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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Raggedy Annie ~ Face Painting Tutorial

I am just finishing up my next pattern, a sweet Americana Raggedy Ann. I painted her face today and took photos for a quick tutorial. I hope you enjoy it!

Her pattern will be available within a weeks time. I still have to come up with something patriotic for her to hold. She still does not have a proper name if anyone wants to help me come up with an idea!

I will show her finished in these first photos then we will re-wind and start her painting process!

Here is a full body shot, although this picture doesn't really show her cute socks and shoes! Her flag body, arms, shoes, socks and face are all hand painted. Her arms are wired so she is able to put her right hand over her heart for a flag salute!
Now let's start from the beginning with her blank face and see how she comes alive!
I drew the eyes I wanted onto cardstock and cut them out. I pinned them where I thought they looked good and then double checked my placement with a caliper. I used a mechanical pencil to trace around the eyes. I just free handed the nose and mouth. This will be the face you will get in this dolls pattern. As you can see this doll will have eyelids. The black will only be painted in the lower portion.
When painting on fabric a mix of textile medium and water is used to keep the paint from bleeding into the fabric. I dressed a round brush in black and textile mix and painted the eyes in black. Let this dry or speed dry with a heat gun. Be careful to stay far enough away from your fabric with the heat gun or you may burn your project!
Here is the round brush I used. I have one puddle of textile mix and one of black on a foam plate.
The next step will be to highlight the eyes to bring life into them. Now that you are painting over the black paint you will not need textile medium. Dress your brush in water and blot off the excess lightly on a paper towel leaving some water in the brush. Dip one corner of the brush in white and go back and forth on the plate until the color goes from darker to lighter ending in the middle of your brush.This is called side loading for a float of color. Float white in each lower eye.
Here you see that I have added a float of white keeping it darker toward the bottom until it ends in the middle. I also took a liner brush and thinned down black (thinned in textile medium) and lined eyes to define the eyelids.
Next I took my liner brush and added white highlight dots and some reflection lines in each eye.
Next I will do some shading around the eyes, this is one of the most important parts in making her features pop. I have a puddle of textile medium water mix, burnt umber and my flat brush to do the job.
This picture shows how much I dampened the area around her eyes for shading. I did the entire area so there would be no lines on the fabric once dried. While it is wet I will add my float of color.
Just like with the white I dip the corner of a slightly damp brush in burnt umber and go back and forth so the paint loads the brush from dark to light in the middle. As you can see here when I started it the color was dark but as I moved around on the plate it became lighter. I liked how it was coming off the brush (see strokes directly above brush) when it was nice and soft. Now I am ready to add this around the eyes. Note: I have to do this procedure for each eye and sometimes twice for each eye to make it around with my color.
Here are the eyes after I added shading around them. I left the lower edges clear of color. This needs to be dried a bit with the heat gun so I can move on.
This is the inexpensive heat gun I use for speed drying. These guns are normally used for embossing and can be found in the scrapbooking section of your local craft stores.
On go the eyebrows, but I have to make sure they are not lopsided so I measure the distance from the top of the eye on the first one and make sure the second one falls within the same distance.
I am dampening the nose with textile medium mix so the paint will flow smoothly. I also did this to the eye area before I added the black to make the paint move nicer. She is ready for a nose
The nose and mouth are filled in, from here I will add some floats of burnt umber to add a bit of an antique look to the nose and mouth.
Now that the area around the eyes are dry, I added some whispy eyelashes. Notice how the shading really makes the eyelids pop out.
Shading has been added above the nose.
I used this liner brush and added the mouth lines and outlined the nose. Now her face is starting to come to life.
Now that the mouth is done I added a bit of shadows below the mouth and the cheek indents. It just needs to dry so she doesn't look so funny! Hmmm how about some lower lashes?
I added some floats of white in the nose and mouth. Three lower lashes where put under each eye with a liner brush and black. She now needs a little color so she doesn't look so anemic....:-)
The cheeks are done with a cheek color, textile mix and Donna Dewberry's medium scruffy brush shown here. The first step will be to dampen the entire cheek area thoroughly first.
Dip a dry brush into your paint and swirl it into the brush using the foam plate. From here you will want to swirl most of the paint out of the brush onto a dry paper towel until only a light amount is coming off the brush.
This shows how much was coming of the brush when I started and how it looks when it is ready to go, nice and light. From here I lightly added the cheek color in a circular motion until the cheeks where the depth I liked. Let this dry and you should have this.....
Look at that sweet little raggedy girl! This was so much fun... I have a love for raggedy ann dolls that started when I was a child. I still have my magical raggedy ann from way back when. She got up every night and played about while I slept, she came alive! I do think this gal needs some hair to go along with that whimsical face!
I will end with the same picture I started with. I do hope you give painting on fabric a try, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities to you creatively. For me there would be no dolls without paints and brushes.
Thanks for stopping by


  1. Hi Jody,
    Another fabulous tutorial!
    Love her sweet face!!
    Thanks for sharing,

  2. Thank you for sharing your wonderful paint job on this sweet little girl!

  3. Hi, Jody: What a wonderful tutorial. I LOVE it. Thanks so much for sharing your technique with all of us. Linda

  4. You make magic with those paintbrushes, Jody! Love this sweet girl - Toooooo Cute!!!

  5. Thanks for showing us how you do this...I admire those that can paint! She really is a sweetie!

  6. I just LOVE your pattern and your tutorial are a big help. Thank you I would love it if you could do a tutorial on HOW to do hair!! Thanks again pam young

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  9. Excelente, me ha encantado tu tutorial.

  10. I am new to doll making and your blog is amazing and I am learning so much.. Thank you for sharing...


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