Question About Painted Hair

Sorry for the multiple questions. I just want to learn and improve more. Painted hair. So I use a prism pencil for my painted hair as suggested by many. I’m not a fan of the prism pencil. It’s difficult for me to achieve the realism and depth I would like with the pencil. I have to general idea of painted hair but I just can’t get the realism I want with prism pencils. I have trouble finding painted hair tutorials using “paint” and brush. What kind of paint am I supposed to use? GHSP? Can you share your babies with painted hair and your technique or where I can find tutorials?

Here’s my painted hair using a prism pencil. It’s not really realistic.

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You can use whatever paint you paint your dolls with. I am surprised that you can’t find paint tutorials because when I was looking for prisma tuts, all I could find was paint. There are some on UTube. I would venture to guess that there are more people painting than using the pencils. The discussions you saw on here were just because we have been talking about the pencils later because some of us, myself included, are experimenting with them. I love the effect I get, but they require a very light touch. You certainly can paint your hair. Many, many reborners do and the effect can be amazing with practice. :smiley:

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I’ll try to find tutorials on both. I probably paint my lines and such too heavy. The pencils have to be really sharp to get thin tiny lines. I use like 1 pencil per head because you have to sharpen them frequently. Thank you for your help.

Cierra, use a hand held pencil sharpener. Don’t push down too hard. Colored pencil is best darkened by going over it lightly, otherwise it gets waxy. In between actual sharpenings, keep the pencils sharp by using fine grade sandpaper. If you are going through a whole pencil, you are probably bearing down when you sharpen or using an automatic sharpener. I love colored pencil. It’s my favorite all time medium for all my art, but there is a real learning curve. I’m just learning to use it on vinyl. Are you sealing your head with matte medium or another medium before trying to use the pencil. It won’t take well on the plain vinyl. This sounds bossy…not meant that way! :smile:


I do my painted hair after applying 1 layer of matte varnish. I do a light layer then steal it with matte varnish them a darker layer then seal that with matte varnish. I do my matte layers really really light. When I first attempted using the pencils it wouldn’t paint on the vinyl so I saw a suggestion to dip it in water which also works but the color would be lighter & more orange. So I started applying matte varnish first. I use just a regular sharpener like the ones we used in elementary school. :joy:

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I know you are not happy with the pencil in the pic but I have to say I’ve seen much worse. It’s pretty good for your first tries at pencil.

I use a 10/0 brush and another 10/0 with only about 5 bristles left. I cut the others off with sharp scissors. I use GHSP, usually using at least 3 shades that are close in color to add depth. The lightest I use to do the fine facial hairs and some base painting and sometimes highlights, the medium for the bulk of the hair and the darkest for where the hair clumps together or is thicker.

Here are examples of my latest work on a Kate kit with GHSP (red head). It’s not the best out there and I’m working on improving everyday.

You have to remember to do a swirl at the crown like real hair has and the hairline is often similar to a man who’s hair is thinning in front.

I am by no means an expert but I love this video as nice examples of painted hair:


Thank you. I may try it. I have a test head that I can practice on. Yours is done very well. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for sharing the video also. I have saw some of that video before. I was afraid that using GHSP thickly would cause chalkiness.

I think your penciled hair looks nice! I used pencil on my first babies, and then found that paint allowed me to get more “flow” than the pencil. This is the last one I did painted hair on - I prefer rooted.


Thank you.

You are welcome - I added a couple of photos to my previous post.

You’re welcome and thank you for the compliment. I know it still needs improvement, but I enjoy doing it.
I have no chalkiness at all on my baby’s hair. The parts that look “thick” on the hair are not really very thick. It’s more an illusion created by the darker and lighter colors. After each shade, I bake. Then I apply thick medium and bake 3 times. Let it cool between each bake or it can melt.

To mark on vinyl, first you have to seal the head. I think the ladies here often use the matte sealer to do this. It gives the vinyl some texture so the pencil can adhere to the vinyl. There is not enough friction between vinyl and colored pencils to make the color come off the lead of the pencil. That is why when you look at artists’ paper for drawing, you see indicated sometimes the “tooth” of the paper. That is how “toothy” it is so pencils or pastels adhere better and you can create different effects. In this case, using matte varnish before pencil will give the vinyl some “tooth” for the color to grip to… I hope I’m making sense. I haven’t had my coffee yet. :neutral_face:


pia, that is some beautiful painting. Do you have any more pics of this head you’d be willing to post here? If you do, would you post them please? I’d love to see the other angles if it’s not too much trouble.

Your painted hair looks great! Thank you for sharing. So it was done with paint. If you don’t mind, can you share how you did yours.

I think you are doing well with the pencils! You are well on your way, as your technique looks nice. I’ve tried pencils but find them hard to work consistently on vinyl, no matter how light or firm I press. Some vinyl works better than others. But what I sometimes do is lightly pencil in my hair pattern, and then go over that with layers of GHSP to add depth and more color, until I feel it looks done. I’m still practicing a lot, with each doll and I don’t yet have my own technique. I do something a little different with each doll or follow what someone else has tried. There are time I am ok with how it looks and other times it’s like UGH. Google “painted hair tutorial by Lara Antonucci” and one usually comes up that you can follow. It’s not the complete one she charges for but it has enough in it to get your started. I study lots and lots of real baby photos and other people’s painted hair photos and then practice to try to figure it out.

Also, sometimes I will use a modified fan brush to lightly paint on guide lines in a pattern that I want the hair to go in, and then fill in and darken from there. I tend to like that way best. And Prisma Color pencils always break on me even though I use a Prisma sharpener and sharpen very carefully. So, keeping them sharp is a real challenge.

Aha look at ya now…best in the buisness