Friday, May 16, 2014

Best Kind of Pastels to use for Monster High Dolls ~ Repaint and Faceups

 What kind of pastels to use for Monster High Doll Repaints or Faceups?


As I sit here doing a faceup ( or repaint ) on my Catrine Demew doll, I'm noticing which of my pastels work best. I felt inspired to tell you about what pastels work good on dolls, and which ones are not so great. If you are just starting to use pastels on dolls, you may not know about the differences in the types available.


The way I use pastels for doing doll faceups, they need to be very soft and powdery. If they are at all hard they are too difficult to use. If you have to use an emery board or something else to make powder from your chalk pastels, I suggest getting a better brand.You will be so happy that you did when you see how simple good pastels are to use.

You shouldn't have to fight with your  pastels to get them on your brush. When I started using pastels, all I had on hand was some cheap ones that were very hard. I managed to get them to work but I had to shave the color off to use them. It was just not as easy as it should be. I couldn't blend them easily and I got very little depth of color.
This is the set I used to use for doll faceups when I started. ( See below )

If you want to do good faceups on dolls by using  pastels, you must use nice soft ones. Of course they are more costly, with very good reason. Cheap pastels that you can buy at the local "craft" store are mostly binder, which is what makes them hard, and there is very little actual pigment. This means you have to work a lot harder to get decent results. And if you are just starting to learn to do faceups on dolls with pastels, you don't need it to be more difficult by using a cheap ten dollar set of hard as a rock pastels like the ones below.

hard pastels set
Hard Pastels- no good for dolls


 I did a little investigating and came across the names of some better brand soft pastels that the ball jointed doll ( BJD ) artists were using.  I figured if they were using these brands on the very expensive BJDs, then they were good enough for my Monster High Doll faceups. ( repaints )

I bought a few different brands to see how good they worked on my Monster High Dolls.  I bought Schminke, Unison, and Sennelier.  Of the three brands of soft pastels that I bought, the Sennelier was the hardest. Schminke ranged from pleasingly soft to a few colors that needed a bit more work to transfer color to the brush. Schminke is definitely my second choice.

soft chalk pastels for doll faceups
My Pastels that I use on my doll faceups


By far the best pastels for doing doll faceups is Unison brand. Keep in mind, I have only tried a few brands, but from the three, the Unison is hands down amazing. These soft little chunky sticks of color are so super soft that you have to keep the wrapper on them or else they can break up. The color literally flows onto your brush and sweeps onto your dolls face with no pressure or scrubbing or effort.
Unison soft pastel for doll faceups


I found some great pastels sets on Amazon, which as a rule tends to be cheaper than buying them one by one in an art supply store. You don't get to choose your colors when you buy them in a set, but chances are you would end up using most of the colors eventually.  Of the 36 colors I have ( and I really need a LOT more ), there are only two colors I use far less than the rest, and that is pure red and orange.

If you are just getting started you will want a couple shades of pink, blue, green, and a variety of earth tones. You will want to make sure to get both warm and cool colors as your needs will vary depending on the doll you are using. Many of the Monster High dolls come in blue, green, purple, and everything in between. A variety of pastel colors will ensure you can create a variety of looks and shading on your doll.

If you need any help using pastels or learning to repaint Monster High dolls, I offer an instructional tutorial CD that shows you all you need to know. Have fun with your dolls. :)













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