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FREE Tutorial: Using Art & Magic WaterBorne © Air Dry Paints

USING "ART & MAGIC OF REBORNING WATER BORNE ©" Air Dry Paints   (updated 6/2019)

Thank you for buying WaterBorne Paints ©, developed at HunnyBuns Dolls & Reborn Supply by Master Artist Stephanie (Sullivan) Tackett.  It’s easy to see that WaterBorne Air Dry Paints are taking the Reborn World by storm!  They are in every way superior to any other air-dry doll paint available today.  From Beginners to Master Artists, WaterBorne is the most economical and easiest to use of any air dry system!  And I am here to help every step of the way J

-Nontoxic, non-fading, flexible colors & mediums created from premium art grade pigments & ingredients.
-Beautifully translucent colors! All products come in several affordable sizes for your convenience and to suit your budget.
-Full support from Master Artist Stephanie S. Tackett
(email:  hunnybunmama@gmail.com)  Join us on Facebook!  Ask to join The Art & Magic of Reborning page. 

Debbie Henshaw (They Never Grow Up Nursery) was a big help in developing these paints. The results can be seen on her blog:  http://theynevergrowupnursery.blogspot.com/2012/11/art-and-magic-water-borne-air-dry.html  Please note that WB paints, mediums, and the techniques have evolved a bit since she wrote her blog about them.  Stay up to date on www.hunnybunsrebornsupply.com

April Yap has helped with ongoing research and development which is much appreciated.  She also has an E-Book Class available to teach you how to use the paints.   http://www.sweetiepienurserybyapril.com/eBooks.html

FIRST:  Wash all doll parts in hot water and dish detergent, & dry thoroughly.  You MUST PREP the vinyl (and baked polymer clay sculpts) BEFORE PAINTING!  Critical first step...do not skip it.  Without a proper prep coat on bare, clean vinyl, the paint may bead up and won’t stick permanently.  No amount of “sealing” the paint will work if the paint isn’t sticking to the vinyl in the first place.  Clear Base Coat Primer©: 

Because vinyl is a petroleum product, and WaterBorne © is a water-based product, and oil and water don’t mix, we need to ensure full adhesion of the paint to the surface.  WB Clear Base Coat Primer does this.

An alternative:  Angie Jones of Lil’ Dumplins Nursery wrote an article about prepping vinyl:  Folk Art Glass and Tile Medium (which I stock) is a good product to use as a matte finish either under or on top of air dry paints:  http://lildumplinsnursery.blogspot.com/2012/10/testing-folkart-glass-and-tile-medium.html


1Art & Magic of Reborning WaterBorne © Paints” sold by the set or  individual open stock bottles (petite 2 dram, .5 oz and 1 oz).

2.  WaterBorne Clear Base Coat Primer (can be thinned with distilled water for easy application, and applied with a smooth cosmetic sponge. The Base Coat will look a bit shiny as it dries and may feel a little sticky. This is NORMAL.  Both will disappear as you add paint layers.

3. WaterBorne Slo-Dri Medium slows down evaporation of the paint ON the doll as well as in the palette. You can add up to 50% of this medium to the paint to increase transparency and work time.

4. Ultra Matte Gel can be used to mix in small amounts with your final WaterBorne layers to create a softer, velvety finish. It makes the paint thicker and easier to control. (Ultra Matte Gel is sold separately).

5. Any type of dish or well palette (plastic is fine)

6. Distilled water

7. Sponges:  cosmetic wedges and natural sea sponges or cellulose sponges torn into small pieces about 2 inches across.  My honeycomb sponges are awesome!

First, the Good News: No heat needed. Paints dry within a few minutes.  (Debbie Henshaw adds:  "I made it a habit NOT to put layer upon layer at the same moment.")  I allow about 5 minutes between layers. As with Genesis painting, apply one small area of paint at a time and try not to over-paint it immediately in order not to muddy up your color layers.  It takes 24-48 hours for a fully painted doll to dry, depending on humidity.  Sealing & rooting can take place after this.

Then the “Bad News”: You’ll need brushes not used for Genesis Heatset Paints (or any type of oil paint) in the past – or make sure you’ve washed yours very thoroughly with dishwashing detergent so that no synthetic oil residue remains in the brush.

To avoid paint drying out inside the bottle, after you get the amount of paint you need to use, re-cap quickly. Since these are AIR DRY paints, store the leftover thinned paints in airtight jars or simply rinse your palette after each use.  You can purchase several sizes of jars from HunnyBuns Reborn Supply.

Other Notes: If you’ve been using Genesis ® Heatset Paints, you’ll find that mixing the colors is similar.  I designed the Pre-Blended Doll color range to approximate the colors we are used to in GHSP. Application is also similar.  For experienced artists who prefer to blend their own palette, I offer Basic Colors and Tinting Colors sold individually.   Find GHSP to WB transitional color charts here: http://hunnybunsrebornsupply.com/genesis-heatset-paints-to-waterborne-air-dry-color-conversion-charts/


* Blending Flesh Tones: To get Asian Flesh Color, add a couple drops of Creamy Warm Tint to Light Flesh.  Add a touch of Basic Brown or Brown Brow and Hair color to the Dark Flesh to darken further. Brow, Hair & Dk Ethnic Skin Color makes a good dark Ethnic Skin color base.

* Medium Flesh tone, mix the Light and Dark Flesh together.

* If you have too-pink vinyl to begin with, a wash of Red Eliminating color will help. If you over-blush a doll, you can also neutralize the redness with this color. Some use it as an intermediate wash of color to add depth.

* If you get a doll too purplish or blueish looking, make a thin wash of the Creamy Warm tint and go over the doll with it to cut the purple or blue tint.

* To achieve a very realistic baby-skin mottle, use a thinned down wash of Blush/Lip/Nail color on a honeycomb sponge and dab (pounce) lightly all over.

* Any WaterBorne color can easily be mixed with others to achieve the most creative and natural results.

Familiarize yourself with an artist’s color wheel to understand how to mix and blend colors.

TECHNIQUES: WaterBorne paints are concentrated (except the Wash colors) and intended to be thinned with pure water and/or Slo-Dri. Begin painting the doll after the Base Coat and Surface Prep coat has dried to the touch.

Diluting WB colors: Use about 4-6 drops of water/SloDri to each drop of the Flesh colors for a transparent layer of paint.   YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY!   Each artist will develop their own dilution technique as they get a feel for using WaterBorne paints.

Blushing: Start with 1 drop of color to about 3-4 drops of water/SloDri. Adjust as needed.

Veins: 1 drop color to 4-6 drops of water/SloDri.

Undertone color washes and color correction (mint green): increase the water to 8-10 drops of water to each drop of color, maybe more. Test it before applying to vinyl.

Nailtip/Milia: use straight from the bottle (also can lighten other colors)

Creases & Capillaries: 4-6 drops of water/SloDri per drop of paint.

Brown Brow & Ethnic Skintone: use straight from bottle if painting hair, or dilute to get slightly lighter color. If using for all over skintone, dilute the color until it gives you the depth of color you need on the vinyl. Test it on an inconspicuous part of the bare vinyl).   Apply all colors with a torn cosmetic sponge, honeycomb sponge or brush depending on the effect you want.

WB paints dry fast, so if you need to wipe them off or rework any layer, work quickly with a wet brush, sponge or swab, it will come off.  After it sits for a short while, it becomes permanent.  Add WaterBorne Slo-Dri medium to extend the wet time of the paint.

If you really mess up, Winsor & Newton Brush Cleaner (nontoxic, biodegradable, no fumes) will remove all layers of WB paint down to bare vinyl.

These paints were developed from a line of high quality art paints (no cheap craft acrylics here!) specifically designed to adhere to vinyl surfaces and dry to a matte finish.  That said, some find on certain doll kits, that after a few layers, a little shine can develop. 

To seal the paint, and provide a more matte finish, use WaterBorne Ultra-Matte Sealer.  I apply it with a smooth, clean, dry cosmetic sponge wedge and DO NOT POUNCE.  Simply apply it like you did the Primer Coat.  (In addition to a final sealant coat, Ultra Matte Sealer makes a fine base coat, if you run out of Clear Base Primer or Folk Art Glass & Tile Medium).   

After you seal the paint (apply Ultra Matte Sealer to entire painted surface), you may then finish the doll off with Air Dry Gloss or Satin Polyurethane on the lips, nails and anywhere else you want a shiny effect.  

Want more information and step by step guidance?
Use coupon code AAM3 at checkout to get a 10% discount on purchase of my new WaterBorne Book!

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