ips and ricks for epainting
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More Pictures and better 'step by step' instructions coming soon....ish.
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Preparing the Face
Removing the Original Paint
Altering the Features
Paint and Brushes
reparing the ace
emoving the riginal aint:
- For your first couple dolls it's usually a good idea to leave the existing paint on the doll, that way the lines are there for you to follow. Changing the lip color or enhancing the eyes is a great way to 'get your feet wet'!
Once you've painted a few faces and are ready for a 'blank canvas' as 'twere...
- I would recommend a non-acetone nail polish remover (no lotions or fragrance), cotton balls, Q-Tips and elbow grease, LOTS of elbow grease....
- Some artits like to use pure acetone instead, it's a LOT faster and much neater, no smears, wipe and go.... but it's not good for the plastic.. HOWever, in the small amounts used I can't see that it would any real damage...AS LONG AS...
- If you decide on acetone, remember to wash the dolls face in either baking soda or soapy water once the paint is off. This is very important!
- As a vivid reminder and another random 'tip' if you soak a barbie's head overnight in acetone, it will shrink several sizes...... - just in case you ever need a shrunken head?
- Altering features.. - right - well - how MUCH do you want them alterered?
- For any really significant difference you'll need to break out the exacto blades and slice away slivers - (and I MEAN slivers, don't get overly enthused here, the vinyl is sometimes up to 1/4" thick, but sometimes less than 1/16" thick - pay attention.)
- Then sand it down with fairly rough sand paper (starting about 600 grit) and then keep sanding with finer and finer grits (going to 1500) until the vinyl is smooth again.... - it's TIME CONSUMMING to get it right, (literally hours and hours) but worth it.
- For subtle re-shaping you can work with just sandpaper, (or a dremel on LOW speed, setting it on high will melt the vinyl) - again, starting with corse sandpaper or the dremel with a diamond bit, and then working with progressively finer grits.
- Starting with a 'practice' doll is a very good idea, so you'll have an idea how the vinyl reacts to what you're doing before you start on your masterpiece!
- ALSO - the 'newer' dolls (goddess and My Scene molds in particular) use a MUCH thinner and softer vinyl. If you want a heavy re-sculpting, go for the older dolls.
- The head in the pics above was originally a superstar mold and eventually Callisto.
- Tyler/Gene/Matt have nice thick vinyl - you can do pretty much anything you like there - (like getting rid of Matt's super heavy jaw?), but they're also a much harder vinyl so you'll spend a lot more time with the sandpaper.
- I strongly recommend a dremel for the final stages of your Tyler/Gene/Matt re-sculpt - if you use the rubber jewelry polishing bits you'll come up with a perfect final surface.
- Again, don't try this without a lot of patience!
- In the pics below....
- On the left we have the original Tyler face mold - On the right it's the same doll given strong cheek bones, a slightly altered nose, deeper eye-socket and a more defined jawline.... - took me days before she was perfect.
- Molding Paste is a fun little toy....
- It has this to say about itself:
Molding Paste - "Provides the hardest opaque, matte finish. It blends well with Golden Acrylic Colors. Hard molding paste is useful for creating tough, durable finishes. Self-leveling for smooth hard surfaces or rounded peaks. The dried film can be sanded with hand or power tools"
- Things to do with that big ole container of Molding paste....
- Filling in that toothy smile: I will tell you that filling in the mouths is almost impossible to do *well* - I never did manage it so that I was happy with it. It's much easier (for me) to just paint that smile and go ahead and let her have teeth! You can get quite the wicked look if you scrape off some of the cheeks and remember that when you smile your lips thin out... or.... snag a mackie or goddess face mold and not have to worry about it at all! :-D
- HOWever.... for those of you determined...
- Take a tiny bit on a toothpick, put the toothpick in the center of the mouth and gently drag it to the corner and then repeat that same step on the other side. This will fill in the sharp 'lip' lines and give you a nice center line. - you might have to repeat this a couple times depending on how much paste you had on that toothpick.
- Other things to do....
- Yank out ALL the barbie hair and cover use it to cover the holes in the head - you can make it smooth (sanding it after it's dry) or sculpted into waves or any texture you like for a new and different look!
- Fill in the eye sockets if they're deeply set and not what you want - a lot of Jakks have super small eyes
- Make vampire fangs.....grin
aint and rushes:
WELL, now that we have a bare nekkid doll type face, that's shaped just the way you want it.... shall we put the paint back on?
- The 'grade' of paint is completely up to you - the only guideline really is an "artist grade" acylic (water based) paint. Oil based paints will degrade the vinyl, making it brittle and prone to crumbling - they will also discolor badly over a fairly short period of time. (because of the chemical interaction)
- I like tube acrylics (Liquitex) mixed with flow improver - but that's only because it's what I've used since high school, and they're what I'm comfortable with.
- Most OOAK artists seem to prefer the bottled type instead, for it's more liquid consistency - Liquitex or Golden are the two 'best' brands, but there's not a thing wrong with the cheaper brands. The more expensive brands have a higher/darker pigmentation and so the colors are more vivid, but the cheaper brands can also be lovely.
- Speaking of a higher pigmentation..... a lot of the 'cadmium' shades of Golden Paint will stain the dolls vinyl.
- As a bare minimum you'll want to have these colors: White, Black, Burnt Umber (dark reddish brown), green, blue, yellow, and a pure red. - From there you can mix about any color you can think of.
- Use an extender, flow improver, or gloss or matt medium to thin your paints - not water. Yes, you'll want a glass of water handy for cleaning your brush, yes, getting some water in the paints is just fine - however too much water will cause the paints to both dull and lose adherance - ie. they won't look as good and they'll be easily scratched/washed off - even after they've been sealed.
- Paint brushes - acrylic paints are very hard on sable brushes - You want a synthetic brush! Synthetic brushes are, also, cheaper to get. Now - if you can't find the size you want in synthetic, sable or other 'genuine fur' is fine, they simply won't last as long.
- Think *SMALL* - I have a 20/0 liner that I use for almost everything, that I got from Micro Mark, but you can also buy slightly larger brushes and cut some of the bristles off to get the size you want.
- Some artists even use cat whiskers taped to pencils! grin
- Actually, I generally use four brushes, a #2 round, which is a huge sucker for shading. A #10 round for filling in the lips and eye whites, an 18/0 spotter and my 20/0 liner for those persnikety details.
ainting asics :
- Just some 'basics' here..
- Use an 'off white', cream, or light grey for the whites of the eyes - NOT 'white'. Save your white for the 'life dots' in the pupil.
- You can use a pencil eraser or dowel dipped in paint to get 'true' circles for the iris and pupil, - or at least guidelines for same. Finding the right size and then getting it to behave is quite the trick, but it will occassionally help?
- Collect pictures of your favorite repaints, or magazine pictures of real people and have them handy while you paint.
- Your paint should be 'ink like' in consistency - not quite 'watery' - a solid color but very very thin. If you leave the paint too thick it will dry in streaks and/or have lumps.
- The paint should 'flow' up into the bristles of the brush by just touching the brush to the surface of the paint.
- REMOVE most of the paint from your paintbrush before touching it to the doll - I wipe the excess on my thumb, you can use a paper towel, or a rag, or whatever you're comfortable with - but you DO NOT want a 'drop' of paint on the end of your brush!
- Paint with *good* lighting. I use both a magnifying mirror with a florescent light and a 100 watt 'daylight' lamp - if you can get a good sunny location in which to put your worktable that would be best.
- If you have a good camera - take an extreme closeup of your paint job before you call her done - you'll be amazed at the mistakes it will show!
- I've done several repaint tutorials, pretty much breaking down into
- If your hand shake (and mine do) try 'dotting' a line on instead of trying to keep steady for a 'straight' line.
- "Sketchy" lines will also work better for you than trying to get an even solid line.
- Brace your hands and the dolls face - I hold the doll in my left hand, brace both forearms across my chest and then brace my pinkies together.... it helps some - form a 'cage' with your fingers with the doll face and brush in the center.
- Breathe.... or not.. LOL - for those really touchy pieces I take a deep breath, let it 1/2 out and hold it there.. - that also helps some
- Try painting in the afternoon, or, if you're not a caffiene fiend (like I am) before coffee.....*grin*
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