I’m making a few little Lavinia dolls, and up to painting the faces – this is how I do mine:

First, using a Micron Pigma pen .03 I draw the outline of the eye – kind of like a hill with a line underneath it.  Than I draw the eyelid.  Then I draw in the pupil.  As you can see, even though I have painted hundreds of faces over the years, I still make mistakes.  I always sew and stuff more heads than I need.  So if I’m making 6 dolls, I will make up to 10 heads – always need to have some spare.

Now, time to paint the white of the eye.  I am using a fairly thin white fabric paint and a very small 000 brush.  Be careful when painting – take your time.  If you go over the ‘line’ as I often do on these very small heads, don’t panic too much.  You can touch it up later.  Now it’s really important to wait for the whites to dry…the wet paint clogs up the pens terribly – the pens are expensive, so you have to look after them.


Got them all painted and drying – now take a close look – they’re not perfect, but I will fix them up later (and I have the spares! if I don’t like the way they are at the end!)  Oh and don’t forget, there is nothing perfect in Nature!

 Right-o.  Time to paint the irises.  I use a variety of different pens as you can see – always test on a piece of the flesh fabric first.  Most of the pens will ‘bleed’ if you hold the pen on for too long, so use short little ‘flicky’ strokes for your colour.

  Back to your black pen.  Draw in the pupil and draw over the eye and draw the eyelashes.  Draw a couple of eyebrows.  Now I take the time to draw back over any of the black first lines to fix up any places where I was a little careless with the white paint.  Looking good!

Draw the mouth now. I usually don’t put blush or white dots to the eyes until I have completed the dolll – I like to make the doll come alive when she is fully dressed, with hair and embellishments. But I have completed one to show you.  I use a crayon for the cheeks, building up the colour gradually.  I always put t little white dot on the eye as well.

Pretty happy with this one – I’ll probably put this on a doll!

Have a go yourself – I have developed my own style of face as most dollmakers do – I can recognise a face that I have drawn.  You will find your inner artist too, I’m sure.