I think I give up UPDATE -- Feeling better

I’ve just spent 5 hours on painting my second try at my first baby. And I’ve ended up with this.

That leg in front is Faith’s unpainted (stripped) leg. Isaac looks exactly the same, except with ten thousand bits of dust and lint stuck all over him even though I made sure to turn the fan off so nothing would be blowing around. His creases look like dirt, his lips look like gunked up lip gloss, and his skin looks exactly the same as when I started.

I’m done. I’m just done. This isn’t fun or fulfilling or satisfying. This is frustrating, and disappointing, and I’m so angry and upset with myself for being so incredibly bad at this. The whole point of this was to be a positive creative outlet, and instead I just keep thinking how stupid and awful I am.

So I’m going to hang on to the acrylic paints I bought (not that anyone would want them since they’re the Liquitex Basics cheapy line), but I think I’m going to sell Isaac, Faith, and Madison. It’s either that or I put them together as-is, pale and ghosty. (I did think that maybe I could just hit them with a flat layer of spray paint and have really dolly-looking babies, but I hate to do that to them.) I really wanted Kimber, though. She’s the first kit I bought, back when I didn’t think I’d ever be able to afford an already-made baby, so she was going to be the one I made myself. It’s pretty clear to me that I’m never going to be able to do that because I have absolutely no skill at this. I’ve got the kit, the eyelashes, and the eyes for her, so I’m going to try to save up to have someone else paint her, so I don’t ruin her.

I can’t face listing them right now in the For Sale thread, but be thinking if anyone’s interested in BB Faith, BB Madison, or BB Isaac. They just don’t deserve the torture I’m putting them through.

If you’re open to it set them all aside for now, clean them, put them in clear baggies, box them up for a few weeks or months. Don’t give up and into the frustration, trust me just take a break and walk away, hangout on the forum, read, watch, learn mentally.

This art form can be incredibly frustrating, and sometimes you have to walk away for a bit. None of us learned to paint overnight, or sculpt, or any of this. If you decide six months from now to give up we all get it and we understand, but consider just boxing it all up and setting it aside until you’re no longer frustrated with it. I was looking at the second doll I ever prainted yesterday while getting kits from my parents. I thought she was ugly and horribly painted, now looking at her after over a year I’m stunned with how beautiful she actually is. Sometimes it just takes time away.

Another option is simply pick a limb or head and make it a tester, tell yourself you’re allowed to strip it until you get the techniques you like down and you feel you’re ready to paint a kit. That may alieviate some of the frustration, just focus on learning one thing at a time, instead of building up layers. Learn to bottle, then maybe veins, but definitely step away for awhile beforehand deciding to give up completely. I’m about to start probably my tenth crack at this in almost ten years, I’m hoping I’ve got the skills this time to do it? But who knows! What’s important to me is the learning and understanding I’ve gained from this as an art form.

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Sorry you’re having such a tough time. It can definitely be frustrating at times. I hope you’re not offended by me asking, but have you used washing up liquid on the limbs before painting? If they’re oily then the paint won’t stick. Again, sorry if you’ve done that, I just want to make sure it’s not something simple that could easily solve the problem. X

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I see that you are using the primary method. Seems like that would take many layers to build up skintone. I would go ahead and do my creases and some mottling before adding more of the primary layers. You would be surprised at what a difference doing creases and mottling will do.

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I stripped my first baby almost 15 times ! And about 5 for my second ! I am near my 100th, and still strip some or put some away for a while. I know how frustrating it can be ! It easily take 10 to 20 hours to get a good result.

I use the primary method.
It take between 3 to 10 rounds, plus mottling.
Liquitex medium is sticky. Try Golden matt medium instead, it’s day and night.
Try to get your paint a bit more concentrated.

Look at my tutorial, it’s in french but you can learn a bit.

If really you don’t enjoy, that’s ok, it’s not for everyone.

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I agree with both @eversunny and @cajuncuties this takes a lot of practice and if you are frustrated its better to put it away and wait awhile before deciding to give it up. It took me many months to finish my first baby…its a lot of work. You might be expecting too much from yourself as a new artist.
Also doing creasing and mottling starts to make your babies come alive, I always do both early in so I can start seeing what I want my skin tone to look like.

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Not at all offended – it’s a good question for a beginner! I did wash it first. The paint is sticking, it just wasn’t making any difference.

I’m so sorry you’re frustrated. I think we all feel that way from time to time. I agree with the others about stepping away until you’re not as frustrated. Watch as many videos and read as much on this forum as you possibly can. The folks here have been life savers! Always willing to help and always encouraging. Be patient with yourself. We are our own worst critics. I’ve been working on my first doll since April and just completed her this past weekend. I too, start with mottling in order to start building color and depth, then do primary washes. It takes many many many thin layers built up. I had to really slow myself down and trust the process. As far as the dust and lint go, all of us that use air dry have to battle it. I clean my work space a couple of times a week and brush off each piece every time I pick it up to paint it. And even still…its a very frustrating battle.
And no matter what you decide, I hope you continue to “hang” with us. :slight_smile:

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You all are so sweet!

After I finished having my pout I decided that Eversunny had a great idea with making a part into a tester. I pulled my head out of my behind and marched myself back to my desk. I decided to use poor Isaac’s messed-up head as a tester and mixed up a batch of skin tone. Surprisingly, it looked pretty good so I put a layer of it onto the limbs. I jumped ahead to experiment with blushing/mottling and OMG, you’re exactly right, Cajuncuties! It made all the difference in the world! (I tried to take a photo, but it didn’t come out well.)

He’s still gunky, covered with lint, and his lips are too raspberry-colored, but I’m feeling a lot better about poor Isaac now. I don’t know that I’m going to attempt another one after him, but now I’m bound and determined to finish this one darn baby, at the very least! Thank you all so much. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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I understand your frustration totally. My first attempt was horrible!! But as bad as it was I am so glad I snapped a picture and kept it so I could always have something to look back on to appreciate how far I’ve come. In fact I kept the actual baby. Hopefully you get yours done and keep him too.

Here’s my first versus one of the more recent ones. See, I was definitely not kidding. Lol If you ever end up loving the process, never give up.

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Liquitex Basics is a student grade paint. I would try the Liquitex Soft or Heavy body before you give up. I always say remember the baby will look weird till he/she looks great, lol! Don’t give up just keep trying. I use this paint and I use the primary method. It took me a while before I figured out what method works for me.

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The primary method takes a lot more layers. Maybe try mixing up some flesh tones and see if they make a difference for you. Don’t give up. You’ll get it and when you do, you’ll probably love it.

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I’m sorry
I’ve been there done that but I am stubborn and determined and I hate failure

I have 25 kits all in different stages of done.

If your in this to be creative that’s one thing

If your in this for a quick buck that’s an entirely different animal

If your in it to be creative keep going
Experiment
Play
Learn how the vinyl takes the paint
Watch tutorials on YouTube

If your in it for a quick buck give up now. Cause it ain’t worth it if it isn’t in your heart to be an artist to create beautiful artful babies for adoption

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No, I’m all about the creative outlet. I have no intention of selling, but was hoping to get good enough to donate dolls to nursing homes. I’ve always been creative, but as my disabilities progress I keep finding myself looking for new arts and crafts to replace the ones I can no longer do. I was down to just crocheting (which I dearly love!) but had been searching for something else when I saw my first Reborn. I never thought I could make one, but as I watched more and more tutorials I started thinking that maybe it was something I could handle. I knew I’d suck to start – I always say you’ve got to be bad at something before you can get good – but this was so much more frustrating than I was expecting. Part of it is because I’ve got to find alternate ways to do a lot of it because I don’t have great manual dexterity. The creasing is killing me right now. I was hoping to do it with Prisma pencils, because I can handle those, but it came out so muddy looking. I tried painting with super-fine brushes, but I just can’t control a paint brush well. I’ll eventually figure it out, or else I’ll learn to love babies that don’t have creasing, lol.

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If you ever want to talk about reborning with disability feel free to reach out! It’s one of the reasons I gave it up for the past several years.

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I’m a little afraid that I discovered it too late. Honestly, though, the part with the cosmetic sponges was much easier for my hands than I thought it would be. I had a little trouble handling the parts at first, but then I remembered a wooden maraca (of all things!) that I had bought on a whim from a clearance shelf at Marshalls. With the handle in the limb/head I’ve got a nice smooth egg-shaped piece to hold on to, which worked wonderfully.

It’s the detail work that I’m having a hard time with. The shading in the nostrils went well, but the ears are a disaster, and the creasing…ugh, the creasing. I keep trying to do it and having to wipe it right back off because my lines are skipping right out of the creases (my hands shake and my fingers can’t really do smooth motions). Poor Isaac had a crease across half his face at one point. I just can’t figure out a way I can do it. There’s got to be something that would work to get the color in there, but I haven’t thought of it yet.

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Creasing can happen with makeup sponges! Maybe an egg shaped beauty blender would work, like really thin paint or some of the powders like pan pastels and a beauty blends for the creases? Also a mop brush may be able to drag it into the creases. The handle you made for holding limbs sounds like a great idea! For when I’m painting with brushes I always have to rest my palm on something while I work because I shake really bad, and I have to use large grips on my brushes usually because of joint issues. If the makeup sponges are working for you I imagine we can figure out a way for you to use them for most things in reborning, that’s how a lot of things used to be done years ago!

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Can you cut the blenders into real tiny pieces to do your creases?

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Beauty blenders would probably work for you! I also have disabilities, something’s are more of a challenge but it makes it that much more worth it when it finally works after the pain and stress!
I do creases with prisma pencils, just easier for me. You could make a cushion around the pencil from sponges,clay etc so you have a soft larger handle.
Breathe, smile and have fun. Try an alternative! No set way in how it’s “supposed to or should look”… All about your imagination and creativity! :heart:

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If I get them smaller I’ll have trouble holding on to them, but you’ve got me wonderin if I could cut them into thinner slices to use the thin edge…? I’m going to have to experiment.

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