You have seen your dolls face slowly emerge. Well, get ready to meet your girl! Once the shadow and liner are applied, she will look complete.
As with any customizing work, there are various ways to apply the eye shadow on a doll. Through experimentation, I found two that build on each other and work great for me: a single and a multiple color technique.
Do not forget to switch between eyes as you are building the eye shadow. Also, keep looking at the doll in a mirror as you work to make sure the paint blends evenly over both eyes.
The simplest possible way is to use a single color and water or extender. If you are just starting repainting, this is probably your best bet. Not only is it simple to do, but also this basic technique can be used for applying multiple layers of different paint on the same eye. Once you get a feel for the way the paint dilutes and flows you may want to try the more complex technique. With some colors choices, browns for example, you may even do it on the same doll.
For the single color technique, you may choose whatever color you please as long as it dilutes well. For example, forest green can be "lightened" up very nicely as more water is added, while most browns stay pretty much the same shade as in the bottle. Dark green remains such when it is diluted lightly. At the same time it can be lightened considerably as you add more water or extender. For the simple technique, I always use water as it evaporates fairly fast.
Take a small amount of paint and lightly dilute it with water - until it flows easily but is still on the thicker side. Apply it only over the eyelids of the doll. Wash your paintbrush and dampen it slightly with clean water. Starting at the upper edge paint you just applied, use the damp paintbrush to slightly "pull" the color up and away from the eye. You will notice that the color will become more translucent as the water on your brush will dilute it. Let dry just a tad then repeat with a clean damp brush until you are satisfied with the shape and lightness of the eye shadow.
On the first pass, do not try to pull the paint all the way up to the eyebrow even if you want it to reach that high on the finished doll. Do so gradually as that will lighten the paint up more progressively, thus, giving you a more finished look.
Once you are comfortable using a single color, it is time to try layering multiple colors of paint. I started with browns as there are so many shades available that work well together.
When layering the different colors, instead of water you may choose to use what is called an extender. It can be find in any store that carries acrylic paints right alongside. While in the bottle, it has a milky color, however, when it is added to paint it only lightens up the color and makes it more translucent. The latter is perfect for colors that are hard to lighten with water, yet essential to eye shadow - pinks and light purples come to mind.
Most painters prefer using an extender to water as the later evaporates much faster. You will have to keep adding more water to your paint or work at a faster pace. Every time you add more water to work on the same doll, you run the risk of coming up with a slightly different shade. This can be frustrating when you are finished only to realize that the eye shadow blends differently. On the other hand, extender, aptly named, allows you more time to blend. There is even time to wipe the paint off should you choose to do so. At the same time, you will have to wait longer between coats.
To use the multiple color technique you need at least two complimentary colors - one darker then the other. Please feel free to use as many as you like. Repainting is by no means a science and experimentation leads to the most unexpected and delightful results. Find out what works for you. For the sake of clear explanation, I will explain the technique using three shades of what-ever-you-like: light, medium and dark. When selecting the colors, you must make sure they are distinctly darker or lighter from each other. Dolls (especially Barbie®) are made in such small scale that it is very hard for the human eye to make out like colors.
Start the eye shadow by diluting the light and applying it as said explained in the simple technique. You do not have to do as much blending or lighting up of the color as the other two shades will compensate for that. Once, the light layer is dry proceed to dilute the medium. This time when applying it you have two choices where to begin. On women's eye shadow, you may have a light eyelid with darker shading outlining. The latter lightens as it goes up to meet the eyebrow. The alternative is to have a dark eyelid, which gradually lightens up as it moves away from the eye.
If you want the light eyelid, then apply the medium color outlining the upper edge of the doll's eyelid. "Pull" the paint up halfway to the eyebrow as the lighter color is already there. Use the dark shade to define eyelid edge even further. Almost no blending is needed as this color is meant to simulate the crease over the eyelid usually deep in shadow.
You are now full done with the eye shadow. The only thing your doll needs to start looking human is:
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.
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