How many layers?

Im sure that there are threads about this…but when I serached “layers” and “skintone” I got tons of posts with those words in them. My question is how many layers do you typically put on your babies (Ive read where one ebay listing said over 100)? I read all of the time that multiple layers create realism. How many layers? and Are they all the same flesh color or do you use different flesh colors? (other than blotching and veining). Thanks for any feedbackl!!

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In terms of layers, I would say I put between 20-30, depending on the skin tone I’m going for. BUT I do not bake after each layer ie. I put on two or three flesh layers, bake, do a motlle, bake, put on more flesh layers etc. I only bake when there is a radical change of paint colour, so that it will not smudge and blend into the previous layers. I don’t think I’d have the patience for 100 layers!!

I have actually never counted how many layers. I know there is a lot of them. If I had to guess it probably is close to 10,15,20 layers maybe more. Don’t think less though.

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So are you using the same color of flesh each time or changing it?

I used to drive myself counting layers. I thought there had to be a number for it but really there isn’t. I have learned new techniques as I go along and I can’t tell you how many layers each kit has when I’m done. I think everyone finds their own ways to do things so each persons" number" of layers varies. Also when you do different skin tones you get a new number of layers for blushing, neutralizing etc.
I have probably really confused you now!
If there were certain numbers to achieve certain looks it would be easier for sure

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i usually do 2 layers per color then bake. I have no idea how many layers.

There is no right answer to your question. I think my average is 20 to 30 including washes, flesh tones, and mottling. But then and can go up higher is I decide after a few days I need more. See???
I’m done when the baby looks the way I want it to.

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— Begin quote from “CindyM”

There is no right answer to your question. I think my average is 20 to 30 including washes, flesh tones, and mottling. But then and can go up higher is I decide after a few days I need more. See???
I’m done when the baby looks the way I want it to.

— End quote

Very true!!! You just have to look at it after every one and think “what else does it need?” If you get to 20 and are happy, then you’re done… if you get to 100 and still aren’t happy… do 101!!! But to answer your other question, they are generally different colors. You can do 1 or 2 of the same flesh. then do a yellow wash, then another flesh(same as before or a new one, or one mixed with something else), then a warm blush wash, then another flesh(again, whatever color you want the flesh to be). then maybe some mottling, then a wash(maybe a green if baby looks too red, or a purple to make it look more newborn), then a flesh, then a different color mottling, then another flesh… you see where i am going with this??? LOL! I hope that answers you question. There really is no “right” answer to your question. I hate when people tell me that… it’s annoying LOL! But it is TRUE!! Good luck with your babies! If you need more help just ask

So, do you leave off the blush until you are finished? I am a newcomer and have stripped my first doll off 7 times now because after 6 or 7 layers, I felt like I was doing something wrong. How do you keep the nails clean with all those layers?

I have learned somthing new. lol. I have never done “washes”. What is a “wash”? I start with washing the vinal, soap and water (not color), than veining. for the veining I use a washable marker and it always comes out darker than I want it so It is easy to lighten. After a couple of skintone layers and bake it can no longer be lightened, smeered, or removed. I probably do around 8 layers of the skin tone. creases and some blushing with the blush #3. than I use the blush #4 till I am happy. Than you add in the tipped nails and I probably have around 20 layers. I dont know if this is right or not. I am open to sugestions. I kinda go in the order of the pre mixed paints. I will add an extra skin tone though. and I dont usually use the vein color. I am not good at mixing colors with a lot of difference, so instead I will layer a really thin layer of an odd color instead of mixing it, like brown with the skin tone color for a little darker layer is about as venturious as I will get.

Even after I done a baby & let it sit for a few days before I root just in case I decide it needs a touch more of something, I can’t tell you how many times I added color to the cheeks that was there when I finished, but seemed to fade after a few days – then I do some dry brushing to enforce the color I need…each one is different…each vinyl is different & takes color differently too.

I have not counted but I am guessing 30 or a little over. I do a couple layers and then do the veining and mottling. A couple more layers and then the creasing and then more and more layers on with blushing until I get the desired look. I notice on the full body silicone vinyl kits from Shiela Michael, I don’t use as many layers.

— Begin quote from “colette”

So, do you leave off the blush until you are finished? I am a newcomer and have stripped my first doll off 7 times now because after 6 or 7 layers, I felt like I was doing something wrong. How do you keep the nails clean with all those layers?

— End quote

I usually do my blush as i go,flesh, mottle ,blush…over and over using slightly different shades. Make sure your paint is THIN like colored water, just avoid your nails after they have a thin layer on them. A wash is even thinner, dabbed on all over then baked. Yes you may have 10 “layers” and not be noticing much change but finished doll looks much better AND beats the heck out of stripping

Hi, do you think baking in between 100 layers would mess the kit up?:thinking:

I think the answer is “as many as you need”

Every kit is different, and it really depends on your end game. Are you going for AA/Ethnic skin tones, pale, fair, peaches and cream…

Vinyl colors vary, different colors react in different ways to each other.

For me (and I may be the odd man out) I paint intuitively, or try to. I stop when it feels done.

I challenged myself once to paint a baby using only three colors: baby skin, black, and red (I made a Snow White baby) she didn’t have a lot of layers but I achieved the look I wanted.

I think the phrase “a minimum of twenty layers” is used a lot to help people understand that a lot goes into creating a baby and to demonstrate how we layer color on color in thin layers.

I don’t think it matters…you are achieving a look not a layer goal.

It is hard to say what the guidelines should be because everyone has their own style but layering color creates depth and layering flesh tones on color creates softness (in my opinion).

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Layers of color give depth to the skin but the number of layers depend on how you choose to mix your paint. Some people like painting with very thin layers of paint and other people use less thinner and have more pigment in each layer. You have to see what works best for you to get the look you want for each doll.
I use 3-4 different flesh colors and apply them with plucked makeup sponges. You can get more depth of color if you vary the flesh tones a bit. One color over and over is still just that one color. I also do color washes and color mottles and detailing colors under and over the flesh layers as needed. The only thing I always do is put a couple of layers of a flesh color on, bake, and then do the veining and bake again. After that, it’s all according to what seems right to do that day on that baby.
If you are just starting out, using more layers and thinner paint might ease you into something good without the chance of making too drastic a mistake that would cause you to want to take all the paint off and start again. Thin layers are more forgiving and you don’t really have to bake between every one. You can let the first layer dry then add some creasing or extra color in certain areas before you really need to bake again. Layering takes more time, but not having to strip a doll is worth the extra effort while you are learning.

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