TECHNIQUE SHEET 

by Evelyn Stanbury, GMDM, Certified Doll Artisan Guild Instructor   

PAINTING DOLLS WITH DIMENSION

 General Information

Dimensional Doll Painting is a technique introduced by Ron Booker, a Canadian doll maker, and developed by Seeley’s.  Basically, it is a technique of painting dimension into the faces of porcelain dolls with the use of different depths of color.  More freedom of expression is allowed the doll artist when employing this technique, which makes it a delightful method to experience.  Most of us are disciplined to reproducing the original doll, whether antique or modern.  There are, however, certain steps and procedures which must be followed to develop the depth of color required to achieve the desired effect.

 The most important thing the doll artist has to learn is to apply PAINT.  We are so used to using a delicate touch when painting our dolls so as to avoid “shine” in our paints, that it is difficult to adjust to the need to achieve this shine when painting the eyes in Dimensional Doll Painting.  The color applied to the top area of the iris, in DDP, must be almost black to reproduce the “shadow” of the upper eyelid.  This color has to fade to almost white at the bottom of the eye in order to achieve the required highlight.  While achieving the desired shades of color, the artist must not lose sight of the fact that the iris is round in shape, and the blending of the colors has to achieve this roundness.

 The basic steps of painting in the Dimensional Doll Painting technique are the same regardless of the doll being painted.  The only things which change are the colors chosen and the doll being painted.

 In order to achieve the desired depth of color, it is necessary to dilute the media being used by mixing it half and half with water.  This applies to ALL MEDIA.  The artist must get used to mixing paint and media to paint with a “wet” but concentrated color.  This is achieved by mixing the paint to a firm consistency and then using the media on the brush to gain the required thinness of the paint.  You are not trying to water the paint down, just to inject enough moisture into the paint to allow it to obey you in delivering the colors you are after.  The depth of color is achieved in each successive firing by adding more intensity to the color of the paint, not adding more paint to the doll.  After practicing for a while, this method of painting becomes second nature, and you will find yourself adopting some of the techniques while painting many different types of dolls, including antique reproductions.

CHINA PAINTING SUPPLIES REQUIRED:  

PAINTS:  Bisq Tones #2, #7, Pompadour Red Matt, Rose Red Gloss, Satin Black, Slate Blue, Sapphire Blue, Indigo, Eyebrow #3, Eyebrow #4,   Fawn Shadow, Pink Fawn Shadow, Satin White or Whipped Cream, Cheek Blush Cake, Ruby Cheek Blush Cake, Lotus Blossom Glow 

MEDIA:   Line Medium, Area Medium, Water 

BRUSHES:  Medium Area Brush, Large Area Brush, Lg. China Mop,  Small China Mop, Large and Medium Filbert Brushes, Eyelash Line #1, Super Brow Brush or Eyebrow #1 or #2, Proline Brown, Blue and Red Brushes (Optional), Seeley's Complexion Brushes (Optional) Accent Brush (Optional)

OTHER:    Super Doll Sponges, White Glazed Tile, Palette Knife, Round Toothpicks, 2 small, flat dishes to hold media/water mixes.

FIRST FIRE:  (Cone 018)   

1.  OVERALL WASH:  

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED:   2 Pts. BT#2, 1 Pt. BT#7  1Pt Lotus Blossom Glow and 1 PT Pompadour Red Matt, Area Medium; Water; Large Filbert Brush; Large China Mop; Super Doll Sponges

  • TECHNIQUE:  Before applying color, condition all pieces with Area Medium.  Take care to get into all the small crevices.  Mix 2 Pts. BT#2, 1 Pt. BT#7  1Pt Lotus Blossom Glow and 1 Pt. Pomp. Red Matt with Area Medium.  Start applying the paint to the face with the Doll Sponge.  Apply paint generously to the front facial area - nose mouth, eye sockets, chin, etc.  Spread into depressions such as nostrils, dimples, corner of mouth and eyes, ears, etc., using Lg. Filbert Shader.  Continue to spread paint over the entire head, moving sponge in a circular motion and pulling the paint from the front of the head all around to the back.  Add more paint as required to cover the entire head with a smooth coat of paint.  Using a fresh sponge, work the paint over the head, smoothing it out and being sure to make the color even.  When you are satisfied with the even application of your paint, lightly and quickly buff it with the Lg. China Mop to smooth and polish your paint.  Seeley's new complexion brushes are also very nice to help pounce the paint to an even finish before polishing with the Lg. China Mop, but this is optional.

2.  OVERALL WASH ON BODY PARTS:

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED:   2 Pts. BT#2, 1 Pt. BT#7  1Pt Lotus Blossom Glow and 1 PT Pompadour Red Matt, Area Medium; Water; Large Filbert Brush; Large China Mop; Super Doll Sponges

  • TECHNIQUE:  Before applying color, condition all pieces with Area Medium.  Take care to get into all the small crevices.  Mix 2 Pts. BT#2, 1 Pt. BT#7  1Pt Lotus Blossom Glow and 1 Pt. Pomp. Red Matt with Area Medium.  Add paint as per head instructions, smoothing it out and being sure to make the color even.  When you are satisfied with the even application of your paint, lightly and quickly buff it with the Lg. China Mop to smooth and polish your paint.  Seeley's new complexion brushes are also very nice to help pounce the paint to an even finish before polishing with the Lg. China Mop, but this is optional.

SECOND FIRING: (Cone 019) 

Click on the photo for full size view of Eye Chart 1

1.  EYES:    

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED:     2 Parts Slate Blue, 1 Part Sapphire Blue, Indigo; Area Medium; Water; Medium Area Brush, Eyelash Brush #1  

  • TECHNIQUE:  Mix Slate Blue and Sapphire Blue to a thick, creamy consistency.  The upper part of the iris disappears under the upper lid and a tiny bit of the bottom part of the iris disappears under the lower lid.  Paint in the iris shape with the Slate Blue/Sapphire Blue mixture, using your Med. Area Brush which should be conditioned with a mixture of half water, half Area Medium.  With a clean brush, remove the color from the lower third of the iris.   The deepest shade of this color should be concentrated under the upper lid and softly blended out as it moves down to the halfway mark of the iris.   There should not be a noticeable line separating the shades of color.

  • With the Eyelash Brush #1, paint a very fine line of Indigo around the iris.  Also add some of this color to the area directly under the upper lid on the iris.

2. EYE SHADING & NOSTRILS:

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED:     Fawn Shadow, Area Medium, Medium Area Brush, Medium Filbert Brush, Water.

  • TECHNIQUE:  To add shading around the eyes, use Fawn Shadow.   Mix this color with Area Medium.  Using the Medium Area Brush, apply a thin coat of this color into the creases of the upper lid and on either side of the lid.  With the Med. Filbert (dry), blend the color up towards the oculi (muscle above the upper lid).  The color should blend out to nothing as it moves out onto the oculi.  Think of a quarter or crescent-moon shape, wider in the center than it is at either end.  Do not allow this color to cover an area any wider than 3/16th of an inch.  Wipe back in the center of the upper eyelid to provide a highlight area.  The darkest concentration of this color should be directly in the upper lid crease.  Add a very light shade of this same color below the lower lash line.  This should be pencil thin at the tear duct and slightly wider as it reaches the outside edge of the eye.  Again, with a dry brush, blend out the edges.

  • Also with the Fawn Shadow, shade in the nostrils very lightly.   It is imperative to keep this color very soft.  Subtle shadowing adds to the illusion of depth and dimension.

  • Using the Medium Area Brush, and a light application of the lip paint, paint a soft circle of paint in the tear duct area of each eye  It's important that this is a gentle application and that the paint is not wet and shiny.   Wet and shiny paint tends to fire into wet and shiny looking tear ducts!  Not the desired result. 

3.      LIPS:

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED:   Bisque Tone #2; Area Medium; Medium or Large Area Brush, Medium Filbert Blender 

  • TECHNIQUE:  Paint consistency:  Thick, Creamy.   Using your Medium Area Brush, load your brush lightly with the half and half mixture of Area Medium and Water, then work the brush into the paint until your brush has a nice, thin, smooth load of paint on it. Paint in the shape of the lips. This should be very soft.  Use a Medium Filbert Blender to gently remove a little of the color from the highlight areas of the mouth and soften the edges slightly.  Try not to get your lips "smudgy", but paint with a clean, smooth application.

4.  CHEEKS:  

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED: Ruby Cheek Blush Cake;  Area Medium;  Small China Mop; Super Doll Sponge or Stippler Brush

  • TECHNIQUE: Apply Area Medium to the cheek and beyond.  Carefully apply the cheek color with clean sponge or Stippler.  Polish it with the Small China Mop.   Keep the color within the area applied with medium, blending the edges so as to prevent "stop lines". 

THIRD FIRING: (Cone 019)

Click on the photo for full size view of Eye Chart 2

1.  EYES , EYE SHADING, UPPER & LOWER LASH LINES             

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED:  Color as Eyes, 2nd Fire;  Color as Eye Shading, 2nd Fire;  2 Pts. Eyelash Brown, 1 Pt. Eyebrow #4D; Satin Black; Line Medium; Super Brow Brush or Eyebrow Brush #1, Appropriate Brushes as for 2nd Fire Above.

  • TECHNIQUE:   Add a few grains of Satin Black to the eye color mixture.  Using this mixture, add color to the iris and the ring around the iris.  Make sure to keep your highlight area in the lower third quadrant.

  • The eyelid and the oculi may need a little more of the Fawn Shadow, especially in the upper lid crease and the part of the lid that recedes.  Once again, avoid any harshness.  Wash back a slight amount of the paint in the center area of the eyelid to provide a "highlight" on the eyelid. 

  • Mix Eyelash Brown and Eyebrow #4D in equal parts with Line Medium to a creamy consistency.  With the Eyelash Brush paint the upper lash line.  This line should be a little wider in the center and thin out as it reaches each corner of the lid.  For the lower lash line, paint a very fine line that widens only slightly as it reaches the outside edge of the eye. 

2.    UNDERBROW:

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED: Eyebrow #3D; Line Medium; Medium Area Brush; Brown Proline Brush or Medium Filbert Shader

  • TECHNIQUE:   Mix paint to a thick consistency.  Make a soft, shaded underbrow, applied with just the slightest contrast in color.  Apply with Medium Area Brush and blend with Brown Proline Brush or Medium Filbert Shader.  Again, take care that there are no sharp edges.  Keep the underbrow fairly thin as you are just using this to provide the guide for painting your brows, and to deepen the center color.  In later firings, you can increase it's depth.  Be sure to follow the line of the brow so that it does not "fly" away on you, producing eyebrows that look eternally SURPRISED!!!!

3.  SCLERA: 

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED: Slate Blue, Fawn Shadow;  Line Medium;  Medium Area Brush; Blue Proline Brush or Small Filbert Shader

  • TECHNIQUE:  (NOTE:  You may want to apply your Sclera prior to proceeding with your eye painting in this firing, however, if you are careful, it should make no difference when you apply this instruction.) Mix 1 Pt. Slate Blue with 1 Pt. Fawn Shadow using Line Medium.  Mixture should be fairly dry.  Using Medium Area Brush, apply a little "V" of color in each corner of the eye, with the bottom of the V being thicker than the tops of the V.  You want the ends to taper off to nothing about half way up the lid to the iris.  Blend in lightly with the Small Filbert Shader or the Blue Proline Brush

4.      LIPS:

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED:   Rose Red Gloss, Bisque Tone #2; Area Medium; Medium or Large Area Brush, Medium Filbert Blender 

  • TECHNIQUE:  Paint consistency:  Thick, Creamy.   Using your Medium Area Brush, load your brush lightly with the half and half mixture of Area Medium and Water, then work the brush into the paint until your brush has a nice, thin, smooth load of paint on it. Paint in the shading of the lips. This should be very soft.  Use a Medium Filbert Blender to gently remove a little of the color from the highlight areas of the mouth and soften the edges slightly.  Try not to get your lips "smudgy", but paint with a clean, smooth application.  You are trying to increase the density of the color in the inner lip area.

5.  FACIAL SHADING: 

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED: Pink Fawn Shadow;  Area Medium;  Medium Area Brush;  Medium or  Large Filbert Shader

  • TECHNIQUE:  Mix paint to a thick creamy mixture with Area Medium.  Using your Medium Area Brush, apply dabs of paint in lowered areas of face such as sides of nose, lip corners, dimples, chin recesses, etc.  With the Medium or Large Filbert Shader, blend the paint until it is just a hint of shading in these areas.

6.  CHEEKS     Do not apply any cheek color in this firing.               

FOURTH FIRING: (Cone 019) 

Click on the photo for full size view of Eye Chart 3

NOTE:  Apply a light coat of Area Medium to the full face prior to starting to paint the features

1.  EYES AND  EYE SHADING             

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED:  Color as Eyes, 3rd Fire;  Color as Eye Shading, 2nd Fire;  2 Pts. Eyelash Brown, 1 Pt. Eyebrow #4D; Satin Black; Line Medium; Eyelash Brush #1, Appropriate Brushes as for 2nd Fire Above; Water.

  • TECHNIQUE:   Add a few more grains of Satin Black to the eye color mixture.  Using this mixture, add color to the iris and the ring around the iris.  Make sure to keep your highlight area in the lower third quadrant.  The lower half of the eye should remain lightly colored, with the intensity of color being created towards the upper eyelid, and directly under the lid.

  • The eyelid and the oculi may need a little more of the Fawn Shadow, especially in the upper lid crease and the part of the lid that recedes.  Once again, avoid any harshness.  Wash back a slight amount of the paint in the center area of the eyelid to provide a "highlight" on the eyelid.

2.    INNER LOWER LID LINE:

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED: Rose Red Gloss; Line Medium; Water; Medium Area Brush;  Medium Filbert Shader

  • TECHNIQUE:   Mix paint to a thick consistency.  Load your brush with Line Medium/Water mix and Rose Red paint as for lips above.  With a thin mixture of the paint, paint the tear duct, and across the lower inner lid line.  Blend edges with Medium Filbert Shader if required. 

3.  SCLERA: 

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED: Slate Blue, Fawn Shadow;  Line Medium;  Medium Area Brush; Blue Proline Brush or Small Filbert Shader

  • TECHNIQUE:  Increase the depth of the Sclera, adding more color on the outside rim.

4.  PUPIL:

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED: Satin Black;  Line Medium;  Medium Area Brush;

  • TECHNIQUE:  Mix Satin Black with Line Medium.  Mixture should be thick and creamy.  Load the tip of your Medium Area Brush, with paint by dipping it lightly into the paint mixture.   You may want to practice a few times to get the feel of this before you apply it to your eye area.  The pupil is exactly ONE-THIRD of the size of the iris and is placed EXACTLY in the center of the circle.   Even though you cannot actually SEE the full circle, you must imagine the top and bottom of the circle as they would be if not covered by the eyelids.  Place the loaded tip of the brush in the center of the iris and with tiny gentle movements, push the load of paint out into a flat circle.   Do not "PAINT" the pupil, allow your brush to just push the paint.  You can achieve a perfect circle, with no "points" or "edges" with this method.  Be sure that the paint is NOT POOLED, though.   If it is too thick, it may run in the firing process.

5.      LIPS:

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED:   Rose Red Gloss, Bisque Tone #2; Area Medium; Medium or Large Area Brush, Medium Filbert Blender 

  • TECHNIQUE:  As above.   You are trying to increase the density of the color in the inner lip area and accent the shading of the shape of the lips.

6.    EYEBROWS:

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED: Eyebrow #3D; Line Medium; Super Brow Brush or Eye Brow Brush #1 or #2

  • TECHNIQUE:   Mix paint to a thick consistency.  Start painting the strokes of your eyebrow in the style you have chosen.   Keep your strokes clean, crisp and sharp.   Try not to have smudgy strokes.  Make sure that your brows are centered, at the appropriate height, and that they match each other.

7.  FACIAL SHADING: 

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED: Pink Fawn Shadow;  Area Medium;  Medium Area Brush;  Medium or  Large Filbert Shader

  • TECHNIQUE:  As above, improve, or add more shading as required.  If it came out ok in the first firing, leave it alone.   Less is better when it comes to facial shading.   You don't want your doll to look dirty.

FIFTH FIRING: (Cone 018)

  

Click on the photo to view full size of Eye Chart 4

NOTE:  Apply a light coat of Area Medium to the full face prior to starting to paint the features

1.  EYES AND EYE SHADING             

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED:  Color as Eyes, 4th Fire;  Satin Black; Line Medium; Water, Medium Area Brush

  • TECHNIQUE:   Add a few more grains of Satin Black to the eye color mixture.  Using this mixture, add color to the iris just under the upper eyelid.  Make sure to keep your highlight area in the lower third quadrant.  The lower half of the eye should remain lightly colored, with the intensity of color being created towards the upper eyelid, and directly under the lid.

2.  EYELASHES             

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED:  2 Pts. Eyelash Brown, 1 Pt. Eyebrow #4D; Satin Black; Line Medium; Eyeliner Brush #1;  Medium Filbert Brush; Water

  • TECHNIQUE:   Mix 2 Pts. Eyelash Brown, 1 Pt. Eyebrow #4D and a few grains of Satin Black with Line Medium.  Mixture should be thick and creamy.  Using Line Medium and Water, mixed half and half, condition your Eyeliner Brush #1, and run it through the paint mixture until you have a smooth, creamy mix beside your thicker mix of paint.   You can increase the depth of your color as needed, if you keep the thicker mix of paint off to the side to draw on for your thinner mix of paint to paint your lashes.  Redraw your upper lid line, and pull your eyelashes out from the new wet line.   Pick an angle and shape that is pleasing to you.   I suggest a longer, more slanted stroke for lady doll, and a more upright stroke for child dolls.  Again, make sure that your eyelashes match on both sides.  The lower lashes are painted in a similar fashion, only you can chose to paint single lashes that match the upper lashes or you can make multiple, smaller lashes that are going in different directions - more like normal lashes.  If you don't like what you have painted, instead of washing the lashes away, try lightly wiping them with a cloth or the Medium Filbert Blender so that the unacceptable eyelashes become acceptable shading for the eyes.

3.      LIPS:

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED:   Lip color mixture as for 4th Firing, Pompadour Red Matt; Area Medium; Medium or Large Area Brush, Medium Filbert Brush, Eyeliner Brush #1 or Accent Brush

  • TECHNIQUE:  Add Pompadour Red Matt to lip color mixture from 4th Firing.  Using your Medium Area Brush, load your brush lightly with the half and half mixture of Area Medium and Water, then work the brush into the paint until your brush has a nice, thin, smooth load of paint on it. Paint in the shading of the inner lips.  Again, try not to get your lips "smudgy", but paint with a clean, smooth application.  You are trying to increase the density of the color in the inner lip area.  With your Eyeliner Brush #1 or Accent Brush, draw an outline around the arches on the upper lip and the lower outline of the bottom lip.   With your Medium Filbert Brush blend this outer line to appear as shading, rather than as a definite line.

4.    EYEBROWS:

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED: Eyebrow #3D; Line Medium; Super Brow Brush or Eye Brow Brush #1 or #2

  • TECHNIQUE:   Add more strokes to your eyebrow to increase the depth.   Maintain the style you have chosen.   Keep your strokes clean, crisp and sharp.   Try not to have smudgy strokes.  Again, make sure that your brows are centered, at the appropriate height, and that they match each other.  If you change the color slightly, you can increase the dimension of your brow as well.   Either lighten or darken the color, depending on how which looks best for the look you are trying to achieve.  A few extra strokes of a different color increases the depth and reality of the brow's looks.

5.    WHITE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED: Satin White or Whipped Cream; Line Medium; Round Toothpick or Stylus

  • TECHNIQUE:   Mix Satin White or Whipped Cream with Line Medium to a VERY thick consistency.  Using the highlight design of your choice, add the white dots using either the end of a toothpick or a Stylus.  Make sure the dots are placed appropriately.  If you want to paint the white accent lines, be sure that they cross from the white of the eye into the iris, but that they DO NOT touch the pupil.

6.   HEIGHTEN AND INCREASE DEPTH OF ALL COLOR AREAS:

  • Using appropriate colors and brushes,  increase the depth of all colors as required to achieve the desired look.  Perhaps you need to add a few more eyelashes?   Some more depth to the upper eyelid shadowing?  Perhaps you would like to add a little color to the upper eyelid.  If you so wish, now is the time to do it.   Chose a color that compliments the eye color, and add it at the outer edge of the upper eyelid. 

7.  CHEEKS:  

  • SUPPLIES AND BRUSHES REQUIRED: Ruby Cheek Blush Cake;  Area Medium;  Small China Mop; Super Doll Sponge or Stippler Brush

  • TECHNIQUE: Apply Area Medium to the cheek and beyond.  Carefully apply the cheek color with clean sponge or Stippler.  Polish it with the Small China Mop.   For this firing, keep the color on the center part of the previously blushed area, blending the edges so as to have the color blend smoothly into the previous layer of blush.  It's important not to cover the same area, because you want to emphasize the  highest color of the cheek, not have the whole area one color.

Click on the photo for full size view of Eye Chart 4A - An alternate method of applying White Highlights

 

ALTERNATE EYE COLORS

FOR GREEN EYES:  Use 2 Pts. Dark Avocado and 1 Pt. Shimmering Moss

FOR BROWN EYES: Use 2 Pts. Finishing Brown and 1 Pt. Russet


These pages contain material which is under copy write.  Please use them as reference for your personal use only.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email for more information.

This information is provided for your personal use and is not to be copied for sale in any fashion.  The talents of individual doll makers varies greatly, and Stanec's Dolls Ltd. and Evelyn Stanbury accept no responsibility if your doll does not turn out looking exactly as the dolls represented here.


Stanec's Dolls Ltd.     165 April Road, Port Moody, BC    Canada    V3H 3M4

email:  stanec@shaw.ca



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This Page Last Edited August 12th, 2007

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