Doll Repainting Step by Step - Beginner | Keriann Carney | Skillshare

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Doll Repainting Step by Step - Beginner

teacher avatar Keriann Carney, Skeriosities Doll Art

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Step 1: Prepping and Sealing


    • 5.

      Step 2: First Layer – Eyes and Lips


    • 6.

      Step 3: Blushing and Shading


    • 7.

      Step 4: Eyebrows and Touch Ups


    • 8.

      Step 5: Eyes – Lid, Iris & Pupil


    • 9.

      Step 6: Lashes & Details


    • 10.

      Step 7: Finishing Touches – Final Sealing


    • 11.



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About This Class

Customizing dolls is an art which is gaining popularity on social media. Artists are bringing new life to vinyl toys by removing the doll’s factory paint and hair, then giving it a whole new look. Doll customizing can be an enjoyable hobby, a marketable craft, and fine art.

This class will cover the process of repainting a toy doll from start to finish including:

  • Supplies needed to create a simple face-up
  • How to seal the doll
  • How to create basic shapes
  • How to add detail
  • Basic shading and blushing
  • Finishing and sealing

This class is for adults who would like to learn the beginner basics of creating a doll repaint.

Students will gain from this class everything they need to begin a new hobby which, with practice, they could grow into a marketable craft and fine art skill.

Meet Your Teacher

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Keriann Carney

Skeriosities Doll Art


Charlotte, NC based OOAK Doll Repaint Artist and instructor,  working mainly with watercolor pencils, pastels, and sealant, to create surreal style art dolls since 2012. Background in art, cosmetology, and design - the perfect blend of elements for this medium.

Known as "Skeriosities" on social media. Skeriosities dolls have been shown at the Penumbra Art Gallery in Portugal, and three are on display in the online Cyndi Lauper Museum.

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Kari Ann Kearney, artist, an instructor from Charlotte, North Carolina, also known as curiosities on Instagram and YouTube. I've been customizing Bell since 2012 and it's become my full time career. I'm super excited to share my process with you today. Welcome to the biggest step in the doll customizing process. Doll repainting, also known as the face Up this classes for adults who would like to learn the beginner basics of doll customization. If you're already a doll maker and may offer a new perspective and some useful tips, no customizing is becoming more and more popular because of the endless possibilities of bringing your imagination to life from taking into a doll down to its base and adding new hair, face paint and new costume, you can create just about anything in doll form. You could make a doll of your friends, celebrities or even design your own characters. Throughout this class, we will cover everything you need to know to create your own doll. Repaint. I will teach you about what types of based all's you can use and what supplies work best. I'll show you how to remove the factory paid and cover step by step, the best way to spray the seal it to create a workable surface. Then we'll walk through the process of building layers of color and shapes to create the face of. I'll show you how to create a water line in tear duct, simple shading and blushing and the best ways to draw lashes and brows. From there, we'll follow up with some finishing touches and proper ceiling and glass ing techniques. At the end of this class, you'll have your own one of a kind, all with a beautiful new face, along with the fundamental skills you'll need to continue painting dolls. Let's get started. 2. Class Project: the class project for this course is to create your own dollar repaint, follow along with me through the steps of removing the factory paint ceiling and prepping the doll for face up, creating facial features with basic shapes and details, adding shading and blushing and then finishing in sealing the doll at the end of this clash will have your own customized all with a new face up as well. As the resource is, you'll need to continue growing your skills and create beautiful works of dollar. The dolls I'm showing now are some of my most recent work, these air, more elaborate face up son will cover today, but make sure to follow me so you don't miss out on my next class, which will walk through more advanced techniques when working on your class project. Keep in mind that this is an art that takes practice. The important thing is that you learn the techniques and have fun, so don't be afraid to share your project in the project and resource is tab below. I can click create Project to help encourage others at the end of this course will have a doll with a beautiful new face up that you can customize even further with hair and costumes. You'll also have the fundamental skills that you'll need to keep creating. Next up will go over the supplies you'll need to get started along with brand recommendations. Once again, make sure to share your project. I can't wait to see what you dio. 3. Supplies: before we get started, let's go over the tools will need for this project. It's important to note that withdrawal, repainting the brand of some of the products she used, can make a big difference in how difficult or easy your repainting will be. I'll be listing some of the recommendations that work best in my experience that all should be vinyl, not porcelain. It must not have inset eyes, which are the glass or acrylic eyes. This is because we'll be painting our own eyes. So just a tip. The dolls with the larger heads are easier for beginners, some dolls that work well for repainting our Barbie monster high Ever after High or DC superhero girls, you will need 100% pure acetone and cotton swabs or pads or balls for removing the factory paint. You'll need some flat, varnished sealant. Mr. Super Clear UV cut flat is strongly recommended, but I know of some other dollars to use testers. Dull code. You can also use Army painter, anti shine with Matt Varnish. Once again, I highly recommend Mr Super Clear UV cut flat because it has the UV protection to help prevent fading, and it also builds the best tooth to take the pencil. I've tried just about every possible Matt varnish I could find, and this works best for me. No matter what you use. Always use the varnish in a well ventilated area and wear a protective mask. Then you want some professional grade artist watercolor pencils. I've tried many brands, and the ones that work best for me are Derwin and Artie Za. They have a softer, highly pigmented core that works well on dollar. A pack of 12 should be fine, but make sure you have a white, a black as well as a dark and light shade of the color. You want to make the eyes. You'll also need a pencil sharpener and an eraser. Any high polymer eraser will do, but they also make the smaller ones that were great on dolls such as these retractable racers are ones that can be sharpened. You could also use a kneaded eraser, which could be moulded into any shape. Various small soft paint freshness. I like to keep a wide variety of detail brushes, but the seven main brushes I use for face ups are a small angled brush for highlights. A small, flat brush for what I need. A crisp edge, very small round brush for detail and shading another very small round brush that I've cut down to make sort of like a stencil brush. So I do that when the brush gets kind of ratty, then I'll cut it down and make it into sort of like a little stencil brush. It helps with pastel in smaller areas. Then I like to keep us soft, fluffy brush for adding blush. This one is an eye shadow brush. It's just like a makeup brush, then a medium soft of any kind that I just keep clean to brush away any residue. And finally, a round brush for adding gloss to the eyes and lips were nor finished. I also like to have a dotting tool for adding highlights in the eyes that you can use a toothpick for this. Then you'll need some artists grade soft pastels. You can use any soft pastels, but the more quality brands tend to be more pigmented and softer, so they blend and build color a little bit easier. My favorite are pan pastels, but I also love other brands like Rembrandt and sh Minka. Finally, you'll want some gloss varnish to glass, the eyes and lips. I use liquid Tex high glass varnish, and our next lesson will prepare the doll for repaint by removing the factory paint and adding sealant. 4. Step 1: Prepping and Sealing: in this lesson will be preparing the doll for face up by removing the factory paint, then giving it its first coat of sealant. Just a reminder. If you're going to give your doll new hair, you'll want to do that step before you do the face up to learn how to remove the head and hair and replace it with new yarn hair like this. Check out my previous class. How to reroute doll here with yarn. First, remove the paint with 100% pure acetone in a cotton pad. I'm wearing gloves to protect my manicure, and it also dries out your skin. The SAS atone, so it's an opera. It's an option to wear gloves, dip a cotton swab in as a tone or use a toothpick to get into some of the crevices. Make sure to get all those smears of the paint off and just a tip. You can use nail polish remover for this stuff instead, but it's much more difficult. Then, using acetone, it'll take a lot longer now that the faces clear of paint give it a rinse with soapy water to neutralize and remove the acetone. Make sure the face is dry, and we'll wrap the hair and body to protect it from any strain residue. I like to write mine in plastic and hold it in place with pins. And then I wrapped the body in some paper towels with Washington. Now let's talk about the sealing process. It can really make or break the start of your face up. If you spray too much or spray it to close, it will create a shiny film, making it extremely difficult to drawn with watercolor pencil. If you don't spray enough, it won't have enough of a tooth to take the product, either. Once again, always spray your ceiling in a well ventilated area, preferably outside, and wear a face mask for the best results. Follow these steps. Hold the can 6 to 8 inches from the face spray in one small circular motion, allowing the Miss Cloud to settle over the face. Turn the doll of it to one side to cover the side of the face and spray another small circular motion than repeat on the other side. Allowed to drive for about two minutes. So that is one coat. I'll do it one more time and allowed to dry for two more minutes. Do this about three times, or even for, and that will build up a good tooth to take the pencil. If you follow these steps, she should have a nice tooth on the doll that will allow you to draw on it with watercolor pencil in the next lesson will get started on her face up by building basic shapes with watercolor, pencil and pastel. 5. Step 2: First Layer – Eyes and Lips: in this lesson will plan how your dog will look. Then begin drawing the eye shape, waterline and tear job. Then we'll do a basically around the lips first. Think about how you want your daughter. Look, if you're going to be making a costume, what colors air using? Do you want it to look more glam with the semi closed eyes with eye shadow or natural and childlike with big round eyes? For this class, I'd keep it simple. But for future work spending a little time planning will really pay off when you're learning, it's OK to look at other dollar it on instagram or Pinterest for inspiration that will help you decide what you like. But don't copy. Other artists work, especially to sell. As you practice and improve. Try to develop your own style. Once you have an idea of what shape you want, the eyes you could begin drawing. Start with a white watercolor pencil and draw the eye shape, and then you could refine it with an eraser. Another tip. Usually the first coat could be frustrating and seems like it's not adhering to the vinyl. But don't worry. It will build up as you add more sealant layers, but if you're really struggling, it could be a couple of things. One. It could be the type of varnish. If you're not using Mr Super Clear flat, that's likely the issue. If you are, it could be the pencil you're using. Certain brands air softer than others so they'll show up. Better tracing Derwent or Karen Dash. Invest in a good white watercolor pencil if you spend your money anywhere. Leslie. It could be how you applied the varnish. Did you spray too close too much at once, or did you not let it dry? You might need to clean it off and go through the steps again. Next, using a very sharp brown or black pencil, draw the upper lash line. I keep it darker and thicker at the top and then taper off towards the center and outer corner, - and you can sort of flick it out on the outer corner to create sort of a lash. Look, working with both eyes at the same time, one part of one and then going to the next can really help you keep hm symmetrical. Then take a pink or reddish pencil to draw the water line in teared up. I like to use terra cotta by Derwin. I do sort of a triangle for the tear duct been rounded off a little, and then the water line. Make it thicker towards the outer corners, - using a very sharp brown or gray pencil. Add more detail by lightly lining the water line and tear duct along the bottom, tapering it off towards the center. He's a very light pressure. Go ahead and add another coat of white and then we'll get started on the lips. Now choose your lip color. If you're using Pam pastel, you can pick directly up from the pan. If you're using a stick, you can pick up from the stick or a tip is to take the pastel and rub it on a piece of sandpaper to make. Like a pallet. It'll soften the pastel, too. Begin shaping the lips of in the style you choose with the soft pastel using a small detail brush or a small brush. Like I mentioned earlier that I cut down for this lesson, I'll just be adding a little bit of light, blushing and some lines to the bottom to create a little bit of realistic look, I just want the lips to be sort of soft. And then when I add glass later, it'll really pop. It's now I'm taking my watercolor pencil in just adding a little bit of detail lines, - okay ? And then picking up some more of that pastel to blend it out a little bit. Blend in a little white to the bottom lip to make it a little bit of a highlight and blend it all out. So there's your first layer. I'd love to see your progress in the comment section below. Next up will give it a mid coat of sealant and then add some shading and blushing. 6. Step 3: Blushing and Shading: in this lesson will do a mid seal and add some blushes and shading. Now that we have some basic features, it's a good time to do a couple of coats of sealant to save your work. This will help as you move forward. If you need to do any erasing the bottom layers will be saved following the same steps we covered in the first lesson. Hold the can 6 to 8 inches away from the face and spray in one small circular motion, allowing the mist cloud to sort of settle over the face. Then you turn the dollar the side and spring another salt small circular motion and repeat on the other side. Do this twice, allowing to drive for about two minutes in between codes and then let dry another 10 minutes before moving forward. Now we're going to add a bit of shading and blushing, using a detail brush and soft Vestel and a couple of shades darker than the doll you're working on. When the color above the eye to create a crease, - you can blend it a bit with a Q tip. You can push the shading a bit further around the nose Phil trim in the chin. Since this is a beginner class will keep it simple. I'll cover more shading techniques in upcoming intermediate classes will do just a tad. And then again, you complained it out with Q tip night to take a little bit of white to add some highlights , blotted off on some paper towel so that you don't have too much excess and add a little bit of white to the forehead down the nose, the ridge of the nose shin and the inner eye area. Now using a very soft bristle brush, will add some blushes to the cheeks. Pick up some of your pastel and lightly blot it out on some paper towel to get rid of the excess and then lightly blot it. You want to start out with a very light coat, and you can add more blush later. You can also add a little bit of blush to the forehead, even the nose or chin, if you like. Now it's time to add more detail and build up a little bit of color. Using a black watercolor pencil. Assam lines to the corners of the mouth. A tip is to not carry the line all the way across to make it look like it's more realistic . Try tapering off the line towards the center of the lick, tiny bit darker around the corners of the mouth. Again. Taper it off towards the center, darker towards the outer corner and taper off towards the center. Now I had a second layer of white to the eyes, more color on the lips and dark enough. Any lines that need it. Just You may also want to shade in the nostrils a little bit with the black watercolor pencils in the next lesson will add more detail in color will also work on the eyebrows. 7. Step 4: Eyebrows and Touch Ups: in this lesson will be adding eyebrows and a few more details. Before we start, give the doll another two coats of sealant to protect your blushes. When you do the eyebrows, you'll likely one of a race of it, and you don't want to ruin your previous work. Next, think about what shape you want. Your eyebrows. You can create different expressions with eyebrow shapes. Brows that sleep slightly upward towards the centre brow look more sorrowful, but they could look angry when they sleep down towards the center. It's good to look up expressions on Pinterest and try to mirror the eyebrows on the expressions you like. Start on the eyebrows. We use a soft pastel and detail brush, either an angled brush or the tiny stencil brush I mentioned earlier, or I'm using this tiny flat brush and we'll sort of use the pastel to draw on the brown. You'll want to use a color on the lighter side. Then you can darken it up When you add the individual hairs with watercolor pencil, I mixed a couple of shades on my paper towel. Now I'm using a sharp interval eraser to shake them up a bit make sure your racer is clean so you don't so much in a slightly darker color pencil at the individual hairs, just do like a slightly swooping up motion. I start out the outer corner and then just soup towards the center. - Now's a good time to touch up what we worked on so far. At a little bit more white to the eyes. Touch up your lines on the tear duct, waterline at mouth and add a little more blush if you needed. Hopefully, you're starting to see your doll come to life. Make sure to share your progress in the comments section in the next lesson will do another mid seal and draw the iris and the people. 8. Step 5: Eyes – Lid, Iris & Pupil: in this lesson will be doing another mid seal of what we've done so far and then draw the iris of the eye along with pupil. First, follow the process outlined in the previous lessons and give the doll tumor coats of sealant. As you practice and work on more dollars, you'll start to develop a pattern and use less sealant. For now, we're playing it safe and sealing it a lot as we go. Now's a good time to add a little eye shadow if you'd like. I'm just using a little bit of pink to accentuate the crease that are blending it out a little bit With Q tip. Now I'm using a dark gray pencil. You could use Black to create a crease. You may not need to do this if your eyes were sort of squinted, but since minor wide open, there would be a line in the crease area, some peeping at a little bit, dark at the top, where it would be a little deeper of a crease. And then as I swoop out making a lighter center line and then doing the same towards the center, the other a little bit darker and thicker at the top. And as I swoop out towards the inner lives, making the line center using the very light pressure before I get started on the iris, I'm just doing one last coat of white. Now it's time to draw the iris of the eye. I'm making my eyes green, so I chose to different colors of green. One is lighter shade, and one is a darker shade, starting with the lighter shade. I'm gonna start to shape the circle using a monster high doll, and I found that with monster high and ever after high in particular, you want to draw the eyes a little bit cross eyed. It just tends to look a little less wonky. If it's if we actually try to center them than because of the way that the doll is sculpted , the eyes will start to look like they're going in opposite directions. So try to sort of make them just a little bit more cross eyed than you normally would like . I said, I'm starting with lighter pencil to just outline the circle, and I go back and forth between eyes. Just Teoh, help keep them a little bit, even trying to make those not recall. It helps swing back worth between. Now that you have the basic circle drawn start to fill them in a little bit at the top, leaving a little bit of white at the bottom. The light will create, or the white will create a high white. And as you practice and start creating your own dolls, you can change the style that you like concert to try new things and create your own style . Now, using a white watercolor pencil, I'm going to start blending in that green, keeping that quite area near the bottom just as a highlight on blending it up into the rest of the Not From Here, you can take your darker shade of whichever color you're making your eyes using green songs in my darker green and these air colors by our Teza. This one is a moss screen, and I'm just going dark in the top of the When you do that, it just creates a little bit more depth and Theo illusion that the upper eyelid is giving a little bit of a shadow kind of blend that now. Now I'm using my lighter shade lending. I really just want to create a nice smooth I a little bit darker at the top and keeping a highlight of the bottom. So as you blend with white, the outer edges of the circle will be darker than the rest of the virus, and that's what you want. From here. You'll take an even darker green if you're using green or darker color of what you're using , he and add some little line details. And so what I do is I just sort of a swoop in a line from the outer edge. So I just kind of take line, making it darker on the outer edge and then swooping it towards the center. You can touch up the outline of virus of it with darker shades and black drawing the eye a little darker at the top will give the illusion of shadow coming around the islands and passions. Once you're happy with the iris, go ahead and add your pupil. To do this, you can go back and forth from my making sure they're similar size using a amusing a black watercolor pencil, and I'm just starting on the small end, just drying up in a little circle tip is, if you want a more innocent look, you can draw the people a little larger, and if you want a more like serious or sinister look, draw them smaller. I want a little larger some going back and forth and making one larger than making the other a little larger in the next lesson will add some lashes and details. 9. Step 6: Lashes & Details: in this lesson will talk about eyelash options, draw them on and add some details for the upper lashes. I usually like to adhere ball jointed doll lashes, but I'll cover that in a more advanced course, so make sure to follow me so you'll be notified of the class. There are a couple of different options I like to use for upper lashes. You can use a thick, glam look, a classic style where my favorite is like a tapered swoops. Try not to draw them coming straight up from the eye. It's more realistic if they come down into the I a little bit and then off to the sides. So using a sharp black watercolor pencil will draw the upper lashes. - The tip is to add a little bit of white above each lash that will give it a little bit of a highlight and make them pop a bit. He's in a very sharp watercolor pencil, started the lower lid and swoop out to create a tapered mine For today's demo, I'm going Teoh, use the V shaped bottom lashes, so make last a little bit darker at the lash line and then swoop out So it's sort of tapered at the end. Right on the other side is a little more challenging, so you just kind of have to situate the doll in a way that makes it easier for you, right? Not happy with the placement of that last. So I'm erasing. - Now . Make sure you're happy with everything you've done. Add more color or details wherever needed to make the eyes pop. I use some white craft paint, and a dotting tool to add some highlights in the next lesson will go over some finishing touches. 10. Step 7: Finishing Touches – Final Sealing: you're nearly done with your face up. So now, first and finishing touches from here will add the final coats of ceiling following the steps outlined in the previous lessons, but this time add four or five coats. An important tip is to make sure you coat the eyes well. Not only will these final coats protect the doll from smudging and fading over time, but if you don't add enough of this phrase, sealing the glass could activate the watercolor pencil and flood the eyes and ruin your work. Now, using your glass ceiling, I use liquid tex high gloss varnish gloss to the eyes and lips if you wish. This part is optional, but I like to do it, especially to the eyes. - Congratulations . You have completed your first face up. How exciting. Make sure to post photos of your final face pain in the Project gallery to complete the course coming up in the final module. We'll talk about the next steps in your doll customizing adventure 11. Outro: congratulations on finishing the biggest step in the dog customizing process. What we covered today, such as proper sealing techniques, building the shape of the features, adding detail, shading, flushing and glass ing. It's just the beginning of what you can create. There's one thing I'd like you to take from this class is that you remember, this is a challenging art form, and it takes practice more dolls that you make, the happier you'll be with the results. Now that you have the basics, you can try new things and build your own. Any creations in my next classle dive even further into realism, tackling common mistakes and more shading techniques. So make sure you follow me so you don't miss out on future classes to complete this class clique projects and resource is below, then click create projects and then post a photo of your face. Oh, I can't wait to see what you've made. I hope you found this class informative and feel inspired to keep continuing making dolls. It also love for you to leave a review of what you thought. Thank you so much for joining me today, and I hope you'll keep creating. I