This winter, the Walt Disney World Resort is home to the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. This new six weekend festival is designed to celebrate the magic of the arts at Disney, and features a wide array of food, music and studio art events.
The idea behind the festival is to inspire and educate – something any fan of Walt Disney World knows is an integral part of the Disney brand’s legacy.
While many events at the Epcot international arts festival are held throughout the park, the Japan Pavilion is a hub for complimentary art demonstrations and hands-on classes like calligraphy, origami and Anime cartooning. These demonstrations are designed for all abilities and are scheduled every weekend through February 20, 2017.
The Japan Pavilion has always been our family favorite – it provides us with culinary and artistic inspiration every time we visit the park. A tour through Mitsukoshi department store is a feast for the eyes and the taste buds. We love to sample the unique candies and snacks, and play with the adorable piles of stuffed animals. Next time you are there, make your way to the back of the Japan pavilion to the art exhibit on Kawaii: a pop culture showcase of Japan’s obsession with ‘cuteness’ that shows up in everything from cartoons to clothes and housewares. It is the perfect way to slow down, enjoy the festival and to get inspiration for your own arts and crafts.
In the spirit of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, we decided to create our own DIY Disney character-inspired Kokeshi dolls at home. Kokeshi dolls are prevalent in Japan and feature a wooden peg figure painted with a diminutive face and a colorful outfit. Mitsukoshi at Epcot has dozens of styles of Kokeshis on display. You can buy blank, ready-to-paint Kokeshi Dolls at your local arts store or online at sites like Etsy.com
Step-by-Step, Epcot International Festival of the Arts, Disney Character -Inspired Kokeshi Dolls
- Wooden Peg Dolls
- Acrylic paints
- Paint Brushes
- Jars for water
- Paint palette
- Paper towels
- Pencil, eraser and paper
- Glitter & Hot Glue (for adding accessories)
The How-to Guide:
- Prepare your worksite. Fill water jars with fresh, clean water. Put on an apron or smock to keep yourself clean.
- Select a base color and coat your Kokeshi doll completely. (Note: Many Kokeshi figures come painted with a base color of peach or white. If your Kokeshi comes with a base coat, you can choose to skip this step.) Let dry.
- Sketch your proposed design on paper and work out the details of your doll. Keep the design simple, as the dolls are small and are challenging to paint with very fine details.
- Draw your final design on the dry wood doll. Once you have your design in place, lightly erase the heavier lines that will be harder to cover with paint.
- Attach any beads or buttons that you may want to paint over (we used a clay bead for Tinkerbell’s hair bun). Use hot glue to attach the beads and let dry before painting.
- Fill your paint palette with your select colors. Paint your design, starting with light colors, and then move on to the darkest colors of your design. The dolls may require multiple coats of paint. Let dry between coats to avoid smudges. Make sure to wash your brushes thoroughly when you change colors of paint.
- Finish your design with your black line/darkest color design features. Add any glitter or decorative beads.
- Let your design dry and coat your doll with a protective spray of acrylic clearcoat to seal and harden the design.
- Display your Disney-inspired Kokeshi dolls and share them with us at the WDW Radio Facebook page!
Enjoy the Epcot International Festival of the Arts! We can’t wait to see your designs and inspiration.
(Photos from the author’s personal collection.)
Kristin is a food writer and social media manager in the great State of Maine. When she is not seeking out the next-best-thing-she-ever-ate, she is busy planning for her runDisney vacations and cooking with her family. She can be found at @kafcooks.