Artistic Face-ups for Ball-jointed Dolls (BJD's)
The "Buttons & Butterflies" Commission Process
About My Work:
I began experimenting with doll face-ups in 2010. I use watercolor pencils and soft pastels to achieve my artistry. Every year I continue to work on ways to enhance my techniques and create a long-lasting finish, so there is typically marked improvement in the faces I paint from year to year.
Because the face-up process is a very personal and individual thing for me, I have outlined on this page the manner in which I function best.
Most face-up artists offer a waiting list for commission work. Instead, I offer face-up "slots" that interested buyers may purchase if, and when, available. Please be sure to read and accept my terms before committing to a purchase of this nature.
Open slots are always posted on my Commission Sales page only when I wish to offer more. They are not offered routinely according to any particular schedule.
I have also become very selective on which dolls I will paint. Working on dolls I dislike has become a hindrance, not a benefit. I do not paint doll sculpts that are expressly quirky or odd, or lacking good symmetry. If you are unsure about whether or not your doll would fit into my preferences, feel free to email me with a photo or description of your doll.
If you have any further questions that are not answered below, feel free to send an email: Contact Me
My prices are currently set at:
$165 USD per SD or larger MSD faces such as Kaye Wiggs / Linda Macario, etc. . These dolls will typically be 18"-24", as well as dolls that are 10"-16" with disproportionately large head-to-body ratios.
$110 USD for standard Asian MSD (realistically proportioned head-to-body ratio) and small Yo-SD faces. Most of these dolls would be within a 6"-17" range.
These prices include:
*my PayPal fees
*removal of your doll's existing face paint
*multiple layers of high quality (but expensive) Mr. Super Clear spray finish
At this time, I do not yet have a fixed priced for very tiny bjd's (dolls in the 3"-5" range). I haven't done many of this size, but once I am more familiar with what may be involved, I will make sure to post a 3rd dollar amount here, if applicable.
All prices are non-negotiable. I do not offer any special discounts. Face-up work is a very exacting process for me, and it typically takes me 2-3 days to complete an average doll.
At this time, I only do faces; no body blushing, manicure, or pedicure.
Website notification will be sent to all members of my site each time I have a new public slot(s) available. Commission slots do not require site membership, but you would not have access to notifications without it. Specifics of commission purchases can be found here:
If you wish to become a site member, you may subscribe
Once a notification has been sent, whether in advance or if a Buy Button is immediately available, purchase availability will be on a first-come first-serve basis.
I do not offer additional slots until the next time I feel ready to take on more; this could be weeks, months, or even a year or more. I have many other projects I like to be involved with, and only do face-up work when I am in the mood for it.
When a Buy Button is purchased, your face-up slot will be secured for one cent.
I am no longer accepting full payment until I have finished the doll. At that time, I will post photos in my Flick'r account, and you will have the option to accept or reject the face-up.
If your choice is to reject the face-up, I will wipe the doll clean and send her back to you, at your return postage cost. You will then be free to send the head off to another artist.
If you accept the face-up, I will send a PayPal invoice, due within 48 hours of receipt. Under no circumstances will I return a painted head without final payment.
If you do not think you will be able to make payment within the 48 hour period on short random notice, please be considerate and refrain from purchasing a commission slot until you are able to do so.
Thanks in advance for your understanding!
Return shipping will be billed later after the doll is finished. I will be using Priority Mail only within the contiguous U.S. and strongly advise postal insurance. International shipping will have the option of Priority Mail or Express Mail Service.
TN Sales Tax: I operate an accountable business with official licensing and sales tax forms; I am required by law to collect and pay tax on my services, as well as goods. Face-up services purchased within my home state of TN will include an additional 9.25%. This charge will automatically be added at time of invoicing.
Shipping Your Doll to Me:
You will only need to ship the doll head to me, preferably with the head cap, so that I may try on wigs for establishing facial colors.
If you have a clear face protector mask, please include that with the head. This will be the best way to prepare your doll for the return trip home, but if you do not have one, I will devise an alternate method of protective wrapping.
I highly recommend sending your doll head insured, carefully wrapped and padded in an 7" x 7" x 6" Priority Mail box (boxes larger than this may get partially crushed due to lack of substance inside). If you choose a smaller box, be sure you have enough air space around the doll head to stuff with additional bubble wrap for safe travel.
My mailing address will be provided by me at the time of slot purchase verification.
Once I receive your doll head, please allow 1-4 weeks for me to provide a new face-up.
In most cases, it will be no longer than 2 weeks, but life often gets in the way with predictable duties, random events, and/or unpredictable weather or distractions that split up my days and hours. As is the case with many creative endeavors, I also have to be "in the mood" to do my best work.
Please note that there are times I may have more unpredictable circumstances in life that cause genuine interruption in my painting schedule, like a broken wrist of my dominant hand that occurred in February of 2015. Something like this causes an immediate hardship, and one which doesn't always have a predictable or positive outcome.
If it bothers you to turn a doll head over to me knowing that it could possibly take up to a month to return (or longer with any unforeseen adversity beyond my control), please do not purchase my service. There will never be a shortage of people who wish for the privilege of being in my commission queue, even if they have to wait for an unpredictable amount of time to receive their doll.
This being said, I do not plan to offer commission slots at any time unless I feel fairly confident I can fulfill the order within 1-4 weeks. I will only be taking on one doll from each person at a time.
There may be occasional times that I will offer two or three Buy Buttons at once, but in most cases, it will generally be only one to ensure I can handle completion in a timely manner.
I require full artistic liberty with any doll except for the following:
1. what predominant wig colors you want to use on your doll
2. what general age you would like your doll to appear
3. what kind of expression or personality you would like your doll to exude
These 3 steps will ensure that a client gets a reasonable interpretation of what they hope for, and I get perfect freedom in interpreting a doll sculpt the way I think will enhance it the most.
If you are unable to trust my artistic judgment, please do NOT buy a commission slot from me. If you would like to see some of my previous face-up work up close, the link to my Flick'r albums can be found on my Home page.
I do not copy any aspect of the work of other artists. The study of human traits and a doll's sculpt are my inspiration.
Please do not send me any photos of another artist's work. If you like their painting style, please contact them directly for a commission.
In actuality, I don't even paint a doll from my own photos of previous face-ups. I like to begin fresh with each face, knowing I can never re-interpret a former face-up the same way by camera colors or angles. Every doll is unique, and I gauge my progression with my own eyes as I work.
I am a perfectionist and assure you that I am careful with my work. I use artist quality materials and fixatives. To the best of my ability, my face-up work will not include chalk splotches or undesirable dust or lint particles within the sealed surface. Your face-up will also have enough layers of MSC sealer applied to ensure even coating, smooth finishing, and durable protection.
All prominent features like eyebrows, inner eye rims, lower lashes, and lips are further sealed with an artist grade liquid sealer. I do my best to ensure your doll's face color will not peel off or chip due to lack of appropriate protection. I don't like having to reface my own dolls more than once, nor do I want you to have to consider another future face-up just because the first one wasn't sealed well enough. However, always bear in mind that you need to use care near a doll's face. Additionally, a hard bump or drop could always be cause for damage.
I believe I give my very best effort to my work at all times and do not rush through the process of developing a doll's character. Only when a face-up meets my own criteria for completion will it be ready to show to you.
Once the doll is completed and approved, return shipping cost will be added to the PayPal invoice with the initial cost of the face-up.
Your package will be out in the mail system within 24 hrs. of payment with a PayPal copy of our transaction together.
Thank you for stopping by and have a great day!