Artist Appreciation: Noel Cruz
Noel Cruz is a Filipino artist currently based in California. He is most famous for his character and celebrity doll repaints. He takes dolls from companies like Tonner and Mattel and strips them of their factory-painted faces in order to repaint them with acrylic paint and ultra-fine brushes. With every tiny stroke of his tiny brush, he brings these dolls to life in a whole new way. He also restyles their hair for added accuracy and to make sure that everything is in the proper scale.
Working with such a tiny space calls for a steady hand, attention to detail, and a lot of patience. He painstakingly shades and highlights in order to reflect the bone structure of the doll’s human counterpart, adding facial lines and facial hair to make them more lifelike. This, in addition to the careful scrutiny of a person’s facial features and characteristics in order to properly capture them on a small, vinyl surface. What really makes his work stand out is his ability to capture the nuances of expression and personality of the characters or people that the dolls are meant to portray. It’s hyperrealistic portraiture on a three-dimensional canvas.
The results are nothing short of amazing, especially when compared to the dolls in their original state. I’ve long admired the work of Noel Cruz and I would really love to see what he can do with a ball-jointed doll (BJD). (I think an Iplehouse sculpt would benefit the most from his style.) I made this post because I really want more people to know more about him and check out his work.
Here are some of my favorites:
Johnny Depp. Doll by Tonner.
Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries. Doll by Mattel.
Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep as Andrea Sachs and Miranda Priestley from The Devil Wears Prada. Dolls by Tonner.
Angelina Jolie. Doll by Mattel.
Farrah Fawcett. Doll by Mattel.
Liv Tyler as Arwen from The Lord of The Rings. Doll by Tonner.
Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn from The Lord of The Rings. Doll by Tonner.
Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter from the Harry Potter series. (This is the doll he was painting in the first picture.) Doll by Tonner.