In this article I’d like to share my experience with you. Hope, it will help you to avoid pitfalls and make you creativity more fun. 

1. First mistake is not to think over the doll’s image initially. 

You can do a great faceup, perfect hair but if the colors do not match with each other, the overall look will be so-so. It’s a fail when, due to loose hair, you can’t see details of a complex costume.  It is even worse if money is spent on expensive materials that do not match with each other in texture, and the details of the outfit conflict with each other. 

2. An incorrectly applied Mr.SuperClear (or MSC) or other base coat varnish will negate all attempts to paint something on a doll’s face. 

Make sure the are no traces of acetone on the rubber. Do not use alcohol to degrease. In both cases, MSC will fall badly.

MSC should be sprayed at a distance of 20-25 cm in small circular motions for 1-2 from the front and on the both sides of the doll’s face. A light mist from the spray should form an even, velvety and matte finish. If shine and streaks appear — it’s a fail. Rinse off the faceup and start again. Neither an eraser, nor a melamine sponge, nor additional layers will help you.

If you spary MCS too far from the doll, it will fall down with crumbs or a white coating. 

After spraying, wait a couple minutes and repeat the procedure if necessary. The number of layers depends on what you are painting with. if you draw with a pencil, there should be four such base layers. Wait 30 minutes before drawing, The clear must 'have a rest'. If using watercolor, one thin base layer is sufficient. 

3. A so-so decision is to remove the doll’s head without preheating with a sharp movement. You can pull out the anchor, breaking the doll’s neck. 

4. It is even worse to reroot the doll’s head without protecting the face. Hair, especially natural wool, can be dyed with very bright pigment that can leave stains on the rubber. 

5. When rerooting, try not to tear the rubber along the hairline and not to arrange craniotomy for your doll. It is better to use sewing nned instead of a darning needle if using a knot method. 

6. Do not neglect sketches before painting the face. Practice on paper first. Especially in the image of eyes, eyelashes and eyebrows. These are the hardest thing for me)

7. It is a big mistake to make a faceup first, apply glossy varnish of eyes and lips and then start to reroot the doll. One of my first dolls had varnish cracked  and then peeled off.  But I managed to fix it by applying Mr.Color GX gloss.  It is thick, creates  a transparent convex  surface and levels cracks and irregularities. However working with it requires a certain skill and accuracy.

8, Do not use acetone to remove stains from the doll’s body. It dissolves plastic. Use a melamine sponge or sandpaper.  But!  With the help of acetone, you can smooth out deep scratches on the doll’s body, which cannot be sanded down. But be careful with cotton pads.  They can leave fibers that stick to the plastic. 

9. It is not a good idea to sew ooak clothes out of worn fabric. An old sock will remain an old sock, no matter who you put it on. An exception if you are making Dobby. Here the sock will be in line)

Hope this article does not sound too dramatic. If I make more mistakes I will extend the list)

On the photo below the faceup is asymmetrical. This is also a mistake. In the future articles I will tell you how to avoid it.