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How to paint doll faces and get it done beautifully can be tricky! If not done right, the intention of having your doll face painted to look cute can end up leaving a mess and creating frustrations. Why having a doll painted right can have a tricky dimension to it, it can be fun when you have expert tips on how to go about it.
This guide will help you understand and master the process of painting a doll and achieving desired results in quick steps. It is a comprehensive piece, designed to get you acquainted with the best approaches to give your door face the most appealing appearance. If you’re curious enough, you might want to see it to the end.
Knowing How to Paint a Doll
Painting doll faces is not complex. Instead, it is bascially simple hand-drawn painting. Painting doll faces started when people decided to keep their old and worn-out traditional Barbie dolls and make fairies out of them.
Every type of doll, be it Dollfire, Pullip or Blythe, deserves a different amount of care and one can be more adaptive than another. Some chemicals may damage some dolls, while chemicals won’t harm another. It is important to know the kind of doll at hand before starting.
Things to Have before You Begin
It is good to know the basic things needed to paint doll faces starting:
- Organize a studio or mini-studio: once the decision paint doll faces is taken, it is advisable to set up a corner of a room or an open space to do the painting. This will help reduce the amount of clean-up after painting. It will also help to keep the working tools organized.
- Get a magnifier: This will help to see tiny mistakes more clearly. A magnifier has a zoom feature that helps view your painting in a detailed manner. A doll may look perfect after painting but a magnifier sees beyond what the naked eye sees. It helps spot the mistakes that can be easily overlooked.
- Get some brushes and paints It is good to have brushes of different sizes because the sizes work for different shapes. A tiny brush might be needed for highlighting tiny details while a big-sized brush is best used to paint the body. Different colors of the same paint brand can also be helpful. Get bright and cool colors, to give the doll a unique and attractive look.
- Get masks and gloves: There is a need to take safety precautions when painting. Get a mask or face shield to prevent the harmful substance from coming in contact with the face or eyes. Hand Gloves will also help protect the hands from getting smeared by paints, especially permanent stains. Work clothes or overalls/aprons are highly recommended. If watercolor pencils are used, there will be a need for an eraser, to wipe off mistakes.
- Get a Sealant: Applying or spraying sealant on the doll will give the painting a long-lasting effect. It will help the paint stick to the doll. Sealant can be sprayed about three times on a doll before painting. Also, if the paint is washing off when trying to apply another coat, another sealant coat of sealant should be applied to hold the paint in place and create a new glossy surface.
- Get a Practice Doll: To know how to paint doll faces and be good at it, may require constant practice. Buy cheaper dolls to practice with before painting the actual doll. Dolls that cost less than 10 dollars can be useful. By the time you’ve had enough practice with these dolls, you will be able to paint the real doll face with little or no errors or stress.
- Get the Doll: After the important processes for the preparation has been followed, buy the plain doll or get an old doll in place to begin the painting adventure.
What Type of Paint Can You Use on Doll Faces?
The most suitable paint to be used on doll faces is acrylic paint. This is because vinyl paint does not dry easily. Also, the acrylic paint gives a glossy look and it helps the paint to stick properly on the surface of the doll. When using acrylic, use a primer instead of sealant. Also, apply two coats or three of primer before working. Acrylic paint gives the doll a bold stylish look while watercolor pencils and pastels give it a cool look that will eventually come out to be a natural look.
Some people use chalk pastel or watercolor. To use watercolor pencils, you have to get good quality watercolor pencils, not just color pencils. Watercolor pencils are different from color pencils.
Watercolor pencils are highly concentrated in their lead pigment and they do not have wax. Also, bad-quality watercolor pencils will not give the intense pigment needed to paint the doll. Do not bother if the good quality watercolor pencils are expensive because pencils last longer than how you expect, all needed is a good pencil sharpener. Get the watercolor pencils at the local art store.
How Long Does It Take to Paint Doll Faces?
Like every other decorative venture, it doesn’t take too much time to paint doll faces. Some people even consider it a hobby. Once the art of painting is mastered (with the sample doll), painting the real doll will not take much time. On average, painting a doll face can take about a week, depending on the level of consistency.
How to Paint a Doll?
To paint a doll, it is better to start from the face. This makes it easier to restart after a couple of mistakes. This will be difficult if the whole body has been painted. To help you get your doll face painted as timely as possible, some step-by-step approaches have been outlined in the paragraphs below.
It is important to get the doll’s hair out of the way. Hold the doll’s hair back with either a rubber band or hair packer. This will help avoid getting unwanted colors on the doll’s hair. This will also prevent the hair from getting sticky through exposure to the sealant.
Before working on your doll, spray two coats of sealant all over it. Sealant helps to hold the paint to the doll. It will also be needed while painting. After applying some coats of paint, use another spray of sealant to hold it in place. Spray the sealant in an open space to avoid choking because it contains harmful chemicals.
After spraying the sealant, start with the eyes. Dolls’ eyes are the most captivating part of their body. To get the desired look, focus on the eyes. Be intentional about the color to use, the size of the brush to use and the type of look to give the doll. The doll can have a smoky look, a bizarre look, a neutral look, a princess look or a glam look.
Outline the shape of the eyes. Some dolls look best with round eyes. The rounder the eyes, the younger they look. Fill the inner part of both eyes with the color white. Shade the middle (iris) with any desirable color (green, blue, grey, black or deep brown). Allow the white layer to dry before painting the iris.
Slightly apply pink to the corner of the eyes to create the tear duct. Make sure there is accuracy in applying the colors on both eyes to give it an identical look.
Apply color of eyeshadow desirable. Shade the desired color on a plain surface then use a brush to apply it to the doll. Applying it directly may bring mistakes. Make the reflection dots in the dolls’ eyes. Use a toothpick to apply this, to give the little effect needed. This makes the doll looks alive and bright. Start with a drop of white acrylic paint from the toothpick.
Outline the eyebrow by using a tiny brush or tiny watercolor pencil to draw a light line (the shape you desire), it could be arched, curved or bent. Drawing the line first will make the brows match as it will guide the drawing. After this, fill in the line drawn with a tiny or flat paint or pencil, draw short lines identical to the ones on the human face. Note that, it is essential to use a tiny or medium brush or pencil, to avoid extra painting outside the line drawn.
Adding lashes to your doll gives it a livelier look. To apply lashes, a picker/plier and glue/bond is needed. Ensure the lashes stick before lifting or shaking the doll. Apply glue on the eye crease, then pick up the lashes one after the other and stick them to the glue before it dries off. Hold the lashes down to the glue or adhesive so it will not fall off eventually.
To highlight the nose, a flat brush or watercolor pencils are needed. Use a faint color white, and faint black or brown in the nostrils, the lower part of the nose and the bridge of the nose to give it a dark shade like a shadow. To achieve the faint painting, first paint it on plain paper, then use a flat brush to apply it to the needed areas.
Once the lips have been outlined with a tiny brush or pencil, fill in the color you desire, this will determine the doll’s expression. Use colors like pink, blush pink, red, black, purple, brown, or powdered brown to give the doll a neutral look.
Add gloss to the lips and eyelids to give them a shiny effect. A gloss vanish is well suitable for this. After doing this, you can view the doll from different angles or through a mirror to see the result of your painting.
You can paint veining on the doll to give it a livid appearance. After doing this, blush the doll with the skin color and cover it, but ensure the vein is slightly visible. Tattoos or freckles can be added to the doll with a toothpick or flat/tiny blush, or pencil are suitable for this. Freckles can come in light brown or light black.
Apply blush to the doll to make it look alive. Use bright, cool or reddish-pink. To produce a very faint color that will not overshadow the skin color, paint or shade it elsewhere then apply it with a brush.
Apply a final coat of sealant to the doll and allow it to dry, and the doll is ready to go!
Related Reading: How To Clean Cabinets Before Painting?
To some people, painting a doll face is not a difficult task. All that is needed is to get the right materials like acrylic paint, gloss vanish, flat brush, mirror, magnifier, and so on. Follow the steps and ask questions for clarity. Remember to pick a good color for every area of the doll to give it the best outcome.