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Blushing and Shading Your Reborn Doll
Before you begin to add this layer of paint I recommend that you become very familiar with how babies are colored. Spend time with a baby, if you can, and carefully observe how they blush. There are lots of photos, on the internet, of babies of all ages. By now you have decided what age baby you are trying to reproduce, whether it be a preemie, newborn or slightly older baby. This is important because each age has it's own different appearance, and you want as much realism as possible in your finished doll.
Preemies tend to be quite dusky, or have a bluish tint in their skin, newborns also tend toward duskiness in their extremities. This is due to an immature circulatory system and is normal. For newborns, their finger and toe nail beds often appear quite blue, not the perfect pink with white tips that some reborn artists use! Their arms and legs tend to appear very blotchy or mottled. Sometimes even their lips are a little dusky. This is all normal, and if you can add it to your doll it will appear that much more realistic.
Older babies, a few months to a year, have more even skin tones, but even they frequently have mottling of their arms and legs.
If all this sounds too complicated, remember, until you heat set your paint you can wipe it off and change it if you need to.
Again, if you have premixed colors, all the guess work about mixing to get the perfect color is done for you. Mix your blush color about one part paint to about eight parts thinner. You want a thin watercolor consistency. With painting reborn dolls, less is more. It is preferable to have many thin layers of paint.
With your round brush apply some paint to a make-up wedge sponge in an uneven, or blotchy patten. Using the pouncing technique that we used with the flesh tone, apply the blush to the entire doll, in a random pattern. You don't want to completely cover the doll, remember, this is blush and mottling. You can always add more if necessary, so use a light touch with your first layer.
You should try to get a darker effect on the backs of the hands and nail beds, as well as the tops of the feet and toe nail beds. If you think about the hands and feet being farthest from the heart, it makes sense for them to be a little bit darker than the body and face.
This is not detail work, the more random you can be with this the better. When you are satisfied that your baby is as realistic in its blotches and blushes, repeat the baking process.
For other articles in this series, click on the links below.
Starting to Reborn Dolls
Progress on My Reborn Doll
Starting the Reborning Process
Painting Your Reborn Doll
Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls
Ebook with patterns and instructions to make 5 cloth dolls as well as chapters on general doll making techniques.The book includes 21 inch Lalena Doll, 21 inch David Doll, Bear Dolls, 9 inch Destiny Doll and 15 inch Annie Doll, all together in one handy book. 53 pages.Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls
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