Reborn dolls have been around for several decades now but today’s masterpieces are just simply more life-like and realistic. Most reborn artist would go for the appearance of a baby and create their masterpieces by assembling character baby doll parts and customize its features according to their preferences. Yet some doll artists would like to pinpoint the difference between reborn dolls and newborn dolls. Some artists believe that the art of creating dolls from unpainted and unassembled doll pieces should be tagged with the term “newborning” while the art of reviving an old character doll piece with new look and features should be called reborning.
Yet the two terms are interchangeable nowadays and doll artists who are into reborning and newborning primarily go after the realistic appeal of these dolls. A typical image of a newborn baby is what these artists would aim for. For artists who do not have the time to mold the doll pieces would just purchase doll parts from other doll makers or artists and they take care of the rest of the process of assembling, painting, hair rooting, and then dressing the doll.
Here are some of the steps that are involved in achieving a realistic appearance on these dolls:
1) The doll pieces are washed with gentle soap to remove dirt, dust, and other impurities which came from the factory to the handling of the pieces. This is done in order to attain a smooth surface on the parts while it is to undergo painting.
2) The next step is to paint the dolls with non-toxic heat set paints which are manufactured to make the color stay for more than a lifetime. This is where the shading, mottling, undertoning, and veining techniques are employed to create a realistic baby soft skin look. The paint colors are applied layer by layer with great focus on detailing.
3) Those who choose an open-eyed doll, the next step is to set the doll’s eyes. Artists would choose the color of the eyes and carefully set the eyes to give the creation its depth. There are also newborn dolls that have closed eyes which actually just skips this part and the process just goes through more details on the shading especially on the nose, mouth, and eye area.
4) Then creation goes through micro-rooting of the hair. Each hair strand is meticulously rooted on the doll’s head using a tiny needle. This step usually takes time and it is a tedious process but once complete it can really define the meaning of realism.
5) Usually the last few steps involved weighting the doll’s body and head with high quality glass beads or poly pellets to make it weight like real baby.
6) The final step is dressing up the baby with its outfit along with some accessories to complete its life-like appearance.
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