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Kirstie_DDB Posts: 85

Ok, this is probably a very very odd question (it came to me at 2am last night so forgive me). But I was pondering how to shade my bars without using copics since using alot of copic on fur tended to make it feel sticky. Dying wouldn't work because I am addicted to synthetic faux fur. I'd try airbrushing but I haven't got the machine, although I have yet to give the ol paint-brush technique a go.

Annnnyway.... what did pop into my head was whether make-up would work? You know, just your usual eyeshadow powders?

I did a little sample on a scrap of white fur (working it right down into the fur fabric) and it blended in quite nicely and looked (and felt) very soft. I couldn't get my sample to smudge very much at all but then I did only put it on a small amount. I wonder if using a hair-dyer on it would heat-set it like paint?

Has anyone else tried this? Is there anything I should know before trying it on a bear?

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Hi Kirste.

I have heard of people using make-up to add some coloring and shading in very small amounts but I have no idea how permanent it would be.  I am, however a big believer in experimentation.  I would think that make-up could not be heat set..BUT...why not give it a try on some scraps and see what happens.   Nothing ventured nothing gained.

When aryclic paints are heat set it changes them to form a chemical bond to the surface they are applied to.    So I doubt that make-up, being that it is heaviey tested for human safety could have any permanent effect.  It could and probably would,however, stain the fur.  The down side would be that some of the make-up could come off on a collectors hand.......and that would not be a good thing.

Why don't you give it a try and see what hapens then you can report your findings to us. bear_thumb

anuchka Angel Devil
New York, NY
Posts: 12

I use artist quality chalk pastels some times and rub them into the felt or mohair until none comes off on my hands -- it can take a while to get the depth of color I am shooting for.  My main concern with using makeup is that it often has other elements in it like wax that can deteriorate over time or make the fabrics greasy.

I used pastels to color the wool felt tongue of an open mouth bear recently and then set it with a little of the same soft beeswax I use on my bear noses.  The results were quite pleasing.  And using the pastel on fur does give it a nice airbrush look.  Not sure how it would work on synthetic as I've not tried that.

So in other words, I think you are on the right track with the makeup, but might want to use something designed to last longer.  Sometimes the pigments in makeup fade over time unless they are the very pricey, fancy brands with strong colors like MAC and Makeup Forever.

(I'm new here, so I hope I'm not stepping on toes by offering advice already, but I just went through something like this myself recently)

chrissibrinkley Posts: 1,836

Makeup hmmm...thinking way back to when my sisters and I loaded up the family dog with makeup, rollers, and braids bear_grin  :crackup:

I did a little dabbling with ragdolls about 3-4 years ago, just something for myself, I never sold them.  I can tell you that I used regular old blush on their cheeks and it has over those years faded now that I'm looking at them.  I didn't heat set them, but I'm not sure that heat would work on makeup.  Can always try it though!!

I LOVE Shiva paint sticks for shading.  I have an airbrush system that was used only once when my sis was in college,
but I've yet to brave it.  One of my 2008-2009 goals bear_whistle
The sticks are used by fabric artists, quilt artists and many others. Pretty much zero clean up because of their solid form (a total bonus!!). For bears I've never used a blending stick like I did with copics.  It's all about building up the color and blending as you go with the brush of your choice. Here's a link if you've never seen them:


EvaJ EJ's Crafts
Fort Mohave, Arizona
Posts: 829

I use blush on some of my bears and on the dolls that I make.  I put it on and let it sit for a while then rub it in.  I does have a tenacy to fade with time but I find putting on a second coat and rubbing it in pretty much sets it.  I have never tried any of the oil based products so don't know about that.

Have you hugged your bear today bear_wub

Donna Donna's Duin Bruins
Burbank, CA
Posts: 900

As I remember back in the old days make-up was used for shading.  Some times it was moistened to help it set.  I know I was trying to help sell off a collection after the collector passed away.  Many of those bears had color from make-up and they were from the late 70's early 80's.   They still had plenty of color.  Give it a try on some scrap fabric and see what happens.

AussieFelts AussieFelts
South Australia
Posts: 171

The koala in my av has blush on his cheeks.  I gave it a pretty good rub in to set it but I have no idea on how stay-fast it will be.

matilda Matilda Huggington-beare
Posts: 5,551
I use these as well as copic ,pencils and oils. I do use different methods together. What ever gives me the effect I am after.

(I'm new here, so I hope I'm not stepping on toes by offering advice already, but I just went through something like this myself recently)

I didnt hear anyone go "ouch!" bear_grin  don't worry, your advise and opinions are very welcome possum. bear_thumb

The Rabbit Maker The Rabbit Maker
Posts: 680

I have tried make up when I have been experimenting and I like it because of the lovely soft effect you get and lets face it, it's a medium that we are all used too. There are so many colours available and it's quite easy to use.
Although we remove make up from our skins with suitable removers cream etc., if you get make up on your clothes you do have to wash it, it doesn't just brush of  and sometimes does stain. Therefore it could last on mohair ?

The reason I haven't used it on my rabbits is really because I don't know how long it would last. Believe me if I knew it had longevity I would use it as I think it is one of the easiest things to apply and blend and it has a vast colour range, no messing around mixing paints.

Maybe I will use it on a rabbit and keep it for a few years and report back.

asthehind Posts: 18

Hello everyone, apologies for bringing back such and old thread (16 years old! Almost old enough to vote!), but I am trying experiements with makeup now. Have any of you tried anything in the years between this post and the others in this thread? I've just put a 2nd coat of eyeshadow on a bunny and have tried to set it with a hairdrier. I love the effect it gives but I do think that it brushes off quite quickly.

The Rabbit Maker The Rabbit Maker
Posts: 680

Hi, Yes ! I did try many mediums for colouring my rabbits and I stuck to liquid acrylic and an air brush. I have kept some of the rabbits I made and the colour is still good. It is definitely a skill and quite frustrating when the air brush gets blocked. You have to treat it with great care, but I love the effect and it was one of my favourite processes to use. Good luck and thanks for reminding me how long ago I originally posted a reply to this post ! : )

asthehind Posts: 18

Thanks for replying! I have acrylic paints but not an airbrush. I tried both diluting it with water and painting it on that way, and dry brushing. Irritatingly the piece of fabric I used has disappeared! I suspect the sofa has eaten it. Does acrylic paint require heat setting? If so, what is a good way to do this? I read you can use a hairdrier for about 5 minutes or so.

The Rabbit Maker The Rabbit Maker
Posts: 680

Hi, I always used a hairdryer on it, just to make sure it was truly set.  5 mins would probably be fine .

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