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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)
(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:
2 SMIDGENS of INTERMEDIATE PURPLE
1 SMIDGEN of ULTRA MATTE GEL
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
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:
NAILS, BLUSH & LIP:
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 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.
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.
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.
Be sure to ~PROTECT YOUR DOLLS FACE DURING ROOTING~
(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 recorded a video tutorial of that process.
However, at the time of this initial tutorial publishing, I do not have the video edited and ready for YouTube just yet. I will add it later.
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!
I'll be back to add the video when I have it edited.
Thanks for joining me!