Painting portrait and wedding figures
I tend to use a range of artists and craft acrylic paints. You can use acrylic, gouache or even watercolour, but the more watery the paint, the more it will raise the grain of the wood. For youngsters, even felt pen is effective but it will bleed into the wood grain. When I paint the skin colour I paint a couple of coats, and then sand the figure back, before painting two or three more. It gives a lovely smooth surface for detail, but it takes a lot of coats to paint over it and get a uniform colour – even for a white dress!
The pegs are great fun and can be done with one or two coats of paint, if you don’t mind a slightly rough surface. The colour will go on stronger in earlier coats as the water is absorbed into the wood more easily. You can pencil in your design and paint separate colours between the lines, or paint the whole figure and build up your layers as you go.
Then I use a water based acrylic sealer over the top. The best general purpose one would be a satin finish water-based sealer/varnish, preferably ‘toy safe’.