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Sunday, 23 April 2017

Cleaning and Preparing Vinyl for painting

I am getting ready to paint another vinyl doll and thought I'd post what I do to prepare the vinyl doll parts before painting them. There are many different types of vinyl's that come from various reborn doll kit factories around the world. I have found some doll kits to be very "clean" and easy to prepare and some are a bit dirty and need more attention to cleaning off residues. With my experience from helping inspect ( at work ) a ton of vinyl doll parts coming in from a wide variety of doll factories, I can tell you I have not come across  a  factory that has a total "clean vinyl " record. There are times when you may have a good run of really clean looking doll vinyl parts from a factory that impresses you and then the next run from that factory that impression can change. Taking this information into account, I now thoroughly clean my vinyl pieces on every kit before I paint them regardless of which factory produced them. After many hours of painting I do not want to chance finding out the paint won't stick to an area due to an oily residue that I did not see and take the time to clean off before hand. It really doesn't take that long to do a thorough cleaning and I feel it is small task well worth the effort in the end.
So here is my cleaning procedure and a recipe for my cleaning solution that has worked for me for many years.
The supplies you will need are;
1 soft bristled tooth brush
1 tsp of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate U.S.P.)
3 Tbls of Dawn dish detergent
1 small container
Warm water
Soft towel


 
 
I mix the baking soda and dish detergent into the small container to make a soft paste.
The Dawn dish detergent has a great grease cutting ingredient that works well on the vinyl. You may try other brands of dish detergent, but make sure it is not loaded with hand softening oils.  I added in the baking soda to get more of a soft abrasion to help loosen any stuck on dirt or oils. It also helps reduce any odor from the vinyl. The baking soda did not scratch or leave marks in the vinyl.

 
 I then apply this cleaning paste onto the vinyl doll parts and then lightly scrubbed it all over.
 Ensure you scrub in-between the toes, fingers and other creases or crevices.

 
Rinse off the paste thoroughly with warm water. Some times a second rinse is necessary to get all the soap residue off the vinyl. Very warm water helps remove the residue better than cold water. The warm water also helps to open up the vinyl "pores" aiding in releasing trapped oils. As to how warm the water is = it is as warm as your hands can comfortably take. Do not scald yourself with water that is to hot to handle!

 
Dry off the vinyl parts with a soft absorbent towel. I do not use paper towels as I found that they often leave lint or "fuzzies" behind after use.
I  now put my vinyl doll parts onto a rack to dry for a few hours. This ensures any missed wet areas have a chance to air dry. Some times if I am in a hurry to paint right away, I will use a hair dryer on low or cool heat setting to quicken this secondary air drying procedure.
 
I should also mention Do Not get the inside of the vinyl parts wet as it is very hard to get the insides completely dry. If the inside ends up being moist for a long period of time, it can cause mold growth. Something you really do not want to take a chance on happening so try your best not to get water inside the vinyl doll parts. One tip to use if you want to help keep the water from getting into the parts;  Cover the holes by placing a piece of plastic over the flange and secure with an elastic. This will help make it water resistant from drips. It will not work if the area is submerged under water.
 
 
 
 


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Using a reborn for Decorating

Had a busy weekend with my family for the Easter Holidays. My home was host to a baby shower for my daughter who is expecting in May. This will be my first Grand child. We made a diaper cake for the table center piece and used my painted reborn Marlee (sculpt by M.Winters) as the cake topper. It was a great conversational item and my daughter adored it.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Fixing a vinyl hole with 3D medium

I decided to try out the RebornFX 3D medium to fill  a hole that was left from a bubble in the vinyl at the back of the neck. Found out it worked out well! Usually I would fill any holes with the heat set Thick medium but I didn't want to heat my vinyl up. That is why I decided to try out the 3D medium for this. I sticks onto the vinyl permanently and is very flexible once air dried.  Here are a few snap shots of my experiment.
Filled the hole with the RebornFX 3D medium and blend out over and around the hole area.
 Left to air dry over night then painted a few skin tones on top. After paint was dry, I bent the neck area and flexed it a few times. All held together with no cracking.
Since the 3D medium worked to well with adhesion and filling in a hole, I decided to apply a thin layer of the ReBornFX 3D medium onto this thin layer of vinyl on the ear lobe. This will reinforce this thin vinyl area to strengthen and prevent any punctures.

Monday, 3 April 2017

London Doll show

This past weekend I was helping in a booth at the London Ont. Doll and Teddy Bear Show. It was a great show with good attendance. Here are a few of the painted reborn dolls that were up for sale in the booth I was helping in.
 
 A few times when the booth wasn't busy I got to work on my Gabriela Toddler Doll nails. That was one of the high lights and advantages of working with the Rebornfx Air dry paints. It is very portable and you can use it almost anywhere with out depending on having a heating oven or heat gun as you do with the Genesis Heat Set paint. I enjoyed this opportunity to paint Gabriela's nails and found it very convenient to use.
 
 
I was pleasantly pleased with a customer's (Ruth from Blessed Baby Creations) results from using the Rebornfx air dry 3D medium for enhancing her dolls nail tips. She claimed it was very easy to apply and she loved the results as well. I think they look great!
 



Saturday, 1 April 2017

Finishing skin layers with ReBornFX paints

I got to apply the last layer of skin onto my toddler doll Gabriella. The color I used was a mix of Rebornfx Flesh 07  and Rebornfx Caramel Cream. About 20 % was the Flesh 07 in the mixture. I then added in 50% Rebornfx Emulsion medium and 25% Diluent as I wanted this layer to be very transparent. This was applied with a torn cosmetic sponge, pouncing lightly. You should still see all your blushing and creases through this. If not then it is to strong and you need to dilute the paint mix more with Emulsion or Diluent. Do not apply this onto the bottoms of the feet, palms, lips or nails.  the next step was to paint on the eyebrows. This seemed easier for me to do on a large head and getting them to match the first attempt was exciting.  The colors I used for the eyebrows were Rebornfx Burnt Umber and Rebornfx Light Ash Brown to match the hair wig. The brow hairs were applied with a very fine liner. Once dry I then added on a layer of Matte Fluid to reduce any shine then I applied the Sealer to all areas. The only thing I will be working on to finish her is the nails and assembling.  For now I tried on the wig I have for her. Here is the result of my painting of the head and torso so far.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Painting skin undertones with ReBornFX paint

Today I was able to complete some undertone colors before applying more skin color layers.
The first was a blue shade tone added to a few areas. Keeping this very light and well blended as not a lot of this color is to show through the skin. It just shades the area where the Toddlers skin may be still thin. If the Toddler had a darker skin tone, I would probably not add in this color.
I used the Rebornfx blue wash and a small damp mop brush. I dotted these areas and then blended them into the skin; temple, around nose, a bit in ear, around ankles, bottom of feet, palms and around collar bone. I then added on some blushing with Rebornfx Pyrole Red 3 with a touch of Flesh 07 mixed in and about 20% water , diluent and open time. I added in the open time to give me a bit more time to blend this color in on larger areas. You can see the shaded and blushed areas in the pictures below;

 
 
With the Rebornfx Blue wash I also added in a very faint vein on both arms and enhanced some of the hand creases with the blush color.


   Next I added a thin layer of the blush color onto the lips. Let that layer dry then added in a bit more shading with a mixture of the blush and blue wash to equal a dark red/purple color. Notice the shaded areas in the next pictures using the blush and blush/blue mixtures.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

ReBornFX Painting First Mottle step.

Toddlers do not usually have a lot of mottled skin coloring. Keeping this in mind I will only do one very transparent mottle color just to give some pink undertone and skin dimension. The color I chose was Rebornfx  Magenta 06. I added in 50% diluent, 20% distilled water and 30% paint emulsion to get a very transparent paint color. This is a nice purple pink color that worked well with the warm wash tone on my doll so far.  I also used a damp small hole plucked sponge to give the mottle effect I wanted.
I lightly and sparingly pounced this onto all the doll parts. I blended this color in on the face, palms, and on finger nails. I wanted the magenta color to enhance those areas but not in a mottled form.
I have tried to photograph the skin to show how subtle the mottling/ paint is.
 
Mottled Skin with Rebornfx Magenta 06 paint
 
Face features are not mottled. Magenta is blended in to create
a nice glow to the cheeks, ear lobes,
around eyes,nose and between lips.
Mottling was done on forehead and scalp 
 
The next step I applied my first crease color. This color is not the main crease color but more like a crease shading color to compliment the main crease color applied later on.  This first crease color is subtle but does make a difference. I used my Rebornfx Flesh 04 paint and added in about 20% of the Magenta 06 that I had used previously.
 




For applying I used a combination of brushes ; filbert, damp mini mop and liner (depending on the size of the crease being painted). To the paint color I added in 50% Diluent and a few drops of Open Time to allow more time to blend. Apply crease paint mixture to all crease areas, blending with the damp mop as you go. Don't forget to do around the fingernail edges, nostrils, and middle lip line.
Hand Creases blended and shaded.
 
In the next post I will do some small areas with a subtle blue undertones. Not to much of this in done on a Toddler.  Then I will start into my skin tones and finishing with enhancing details on the doll.