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Painting Your Reborn Doll
In the last article we went through the process of removing factory applied paint and washing all the residue off the doll you have chosen to reborn. In this article we will start the process of bringing your baby doll to life with paint.
The paint that I am using, Genesis Heat Set Paints, are oil paints that I ordered in premixed colors, specifically for reborn dolls. You can find them online, at Bountiful Babies. The premixed colors take all the guess work out of what colors to buy, so I recommend them very highly. They come in tiny jars, but it's more than enough to paint several dolls.
At this point, you will also need some paint brushes. Get the tiniest "liner" brush you can find to paint the babies veins. In addition, you will need a round, flat brush, about 1/4 inch wide to apply paint to your makeup sponge, which, of course, you will also need. Finally you need odorless paint thinner, turpentine, or my favorite, Grumtine; and something to mix your paint in. Grumtine is made by Grumbacher and it has a pleasant orange smell, you can find it at artist supply stores. Also in artist supply stores, in the oil and water color section you can find small, plastic trays with 6 wells in them to mix the paint with thinner.
Okay, so you've assembled your supplies and it's time to start.
Mix the "vein blue" paint with the paint thinner, in a well of your mixing tray, in a ratio of approximately 1 part paint to 8 parts thinner. The paint should be the consistency of very thin watercolor. Using the tiny liner brush, paint in a few Faint veins on the backs of the hands, the tops of the feet and at the temples. If you are unfamiliar with how the veins look on a live baby, search for close up photos of newborns online for help. Keep in mind that veins are returning to the heart, so they branch more as they move away from the heart. Don't try to paint long veins, very few babies have many, easily seen veins, just a small segment of vein, here and there. Using a clean makeup sponge, tap both ends of each vein to blur the line, so the vein just appears and disappears. When you are satisfied with the appearance of the veins on your baby, the paint must be set before going to the next step. I put a white towel, folded in half and then in thirds on a cookie sheet. I carefully placed my doll parts on it, making sure that none were touching each other. Then I baked the parts, on the padded cookie sheet, for 8 minutes in an oven that was preheated to 265 degrees, F. Be sure to stay close by and set a timer so there are no mistakes. After 8 minutes, take the tray out of the oven and allow the pieces to cool completely.
Mix the flesh tone paint with your paint thinner in a ratio of approximately 1 part paint to 8 parts thinner, in one of the wells of your mixing tray. Don't mix too much, since you're using only one color, you can always mix more without worrying about getting the color blend the same. Use the round brush to apply paint to one side of a triangle shaped makeup sponge. Blot the sponge lightly on a paper towel. The technique used to paint is called pouncing. You don't wipe the paint on, like a brush, it's more like a tapping motion with the sponge on the doll. In this way you will apply the flesh color to your entire doll, over the veins, also. Again, you don't want to put too much paint on in one coat, multiple thin coats are preferable. When all parts are covered repeat the baking process from step 1.
In the next article we will work on the blushing and other details.
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