How to Paint Babushka Dolls
I love Painting and decorating especially the blank babushka dolls
I am very fond of decorating my house with various home décor items. But I get bored with them very easily and am always looking for something different, something new. Is it just me? Or does that happen to somebody else too? If I buy new stuff every time, where do I put the old ones? And what about when I get bored with my favorite piece but can’t let it go also? All these questions keep roaming around in my head. Sometimes it also happens that I receive gifts which are good but don’t look that attractive or don’t go with my theme. In such situations, I am left with only 2 options – don’t use them or make it like I want it to be. I prefer the second one!
Something similar happened to one of my gifts recently. A few days ago, I received a set of Babushka Dolls on my birthday but they don’t look as cute as I want them to look. So I thought maybe I will try my hand at repainting them and decorating them according to my preferences.
Traditionally Babushka Dolls are women in traditional Russian dress with headscarves. A very noticeable feature of these dolls is that they have painted bellies. It is usually a scene from daily life, floral design or a scenery painted in a circle on the belly. But these days, the dolls are available in all forms and designs like cartoon characters, animals, and even politicians.
It is always fun to paint Babushka Dolls.
What things are required to paint Babushka Dolls?
Given below is a list of the things you will need to paint Babushka Dolls.
- A set of wooden Babushka dolls
You can also buy the plain wooden ones and paint them over or buy those DIY ones available online.
You can also use white acrylic paint like I prefer.
- Acrylic Paint
- Painting Brush Set
- Newspaper (to protect your work surface!)
Here are the very basic steps I use to re-paint my dolls.
Step 1: Prime the dolls
The very first step is to prepare the dolls for painting over. For drawing the character and painting it, you will need a plain surface. As I had the painted set, I had to first make a blank canvas out of it. So I lined up my dolls one by one on a newspaper and primed them with a nice coat of white acrylic paint. Priming the dolls gives you a neutral base to colour on. If by any chance you get colour on the portion where the top and bottom parts meet, sand it off. Any paint in this area will make opening and closing the dolls extremely difficult.
Step 2: Draw the design
After your dolls are primed and ready, the next step is to draw the design you want. You can make it traditional, modern, modern yet traditional, Indian looking, Chinese looking, you get the gist right? Pencil in the design you want to draw. If you don’t have any fixed look in your mind, you can always check for designs online and copy them. Me, I wanted to keep the look consistent with my room, so I gave the design a little comic superheroine looks. Don’t worry if you don’t get the drawing right in the first time. You can always erase and draw again because the pencil lines won’t be visible once you paint them over.
Step 3: Paint
Once the design is on, you can start painting them over. But remember to separate the top and bottom parts because if you paint them all over as one unit, you may end up sticking the parts together. Forcing open the dolls after they are painted together, can result in cracked paint and scratches over the surface. Because the design is already pencilled on, so you know how you want it to look. Now you just have to put colours on it. In case, you change your mind half-way and want to change any colour, don’t worry. Acrylic colours are really easy to paint over once dry. The bottom colour does not show. For a neat finish, layer the paints. That is, if you want to paint small designs and patterns, then paint the bigger area or background first and paint the pattern over it.
If you are going for the traditional design, paint the attire, and then paint the circle on it over the belly area. After that, paint the pattern or scenery inside the circle. This takes a lot of small detailed work. It is advisable to use the thinnest brush you own. Preferably number zero.
Step 4: Detailing
After painting your dolls, finish it up by drawing details and outlining by black marker. It will give the dolls a finished look. After my dolls were completely dry, I used a black marker to outline the shapes and also to add the details like facial features.
Again, for the traditional design, use black paint instead of a marker. That brings out the authenticity. You can even paint the facial features with a thin paint brush.
Step 5: Varnishing
After you are done with the detailing, seal the paint by spraying varnish on your dolls. You can also use a clear acrylic coating. The only purpose is to protect the paint.
That’s it. Your dolls are ready to use. After completing all these processes, don’t forget to click pictures of your dolls. After all, DIY projects are no small deal. There has to be a record on social media along with a selfie! If people don’t get to see it immediately, it’s not worth it.
And yeah don’t forget to tell me how your dolls came out. If this tutorial helped you in any way, be sure to comment and share the article. And do post that selfie with the doll. Have fun! Keep painting!
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