Whole new respect for air dry artists

Wow I just have to give mad props (to sound like a hooligan…) to acrylic reborn artists!

I have been trying to switch to air dry using Golden fluid acrylics over the last few weeks at least until after my pregnancy is over and it is FREAKING HARD!!! I have Golden mediums have watched and read a ton of tutorials and posts and I don’t know if I’m just incapable or if it was this hard for everyone but I cannot do it!

When the consistency is correct the color is way too dark when the color is right my paint beads or runs or doesn’t show up. I can’t get mottling patterns to show up without having to lightly pounce them which immediately turns them into a colored blob on the first barely even touching pounce, something I’m grateful to have never had difficulty with before with GHSP.

I’ve stripped 3 kits so far and each new start is worse than the one before. I typically don’t strip I just continue and make corrections if still needed at the end but these babies were so bad they could not be fixed or covered with more layers.

How the heck do you guys do this? Could someone tell me how to paint a completely realistic looking reborn with acrylics real quick?? (Total joke for those that have been asked if they could teach someonehow to reborn “real quick” :wink:

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It was quite a challenge for me to go from GHSP to air dry. I started with Cher’s Ch"air dry paints which is probably the easiest to start with. I then decided to go for regular acrylic paints that are not thinned down, I moved on to Matisse paints in primary colors. Talk about a learning curve, I learned real quick how intense the colors were. After a couple of months and 2 trashed heads, I finally nailed it, and it’s worth the re-learning. It’s also a huge benefit healthwise. I’ve just about finished this little one and I’m very pleased with how she turned out.

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@Emma
I have never used GHSP. To go from them to air dry is very difficult. Just learning how to use them period is difficult, lol. I started with one then went to another. You have to listen to everyone then perfect your own method because we all paint different and live in different climates. I took a little bit from everyone and then just decided to go on my own, that was when I finally got it. Good Luck! You will get it.

Here are a few things that I noticed that helped me but I got these hints from other reborners:
Do not use alcohol to clean kits.
Do not use FA Glass and Tile Medium at all
Do not prep your kit it makes colors uneven
Use Matte Gel or UMG in with the mix
Seal every 3 to 4 layers with UMG or MG mixed with distilled water only
Make paint a milky consistancy
Seal with STV mixed with Cornstarch I also use Food Grade DE
I do not use a retarder in my mix

These are the things that I do. Someone else will tell you something very different. I use Liquitex Pro Paints and have never had a sticky baby.

Seriously Good Luck! You can do it.

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I’ve recently switched from ghsp to air dry and it’s definitely a learning curve! I decided to use ultimate fusion because I could never get the hang of the different mediums and having to count drops and ratios with other paints. I tried Liquitex a few years ago but it was too confusing so I gave up and went back to genesis. All you have to add to UF is distilled water, although there is an anti-bead that can be added if necessary. I only use it in the first few layers. The biggest difference for me is the lack of blending ability with air dry. I keep a wet paint brush handy to blend out errors and such. Sue-Ellen’s Patreon tutorials have been really beneficial for me. I’m just finishing up my 4th (I think?) air dry baby and I finally feel like I’m getting a nice depth to my skin tones again.

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where do you find Sue-Ellen’s tutorials ?

She’s on patreon.com
Here’s the link to her page https://www.patreon.com/liveffects

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You know, this really makes me feel better about my air dry problems. :slight_smile: I have heard others say that the air dry has a learning curve (I think they all have a learning curve) but maybe the one with the GHSP is not so much. Anyway, air dry is all I have ever used, and I don’t plan to swtich to GHSP. That all being said, I cannot tell you how to paint a realistic baby with air dry as I have not achieved that myself yet.

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I feel the same way- ruined 3 kits- I’m back to GHSP

My first try at air born the limbs look ok, the head is my problem .left paint on to dry over night the head was turning a dark gray color.took paint off with alcohol. Now the head is yellow. What do i do to fix this yellow tone.

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I have used both air dry is less forgiving than heat set. I stripped the first air dry 4 times then I just went with the booboos. It was for my sister and she loves her booboos and all. There is shorter time to do your pouncing and catching runs with air dry. Keep at it and be ready to strip.

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I just wanted to offer a word of encouragement! It’s hard but can be incredibly rewarding one you figure out techniques, just working it incredibly thin layers. I’ve only ever used air dry, but here’s some older babies vs a baby I just finished painting besides eyebrows and sealing!


Something I’ve learned is, sponges have to be filled with water then squeezed out, then dipped in paint, and I use a dry 1/2” protege 515 feather shaded to swipe/mop up paint in creases and keep it moving so it doesn’t look dirty! And for blushing/undertones on bigger patches, I place the paint down, wait about 15 seconds for the water to start flashing off, and then start moving it around so some of the pigment is placed. A quick edit: belly plates make INCREDIBLE test spaces for different techniques and getting used to painting!!! and they’re so much easier to strip. (Second edit!) I use Golden acrylics mixed with purified water.

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It gets better!!!

I use air dry too. Never tried Genesis. Don’t have the room for a Nuwave.
Though my painting style has changed, here are some of mine done with air dry.

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For my “slow dry,” I use golden satin glazing liquid. It is thicker than slow dry, and reminds me of runny glue. That is what I mix my paints with. Flesh layers and washes I don’t really add much water to if any.Depending on the paints you are using, you only need a tiny amount of paint. To get nearer the color you want, mix your color with a few drops of water so you can see what it looks like, then add in your glazing liquid. Everybody uses different techniques and products so keep experimenting. Also, I mostly sponge on my layers, while ghs people paint on and sponge off.

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How are you doing? @Emma

Just a reason to post Saskia, :grin:. I use a paint brush to put the paint on my wedge. Then pounce on. I do not wet my sponge first.

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I brush directly onto the kit, then pounce with a dry sponge.

For limbs I do the hands or feet first so I have more time to get into all the tiny cracks and crevices, then the rest of the limb. I do the head in pieces, too. First eyes/nose/mouth, then each ear separately, then it depends on the size and shape of the head. I do leg/leg, head, arm/arm but only because that’s how they fit on my drying rack.

By the time I’ve finished the second arm the legs are dry and ready for the next layer.

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The best things I have found when it comes to air dry are the paint emulsion and primer from Macs. The emulsion allows you to thin out the color and make it more transparent without adding a ton of water to your paints. And the primer I add to each layer and it makes it not bead up on the vinyl. I work in small sections and make sure each part is how I like it before I move to another section. A large soft brush to pounce areas is great. It definitely is harder to reborn with air dry, but it does have its perks. I love that by the time I do all the limbs and go back around, they are dry and I can do another layer. I do add a bit of paint retarder to keep the paint wet on my palette. That is my main problem, the paint drying on my palette before I am done. I am using a combo of Golden acrylics and Reborn Fx.
This is my most recent reborn with air dry. Difficult at times, but stick to it! I’d love to see the babies you think are bad, they probably aren’t as bad as you think!!


OH and yellow and blue air dry seem to stain the strongest! I always have issues with my yellow being wayyy too strong!

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I’ve used miracle blend, which for me was pretty much the same as GHSP, consistency and effect wise. I don’t know why the Golden acrylic fluids are giving me so much trouble! But your timeline (and beautiful current baby) is encouraging :slight_smile:

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I wish I had the answer! Every single BB kit I have ever stripped turns fluorescent yellow, whether I use alcohol, WN, or another random solvent. I know the actual vinyl is dyed/colored before it’s poured into the mold and not painted but when I strip it the end result looks like I removed the flesh tone paint from the vinyl. I’ve never had this happen on the darker more expensive kits, but the ones from BB old or new, peach or light colored: every time!

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I only have ever used air dry. Started off with babyfx, which I totally loved, but they were discontinued, so I had to find alternatives. Settled on Golden paints and I love them. I use retarder medium in my mix, work quickly, and always keep tools on standby to fix mistakes… q-tips small and large, sponges, toothpicks ect literally right next to me. The trick to air dry is to work quickly and to learn to correct mistakes right away. If you don’t, either you can’t or it will be much harder to.

I only recently got back into painting after a long break. Some of my previous work:

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Sunny I LOVE LOVE LOVE your Levi’s hands! I mean the whole baby came out beautifully but your blushing and creasing on the left hand is the closest to perfect I’ve seen in a really long time!

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