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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bunny Face Painting Tutorial # 2 (Clover)

Happy Sunday all! I started my next pattern recently, I figure since Spring is coming it should be another bunny. I am absolutely loving how this one is coming out! I will not show her in her entirety until she is done. For now I thought I would do a progression of pictures again on the face painting. I think everyone enjoyed  my last one so I will bring it to you again. My technique here is still pretty much the same.
Here is how Clover's face looks finished!

Here is how she started out, quite different don't you think?
I have  Mrs. Potato Head  Clover the bunny's head all ready to be painted. Yes, I realize that her head looks like a potato on a stick. :-) I usually do not go quite as crazy as this with the prim, but I went crazy with the coffee here. I started out my drawing in the nose, I usually just eye this. From there I can tell pretty easily where I want the first eye.

So I could see what I was doing, I filled in the eye and nose so I could measure from there. All my painting on fabric is done with the help of 70% textile medium and 30% water mix. I use this to dress my brush and add a touch to the paint so it all won't run into the fabric and cause a mess!

To get the eyes the same size and to make sure the features are in the right place I always use my caliper. I can eye ball the nose and first eye, but from there it gets hard to just freehand the second eye the same size as the first. First thing I do is measure the distance from the nose to the inner corner of the eye. I take a pencil and make a dot on the other side where the second eye's corner will go. Next I measure the width of the first eye on the lower edge. I now make dots on the other side with this measurement. I draw the bottom line as you see here in the picture. Now it is easy enough to measure the height of the first eye to the tippy top. Use your caliper and make a dot at the top with this measurement. I then draw my eye between the dots. Sometimes this does not come out right. I will take a white eraser and just erase my lines and do it again until I have it right.

I go ahead now and fill in my eyes, nose, mouth area with the basecoat colors I have chosen. I usually will pick nose and mouth lip colors that have a similar hue to the clothing. If my dress fabric has a rusty look, I will not go crazy with a pink nose. You get the idea.
I am starting to define the areas with some linework. Here I have lined the mouth, lower edge of the nose and under the eyes. Linework is done with thinned down paint and a liner brush. Be careful that you are using your textile mix with black, once it starts to run it is a disaster. You can initially water down thicker paint with some water, but also add some textile mix to your paint puddle, also dress your brush in it instead of water as you are painting.  

I will start my shading  now. I will post at the end of this tutorial what my shading technique is. You can see that I have added some shading uner the mouth, inside the mouth along the lip, lower edge of the nose, outer edges of the eyes and above the nose. This really starts to make the face pop and adds much needed dimension.

I have added some shading in the eyes by adding a float of black on the insides edges toward the nose. I did not think my brown line work was dark enough so I made my lines black.

She is looking a lot less like a Mrs Potato Head here. I have added some highlights in white in the eyes, lip and upper nose area. I also took my white and added some much needed bunny teeth! Now Clover can eat her veggies. She now has pretty eyelashes!

She does not want to be pale and anemic, so she is happy when I add a healthy glow to her little bunny cheeks. I did this by coating the cheek area in my textile mix. I then take a dry scruffy brush and dip in my cheek color. I swirl off the excess onto a paper towel until almost none comes off. From there I lightly brush color where I want it until it is the depth I like.

Here's her finished picture again. You can see that I also added a highlight of white on the muzzle area, a tad under the eyes and some white comma strokes on the upper cheeks. I made sure all my linework was good and touched that up if needed. Her teeth needed a line down the middle, almost forgot that! With a stylus I added dots on her muzzle area. Her ears were blushed the same way as the cheeks. I took sisal and added whiskers.
Isn't she cute!!! I am anxious to unveil the rest of her. She will be ready soon. I may just do a few of the finished dolls as well and put them up for sale. This is a very fun doll to make.

Here is how I to add shading to all my projects. This is the one painting technique I use the most and the most valuable to me for making my dolls become what they are.

HOW TO SIDE LOAD A BRUSH FOR FLOATING YOUR SHADED AREAS: Choose a flat brush that is the largest you are comfortable with. The larger your brush is the more room for paint to fade off into nothing. You want to accomplish a nice soft color that starts off dark and fades off into nothing. This is used for shading and highlighting. Dip your brush into water and blot off lightly onto a paper towel, leaving enough water to allow the paint to move. Dip one corner of your brush into your paint puddle. I like to use a foam plate for loading since it is non porous and leaves the paint in the brush. Putting enough pressure to move the paint into your brush, move the brush stroking it back and forth on your foam plate. Stay in a small area. Turn the brush over and push the paint into your brush. You will see when the paint looks like it is fading off into nothing. You don’t want harsh lines, so you will need to have enough water and paint in your brush to accomplish this. Practice on a scrap piece of muslin. Tape your muslin onto a clean foam plate with masking tape, or lay it on several layers of paper towels. If the paint is dragging, there is not enough water in your brush. If it is barely visible, there is not enough paint. If there is a line and no graduation of color, you did not work the paint into the brush good enough and you may need more water. Just practice until you get it. I suggest buying a good book on properly loading your brushes and how to do the brushstrokes. I really like Donna Dewberry’s brushstroke books. Some paints depending on brand are thicker than others, if the paint seems overly thick; thin it down with water before side loading your brush. Clean your brush often and reload as needed. With fabric, always coat the area to be shaded in textile mix first, this will really make your floated color come off smoothly. When paining on fabric or other surfaces that have been basecoated, you will use a sheen of straight water and textile medium is not necessary.

For more pictures and information see my other tutorials on painting and the paint room tools. Go to my pages on the side bar of this blog.

I hope you enjoyed watching Clover come to life! Stay tuned for a tutorial soon on my easy but delicious taco casserole!!

Blessings Jody


  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial!!! How generous of you, such a sweet face!!

  2. What a lovely friend to give us the low down on painting that fabulous bunny.
    Thank you so, so much.

  3. I forgot to say I will hate it if friend connect is gone. I hope it is not too hard to change over to one of the sites you recommend.

  4. Hi Jody: Love, love Clover's cute little primmed face. It is perfect and I can't wait till you give us a full body view. Thanks for sharing another of your beautiful pieces of artwork.


  5. OMGosh, but I just love these little faces!Makes me think of Rose Calton's sweet pieces! Thanks for the tutorial! Easy to follow and I'll have to try it with the textile medium!

  6. merci pour ces tutos fabuleux que vous nous offrez.
    je viens d acheter le modèle d' Emma Ann & Lindy , elles m ont plus de suite.
    je sais que je ne ferais pas aussi beau que vous, surtout que je ne suis pas très douée en peinture, mais j espère progresser un peu sans atteindre votre talent.
    bravo et merci

  7. Wow, a tutorial for YOUR painting style. Lovely! I'll never do as perfect a job as you but I'm so happy you gave us the tut!


Thank you for taking the time to leave me your thoughts! I enjoy each and every comment.


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