Polka Dot Pals Add-on Faces Tutorial

Welcome! In this tutorial, I’m going to give some tips and tricks on how to add the Polka Dot Pals add-on faces to the Polka Dot Pals.

You’ll find Polka Dot Pals sold at Whimsy Stamps in clear sets with elements and accessories that and interchangeable between sets. So a forward face from one set will work with any of the other forward facing character.

There’s a lot of information here – if you want the reader’s digest then just look at the pictures but if you want the unabridged version like a true die-hard, then stick with me and read the text. 😛

For this tutorial, I used two sets: the character from Polka Dot Pals Khadija and the face from Polka Dot Pals Syeda. Product links shown at the bottom.
First, let’s get to know the characters and elements of the face. I know, you know what an eye and ear look like, but let’s do it for kicks and grins so we’re on the same page when it comes to terminology.

CHIN: The chin is visible on almost every character and is a wide sweeping smile shape. But you’ll also see this same shape on the face’s stamp. The base part that clings to the acrylic block will resemble the same shape which will help with placement. (Here’s an interesting note: sometimes the chin might not match exactly because more stability is needed for a mouth, such as the face shown on the left. When this happens, just ignore the bump and you can focus on the cheeks instead for alignment.)

EARS: Ears are not always visible on the characters especially if they are covered with hair, bows or other accessories. However, when you do see them, they also aid in placement for the same reasons as the chin – the base of the face stamp have those same protruding nubs that will align with the character’s own ears.

EYEBROWS: These are easy to spot but you may find it interesting that they are included with the character and not with the face. Why is that? For those that don’t want to add a face then the pupils and eyebrows are already there to give the character personality without having to add anything on.

PUPILS: This brings us to the pupils which are the beady-eyed dots on the characters. They are positioned the same on every character so that the faces can be added. However, when not adding a face, those dots represent the character’s eyes. The face is a large blank canvas, per se, so there is enough room to play around and have fun – you can add color to the eyes, stamp a face, or color your own face.

IRIDES: Here’s the tricky part, did you know that the plural or iris (as in eyes) is irides?! I had no idea until this tutorial. Ok, so with the tricky part over, let’s talk about the irides. This is the large open circle on the face’s stamp which would be colored green, blue, brown or whatever color for your character. It’s circular because the pupil is curricular. When stamping, the pupils and irides should be centered with each other – hence the reason for this tutorial.

This step is specifically for those to prefer to eyeball (HA!) the position of the faces, like I do. For each face, I like to practice on my paper pad until I feel comfortable with the results. If this makes you uncomfortable, then using a stamp positioner will also help you get that perfect placement you’re looking for. But don’t stress it too much – if the faces are off, you’ll see below there are ways they can still be “saved” and you can “just keep coloring, just keep coloring.”
In this image and the one below, I have stamped a few common outcomes. In the example above, the first one is the desired result where the pupil is centered in the iris. For the other two, they appear to be looking down or up but when colored, it doesn’t exactly look right. Why is that? A quick answer from Wikipedia: in humans, the iris is a circular muscle in the eye, responsible for controlling the diameter and size of the pupil similar to optical aperture. Think of it as camera lenses and how they open and close but the opening part will always be in the center.
In this example, the top two faces have off-centered placement as well so when colored they look a little wonky. But if that’s what you’re going for, then ignore all this. LOL The last one, however, is one of the softest and quickest tips – if you find it frustrating to align the pupils and irides, then just use a cotton swab before stamping the character and remove the pupil. You can color it back in later, as seen below.
Lastly, I wanted to share this with you for two reasons – first on the left you can see these are all the faces from the above examples. I like to stamp my faces in a lighter color so that I can add the depth through color – however, this also allows me to color over the pupil and then later color it in the shape and size of my choosing. On the right, you would hardly notice those same wonky faces when looking at their eyes. The second reason? Just look at those possibilities and how much the pupil and highlights can change the look.

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