The beauty of realism as an art form, especially with respect to these lifelike baby dolls, is that you always have access to a live model - yourself! LOL
After Alaina Grace's interim review, I decided that her palms and soles needed a little more color. So today, we added a little more blushing and a little more creasing to those areas.
Very happy that now she's as pink, as blue and as brown as I am! LOL
Time to start charting out her hair! But first, one last hug before we get back to work. :)
Last week, Amalina started her journey to life-likeness with a nice, boring Flesh 08 base coat. :-P The base coat creates a skin texture on the vinyl that makes all layers that follow look better.
Today, she began her mottling. Mottling is the process of adding beautiful textures of reds, blues, greens and purples to the doll to create the appearance of blood flow under the skin. So far, she's three layers in and looking great. At least three more layers to go!
I'm excited to start a pair of toddler twins!
Cadyn and Colyn will be created from Kitten by Donna RuBert and Cookie by Donna RuBert, respectively. (I'm also working on Chanel and Samantha by Donna RuBert right now. So I'm about to become a Donna RuBert expert. LOL) I love Cookie's playful smile.
Mom was trying to decide which texture to use for his hair, so this little guy is sporting a lock of Virgin Brazilian hair. LOL
When the painting is all done, I love to do a small photo shoot to inspect my work. Here at CustomDollBaby.com, we call that the Interim Review.
I like to make sure that I love the painting before we begin rooting because its hard to make major painting changes conce the hair is in place.
She's absolutely lovely overall. Her complexion, her mottling, everything is adorable. And she looks so much like her daddy! The only tweak I'd to make is on the hands and feet. They're a little pale in some spots. But a quick wash of a diluted blush will fix that! Otherwise, she's perfect!
Here are more Interim Review photos!
I'm excited to announce that I'm starting Amalina!
Amalina is a Portrait Doll Baby based on a picture of a real baby.
She will be created from Samantha by Donna RuBert. Amalina's doll will be 22 inches long. She's made from Bountiful Baby's super soft BabySkin™ vinyl with a very cuddly doe suede body.
I love how this doll captures Amalina's sweet demeanor. She also has super cute little wrinkled feet with all the toes separated for an even more lifelike look. Looking forward to bringing this little one to life!
Check out her "Before" Photos:
Cadyn and Colyn will be fair-skinned African-American babies. So we're going easy on the flesh tones.
To ensure that I can replicate the complexion identically across the two dolls, I'm using my favorite premix colors: Flesh 03 and Flesh 07. Flesh 03 is a gorgeous golden brown that looks lovely in light and dark complexions. Flesh 07 is more like a Mediterranean complexion that looks gorgeously creamy under Flesh 03. So excited about these pretty babies!
As we approach the end of Alaina's painting, we begin to fill in some of the tinier details.
With the beautiful outline we created during the shading and creasing steps, we're now ready to fill in Alaina's plump little lips with a glossy, translucent pink color. We'll keep adding coats of this color until we've reached the right shade.
I'm also starting to shade in her tiny finger and toes nails. Instead of painting the whole nail the same color, I actually like to create a lavender-pink sunset behind her little half moons...it'll make more sense when you see it. Trust me, it's really cool. LOL
One more Gold Wash brought our baby to a nice, warm golden brown complexion. Now its time to start the detailing.
From there, I created a fleshy mixture to color the palms of her hands and the soles of her feet. So cute...
Today, to complete the look of blood flowing under the skin, I painted Tianna's baby's veins.
Blue veins in the hands, feet and temple make the doll look like a real baby. Once the veins have cured, we're finally ready to start the flesh tone layers.
Toddlers are not typically as mottled as newborns, but I still love to see at least a few layers of mottling under the skin.
These beautiful patterns of red and blue truly bring the baby to life and create the appearance of blood flowing under the skin.
We want Tianna's baby to be super lifelike, so here are her gorgeous layers of mottling. It looks a little raw now, but you'll barely notice it once the skin layers have been added.
As the shading on little Alaina got darker, the rest of her looked whiter. I don't mean Caucasian - I mean, White.
To warm our little girl, I did what I like to call a Gold Wash. Some Raw Sienna and little touch of Yellow brightened her complexion without making her darker. I really love seeing that golden tone in her skin. I might do a few more of those before we start the blushing.
A special lady is about to receive a beautiful toddler girl. The baby doesn't have a name yet, so we're calling her Tianna for now.
She'll be created from Kitten by Donna RuBert. And she's inspired by our lovely Zachary.
She'll be 26 inches long and wear 9M sized clothing.
She started her day with a warm bubble bath in dish detergent to get rid of any factory grease or debris that would interfere with the painting. Then she got a cold rubbing alcohol bath to further remove any oils from the surface.
With a nice clean canvas, we then added the first layer of paint - a Flesh 08 base coat. The base coat creates a nice skin textured surface to which all subsequent layers of paint "stick" better. She's a big baby, so that's as far as we got today. But stay tuned as we bring this baby to life!
Reborn baby dolls at CustomDollBaby.com are created to look just like real, living babies.
To create the appearance of soft, pump baby skin, I carefully and strategically shade the doll and darken the creases. This took many layers of dark brown and purple paint, but was well worth the effort. I love those kissable finger tips!
Pretty, pretty girl! I love how lifelike her skin looks!
We finally completed all of Alaina's "under the skin" painting. Now it's time to add some skin!
For African-American babies, I rarely use the premixed colors (e.g., Flesh 02, Flesh 03, etc...). I instead prefer a custom blend of Raw Sienna and Burnt Umber and Blue. This gives me much more control over the baby's complexion - especially if the baby has gold undertones. (Check out today's Pro Tip for more on Premixed Flesh Tones.)
Since Alaina is light-complexioned like her daddy, I only needed two layers to capture her skin tone. Now it's time to do some shading!
If there were any vampires at my house, this is the part where they would start to get hungry. LOL
To further create Alaina's lifelike look, I painted blue veins on her head, hands and feet. They look a little scary when wet, but once they're dry and cured, you can just barely see the faint blue veins - just like a real baby.
Creating a lifelike baby of your own? Check out these Pro Tips for Lifelike Reborn Veins.
Alaina's mommy told me that she wanted her baby to be "as lifelike as possible." So we are going all out on the painting!
I always start with a Flesh 08 base coat. This gives the vinyl a nice even skin texture and helps the layers that follow to "stick" better.
Once the base coat had cured and cooled, I began Alaina's mottling.
Mottling is the process of adding multiple layers of patterned colors to create the appearance of blood flowing under the skin. I use a modified version of the painting recipes used by Cutie Pie Productions.
For toddlers or Collectors dolls, two mottling layers provides the right amount of color. But for this lifelike little newborn, we're doing all six!
Once the mottling is done, we don't stop there. To really create the appearance of blood flow, I'm going to paint her veins.
I'm excited to announce that I am starting Miss Alaina Grace.
Alaina is being created in memory of a precious baby who sadly left this earth far too soon.
Alaina Grace is based on Chanel by Donna RuBert. She has sweet little lifelike hands, with all the fingers separated, and kissable little curled up toes. She'll have pudgy cheeks and her Daddy's hazel eyes.
I'm very much looking forward to this beautiful lifelike baby doll. Here are her "Before" pictures!
What makes a lifelike reborn doll so lifelike?
Besides the hand painted skin detail and hand-rooted hair, lifelike doll babies are truly brought to life through the stuffing and weighting.
At CustomDollBaby.com we use a pretty sophisticated algorithm developed in-house to determine real-baby weight distribution for the doll. This ensures that the baby is floppy in all the right places and feels like a real baby in your arms. We also use the highest quality stuffing materials to create a baby that will look, feel and smell wonderful for many years to come.
Next, Fahtima got the opportunity to meet our Certified Cuddle Testers! From new moms from young girls, these individuals are experts in what a real baby should feel like. Plus, they love me enough to tell me if the baby is too light, bottom-heavy or too dense. :) Fahtima passed her cuddle testing with flying colors...and she got a lot of love and hugs in the process. :)
Reborn Doll Babies
Reborn Doll Artist
Hi! My name is Kim. I am a reborn artist based in NC. I have been creating dolls since I was a child. I discovered the art of life-like baby dolls in 2011 and have been reborning ever since.