Faceup Walkthrough: Stellan Dec. 06

Notes: I'm working on a more comprehensive, updated walkthrough but lately I haven't had much time while doing faceups to take proper photos. In the meanwhile, though, this is one of my most recent faceups that I was able to photograph the process of.

Stellan's previous faceup, the first he had besides his default. The painting came out heavier and darker than I intended. Especially since he wears white wigs and pale colors, I wanted a sublter look for him.
Here is the setup for removing the previous faceup. There are a number of different products you can use to remove coatings and paint from resin; but I recommend Windsor & Newton brush cleaner for acrylic paints. It's very aggressive stuff but seems significantly less harmful to the resin than nail polish remover. Do note that it will eat through certain plastics and lacquers, so be careful what you get it on. It's a good idea to wear disposable gloves while you work as it is very drying for your skin.

I've covered my work surface with a clean paper towel. Other supplies - cottonballs to apply the remover to the head and wipe away paint with, and Q-tips and tissue to get into narrower spots.

I want to point out that I have two kinds of Q-tips; regular ones, and a kind with a flatter tip at one end and a pointed tip at the other. This second kind is available in drugstores, I get mine at Walgreen's (with the makeup sponges). It's very handy to have them. I also use both kinds of q-tips all throughout the faceup process.
It's going to take a fair amount of time to remove whatever previous faceup your head has. It sometimes takes me 45 minutes. Afterward, I rinse the head with water. I used to also soak it in dishwashing liquid, but this doesn't seem a necessary step.

Instead, I clean the head again with a Volks Pikatto Kirei sponge. A Mr. Clean sponge will also work. I've noticed that if there are ares where you did not fully remove the MSC, you will find a sort of chalky white residue as the head dries. Do your absolute best to get rid of all these spots: MSC will not cover them up, and blushing will stick oddly to it.

Air drying the head is best. I find it helpful to blow sharply into the ears, nose, and crease of the mouth to drive some of the water out. You could use a hairdryer (on cool) if you were really in a rush. Dabbing at the head in the dampest spots is okay, but the point is to avoid any chance of scratching the resin.

Mr. Super Clear and my "head stand" for spraying, which was a rather cheesy Christmas decoration with a hat on top of it. I use the UV Cut MSC, and haven't had any issues with its results versus the regular.
Brush Cleaner: When you're done with removing the faceup, put the Windsor and Newton AWAY. If you use it at all from this point on, you will have to remove the whole faceup - even a little will eat throughthe MSC. Any basic, non-aggressive brush cleaner is what you want. The "Better Way" brand works fine and is cheap.

Fluid Retarder: In faceups you're working with very small amounts of paint and they will dry very quickly if you don't use retarder. This will keep your mixed paints from drying up too fast, and will also keep paint on the head moist enough that you will have some working time to remove it if you make a mistake. Be careful how much you use - the bottle recommends 25% of the total volume.

Acryl(ic) Thinner: Thinner goes a long way (*rimshot*) in keeping your faceups from getting too heavy or "painted on" looking. I like the Model Master thinner's bottle; the narrow tip lets you use just one drop at a time.

Paints: Many people swear by specific brands. Definitely stay away from the under-a-dollar "craft" paint brands; they tend to be pretty awful even for crafts. Staying within the same paint brand is usually best, though you can mix types (experiment; some paints don't combine well or react strangely with thinner). I have had problems with Testor's model paints and so don't recommend them for painting on BJDs. IMHO, as long as you use "decent" paint, you don't need "good" paint.You'll note I'm using the bottle-type Liquitex and Delta Ceramcoat; I have had perfectly good results with both. I found the tube Liquitex required too much thinner and had no particular advantages.

Paint Trays or Palette: You'll want something to mix your paints in. I actually use a plastic palette so I have somewhere to set my mixing brushes, PLUS Mr. Paint Tray (available from Volks, they're cheaper than similar little metal tins available at craft stores) for mixing and for brush cleaner. Volks also sells a paper palette which is useful for mixing very small amounts of paint, but if you thin the paint a lot, it will run off the paper.

Brushes: Brushes have a lot to do with personal preference and what you're able to find in your area. The most important brush is the one you use for eyebrows and eyelashes and other very fine details. You want the smallest liner brush you can find; I used a 20/0 Liner. If you can, the Zoukeimura brushes are worth investing in; they are stiffer than liners and it makes them much easier to control. I have a variety of other very small brushes with different types of points which I use for painting teeth, tear ducts, lip gloss, etc.

Watercolor Pencil: You can use watercolor pencils for a whole faceup if you like, but for this one, I'm using just a very pale flesh color and you'll see what I use it for below.

You can start with any part of the faceup you like, basically. However, I find that the doll's personality is most strongly defined by the eyebrows, so I start there. I use the flesh-tone watercolor pencil I mentioned above to *lightly* sketch the shape on. If you make a mistake, you can remove it with a (clean!) soft eraser, or a little brush cleaner. (If you use brush cleaner, make sure to wipe off excess with water. Brush cleaner can leave a residue on the head which will cause pastels to stick weirdly.)

It's easier to assess the shape of the eyebrows if you temporarily put your doll's eyes back in.

Now, we're going to be going over the faint pencil line with paint. All you want is a hint of light brown which will cover the area of the eyebrow - it will serve as a base for the lines we paint in later (the actual hairs).

Using your doll's headcap is a great way to test color and brushstrokes against your doll's skin tone without risking do so on the face itself.

This is what it looks like once I've done a "base" paint for the eyebrows. I used a brown color but thinned it a lot so that it's very translucent.
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