My Artistic Process Explained In Trimesters
The purpose of this document is to outline how my studio operates and to define the progress steps involved in processing orders.
The Preconception Period is the time period when in a real pregnancy you’re waiting for everything to come together so your baby can develop. In this pregnancy this is the time when we are waiting for your sculpt to be delivered so the work can start. Preconception timing is different for everyone. It may take longer for some kits to be delivered to me. Manufacturing delays are ongoing at this time. Please research some of the vendor sites to see which babies are out of stock. When your kit arrives your order will be moved to The First Trimester! This is a hopeful and exciting time!
THE FIRST TRIMESTER
The first trimester begins when I have received an authentic copy of your sculpt & the other components necessary to create your sweet baby. Once I have received your materials, the work can begin. In your first trimester as in real pregnancies A LOT happens!
Your authentic baby sculpt is prepared for the painting process with an alcohol bath for all vinyl parts. This removes any residual film from the molding process that could cause the paint not to adhere to the vinyl. It gives me a smooth, fresh canvas to work with.
Vinyl kits come in many different colors and tones. I begin the painting process by neutralizing any unwanted orange, peach or yellow colors present in the vinyl. This is called color washing. The exact number of layers and the time this takes varies with each baby but on average you can expect this step to include 2 to 5 separate baking & cooling sessions before we can move onto the next important step.
Depending on the target skin color for your baby a custom palette color is created using authentic reborn heat set paints and genesis paints. The very first overall skin color is applied in this step so that it can be built up and finished as close to your target color as possible.
Some babies move faster through these steps and some take longer. As I have said before, EVERY BABY IS DIFFERENT. By now your baby has developed an overall skin tone and unwanted color saturation has been neutralized. Now it’s time to begin building on that foundation.
I am now ready to begin adding blush colors and some faint mottling to your baby. I am also working on the lips, eyelids and skin wrinkles. The wrinkles are built up just like the skin so they appear three dimensional and squishy. Generally this step includes 4 to 7 bakes (depending on the kit) and will need to be cooled between layers. Babies are also rested intermittently throughout the process to maintain the integrity of the vinyl. You can get really nasty bubbling of the vinyl if you bake too many times without allowing the vinyl to reset itself and return to its normal state.
Once the baby has been cooled & rested we are ready to begin the next segment of detailing. Babies are painted under 5500k lights (daylight) so I can see the skin depth as it is built up. At this point I am examining your babies tone. Sometimes through adding layers of paint we may need to adjust the color again using color washing to neutralize out any unwanted hues that have developed. I am also adding any additional skin layers that are needed (this is based on each individual baby). I will work a little more on the lips, eyelids and creases in this step, as well. Babies at this stage move into a resting state in preparation for the next trimester.
THE SECOND TRIMESTER
The second trimester begins with balancing the blushing. Depending on the preferences of the mother a blush palette is created using authentic reborn heat set paints and genesis. The colors are mixed to be complementary to the skin tone.
Babies will receive from 3 to 5 layers of blushing. The cheeks are blushed. The knee caps are blushed and also the elbows. In newborns this is when I will really build up the mottling on the limbs, forehead and face. Fingertips and the tips of the toes and soles of the feet also receive special focus in this step. Nail beds are built up in natural pink tones to resemble living skin.
Next up is another color wash and/or color correction if needed. This is where yellow tones are added when necessary for the realistic flesh coloring if it wasn’t present in the kits vinyl.
I will continue the lip definition, the eyelids and add the pinks to the skin folds on each side of the wrinkles to add a three dimensional effect. Capillaries and purple tones are added to the eye areas and the inner canthus of the eyes are finished with light blue, pink and purple as needed for realism.
The veining process starts at this point with a dilute blue wash. The areas on the limbs with the thinnest skin are shaded with the right blue for their skintone.
By now your baby in this trimester has undergone many layers of painting with several baking and cooling periods. The scalp detailing is accomplished in this trimester, as well.
I will add the first of several layers of veining of varying depths and fade them so they appear under the translucent skin. Babies are then baked and cooled for two sets of 11 mins each (bake 11 minutes, cool 30 then repeat again). They are then moved to the warehouse for a resting state (if they haven’t already required a resting period).
THE THIRD TRIMESTER
In this trimester your baby has received much of the overall coloring and most of the color washes that will be necessary. Your baby will be viewed and assessed for color balance and micro-detailing will begin.
Micro-Detailing is the tiniest paintbrush you can imagine adding things like capillaries, milk spots (if requested) and eyebrow hairs. The eyelids will also receive tiny blue veining in this trimester, as well.
The mottling is being finalized here and the very top layers of skin are being applied. This is also the point where skin texture would be applied if it was part of the order details.
As the eyebrows are built up the finishing touches are applied to the eye area and the babies eyes are installed. The lips are shaded for the final time and any outlining is completed in areas that need additional shading like between the fingers and toes.
The baby’s ears get special attention now, too. The skin coloring has been built up nicely so the warm fleshy pink tones are added to the tops of the ears. The inside of the ears are shaded with a deeper color
The thin skin behind the ears is now being shaded in pale purples or blues depending on the finished effect I am working toward. Any birthmarks or special markings like scratches, etc. are created in this trimester.
The eyebrows get their finished layers now and the cream tips are added to the fingernails and toenails. The inside of the nostrils are gone over again to deepen them more for a finished natural look. If the baby is getting painted hair this is when the scalp prep is done. I will seal the last layer of paint with clear airdry sealer so the paints will stick properly when I am painting the hair. For rooted babies this is when they receive their stork bites and other scalp detailing. It’s almost time for LABOR & DELIVERY!
When your baby makes it into the labor room he/she is just about complete. I may still be waiting for elements to complete him/her at this stage (eyes, internal components, purchased upgrades & hair). It is during this time that overall sealing and refining take place. Your baby is painted with heat set paints and needs to go through the sealing phase to be sure that the paint stays looking fresh and smooth without fading. This is also the time period when your baby will receive any additional realism extras like baby fuzz or skin texturing (if ordered). Once your baby has all of the necessary components his/her weighting and assembly will begin.
40-60 grit glass beads are used to weight your baby. These tiny glass beads are sealed inside of nylon stockings that are doubled over for additional thickness to help avoid excess leakage inside the cloth body. The arms and legs are then weighted appropriately using the glass beads and polyfil at the tops to hold everything inside. Plugs are used when provided by the manufacturer. The nylon is placed inside the body and polyfil is arranged over and around it to look and feel natural. The arms and legs are attached to the body and appropriately positioned for optimal posing and to feel real when you hold him/her. The body is now sealed inside a clear plastic bag to protect it and your baby is moved to the delivery room.
THE DELIVERY ROOM
As you have probably guessed by now, the delivery room is where your baby gets his/her hair completed, magnets installed, pierced ears and final assembly. Below are tables that show the timeline for babies as they are getting their hair completed. Keep in mind I can only work on ONE baby at a time in this section! So babies will move ONE BY ONE from THE DELIVERY ROOM to COMING HOME. I generally work on babies in numeric order here so 1, 2, 3 etc. Occasionally this will differ if a buyer has made a change to the hair or there has been some unexpected situation happen. Babies are assembled and moved to the next phase.
|14-17” BABY||ROOTED HAIR||3 TO 5 DAYS||+ 3 DAYS SEALING|
|18-20” BABY||ROOTED HAIR||6 TO 9 DAYS||+ 3 DAYS SEALING|
|21-23” BABY||ROOTED HAIR||8 TO 12 DAYS||+ 3 DAYS SEALING|
|24” AND UP||ROOTED HAIR||14-21 DAYS||+ 4 DAYS SEALING|
|14-17” BABY||PAINTED HAIR||1 TO 3 DAYS||+ 1 DAYS SEALING|
|18-20” BABY||PAINTED HAIR||2 TO 5 DAYS||+ 1 DAYS SEALING|
|21-23” BABY||PAINTED HAIR||4 TO 7 DAYS||+ 1 DAYS SEALING|
|24” AND UP||PAINTED HAIR||7 TO 11 DAYS||+ 2 DAYS SEALING|
Babies move to this section one by one. This is the photography session that will be used to proof your baby’s delivery. I will create a gallery of your baby and include the images in an acceptance form which will then be sent to you via email. Please be sure I have a valid email address on file for your order. Once you have reviewed your baby and accepted delivery you will receive your tracking number and the baby will be sent out the next pickup day. You also have the option to decline shipment of your baby if he/she is not what you had in mind. These babies are all individuals and never duplicates of what you have seen online. That is the beauty of this art.