Pigment properties & dirty creases


Hi all!

So, I’m a huge art media nerd, and I’ve spent my whole life researching and experimenting with different art supplies and techniques. There are countless variables depending on the surface you’re using, type of paint, even brands within each category. I was looking at a little Yona foot today and how I’ve written off the dirty creases as something that I couldn’t fix…when it hit me. GRANULATION!

Granulation is the tendency of certain pigments to separate and leave visible sediment when mixed with water or another thinner. It’ll look grainy. Watercolor artists use this to their advantage when creating an illusion of texture. For us though…it’s no bueno.

Two of the most commonly used granulating colors are Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber. I’m thinking that Yona’s weird, tacky/sticky, somewhat textured German vinyl is grabbing onto that sediment and making it extra visible (ewww)

It made me think…it would probably make life a lot easier for us if we used non-granulating colors, especially in areas like creases. I’m going to try switching to Pyrrole Red and Phthalo Blue for my creases. Unfortunately most earth tones (browns) are somewhat granulating, but I’ll be doing some tests to figure out the best combinations. In addition to granulation I’ll be considering the paint’s opacity. Some pigments, like Titanium White, are naturally opaque- where others, like Zinc White, are transparent. You can force titanium white into transparency by adding a thinner, but it’ll always look more chalky than Zinc White.

Unfortunately Genesis colors and pigments are pretty limited, but a lot of this info might come in handy for air dry painters :blush: I’m going to do some experiments with Genesis on paper and post them here later. If anyone is interested in nuts and bolts, these sites are great resources. They’re about watercolor, but we use our paint like watercolor-- super thin. So the same ideas apply.

Regarding granulation:

(Unfortunately Genesis and acrylic are not labeled like watercolor)

Some nice color mixing charts:

Characteristics of a few earth tones- natural and synthetic:

Here’s the offending foot that got me thinking :sunglasses: It also has some lovely new bright orange blemishes that I have determined were created by fly poop. Gross!!


This is great information. I am struggling with these issues as we speak.


It does look like that vinyl has some rough spots that are grabbing more pigment.


Yeah, it’s a mess. You can feel the texture. But the face is soooooooo cute! Head and face have smooth vinyl, but it’s tacky feeling and grabs color really intensely.

I think granulating colors still work fine on smooth vinyl- many people use them with beauuuuutiful results! But I can’t help doing test swatches and experiments…it’s an obsession…! Haha :joy:


She got dark really fast, and mottling layers really grabbed on. I don’t think I’ll deal with stripping though. We’ll just pretend she’s fresh out of the oven :wink:


She looks really good! I like her lip color


Thanks for this info. I had this granulation happen with a burnt umber wash that had been sitting for awhile.
It looked fine at first but once it cured there were tiny brown speckles all over the doll. I had to strip it and start over. Now I make a smaller, fresh batch each time and discard what I don’t use.


Good info! Definitely something I should try.


I’m experimenting with some recovery techniques (I really don’t want to strip) Pan Pastels look promising! Will have to see how it looks after varnishing.


Great info! Thanks for sharing!!!


Thanks for sharing that information. I use water-based paints for all sorts of things and like to mix my own. Those links are a great resource for knowledge. I predict that more newbies and doll hobbyists will enter the reborning hobby with a preference for air dry paints.


I’m just learning and did my creases as according to a video and unfortunately it’s to red and noticeable. Guess I’m not doing it right.


If you are using PanPastels you have to cut those pigments with 2-3 times the amount of Colorless Blender as you do color pigment.


Use genesis paints and when I used thinner it had red dots in it thought I mixed it well. But baked it already. Ugh


Creases can be a real pain in the butt. I hate doing them!!


lol. Got some advice on colours on another topic here on creases. So next baby lol


Well, I hope it works out well for you, we all seem to have our struggles when we are painting don’t we??


Lol especially when your just learning. First baby but bought a number of kits so I better get better !! Bought a Saskia and will do her if I ever get better :blush:


You will LOVE Saskia, I didn’t like her when she first came out and I didn’t get the kit. Then when I began to see the versatility of that little girl I really started to like her. Sooooo, I bought the kit and I just love her, she is my favorite baby so far!!


Did you paint her? Do you have a picture?