I hope that you are all well.
WOW! It’s been a crazy few weeks at my end. So many lessons learned and so much accomplished! So sit back, grab a coffee and let me tell you all about it!
Although the weather has been pretty awesome for the best part of the Easter holidays, myself and my mother Angie have spent most of it indoors. Whilst my adorable daughter Chloe chilled to some tunes and played with her ever-growing selection of toys, myself and my mother embarked on creating our first reborn.
Although the prospect of painting was pretty daunting and scary, I thoroughly enjoyed it and feel that I did pretty well. As I felt that she’s been pretty successful I thought that I would dedicate this blog post to both introducing you all to my first creation and walking you through my process – as I initially promised to share both tips and tricks!
So, everyone please welcome Miss Tayla – she’s the ‘Tayla’ sculpt created by the extremely talented Reva Shick. Tayla is a teeny premie with a soft doe suede body and has 3 1/4 vinyl arms and legs.
< < ADD PIC OF FINISHED TAYLA > >
Pretty good, don’t you think? Want to know how I created her? Well, if you do and you are running low on that coffee grab a top-up and let’s begin!
As with any kit, I learned that its good practice to give the kit a nice, soapy ‘bath’ before beginning to paint as this helps remove any factory oils and any dirt from the vinyl. When doing this it is of utmost importance to ensure that the inside of head and four limbs to not get wet as it can take a long time to dry and can also cause damage to the vinyl. This is ‘Tayla’ after bath, ready to be brought to life…
Blank Kit – Tayla by Reva Shick
Now for the painting…
For the first layer I used Genesis Flesh 08. I applied the paint using a brush firstly to head, then used a cosmetic wedge to pounce all over the vinyl in order to even out the paint and clear any excess. Next, I used my mop brush to blend areas and clear any paint build-up. I then went on to do the same for each of her four limbs.
Once complete I put ‘Tayla’ in the Halogen oven and baked her for 9 minutes at 130 – something of which I did after each layer.
Once cooled I went on to paint her second ‘Flesh’ layer; this time I used my colour from the previous layer and added a touch of Burnt Umber – this was the resulting colour:
Flesh Layer 2: Genesis Flesh 08 + a touch of Burnt Umber
After baking and cooling, I then moved on to the creases. The colour I used was a ‘blood red’ this was achieved by mixing Genesis Red with a tiny tip of Ultramarine Blue – the resulting colour along with the completed creases is pictured below:
Creases, Mottling and Lip colour.
Creases and first Lip Layer applied.
The next stage was to paint on some thin veins, however they didnt seem to show up. Therefore I decided to revisit this step later on in the painting process.
Next I continued to build up on the lips – I used the same colour as the creases. I learnt that it’s of utmost importance to build up the lip colour gradually, using multiple layers. I continued to repeat this step after each layer. I painted the lips using the same colour each time; the colour was very tanslucent, the brush strokes began at the centre and went out to the outer edge of each lip.
‘Tayla’ with Lip colour applied.
After baking and cooling, I went on to do her first Mottling layer. To do this layer I again used the same colour of which I created for her creases and lips. In order to create her mottling I grabbed a pair of tweezers and a cosmetic wedge and pulled out some holes – I found this method much easier than using the mottling sponge as I was applying the paint using the same method as previous layers – pouncing all over the vnyl. I applied the mottling layer all over her head and limbs ensuring to leave only the palms of her hands and soles of her feet free from paint.
‘Tayla’ with mottling and lip colour applied.
Next, I went on to add a warming color to ‘Tayla’. In order to this I used a coat of Burnt Umberall over both her head and four limbs; as I didn’t want Tayla to become darker I used a thin, watery layer. The reason for doing this layer was to add some skin pigment, in my opinion it helps make the baby look more realistic and not too red.
Burnt Umber layer applied.
Next, I applied a ‘Vein Blue wash’ – for this I used a very thin, watery layer of Ultramarine Blue. I find that this gives a real sense of blue undertones that you always find when looking at real skin.
Once baked and cooled I went on to apply a ‘Yellow Ochre wash’ – as with the previous layer I used a thin, watery consistency. I find that yellow pigments are very important and extremely necessary if you are aiming to achieve a baby-like skin colour. I apply this colour all over the head and each of the four limbs in order to add dimension.
At this stage I added a few more layers of paint to Tayla’s lips.
Once baked and cooled, I decided to add some blushing – I payed particular attention to the cheeks, nose, chin, elbows, knees, palm of hands, soles of feet and fingers. I applied the blushing by using a cosmetic wedge; first i painted onto the wedge using the same colour as I used for both the mottling and the lips. I made sure to dab off the sponge on a paper towel in order to ensure my blusing would not be too excessive. Here was how little Tayla was looking at this stage:
Gorgeous ‘Tayla’, with her blushing layer applied.
Gorgeous ‘Tayla’, with Blusing layer applied.
At this stage I was feeling extremely pleased of how ‘Tayla’ was taking shape, however I felt that she needed another flesh layer in order to tone down the reds so they aren’t so obvious. In order to do this layer I used Genesis Flesh 08 + a hint of Yellow Ochre; to apply this layer I painted all over the head and each of the four limbs. Next I used a cosmetic wedge and pounced over each piece in order to even out the paint, lastly I used my mop brush to clear excess paint build-up – paying particular attention to the creases.
Next, I decided to put a little more blue detailing in areas of which I felt had not yet had enough i.e. above eyebrows, between fingers, soles, palms and knees. At this stage I also paint the nails and lips with my mottling colour.
‘Tayla’ with Bluetone applied.
‘Tayla’ with Bluetone applied.
As l felt that ‘Tayla’ was nearly complete, I decided to add a touch more yellow. At the same time I decided to do an ‘internal wash’ of a violet blue in order to bring out the other colours. I also decided to do another nail coat and add some red to the ears in order to make them look more life-like.
‘Internal Wash’ colour.
Now, we reach the final layer; the details and finishing touches. I decided to re-do the elbows, knees and cheeks. I also added some veins, capillaries, eyebrows and nail tips.
Once painting was complete I began to root her hair. I also inserted a magnet into place and modified a pacifier.
‘Tayla’ has been really fun to paint and I love the way she turned out – although as she’s a preemie I feel that I rooted way too much hair! – However, it was my first attempt at rooting!
What do you all think? Would love to get any feedback, and I hope that this post has been helpful to any budding reborn artists…
Anyway, as the post is so very, very long I must sign off for now.
Next week, I will be attempting to bring to life the gorgeous Chloe sculpt by the talented Linda Murray and as always I will be sure to document my progress. Until then, stay cute and I will catch you soon.
Big bubba snuggles xxx