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Learn to sculpt step-by-step!
I decided to make a full tutorial of this one so if anyone's interested, come sculpt along! I will be adding more pics as I go.

Posted by Dust of Enchantment D. Published See Dust of Enchantment D.'s 11 projects »
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  • How to mold a clay character. Polymer Clay Sculpture Tutorial - Step 1
    Step 1

    So I made some inset eyes with white Fimo and printed irises. They have slight indents because I want to create the clear "globe" effect by filling them out with 3D crystal lacquer later.

  • Step 2

    Begin by positioning the eyeballs on the face

  • Step 3

    Map out the features. The trick is to touch your own face to feel where the bones should be and how huge the eye sockets are.
    She looks like C3PO now LOL!

  • Step 4

    Make two very small snakes for eyelids, add clay balls to cheeks and chin.

  • Step 5

    Blend the additions with a flat tool and a soft paint brush.

  • How to mold a clay character. Polymer Clay Sculpture Tutorial - Step 6
    Step 6

    I refined the face, made ears and baked the head on a stick at 130C for 20 minutes. I also made a hole in her scalp so the armature wire can go through to make a loop on the head. This will be useful when I work on the tail later.

  • Step 7

    Build a wire armature with the aid of an anatomy reference. I used Patricia Rose's lady pattern. Keep it simple and leave extra wire for the arms for posing purpose. Hold the wires together by soldering or simply tape firmly with masking tape.

  • Step 8

    Next, bulk up the chest, buttocks and thighs with foil. This will reduce the thickness of clay in these areas so you can bake for a shorter time, and not worry about burning the thinner parts.

  • Step 9

    Wrap the whole armature with floral or masking tape. It is important to cover the wires as the steel can leave black marks on the clay.

  • Step 10

    Put the head on to check the proportion. Pose your doll.
    Brush some baby oil on the armature and cover it with clay. The oil helps the clay to adhere. Give her more flesh than you'd like and blend well. Roughly carve out her figure. I use anatomy references of nude women.

  • How to mold a clay character. Polymer Clay Sculpture Tutorial - Step 11
    Step 11

    Hang your sculpt while sculpting to minimise squishing and dirt. Use good anatomy references to make the body.

  • How to mold a clay character. Polymer Clay Sculpture Tutorial - Step 12
    Step 12

    Smooth her as much as you can with a soft brush dipped in a solution of baby oil+ water. Gently feather off fingernail marks and fingerprints.

    After smoothing, I discretely branded her with my initials. It doesn't have to be on the shoulder blade. Depending on the pose, I sometimes put it on the back of the neck, on the inner thigh or under the foot.

    I wrapped her already baked head in wet cotton and foil to keep it from darkening more than the fresh clay on her body.

  • How to mold a clay character. Polymer Clay Sculpture Tutorial - Step 13
    Step 13

    I made "fin holes" on her hips to assemble the fins later. The golden wires for her tail fin will be baked on first.

  • How to mold a clay character. Polymer Clay Sculpture Tutorial - Step 14
    Step 14

    Start with a cold oven, hang her from the top tray to avoid flattening anything. Use an oven thermometer, do NOT trust the oven's built-in thermometer! Baking time and temperature vary from brand to brand. For Prosculpt, it's recommended to bake every 6mm for 15 min at 130'C.Again, DO NOT touch her until she is cooled after baking. Open the door slightly to stop the cooking, let her cool naturally in the oven.

    There will be white marks on her face from the wet cotton, but they can be easily removed by rubbing with *very little* acetone and then baby oil.

  • How to mold a clay character. Polymer Clay Sculpture Tutorial - Step 15
    Step 15

    The size of her hands should be about the length from her chin to half way of her forehead. Roll out two equal sausages, flatten the palm and cut 5 little wedges for fingers. Using a soft brush and a detail tool of your choice, define the joints, knuckles, wrinkles and fingernails. Assemble to the arms and bake. I have also blushed and painted her body.

  • How to mold a clay character. Polymer Clay Sculpture Tutorial - Step 16
    Step 16

    Paint her tail with a base colour of your choice. When dry, cover the tail with a paper-thin sheet of translucent clay. Using a small drinking straw or any suitable tube, cut at a 30 degrees angle and sculpt the scales with it. Bake and paint with metallic paint or Pearl-ex.

  • How to mold a clay character. Polymer Clay Sculpture Tutorial - Step 17
    Step 17

    Give her make up... I am just holding some scrap mohair for the picture, her real hair is still soaked in the dye :)

  • Step 18

    I glued fantasy films for her fins, held them over fire (be very careful!) to shrink the film and decorated with micro beads. I also hand dyed her mohair and made her a tiara.

  • Step 19

    Finished!

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Comments

DarkAshHurts
DarkAshHurts · 119 projects
Amazing Tutorial!! Ive wanted to make clay heads forever, but always screwed it up. lol The tips are great!!
One question: How did u attach the hair?
Reply
Gem H.
Gem H.
Shes awesome, thankyou for the help, ur ace!! Happy xx
Reply
Louise Quatorze
Louise Quatorze · Vlaardingen, Zuid-Holland, NL · 22 projects
Wow amazing!!!
Reply
Pinocchio
Pinocchio · U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, US · 30 projects
The head looks reallt scary before you add eyelids! very nice tutorial though, i really want to try it Happy
Reply
Scraphoarder
Scraphoarder · Indianapolis, Indiana, US · 11 projects
Very very pretty HappyShe looks so real!
Reply
Azraels Requiem
Azraels Requiem · Bridgeport, Connecticut, US · 47 projects
That is gorgeous. I can't work with those clays, for some odd reason my hands are unusually warm, it just gets too tacky and I can't work with it.
Reply
neondoll>_<
neondoll>_< · La Cañada Flintridge, California, US · 8 projects
that looks soooo hard to make!!
>_<
Reply
Franisima c.
Franisima c. · Viña del Mar, Valparaiso, CL
this rocks!
Reply
Apricot
Apricot · Sacramento, California, US
WOW thats amazing!
Reply

CO + K User

You're good!
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