Friday, April 24, 2015

Painting Reborn Baby Dolls - Adding the bluing, veining and deep shading.

My second stage in painting reborn dolls is to add the bluing, veining and deep shading. The paint I use for this is the Secrist Authentic Reborn cream paints. The colors are premixed and no thinner is required with these paints, giving better control for this painting stage application.

I use Eyelid Tint Purple and Eyelid Tint Blue and lay them out as shown on a glass pallet and mix the two colors together as I go according to what part of the doll is being painted.

The eyes are especially important for realism. First I apply very lightly with a #4 brush Eyelid Purple on the inside edge of the eye socket, around the tear ducks and on the lower corner of the outer part of the eye. I smooth it out so it gently fades away from the edges. On the closed eyed newborn babies I apply the purple tent along the upper lid near the crease covering the full length of the eye.
Now I have found it is not necessary to bake at this point so I go on to the next step.

My next step is to with the same brush apply a very light coat of  blue just below the brow bone, and around the eye in the corner near the nose and down into the circle indention. I have to be very careful not to add to much, for the blue stains and is very hard to remove if it is too heavy. At this point I mix a little of the purple with a very small part of blue and cover over the area again. I add a mixture of purple and blue on each side of the nose, in the nose and the sides of the mouth down to the chin. I also add the mix of purple and blue inside the ear to give depth. 
Veins are then added to the temple area with a very thin bristle brush and a few in the forehead area, for babies that are not going to be wigged I add a few on the head.  The veins should be very light and blotted and feathered just after painting on. Also on open mouth babies I use the bluing and purple for inside the mouth to give depth.

My next step is shading of the feet and hands, and adding veins to them. The picture shows a finished dolls foot and hand, but if you look closely you can see the shading in the arch of the foot that extends up to the ankle.  I use a mix of purple and blue and spread at random and up along the center of the foot and under the toes. I also shade behind the ankle and the top of the foot between the toes.  Adding the bluing and purple to the hand palm, in deep folds and in between fingers adds depth.  Each doll is painted little different due to the sculpt design and sometimes the same design differently.
( In these pictures the camera has picked up the red so the red you see shows up more intense than they actually are. In my opinion subtle is the answer.)

Next comes behind the knees and elbows. I use the bluing mixture bluer in the middle and more purple to the edges. Later in the painting process will come more blushing in this area. Picture shows a almost finished part so you can see the over all end effect.  Now these are pictures of one of the larger babies. It represents a 18 month old. It would be painted slightly different than a preemie or newborn. The newborn will have a higher level of blue and more veins and the preemie would have a even higher level of blue especially around the fingers and feet.

Let the parts dry for a few hours then it is time to bake them at 265 degrees for 8 minutes. I use a NuWave Oven and love it! 
Many artist next step is the flesh coat, but I prefer to use a light coat of over all blushing and texture first.  I take into consideration that the veins, and blushing color of our body comes from beneath the skin not on top. So our next session with be on the first blush.

The doll shown in these pictures is Tibby a Bountiful Baby sculpt by Donna RuBert.  It represents a 18 month old baby. Our standard weight for this doll is 8 pounds, but could be weighted more if desired. She or He is one of our most popular reborn dolls.

Painting Reborn Baby Dolls- Washing as first step

Your first step prior to painting is to wash you vinyl parts.  I use Ivory Liquid and warm water and gently wipe them down being careful not to get water on the inside of the vinyl.  This will remove any oils or dirt on the vinyl that may inhibit your ability to give the parts a good layer of paint. On the Lee Middleton doll kits I also pre-heat at 265 degrees them for 5 minutes to draw out any oil left in the vinyl, then after they cool wash them.  The Lee Middleton reborn babies vinyl is similar to the texture of silicone and oily. After washing your doll parts lay them out to dry completely. Don't forget if your doll has open eye sockets dry them out as well.
After they are dry the next step is adding the bluing for deep shading. That is for next time.
Comments are always welcome!