – click on the image to take you directly to the auction.