Ball-jointed doll is a complex creation that combines features of a toy and of an art object. I sculpt my dolls having several principles in mind:
My larger doll heads are sculpted with a neutral expression or a subtle smile, so applying a different makeup schemas you could achieve various looks. And even more: a good makeup can allow a doll to show a different expressions if it's shot from the different angles or in a certain light conditions. This versatility is one of the most important BJD features to me.
I thoroughly sand doll's surface to a perfect state, so it has no dents or protrusions. Makeup or blushing done with pastels reveals all the imperfections, so it's important to provide a proper surface. I spray the prototype with ultrafine matte car primer so it creates a texture that's pleasant to the touch and easy to paint on. Most sealants stick to such surface securely, and you'll have no problems with a sealant peeling off due to an over-sanded, shiny resin.
I carefully check the symmetry, so the customizer just could enjoy the painting process, and no corrections are required.
The eye sockets are made round, for the easy eyeballs positioning. The eyelids are thin so it allows the eye to catch more light and gives a natural look.
Well thought out engineering is another key advantage of ball-jointed dolls. High quality BJD should take a wide variety of poses showing natural body shape in different positions, and should be able to hold the poses securely.
Flesh is soft and pliable, and resin is rigid, so it's impossible to create a resin BJD fully resembling a living creature. It's always a compromise. Joints inevitably divide doll's body into a set of parts, and sculptor needs to balance a three contradictory aspects: sculpture, pliability and mobility.
You've probably seen the dolls with beautifully sculpted bodies, who barely stand and can't even sit without support, or their limbs are kicking. Or you've maybe seen the dolls with a nicely defined anatomy and great posability, but once the joint is moved out of its "default" position there are huge gaps between the parts, and a sharp edges everywhere. Of all cases I prefer the dolls with a pleasant body shape and flowing movements, despite of not-so-good posing abilities.
Still, though it's hard to combine all of the three features, my goal is to do that.
I choose the joint types with smooth edges mostly, and a simple spherical shapes wherever possible. Due to a precisely fitting joints and properly drilled stringing channels my dolls nicely hold the poses at many angles. Forest Dwellers were repeatedly called acrobats by customers for that feature.
I try to make the joint sockets edges as thin as it's safe for a regular play, and to sculpt the joints in a such way they provide a natural look and smooth lines when bent.
I hope that my dolls, created with love and care, would bring you joy and boost your creativity!