View Full Version : Customizing RED, painting, and equipment

May 6th, 2013, 09:03 PM
Hi everyone!
I wanted to ask those of you who know about painting dolls; what.. stuff do I use?

I have a Resin ED that was bought as a blank and then painted by someone unknown before sold to me. Since she is not painted by Marina I want to customize her a bit more.. But I never painted any resin dolls before. So I'm asking all of you:

What kind of painting is the best?
What kind of equipment do I need?
Any special techniques I should check out?

I would be very interested in hearing your opinions on the matter. What works best for you?

:) Thanks!

May 6th, 2013, 10:45 PM
This is a great thread idea for others (like me) who will be embarking on painting a blank resin, who might not have done it before.

A few things I know for sure, make sure you do not use any oil-based products (like real make-up, or pencils/crayons that have an oil or wax-base)
Same with the gloss - choose something that will not yellow with time (normal nail-polish is a no-no!!)

remember to spray with sealant before as well as after.

May 8th, 2013, 12:58 PM
Ohh look, a discussion on customization! :Oooo: I think painting one's own dolls is among the most satisfying things to do in the hobby. There are so many advantages to doing your own repaints: your doll will be unique, you can realize your own dreams for that doll fully, save a bit a of money, and not have to worry so much about damage to the paint because you will be able to fix it.

So-- mayple, you're absolutely right about never using oil-based products and always using sealer.

Though I'm still learning myself, for any of you here who are newbies to customizing, here's what I use based on recommendations I've found online and through my own experience.

* * *


What is it for
-Put this on to prime and protect the resin. It gives the resin tooth, so your materials will stick, and puts a barrier between the pigments and the resin, which would otherwise be stained.

How to use it
-Start with at least 3 coats of this-- and be careful not to hold the can too close (keep the can at least the length of a ruler)-- otherwise you can get an uneven coat, and MSC can start to look white and 'cloudy'. You can even blast off some of your own work if you're too close (so speaks the humbled voice of experience). Once you've got your base down, continue layering your sealer with layers of your work. Think of it like photoshop, and so when you have, say, finished the basic shading, seal that before starting on the eyebrows or whatever you want to focus on next. That way, if you mess up, you can wipe the top layer of pigment and not have to go back to the very beginning. When you are done, be sure to seal the face-up again, and again, do many layers. I mean many; it's recommended that you do 10-15 for full protection (although if you know you will want to change the face-up soon, remember that you will have scrub through all of that).

Kinds to use
-Mr. Super Clear Flat (either with or without UV Cut) is the sealer I prefer to use. In the beginning, I used Testors Dullcote, which is cheaper and easier to find in hobby stores, but apparently more prone to yellowing. There are a couple of other brands of sealer available, but this is what I've tried.

-Finally, Aways make sure you do this outside or in a place with kick-ass ventilation. One should also have a mask with the appropriate filter because this stuff is toxic.


What is it for
-Adding colours and detail and personality to your blank doll.

How to use it
-This is a really huge area and involves a lot of different techniques and styles. I would recommend searching on deviantart and youtube for tutorials that cover this in more detail. I find Nicolle's Faceup Stories (http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBMVJ9K0qITh2-bTIujZ8UoQvWjUDSDYD) on Youtube are quite inspiring (and the music is soothing).

-For myself, I usually start with some chalk pastels and two soft brushes. I block out the face with reds, pinks, browns, or sometimes blues. This gives the face some depth, but they will probably still look kind of alien and sickly.
Then I add a sketch of eyebrows, shade the eyes more, shade the lips. There is a lot that you can do with just chalk pastels. When I need more fine details, like eyelash hairs, or eyelashes, or creases in the lips, I will use watercolour pencils, or acrylic paint. I finish everything with some gloss medium on the mouth, eyelids, and nails.

Kinds to use
-Get a tiny, tiny, tiny paint brush if you want to use acrylic. I use a 4/0 one that I found in a hobby store for painting miniatures, and sometimes it still feels too big. At $4.95, it wasn't too costly, so don't worry about getting the WHoA Amazing Blue Squirrel hair brushes or anything- and this way, if you need to cut them down to be even smaller, you won't feel terrible.

-Also, in addition to a tiny brush, get some acrylic 'thinner'. I use Liquitex Slow-Dri Fluid Retarder. When you add a drop of this to a drop of your paint, you can thin the paint into a nice, non-globbing texture that is agreeable for delicate work.

-I use a 12 pack of Koss chalk pastels, because that's what is left over from my art school days. You could probably do better, but I have no complaints.

-My watercolour pencils are from Staedler. Nicolle from Faceup Stories uses Faber Castell and Derwent, and her pencil work is Stunning.

-I use a variety of acrylics-- Golden, Arilex, Liquitex, they're all pretty much fine. Just don't go for the 'student' quality stuff. It's cheap for a reason.


What is it for
Adding a bit of shine to the doll's skin. This simulates the moisture on skin, and makes the doll look much more lively and finished.

How to use it
Compared to most of the face-up work, glossing is super easy. Just take your little brush and gently apply the clear, shiny gloss to the places that you want. As I mentioned before, I use gloss on the eyelids, mouth, and nails of a doll, since those are the places that are naturally shiny on humans.

Kinds to use
-For gloss, I've used both Gel medium (golden) and Fluid Medium; the fluid medium (Liquitex in my case) is better. Even so, I'm sure other people have found superior products.

Oh No, I Did Something Horrible!

What is it for
-Sometimes I make a mistake while applying a faceup or body blushing. Sometimes, after a time, I feel like the whole face-up was a terrible mistake. In these cases, I turn to a few items to erase my errors.

How to use it
-Application is very basic: apply either sparingly or broadly to the affected area until the issue is resolved.

Kinds to use
-During customization, I always keep some tissues and water on hand, because this is what I use to take off wet acrylic paint that has gone awry.

-Mr Clean Magic Eraser: it's a household cleaning item, but it is perfect for taking off unsealed chalk pastel and watercolour pencils. It's also highly recommended for rubbing off any scuffs or light stains that your resin beauty might incur during her life. Because dolls are quite small, I always cut the eraser into smaller pieces to get at the spot that needs cleaning more easily.

-Windsor and Newton Brush Cleaner: For taking off sealer and dry acrylic. The bottles are a bit pricey, but you don't need very much. Be sure to give your doll a nice rinse in water afterwards.

-Some people have also found Isopropyl Alcohol and certain nail polish removers to work... but I've heard those can risky and sometimes damage the resin.

* * *

So, there it is! I know this was a long post. For anyone who might be curious to see where my face-ups started and what progress I've made, a few of them can be seen on my blog (http://paintedloves.blogspot.ca/search/label/faceups). Hopefully this post can give a starting point for those who are interested in customizing their own dolls (after all, just look where I started)-- and for those who already have their techniques for customization down, well, this is just what I've worked out for now; hopefully I'll continue to improve as time goes on. In any case, thanks for reading :0)

December 18th, 2014, 06:50 PM
Seeing all those threads with beautiful photos of custom Resin EDs makes me wish I could have my own to paint/play with <3 I must bookmark this thread in case one day... ;)

January 8th, 2017, 01:47 PM
I've seen a couple of faceup artists post about the sharpeners they use... take a look at this Instagram post by Atelier Momoni:
<a href=https://www.instagram.com/p/BNceOMhBAa0/><img width=50% height=50% src=https://scontent-lht6-1.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/e35/14582311_207491906372117_2818514426200588288_n.jpg ?ig_cache_key=MTM5NTEyMjkwMTQ4NDgzMjQzNg%3D%3D.2 /></a>

And here is the one used by Rakeru Sensei (which is a Faber Castell (http://www.faber-castell.com/products/more-products/sharpener/Singleholesharpenerwithrubbergreen/184863)):
https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8598/28689546433_83c4506a68_n.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/KHcqCi)
Rakeru Space (https://www.flickr.com/photos/rakerudolls/), on Flickr

In the caption she says:

I&#x27;m about to cry tears of joy! As a BJD face up artist, specialized in pencil line work, finding the perfect sharpener is a real pain ��... These pencils are so soft, and tend to break easily; it&#x27;s so frustrating to see them be consumed so fast :(

Now I know the saying 'A bad workman blames his tools'... but by golly I wish I could get my pencils that sharp!! I'm gona get me one of these sharpeners!!! :D

January 9th, 2017, 05:58 AM
Thanks for posting this Aneemal. I just watched a YouTube video on the Kum Masterpeice and that thing is insane! :)

January 10th, 2017, 03:50 PM
Yes- Thanks for posting!!! I always wondered how anyone got their pencils to such a fine point- mine have never come close to this lol!