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Using Strawberry or Peaches & Cream Complexion Paints
Tips for Successful Complexion Application

By Pat Secrist | Secrist Doll Company

  • Blush:  Apply five drops of the odorless thinner to a sponge in a 5-dot pattern like you would see on the face of playing dice. The 5-dot pattern makes it easy for the paint to transfer from the sponge to the vinyl.

    • You don't need a paint palette for this step.  You can work right out of the jar by scooping incredibly tiny amounts of paint onto your craft stick. 
    • Take a craft stick and apply the strawberry blush to the sponge smoothing the paint directly into the sponge until there are no blobs or paint streaks left on the surface of the sponge at all.  Now you are ready to pounce the blush onto the vinyl. 
    • It's always better to start with too little blush and add more later than too make the baby too red from the start.  One thin layer of blush is usually sufficient.  If after looking at the baby in natural sunlight if you still feel it needs more blush, bake the current blush layer and then reload the sponge in the same manner and add more blush.  You can always add more blush later on, after you have painted the lips, creases and wrinkles.
    • For the most realistic look apply a very fine and even blush layer BEFORE your flesh 08 paint layer.  Then apply a more another thin blush layer again after you have applied the flesh layer.

  • Lips: Use the filbert brush to scoop a very tiny, tiny amount right from the jar of lip paint.  Apply the paint to the inside of the lips first then spread the paint outward.  The goal is to apply only one layer of paint - you want a thin, natural-looking coat of paint.  Don't use any thinner at all. 
    • If you use a tiny enough amount then you should be able to spread it around so the lips have no streaks or smudges at all.  if you have too much paint blot some of the paint off with a clean sponge.
    • The lip color should be very light and translucent.  You should be able to almost see through the color to the vinyl beneath.  Real babies lips are very light in color - too dark and they look like they're wearing lipstick!
    • Occasionally a second coat of paint is needed, but make sure to use the smallest amount of paint possible.  It's always easier to add more then to take some off.

  • Creases and Wrinkles: Use the small round brush and dip a very tiny amount right from the jar of crease & wrinkle paint.  Next paint each wrinkle and crease.  Reload brush as necessary.  Don't use any thinner at all. 
    • Once you have painted all of the creases & wrinkles go back and lightly blot each one with a cosmetic foam wedge to pick up excess paint.  Do not press too hard or you will lift the paint right out of the wrinkle or crease. 
    • Next, go back and feather the creases using your 1/2" mop brush.  Feather in a direction that is perpendicular to the direction of the crease.  Again, feather very lightly so that you don't remove all of the paint from the crease.  Your goal is to soften the edges of the paint line in the crease.

      Don't forget to bake the paint in between each step.  If you are not sure if your paint is dark enough bake it first after one layer and then take it outside to look at the doll in natural sunlight.  If you still feel the paint is not dark enough apply another extremely thin coat of paint and bake again. 

      Often times the lighting in your work area is not sufficient and causes over-painting which makes the doll too dark and not nearly as lifelike.  A Daylight Lamp is perfect for creating the most lifelike baby doll possible.  The lamp perfectly simulates natural sunlight and when you paint your baby under natural sunlight the effect is far more lifelike.  The lamp also includes a magnifying lens for painting those hard to see areas. 

      If you plan to sell your finished baby dolls, the Daylight Lamp is extremely useful in helping you achieve the most realistic babies possible.  The 19" Rosie, shown below, was painted using the Daylight Lamp and as you can see she has incredibly accurate coloration.

      The 19" Rosie, shown above, was newborned by Pat Secrist using the strawberry complexion paint set. 

      We also used the premixed paints  for the veins on the forehead; theglazing gelshown on the eyelids; and baby tearson the mouth, nostrils, and eye creases.  Now all Rosie needs are some eyelashes and hair!

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