Anyway, while the last word hasn't been said on Mattel's glue problem at least this particular doll seems relatively ok for now. I'm a bit relieved, actually - I liked her and her hair, and having a doll sitting around without her head isn't much fun. Yeah, I know she's a headless horse(wo)man, I guess I'm just used to it being the other way around: heads everywhere but no bodies to put them on.
While she came with a strict, gelled down bun, I much prefer her hair like this.
...aaaaand I actually finished my first proper repaint! Woohoo!
There's a bunch of little mistakes and the lips in particular are overworked, but if I had continued I would just have messed it up even worse. Art is knowing when to quit, you know? I feel like I learned a lot on this one - for example, working on a head with molded eyes and eyelids is SO much easier than the Bratz sculpt. As a beginner I think I'll stick to more detailed sculpts for now
I always intended to wipe it and start over, particularly since I messed up the base layer of sealer by putting it on while the vinyl was damp, but it's nice to have a physical reminder of what I've learned so far, so for now she gets to stay. The sealer has cracked a bit at the edges in places, but... we'll see how long it lasts, I guess? An experiment!! *evil cackle* *thundercrack*
Speaking of experiments, it's also a chance to see how the brush-on sealer (Liquitex matte varnish) works as a top coat. I know it smudges watercolor pencils (and dry pastels obviously), but the blushing I did with almost-dry acrylic paint seems ok, so that's good news.
It's not quite as matte as I would have liked, so the face looks slightly shiny, and it's impossible to avoid leaving brush strokes, but neither of those things bothers me as much as it did at first. It's also not completely transparent - I think that's why it makes the eyes look a bit dull, so I'll get some gloss varnish and put a final layer on just the eyes (most repainters seem to do that).