Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Art and Magic Water Borne Air Dry paints TUTORIAL

Welcome to my blog!
If this is your first visit, please feel free to take a look around.  

If you've been here before, thank you for popping back in!  

This tutorial describes how to use the new Art and Magic Water Borne PREMIXED air dry paints available at 
(click on link above)

I have designed this tutorial with the brand new reborner in mind.  It will guide you through the process as you paint a basic reborn doll.    This tutorial is only for the painting portion of your doll.
I have posted several different tutorials on this blog and you can find them by searching for the topic you are interested in.

If you desire a more in depth, advanced and techincal study/tutorial,  there are a few available on the market and I have produced my own Complete Reborn Course DVD which can easily be used with 
 the Art and Magic Water Borne Paints.
(click on link above)

Let's get started using the PREMIXED Art and Magic Water Borne air dry paints!
You may click on each picture to make it even larger for a closer look.

First prepare your area with a clean table covering and the supplies you will need:
2-3 bowls of warm water (for rinsing brushes and sponges), a dish of cool water (to quickly dip a clean brush or make-up wedge into to remove unwanted paint),  a jar of distilled water (to add to your paint for thinning), a flower petal type palette, a small flat plate or palette, a variety of brushes and sponges, a medicine dropper and it helps to have a set of tiny measuring spoons found here:

No matter what paint I use, I highly recommend wearing a vinyl or plastic glove on the hand that you will be handling your kit with.  The glove will prevent oils from your hand coming into contact with the vinyl, preventing paints to stick. 
I recommend a good quality reborn doll kit to begin on.  I have selected Thomas Huti from 
Simply Reborn Doll Kits.  As you see, I also have a peg/rack system to allow my paints to cure on and keep my vinyl parts off the table where I could spill or splatter paint.  
The first color layer for this kit will be the LIGHT FLESH.
These paints are so easy to thin!
With your measuring spoons, measure out TWO SMIDGENS of LIGHT FLESH paint and a SMIDGEN of ULTRA MATTE GEL and place on your flat palette.  Stir the paint and Ultra Matte Gel together with your brush.
Add 10 drops of WATER and stir well.
My favorite sponge to apply this first color layer with is a horse bathing sponge by Equest that was found at a horse supply store!  Notice the wide, open spaces?  This type of sponge is GREAT for creating texture on your doll.  The Equest sponge is very large, but a small piece is all that is needed.  
Notice as well that I have not loaded very much paint onto my DAMP sponge?  
(Dip the sponge into one of the clean bowls of warm water then blot well on a paper towel.  You want the sponge damp but not wet.)
On the entire doll kit, you will apply a thin layer of the paint starting on the back of the head.  Every time you use and change color, start on the back of the head so that if you paint is not the correct consistency, it won't be as noticeable if you cannot remove it all.
If your paint is not correct and you need to remove it, quickly grab a stiffer, flat paint brush, OR clean make-up wedge,  dip it into the clean bowl of cool water and "scrub" the paint off with the brush/wedge then wipe off with a dry make-up wedge or round.

It is important to apply the paint sporadically, making certain to not cover every part of the vinyl as you want to build texture and tone.  Like this:
Before the paint has time to dry, use a DRY make-up wedge to GENTLY pounce the paint into the vinyl.  It is important to gently POUNCE and not rub the paint in order to maintain the visual texture of the paint.  Use a small, dry mop brush to pounce out the creases. 
You won't see a vivid or bold layer of paint.  This is okay and just the start of building visual texture and tone to your doll.
Continue around the head to the front of the face making sure that you cover the ears and nose.
Rinse out your horse sponge when finished with the head.
When you have finished the head (which I always start with), you may begin the legs, then onto the arms.   It is best to start at the bottom of the foot and palm of the hand and work your way up the limb.   The Art and Magic Air Borne air dry paint dries to the touch in moments. 
The paint will be ready for the second layer by the time you finish the first layer on all parts.

 I like to keep a system going on my drying rack, working in a clockwise direction so that I always know which limb I have worked on.  RINSE out the horse sponge and blot to damp after each piece of vinyl is coated and any time that the paint begins to "misbehave".
 When you are finished with the light flesh color, save any leftovers you might have in a clean jar for the next doll you will work on.  Be sure to label your jar with the color and or step.  Clean off your palette with water from one of the three bowls to get ready for the next color. 

Because I knew this baby would be either left bald or have painted hair, I wanted a little more detail on the top of the head.  For this layer, on the top of the head only, I used the
INTERMEDIATE PURPLE WASH and the freshly rinsed horse sponge.
I thinned it using the same formula as I did for the light flesh:
10 drops of WATER.
I applied the INTERMEDIATE PURPLE WASH to the top of the head only, following where the hair line would go.  (sorry, no photo of that)  Again, when finished, save your paint in a clean jar and clean off your palette.

The next layer is what I call NEWBORN FLUSH.
This is not a premixed color offered in the Art and Magic line, but it is very easy to create using two of the premixed colors:  
LIP/NAIL/BLUSH color and
CREASE color.
Use a SMIDGEN of each color, a SMIDGEN of ULTRA MATTE GEL and 10 drops of WATER.  
Apply this using the HORSE sponge in the same manner that you did the light flesh layer making sure that you have wide, open spaces as this is not a blush layer, but a texture and detail layer.
As always, pounce the wet paint gently with a dry make-up wedge.

Save any leftover paint in a clean jar and clean off your palette.  

Time for the lips and nail colors!
You will use three colors for the lips and your flower petal palette will now be set up for work on the lips, nails and creases.
By this point I had realized that a SMIDGEN was about the amount of the paint brush I was mixing with.  For EACH of these colors, use a brush full or SMIDGEN of PAINT, 1/2 brush or 1/2 smidgen of ULTRA MATTE GEL and FIVE drops of WATER.
First color to prepare:
Then INTERMEDIATE PURPLE WASH (you can use this from the layer you did on your head):
Your finished and prepared palette will look like this:
For the lips, use a small brush, like a shader or blender brush, get it damp (not wet) and apply a coat of the NAIL/BLUSH/LIP color. 

Remove and refine the excess with a dry make-up wedge:
Apply a SECOND layer of the NAIL/BLUSH/LIP color and refine with the wedge.
Then apply ONE layer of the CREASE color and refine with the wedge.
And for the FINAL layer, apply ONE layer of the INTERMEDIATE PURPLE WASH.
This process gives a lovely and natural tone to the lips.
Keeping the three colors in your petal palette,
we'll color the nails next.  Surprisingly, I do not use the pink NAIL/BLUSH/LIP
color for nails.  I never have.  I have always used a PURPLE color!
So using the INTERMEDIATE PURPLE WASH and a small brush (I use the same one as I used for the lips...of course I rinsed it out and blotted it damp), apply a WET layer of the PURPLE to each nail (work with only one limb at a time).
Without rinsing your brush, dry it on a clean paper town then quickly go over the nails with the same brush.  This helps to "stain" the nails.  Use a dry wedge to clean up around the nails if needed and of course, use a wet brush or wedge to remove any undesired paint on the skin.
 Repeat this step again and the nails are colored!

Using the CREASE color in your palette and a pointed brush, begin the creases at the back of or, in the case of this kit, under the neck if the kit does not have a back of the neck/head crease to test for consistency.
Using a dry make-up wedge, pounce the color into the creases.
Then follow up with a dry mop brush to finish off any untouched areas.
Continue in this fashion on all the creases on the head, including but not limited to: inside and behind the ears, around and in the nose, and the creases of the eyes.  Repeat in any creases that you feel need more color.
Do the same on the limbs, repeating any that you feel need more color.  Notice how I went around the cuticle of the nail?  This helps build nice detail to the finger and toe nails.
When all the creases are finished, it's time to blush your doll!

You can remove the NAILS/BLUSH/LIP color from your petal palette and onto a flat palette/plate.
You may also put your other two colors away, as you did the previous colors, and clean your petal palette.

You will use the NAILS/BLUSH/LIP color for your blush.

The sponge I use for this step is different than the sponge used in the prior steps.  
And they are very hard to find!  I appologize for that but until I run out of my supply, I will continue to use them.  It is called a "Sponge Cloth" made by Scrub IT.  It is a cellulose sponge.  I used to buy them at Dollar Tree but they have not had them for months.  The next best option is to buy a regular sponge~nothing fancy about it, and cut it lengthwise into a thin sponge. (The sponge cloth is very thin, measuring .25 inch in thickness.)
Here is a section of the sponge cloth that I love as I began to apply the blush color to the doll kit.
I trim the sponge cloth down to an ovalish shape:
Of course. like before, use a dry make-up wedge to GENTLY pounce the paint into the vinyl. 
Blush your doll head all over the head where the hair will be, on the ears, at the neck, chin, cheeks, nose, eyes, and below and above the bridge.  Every real baby is blushed in different places to move slowly adding blush to the area's that you "feel" your doll needs.   You will see the blushing better in the pictures at the end when I moved the doll to better light and used a larger camera.  MY eyes were seeing it much better than the smaller camera and different light I used to photo this tutorial.
I found that my doll needed more blush so I applied one more layer.  

Again, rinsing the sponge cloth and blotting damp, I moved onto the limbs.  I started at the bottom of the feet and palms of the hands and worked upwards. 
Babies are generally more heavily blushed on the bottoms of the feet and palms of the hands but be sure to leave some open spaces so that it looks lifelike.    
Using lighter amounts of blush, move up the limbs from the outside of the ankle/wrist, on both sides, to the knee/elbow and then upwards to the top of the leg/arm.  Blush the muscle at the calf and top of the forearm a bit heavier, then blush the very front of the leg/arm to the knee/elbow.  Be light as you get to the knee/elbow and go a bit heavier on the actual knee/elbow.  Lightly blush the top of the arm and let at both the front and back.  
I don't believe that I took a picture of the blushed limbs!  
Sorry again!  You will see the painted baby at the end.

Babies generally have pinker fingers and toes on the ends.  
Using the same blush color and a flat brush, apply a wet layer of color to the ends of the fingers and toes.  (working with one set at a time of course!)
Pounce the excess color with a dry wedge and follow up with a dry mop brush to get in between the fingers and toes.
  Your doll is now blushed!  
Rinse your brush and throw away the sponge cloth.  The horse sponge can be re-used but the sponge cloth is not a good candidate to be re-used.  At least I've never had any luck re-using the sponge cloth.

Oh dear.  I am really fired now!  I did not take pictures of me doing the moons and tips!  I can't believe it!
Well I'll do my best to tell you and you will see them at the end.
Using the NAIL TIPS AND MILIA color
(mixed using 1 SMIDGEN of color, 1/2 SMIDGEN of  ULTRA MATTE GEL and 5 drops of WATER to start...add more water if it is not working well for you)
and a fine brush with just a little bit of paint on the brush, draw in your half moons.  Start with one limb at a time and just draw the moon from one side of the nail to the other at the cuticle making a half moon shape as you go.  Do this on all five nails and allow it to set for just a moment.  When the paint seems set, use a wood skewer or toothpick to "sculpt" and refine the half moon. 

For the tips, allow more paint on your brush and drag the brush across the nail tip allowing the paint to build and flow onto the tip.  Move across the nail from one side to the other.  Again, allow it to set up and "sculpt" it with the wood skewer or toothpick.  Repeat if needed in light spots.  

Got that?  

How about eye brows?
For the color, I found that mixing the DARK ETHNIC and the BLUE UNDERTONE made for a very nice brown color for the brows.
  I started with a SMIDGEN of the DARK ETHNIC and mixed in 1/2 SMIDGEN of ULTRA MATTE GEL
I added 5 drops of water and
then I added three drops of BLUE UNDERTONE:
Blue really brings out the brown in brown colors.  
Oh and ugh.  I didn't get pictures of me actually painting the brows either.  It's difficult to do this in a one-woman show!  Doing brows and nails involves two hands~one to hold the vinyl part and one to do the technique.
The most important thing to know about making brows is to use a VERY fine brush and work from the nose towards the ears...ACROSS the brow bone, not up and down.  Brows do not go up, they go sideways.  You can hardly see them in this picture but you will see them better in the end.  Which is another good point.  Babies have very light brows, most of the time.

Once the brows are finished (do as many strokes and layers as you need to create the look you want), the undertones are created.

In your petal palette, place 1 SMIDGEN of BLUE UNDERTONE, 1/2 SMIDGEN of Ultra Matte Gel and 5-8 drops of water.  You want this paint a little bit thinner.
Here is the palette for the finishing touches:

Start at the back of the head in to test your color.  Apply the blue undertone with a damp mop brush in all the areas where a baby would have thinner skin and where you want a deeper tone.  I usually do it in all the areas that do not have blush.  So, all over the head where there are natural channels of "no blush".  Pounce with a dry make-up wedge and refine in the creases with a dry mop brush.

Then around to the face.   Again it is basically in all the area's that have little or no blush:

I like to add undertone color above the brow and in and behind the ears too.
And at the temple, below the nose and under the chin. 

On the limbs, apply color in the soles of the feet/palms of the hands, under the fingers and toes, along the sides of the feet/hands, the top of the foot/hand and in the un-blushed channels going up the limbs, including the creases of the knee/elbow.

Sometimes it's tempting to add a second layer of blue.  In most cases, that will be too much.  Proceed with caution as blue can be very tricky as it is rich in pigment.

The last step are the veins.  As you see in the palette picture above, I created my own vein color using a premixed color and a basic color of the Art and Magic Water Borne paints.  At the time of this publishing, and by my advice, the color that will come in the premixed paints NOW will be a color similar to what I mixed so you won't have to create a different color for the veins if you buy the premixed vein color.  It will be just right! 

Just thin it as we've done before using 1 SMIDGEN of the Vein color, 1/2 SMIDGEN of ULTRA MATTE GEL and 5 drops of water.  

Using pointed brush (I like a 519 Liner brush), paint sections of veins in just about all the places where you put the BLUE UNDERTONE color.  
Pounce and refine with a dry make-up wedge and dry mop brush (as needed).  
Create as many, or as little veins as you like on your head and limbs.  You can use your own body as reference pictures as to where they go, keeping in mind that babies have more visible veins on their head/faces than adults do.  

Your baby kit is now painted!

Allow your doll kit to cure for 24 hours before glossing and rooting but you can begin painting hair on your doll kit right away if you desire painted hair.  
(click link for a blog tutorial on this topic)
which I do no matter what paint I use.  

Your doll kit will be fully cure in 24-48 hours. 

Allow the kit to cure overnight before you apply the LIP and NAIL GLOSS.
Use the LIP and NAIL GLOSS straight from the jar and apply with a small brush.

Clean up any excess with a dry make-up wedge.
 Use the gloss for eye and nostril moisture detail:

So here is our painted doll under better lights and with a more stable hand to photograph:
 THERE are those lovely nail tips and brows!

As you see, Thomas is bald...or he WAS anyway.

I have painted hair on Thomas and I have self-recorded a video tutorial of that process.  

Here are the sections, in 5 parts.  I appologize that the video quality is not better and I added more hair after the filming of the video.  It's so hard to be a one-woman show!


And...he grew eye lashes!

Thomas turned out beautiful using the premixed colors and a very basic reborn style.  
I am excited for artists on all levels to use these paints!  

Here is the auction of Thomas in action:

Thanks for joining me!  
Debbie Henshaw


  1. Can you do a tutorial for AA/bi-racial babies?

    1. Hello Barbara,
      I am so sorry but I am highly overwhelmed with work and I just have not been able to get to creating an Ethnic tutorial. I WILL be teaching an Ethnic painting class using air dry paints at the ROSE show in Utah this July. Can you make it to that show?

    2. I would LOVE to attend, but😢I live in WV and I can't make it! Sorry!

    3. Aww, that is too bad. I've taught over on your side of the country but have no plans to travel that far at this time. I will release the Ethnic Baby FX color guide after the show in July. I can't promise a tutorial any time soon. There just aren't enough of me to get it all done. Sigh.

  2. I will put the tutorial on the list for the AA/Biracial babies. It may be some time before I can get to that one. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. Great tutorial! Can these paints be used in combination with Genesis Heat Set Paints?

  4. I am quite sure you could use any Genesis products underneath the paints (meaning, use Genesis first then paint with the Art and Magic paints). I've not done it yet but I have no hesitations of doing it this way.

  5. I love, love, love these paints. I've finally found after searching for years a line of paints that are amazing and so easy to use. Debbie's tutorial is great, she explains the process of using these paints on a doll kit that you will find yourself thoroughly enjoying the reborning process. Thank you Debbie.

  6. Debbie, I am thrilled with this tutorial. I am a reborner for almost 6 years and have tried air dry in the past with disastrous results even after a 4 week cure time. One customer complained that the paint came off every place the vinyl touched her glass display case, and another complained it scratched off every time she touched her baby. A third complained the cheeks and blushing faded to almost not there, a problem I encountered on a keeper I did for myself too. so I am enthused to try this as I do babies for elderly and for my great grand daughters and would love a good air dry product. One question only, I am in the habit of sealing my kits with Genesis heat set mate prior to painting. Would this step alter the ability of these paints to adhere to my vinyl?? Thanks so much and a plug for your wonderful mohair for anyone who has not tried it...It is Wonderful!!

    Baby hugs

  7. Hi Audrey, I'm interested in knowing which air dry paints you used in the past. I've been using LDC over Genesis Matte Varnish (and sometimes over Genesis paints) without any problems for years now.
    I have not yet coated a kit with GMV and painted with the A&M paints but I don't anticipate any troubles at all. I have coated a kit with the FolkArt Glass and Tile Medium and that is working fantastic as well.
    Thanks for the plug on the mohair! I just went to the farm yesterday and picked up first clip clippings from 9 baby kids!

  8. Hello!

    I'm wondering if you coat the entire kit with the glass a tile medium before applying the 1st flesh layer? Nail beds too? Thank you

  9. Yes, coat the entire kit with the Folk Art Glass and Tile medium, including the nail beds. I did not use this medium on the doll in the tutorial but I have used it on dolls I made after him. On the nail beds, I created brush strokes with the medium so that there was texture on the nails (like we see in real nails) and after the first layer dried on the kit, I also created textured brows with the medium. The results were GREAT!

  10. Thank you very much :)

  11. Hi Debbie! Thanks for this wonderful tutorial. I received my paints a few days ago and finally sat down to try them out following this tutorial. Unfortunately I've encountered some problems. I used the Folk Art Glass and Tile Medium as a base before painting. I let it dry for a few hours and proceeded to paint the doll the way you've taught. I'm finding the paint difficult to work with because I'm not sure of the correct consistency. And after several hours of work, while I was painting the nail moons and tips, the blushing on the hand rubbed off and turned into bits and pieces of paint. I forgot to put my glove back on when I got to that step, so my bare skin was touching the blushed part of the palm. It looks like an awful mess now and I can't seem to fix it. The paint is kind of sticky and easily comes off the vinyl. Have you experienced anything like this? Do you think it was too thick of a coat of the Folk Art Medium, or was it just my bare hand? I'm sorry I'm rambling, but I am just so disappointed. I'm thinking of stripping the whole kit and following your tutorial on the plain vinyl (without the Folk Art Medium base layer). :( Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you!

  12. Hi Roxy,
    I'm sorry that you had problems! I am going to guess that the paint was too thick. I'm not sure about whether or not the Folk Art was too thick but it should be just a thin layer pounced in until it's dry. I suggest that you attempt to strip the doll with a gentle cleaner like LDC Lotion cleaner (or just try a lukewarm bath in Dawn Dishsoap water)and start over. The oils in our skin can cause quite a lot of problems.
    You will know you have the correct consistency when the paints "behave". Meaning that it is a pleasure to work with them and you have no problems like lines drying to fast etc.
    Let me know how it comes out, okay?

  13. I just finished painting the hair of my first attempt and have that sitting to cure. I checked the bottom of a foot on a leg that I finished two weeks ago to see if the paint was okay. I was able to rub the paint off with a damp q-tip. Do you have any idea what I did wrong? I did not apply any medium before painting.
    Thanks for any help,

  14. Hi Jeanette,
    I can answer better after I ask you a couple of questions:
    How did you prepare your kit for painting?
    Did you use a medium in the paint?
    Anxious to hear from you :)

  15. Debbie,
    I soaked the kit in warm soapy (Dawn) water for about an hour. I then gently scrubbed with soft cloth and the soapy water. I rinsed with warm and let dry. I used the water borne matte gel medium I purchased with the paints from HunnyBuns. I did not use any base coat before painting. The kit I am using is Juliet by Marissa May. This is the first time I have done a reborn. Thank you very much for your help.

  16. Thanks for replying Jeanette.
    There are only two things I can think of that might have gone wrong.
    I don't know if soaking the kit would have penetrated it with too much soap that left residue. I just scrub mine well in the soapy bath then rinse really well.

    It is possible that the mixture had too much Ultra Matte Gel. The gel is great for slowing down the process of the paints drying (as well as causing the paint to bind to the vinyl) but too much of it can cause it not to cure at all. Did you use water in the paint mixture as well?

    I can't think of anything else that could have made the paint not stick. This paint has been very adherent for me even on kits that were not coated first.

    I am so sorry this happened on your first doll. On your next one, simply wash the doll kit, (no soaking needed) and adjust your paint mixture a bit. Let me know how that goes.


  17. Debbie,
    I am in the process of cleaning off the doll. I going to try a base coat with the Folk Art and try again. I want to get the process to work better before I start of the next kit I have because it is a more expensive kit than the first. I want to thank you for your tutorial and all the help you have given me. I used water along with the gel but I'm wondering if my paint was too thick. Could you describe the consistency it should be. Should it be very thin?

  18. That sounds like a good plan Jeanette.
    The paint should be more to the thin side than to the thick side. Try adding a little more gel and water the next time you start painting.
    When you have the right consistency, the paint should set pretty quickly (within a minute) onto your vinyl where trying to remove it with a wet brush and wedge should be difficult. That is why if you need to make a correction, it must be done within the first few moments otherwise, it's difficult to remove the paint.
    Be sure to let me know how it's going.

  19. I use the water borne paints, and love them!! I am still trying to figure out what to use to 'seal' the paint, after painting is done. I've heard some good and not so good things about the 'folk art' glass and tile. Is there any other varnish/sealer out there, for air dry paints, that is not shiny and completely seals the paint, without having to heat set? Thanks so much, in advance!!

  20. I also have another question, if you don't mind. What can be used to 'seal' the kit, before painting, other than the Folk Art? I just bought Liquitex Ultra Matte Varnish, to seal at the very end, but what do you think I could use as a base, to start with, to make sure the paint adheres to the vinyl? Also just wanted to say, that I absolutely love the Water Borne paints. They are the best I've tried, so far!

  21. Hello Shannon,
    Thanks for your questions!
    First, it is not necessary at all to "seal" the Art and Magic Water Borne Air Dry Paints (or LDC paints for that matter). The paints are steadfast on their own and do not require a sealer.

    I have not used the Liquitex Ultra Matte Varnish so I really cannot tell you. I would advise applying it before you paint and test it on the back of the head and see what happens.

    You really do not need to fear the Folk Art Glass and Tile medium. The problems you have heard about are when it is applied to thick and/or onto paints that have not cured. It also cannot be pounced too much. It must be pounced just until dry/the sheen is gone. Over-pouncing weakens the structure and causes it to grit and crumble.
    It is designed to go under the paints but I have successfully used it over the top of cured paints for small touch up shiny areas. It is important to shake the bottle up very well before use. The matte part of it tends to settle at the bottom.
    I do not know of any products that work as well against shine as the Folk Art Glass and Tile Medium or Genesis Matte or Satin Varnish (which has to be baked).

    Often times people write to me and state that they tested their air dry paints the day after painting only to find them rub off. ALL air dry acrylic paints need time to fully cure. Dry to the touch does not mean cure. It can take up to 2 weeks for the paints to cure.

    It is also important to use a medium and water in acrylic paints. The medium not only slows the drying time so that one can work with the paints, it also causes a chemical reaction with the paints to allow them to bind to the vinyl. The water thins the paints just enough to be workable and helps bind the medium and the paints together.

    Please let me know what you think about the Liquitex Ultra Matte Varnish.

    1. I will! Thank you so much for answering my questions. I really appreciate it!! :)

  22. Hello Ms. Debbie,
    I have heard a lot about the Folk-art Glass and Tile medium being used under the paints; I just want to ask, what is the right consistency and amount of this substance that is okay to be used?... I don't wish for a crumbly or gritty texture... Thanks in advance!

  23. I have posted a tutorial on how to use the Folk Art G&T Medium here on the blog. Just use the search bar to find it.
    But in answer, you use it full strength but since it dries quickly, put just a little bit on your pallet/plate. I explain it all in the blog post. There are things to be very careful about, such as applying too thick and over pouncing. It is hardly noticeable when applied thinly.

  24. Wow! I wish my first baby with hunny buns air dry paint came out like yours. I'm beginner everything reborn. I used to much blush lol.

  25. Just keep it up ccangel~you will get there!
    I hope you are enjoying every step of the reborn process :)
    Dolly hugs~

  26. Thanks so much for this tutorial and for sharing some of your tips and tricks. I have only used Genesis paints but am concerned about the chemicals released by heating vinyl. So, long story short, I am up for trying air dry. I'd like to know if they are non-toxic (you probably said somewhere and I missed it). Also, I've never sealed my kits before painting. Is this a must in order to get the air paints to adhere? Thanks so much!

  27. My pleasure.

    Both the Art and Magic paints and LDC paints are non-toxic :)

    No, it is not necessary to seal or coat the kit before or after painting. I just prefer the final look when I do it. The air dry paints will adhere and cure just fine without the coating.

    Best of luck and enjoy!

  28. It is recommended by the seller to seal the paints, I took this quote from her site on this page - http://www.hunnybunsrebornsupply.com/inc/sdetail/39807/39815

    "I do recommend a final sealant on all Water Borne (air dry) paint systems. One of the most recommended to me so far is PLAID Folk Art Glass & Tile Medium which I hope to carry soon, but should be available to most people locally in craft stores and even Walmart.

    1. That comment was made in the very beginning stages of the "birth" of the new paints. I have found that it totally is not necessary to do so, as I have found with LDC paints as well, but of course it won't hurt anything. You just must be sure that the paints are cure before adding a final layer of the Folk Art or the Folk Art will pull the paint up. Acrylic paints can take up to two weeks to fully cure.

  29. Hi Debbie, I have noticed that several websites sell the LDC paints. Are they all pretty much the same or do they differ from brand to brand?

    1. Hello!
      The only two sites I know that are authorized to sell LDC (Little Dreams Collection) paints are Doll Dreams and their sister company, Puppen Traumland.
      There are a lot of other acrylic/air dry paints on the market but I would be sure of what I was buying before I bought as they do differ.
      One could always ask the site they are visiting as to what exactly the paints are.
      Good luck!

  30. Hi, I painted a berenguer doll about 4 months ago without using the glass tile as an undercoat and have been using the head as a pattern for sizing hats I'm crocheting..so the head has been rubbed and handled on a daily basis for the entire 4 months..it has not gone shiny and the paint has not rubbed off! I love how the paints go on and how they look..really pleased overall :)

    1. That is WONDERFUL news! Thank you for sharing your tried and true experience! If anything will affect a dolls paint, constant rubbing will so this is great!! I have not heard any complaints about the dolls I did not prep before using the Art and Magic paints.
      Very exciting doll world news!

  31. wow! I just used some of these techniques to make my very first Reborn! the paints were great and the tutorial was extremely helpful.

    1. I am simply delighted to hear the excitement in your words! You must be on cloud nine with the creation of your first reborn~congratulations! I remember that day!
      I'm glad this tutorial helped you and that you like the paints. Have fun with your next baby!

  32. Hi Debbie, thanks for the wonderful info. It's helped a lot in my research on beginning my first reborn. However, I'm having a hard time deciding between Water Borne, LDC air dry paint. Do you recommend one over the other? Which brand would you recommend for a beginner? I don't want to bake if I can help it but want a streamlined process in making my reborn without compromising results. Thanks!

    1. Not only do I like these paints but I also like the third set of paints that I recently did a tutorial for, the Special Care Nursery air dry paints. If you are wanting to streamline things but get good results, the latter paint might be the way to go as they are created for the beginner. The beginner set of paints are completely pre-mixed for the right tone layer colors plus, they already have all of the mediums and water in them. You just stir them well, place them in your palette and paint away.

      I like all of these systems equally and the Special Care will be adding base pigments as well as other mediums for the intermediate and advanced artists.

      You can't go wrong with any of the systems. On that note, sometimes it is hard to get the LDC paints but once you get a full set, you won't need replacements for a while.

      I hope that helps!

  33. Thanks Debbie for your advice! I appreciate it. I did decide to go with the Art & Magic Water Bourne Paints. They one thing I have been wondering though, is do you recommend a base coat before the light flesh tone, and if so, what would you recommend using? And, any advice or thoughs on neutralizing the kits when using the Water Bourne paints? Thanks a bunch!

    1. Good choice!
      Please clarify what you mean by "base coat"...as in a color or a medium/matte product?

      This tutorial was designed for the beginner. With my Master Artist Series dolls, I almost always use what I call a dark flesh undertone to begin my dolls. I have a full line of color guides available on my ArtFire site that show the colors and layer process for several skin tones.

      When I neutralize a kit with any paints, I almost never use a brush to apply the paints; I use a sponge and leave open spaces to begin building visual texture. IF the kit is a horrible color then yes, I would use a brush and fully cover the vinyl. Use a color wheel to decide which neutralizing color that you would need. (Match the color of the vinyl on the wheel then follow across to find the color that will neutralize the vinyl color.)

  34. Thanks! All of that helps and I am going to have to look into your series!

    By base I meant/was wondering if I needed to use a medium on the bare vinyl, then start with the neutralizing and or painting process?

    I see that I received the glass and tile medium with my paints and on the small container it does list it as a "prep-coat" for the vinyl. I'm assuming this doesn't HAVE to be used but can be to help cut down on shine, as well as give the vinyl a good base for the paint to stick too? Am I understanding the directions correctly? Thanks SO much for your help.

    1. No, you don't NEED to use anything on the bare vinyl if you don't want to. I like it because it helps add depth, helps keep shine down and does add a bit of grip to slippery vinyl. The paints WILL stick to bare vinyl so it's really just a matter of preference. And yes, you are understanding the directions correctly :)

  35. Wonderful! Thanks a bunch. I started painting my first kit last night and did use the medium and I love it as a base on the vinyl. What are your thoughts on using it as a final coat when the baby is all done? I think I might try it. I'm concerned the paint will rub off over time?

    Baby Noah you are working on looks so sweet! I love your work. You are a GREAT mentor. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions! I live in Sherwood, OR so if you ever hold local classes, I would be there with bells on. :) Take care. Rhonda

    1. You are welcome.

      I have used the Glass and Tile medium over the paints in areas that were still too shiny for my taste. These paints WILL NOT rub off so it's not needed. Again, it's a matter of preference.

      Well, hello fellow Oregonian! The most local class I will be doing in 2015 is in Denver, so not really very local! But, I do have a full course reborning DVD that I produced just to help with the problem I have of being able to teach often. :)

      I'd love to see your baby when you are done. You can email me at tngun05@gmail.com if you like.


  36. Thanks Debbie, I will. I am really happy with the way the painting turned out but I really did a number on the hair rooting. I think I ruined the whole head. I used a 38 regular and I think it's to large? I can see the poke holes. Also, learned that rooting is really a ONE HAIR at a time process. I have new found respect for you master artists!! I set it aside and will use it as a test doll. It was my first. I'm going to start painting a 19" kit and I just won't root the hair until I've had time to practice. I will email you, if you don't mind, and I would love your feedback! Thanks again, Rhonda

    1. Oh yes, a 38 is much too large. But, you can try this: get the hair really wet and rustle it up some. Use a fine toothed comb and comb the hair this way and that. This will remove extra hairs from the follicle but shouldn't leave bald spots. I used to do this ALL the time with great results. Repeat if needed. I only use a 38g once in a blue moon on a toddler with human or adult angora hair. A 42g is best for newborns. But, you will figure out your favorite needle and also how one needle and hair may work on one vinyl while another combination works on a different vinyl. Always keeps us guessing!

  37. Thanks for your tips. I did find a tutorial on rooting and I'm waiting on my new set of needles. I'm nervous about trying again but I have to figure it out! I have a few dolls I have worked on using the Waterbourne paints. they are turning out pretty good so far, I think, but I'm new to this. Still figuring out eyebrows, eyelashes and hair! LOL I will take you up on your offer to email you, and send pics, as I would love your honest feedback! Thanks for all your advice!

  38. Debbie- Thanks you so much for all your tutorials! I'm newer than new- haven't started yet, or even ordered the paints! I do however have a rather large collection of Berenguer dolls (and others) to "practice on." Do you have a particular method, or product, which you recommend for removing factory paints? I've learned so much on this tutorial (and also enjoyed your others. I will be ordering your DVD! I am thrilled with the toxic free status of the paints, pleased with the no need (unless preferred)to base coat or finish coat, and am out rightly relieved to know I don't have to bake and risk fumes. I have now determined I will be using these paints! Thanks for your tutorial, and the open nature in which you share your considerable knowledge and experience.

    Now all I need to do is get these dolls cleaned off and talk myself into trying it. I do have a background of solid color theory and have painted for years. For some reason- I am quite nervous to try this Likely as I so want to succeed. "Baby steps" and lots of practice!

    1. Hello Charlene,
      "Newer than new", I love that! Hahahaha
      Oh how I love Berenguer dolls! You can't go wrong there and they are so nice to repaint.
      My favorite paint remover is the "Lotion Cleaner" from Doll Dreams. I just checked their stock and they are out but their sister company in Germany has it.

      I have written to Doll Dreams and asked if they will be restocking.

      The next best thing is acetone but it will make the doll shiny. I read a tutorial on how to remove the shine from acetone by mixing up hot water and baking soda in the sink and soaking the kit after you are done with the acetone. Never let acetone pool on your doll as it can damage the vinyl.

      I am SO excited that you caught that vinyl base coat is an OPTIONAL PREFERENCE! I have worked so hard to express that to people yet so many miss my communication on it. THAT made my day!

      I think you are going to do a great job painting babies!

      Keep me posted and I'll watch for your DVD order. :)


  39. Debbie, do you find that the nail shine makes the tips reddish? I really like a more clear nail bed and the tip to be white, so I've stopped using the nail shine by waterbourne and use the genesis shine. however, I can't help but want to ask, is it just me that notices the finger nails seem to reddish with the nail shine? I'm still trying to perfect nails and milk spots with the air dry paints. Still need to figure out how to maybe combine heat set and air dry to get the results I want. Are the other air dry paints more versatile perhaps? A while back you mentioned email, is that o.k. if I send you some pics for your opinion?

    1. Yes, I do not use the nail shine on the nails. I use Genesis Air Dry Gloss, which is what the nail shine is with color added.

      I do use Genesis Matte Varnish for the milk spot bumps but, there is a thick medium for the Special Care Nursery paints that might work well in the paint to create a raised bump. I just have not tried it yet.
      I think that all the paints are versatile as long as you have the mediums and basic colors to play with :)

      Yes, of course. You may email me at tngun05@gmail.com

  40. I want to thank Debbie so much for her comprehensive and detailed expertise and clear explanations in using my Art & Magic WaterBorne © paint system.

    I do want to caution about using a base prep coat on bare vinyl. It has been my experience, and that of a number of my customers that indeed, a prep coat IS in fact needed on many vinyls. Since we as doll makers have no control over vinyl constitution and quality, I wanted to offer that caveat.

    As time goes on and more people use the WaterBorne paints, we are getting much-needed "research and development" if you will, that is difficult for Debbie or I to achieve on our own. One of the most frequent emails I get now is that if an artist has NOT applied some sort of base or prep coat, many times the WB paint is rubbing off. This was my own experience in a class I taught. I will say, however, I think there is a time element involved. For example, if you paint the doll completely and let the paint dry for a week or so before you attempt rooting, I wonder if the rubbing off would still happen. That's an experiment I have not done yet.

    I still do not believe that a clear sealer is needed, but there seems to be a prevailing belief on the part of many artists that they must seal any air dry painted doll. I recall similar discussions about Genesis, though!

    I am happy to read all the comments above because it is all very instrumental to me in my on-going quest to make the WaterBorne © paint range ever better for the reborn artists.

    ~Stephanie Tackett, HunnyBuns

  41. Thank you for the additional information Stephanie!
    I have had great success both ways...prepping the vinyl and not prepping the vinyl.

  42. Hi Debbie and Stephanie!

    Thanks for the update as well Stephanie, as I currently only use WaterBourne paints exclusively and it's very important to me as an artist to make and sell babies that will last and make collectors come back again to me as an artist, as I learn and grow in this field.

    So far, I have always applied the sealer before painting , and I was applying it after as well but later stopped doing that.

    So far things are going well, overall. I did have some issues with the sealer but Debbie was kind enough to help me figure out I was probably adding to much. Thanks again Debbie!

    I did start out making one baby without adding the prep coat but I did get concerned part way through and added a mid-way coat. She seemed fine in the end but I have since sold her, so I suppose time will tell.

    I did make a boo boo once though, and I was able to rub the paint off with a LOT of effort. I did wonder about the paint holding long term after I experienced that but I had to REALLY rub and work at it. So, I had come to the conclusion that the paint would stay on and if it came off that it would be from not handling the baby properly?

    Also, I do have a question, does the ultra matt gel that is mixed in with the paint have any effect on the paint adhering or is that just a thickening medium. I never have really understood the purpose of that product and am curious to know more. I should know but I don't. Thanks gals!

    Stephanie, where would I follow you to find out about classes?

    1. Hi Rhonda! I am sorry I did not reply right away. I was out of town and the internet where I was was SO SLOW!

      I assume that on the boo boo you made, that you attempted to remove/did remove the paint soon after you painted it? I mean, you saw the boo boo and right away got it off with a lot of rubbing? If that is so, it is because the paint had not yet had time to "cure". The paint dries right away but takes a little bit of time to cure. I still do not feel that a sealer/prep is needed on the vinyl before hand but it never hurts to use one so I am certainly not against it.

      The Ultra Matte Gel, along with other mediums is VERY important in allowing the paint to bind to the vinyl. The pigments cannot be used on their own and be expected to stay. They MUST have a medium of some kind.

      You might contact Stephanie directly from her website to find out about her classes and I'm not sure she will check back here.


  43. Hi again! If you'd like to contact me via email it's hunnybunmama@gmail.com. That might be easier for all concerned. I'll be happy to help however I can :-)

  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Hello Delaney,
      There is never a stupid question! :)
      The paint will dry to the touch as you paint it on so you can continue painting right away :) I usually start with the head, then paint each limb with a layer and just keep the round going. There are even layers that I repeat right away (like work on lips and nails)...neat huh? I love air dry paints and painting!

  45. can you use these pretty much the same as you do hsp only with the water? what i mean is can i use the multiple layers for mottling and depth and tonal colorings? am i making myself clear or just rambling? i got the larger color set with the different skin colors and i am used to using very thin layers for getting to the darker ethnic coloring, is it the same with this paint. thank you in advance.

    1. Yes, of course! (But don't forget the very important medium added to the paints along with the water.)
      You can layer these as much as you want (allow a little drying time between layers; usually by the time you paint a layer on the head, then do the same on the limbs you can then go back and add another layer to the head again) and use the same techniques that you do with GHSP.
      Thin layers is always best with any paint so paint away! :)

    2. i already have matte super heavy gel, is that too much or can i convert it or use less of it instead of using the other? i have a full container and hobby lobby doesnt usually let u exchange! ty :)

    3. checked online with hobby lobby and they dont have the ultra matte gel, they have the matte super heavy gel. would it be better to just find the ultra matte gel? ty again

    4. It seems like one of my friends tried the Matte Super Heavy Gel and it didn't work real well. I would stick with the Ultra Matte Gel.
      I have to order mine online from this site:

      THIS is the item number that you want:
      00618-3095 Ultra Matte Gel

      I hope that helps!

  46. ty i went to michaels and they were out. walmart says they carry it and they were out. that was three strikes since i hit two walmarts. if hobby lobby doesnt have it tomorrow i will hit online. i just have an oven right now that is burning my babies. can i ask one more question? ive had my paints, sealed and closed for a year because of moving and life... and i got the paints out to use and some are very thick and not much thinner or water to them. do i need to thin them out before adding the water and gel to it? some of them are very obviously watered. i dont know how they are supposed to look as i kept them in their sealed state until i was able to paint again. ty victoryah

    1. That is the problem with acrylic paints. They sometime will dry out in the bottle without regular use...and sometimes they just dry out! If you can still take the paints out and they do not have dry specs in them, you can use them just as they are. If you have some "Flow Medium" you can also add a bit of that to the jar, but just a bit as it's a medium for thinning so you don't want to thin them, just get them a little more fluid. I wouldn't use water because water can grow bacteria and could ruin the entire jar.
      Does that make sense?

    2. yes it makes perfect sense. none of them seem to be flaky, just thicker than i thought they would be. what is flow medium (excuse my lack of knowledge) and where would i get it/use it. thanks so much for your help. btw, i have adored your babies forever

    3. That is great news!
      Winsor and Newton makes a "flow medium" that you can buy at good art stores or online. I've never purchased it so I don't have a place that I know of. I did a quick Google search just now and am not really finding it ??? I'm sorry, I don't have the time today (or the next several days) to look more. But, I think if your paints are fine you don't have to worry. :)

    4. ty so much for your help! u are great!

  47. Hi does Michaels or hobby lobby have paints equivalent to genesis heat set paints

    1. No, I do not believe so. It is best to buy Genesis paints from a reputable seller like HunnyBuns reborn supply.