Doll painting tutorial

posted in: Tutorials | 0


I try to sketch numerous concepts before I touch a doll, my confidence comes with planning. On the other hand I love spontaneously feeling my way through a doll’s personality! This is a Monster High Twyla (13 Wishes) repaint. My first color mingling session is all about figuring out her natural palette. We’ve got greens, greys, blues, and purples.

Final color scheme:

  • Yellow eyes
  • Yellow and green eyeshadow
  • Light pink lips, and equally light cheek blushing

After I know my scheme I can plan out the steps. If I’m doing fine lines any soft pastel should be done before it unless the line will be blended (ie: the lip crease). My first layer takes the longest since I’m planning proportions.

Layer 1:

  • Blue base to eyebrow
  • Red eye line, crease line, nose line
  • White base to lip and eye
  • White top cheek, fourth eye, chin, nose tip

Layer 2:

  • Black brow stroke
  • Mint for brow, fade to skin
  • Red lip line darken
  • Pink from red lip
  • Red cornea line
  • Crease darken
  • Black shadow lid
  • Blue shadow lid
  • Yellow iris and eyeball shading
  • Pink blushing

Layer 3:

  • Blush fading to eyebrow
  • White eyebrow strokes
  • Yellow & green shadow
  • Whiten crease
  • Push eyeball values
  • Pinker lips, add blue top lip
  • Blush push
  • Eyelashes
  • Whiten Eyeballs

Layer 4:

  • Push all values
  • White lip lines

Before I start painting or blushing I basecoat my doll, protecting the surface from staining and providing tooth for my medium. I do three or four clear coats before I start the first layer. I do another coat between each layer.

It’s important to remember if something doesn’t look right, erase it, and try again. Do not seal it in assuming you can “make it work” because that area will bug you the whole time and you’ll have a lot more work to do later rather than fixing it immediately.

My final layer is varnishing, an overnight sit, then I gloss. Hair styling is the final step.

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