Paper Mache Animals

Daily Sculptors Group Page

Paper Mache ChihuahuaWant to show off your paper mache creations and join the conversation with other sculptors? This is a great place to post a photo of your recent work.

You’re also welcome to share some of the challenges and insights that you gained from your sculpture, even if it isn’t quite finished yet. Need some advice on how to get through a sticky section of your project? Just ask – someone will be sure to offer an idea you might be able to use.

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9,867 Comments

  • Thank you, Jonni. Strange thing, but when I clicked on her email address in the paragraph I got the page not found then I went down and clicked on the icon for mail it worked. Because she is also Canadian I wanted to ask her where she buys her supplies. She uses mostly Creative Paperclay which I haven’t tried yet. She also uses Apoxie sculpt for fine details like ears. I checked Amazon here and in the US and here the Creative clay is $16 for 16 oz and in the US it’s $8. Even allowing for the exchange rate it comes to $10. It’s always been like that, but when my husband was alive I used to buy most of my craft supplies in the US. Now I just wait for the 40 percent coupon at Michaels, but they don’t carry the clay Susie uses.

    Could you tell me where you buy the cardboard for making your patterns? I am going to try making something from one of your books, but haven’t decided what.

    • Hi Joyce. I wonder if Michaels would be able to special order the Creative Paperclay. It probably wouldn’t reduce the cost, though, if it has to be shipped across the border. The Canadian version of Amazon has a student grade of Creative Paperclay that’s a lot less expensive, $10.07 CDN. It might be worth a try, just to see if you like it.

      I order most of my art supplies online, so I have a stash of cardboard in the basement. However, for really big projects I like to buy the shipping cartons that you can find in the office supply store at Walmart. They’re made with really heavy cardboard. But mostly I just scrounge.

      Have fun with your project, and please let us see how it turns out.

    • Hi Joyce. The email address was hyperlinked for some reason, so I removed it. Sorry about the confusion.

      I buy my CPC in bulk to cut down on costs (though it still comes to about $13 CAD per package after shipping and customs). I buy directly from the Creative Paperclay company through their US branch. You can order online here: http://shop.creativepaperclay.com/ . You do have to buy a minimum of 13 packages to qualify for the bulk discount.

      I wish we had the kind of prices that the US does on art supplies.

  • Jonni, I was googling for air dry clay and I came across this sculptor who does these fabulous horse (and other animals) sculptures and she gives a lot of hints about using this clay. Her name is Susie Bene and she lives in Vancouver, Canada. In some of her pieces parts of the wire are left exposed..probably special wire..but they are really beautiful ..and expensive. Worth looking at!

          • Thank you so much for the mention here ladies and your kind comments!

            I actually experimented with papier mache techniques before transitioning to air dry clay, and I still use it for certain applications: it’s great for long, thin sections.

            In my blog I offer advice on air dry clay sculpture since there’s so little information about these great materials. Your site is so informative Jonni – thank you for sharing so much.

            And just to answer the question – the exposed wire on some of the sculptures is armature wire. This is key because it doesn’t oxidize and cause problems with other mediums. πŸ™‚

            • Hi Susie – how nice of you to come visit us. Your ears must have been burning (or do people still say that. Am I showing my age? πŸ™‚ )

              I’ll look for your advice about air dry clay. That sounds very helpful, especially coming from someone who obviously knows how to do it. Thanks!

            • Susie, I am so glad you are familiar with Jonni’s site. I am a fairly new subscriber here and received a warm welcome. There are a couple of questions I wanted to ask and thought there might also be someone here that would like to know a bit more about how your work, but the link to contact you doesn’t work.

  • Hello paper mache friends,
    This comment is to be directed to the USA contingent of the group. I don’t know if you are aware of a sculpture medium called Pal Tiya. It is an air dry clay that is completely waterproof! I know many of you are interested in making outdoor sculptures to put into the garden. It is currently only in New Zealand now but the Pal Tiya crew is trying to bring it to the US.
    They are having a promotion to bring it here and are currently accepting pre- orders for the stuff. When they can get enough orders to make it worthwhile, they will fulfill the orders. Here is the website for you to check out. http://www.paltiya.com/
    You should check out the many videos on the site even if you do not plan on buying anything as Kim, one of the owners, is a fabulous artist/sculptor. Her tutorials are incredible. Her processes are very similar to our Jonni’s processes and the Pal Tiya medium just lends itself to what we do. I have pre-ordered some and cant wait to try it. Just wanted to pass this info on to you in case you want to try it.

    • Thanks for letting us know, Eileen. I agree that Kim is an excellent artist, and she’s also an amazing teacher. Even if you don’t want to make outdoor sculptures right now, I recommend following the link in Eileen’s comment just to see the beautiful dragons and faces that she makes. She gave me the idea of using aluminum foil in an armature, in fact, so check it out. I’ve been watching Kim’s site for ages, and I would love to order some Pal Tiya, but I won’t be able to this month. If you order some, I hope you’ll come back here to this site and let us know what you think of it.

  • Hi all πŸ™‚ Loving everyones fab work! Been using paper mache clay (minus the flour) to make my horse sculptures. I love it so much especially the texture. Ive tried lots of materials but this is great. Going to try apoxy sculpt too soon. Really enjoy watching all your videos Jonni you’re the best!

  • I’m still working on my goat sculpture, and I should have a new post up in a day or two. It’s going slow – clay is so much faster to work with than foil and hot glue!

    I think my next large (or large-ish) sculpture will be made with WED clay, with plaster cloth over it and then the air dry clay. I’d have to remove the clay and make it hollow, but the rhino has held up well, and she’s hollow.

    I have a commission for a small reclining cougar next, and I’m getting ideas for some character studies. Let us know what you hope to make in the new year, even if you haven’t started yet! Maybe we can help keep each other motivated. And if you have any ideas for Valentine’s day, we want to hear about them.

    • I just watched your goat video … it looks great and I can’t wait to see the rest of the process. I had never even heard of a Boer goat before!

      • They’re new to me, too. I did a Google image search for goats, and found them that way. Some of them seem to be built like tanks – not what you expect of a goat at all.

        • On top of learning new paper mache techniques I’m also learning about animals on this page … Boer goats, Warthogs and Somali Wild Asses!

    • Here is a picture of my barnyard goats, nothing as fancy as a Boer goat! They still need a base which is my least favorite part of doing a sculpture! Now that I am seeing them on a picture, I think I need to define the eyes a bit more.
      Jonni, I have had no trouble getting onto your site- no error messages.

      • Hi Eileen. That’s the shape I expect goats to have. You’ve caught their bodies and climbing tendencies beautifully. What material will you use for the base?

        • Most likely I will use a nice piece of wood, stained very dark as the goats and the wood(supposed to be a downed tree) are so light in color. The wood is a piece of cool driftwood I have been itching to use in a sculpture.

    • Clay would really be easier than stuffing with paper or foil if that’s what you meant but how will you remove it unless you cut the sculpture then reconnect it, in your experience does that in any way weaken the piece ?

      • Yes, if you use any kind of clay as a model for paper mache (or anything else, unless it’s fired) you have to remove the clay. My rhino is completely hollow – the basic shapes were created with clay, then I covered the clay with plaster cloth and let it harden. I cut it apart, removed the clay, and stuck everything back together with more plaster cloth. In an ideal world the hollow space would be filled with expanding foam, but it’s expensive and I didn’t have any – but the rhino has held up really well, anyway. Then I covered the plaster cloth with the air dry clay. Would it hold up to being shipped across the country? I think it would, but I don’t know for sure.

    • Jonni, you asked if anyone had an idea for Valentine’s Day. I went over to Wild at Heart Inc. http://wildatheartraptors.org/ and looked at photos. So many beauties & I know you’ve sculpted owls (at least a Snowy Owl), but thought that barn owls might be appropriate because of their heart-shaped faces. Hope other people make some suggestions.

      • That’s a great idea, Shelbot. I don’t know if I’ll have time before Valentine’s day – I seem to have a lot of projects already started. I’m trying that multi-tasking thing that you and Rex seems to like, with multiple projects going at once. Except that the goat is still the only thing that has shown progress, so my multi-tasking experiment doesn’t seem to be speeding me up very much. Long way of saying I think the heart-shaped owl would make a very nice Valentine’s day gift, and I hope someone makes one, and shows it to us. πŸ™‚

  • Hello all, hope your holidays were nice . Here’s a rabbit I did for the new year, its my first attempt at an animal, I’ll point out my mistakes. I didn’t smooth out the paste when I applied it, instead I made strokes in it which resulted in a rather rough looking finish which was too hard to sand off, So I used the gesso mix to full it in { another error I made was using leftover gesso that I had in the fridge } I mixed quite a bit about 3 weeks ago so had too much to throw away so it had some small lumps in it but i used it anyway } anyway this was all corrected by more sanding and adding more gesso and using a wire brush to create the fur effect. I then painted it in acrylic {mixed basic colours} and added a little varnish to the eyes and nose. BTW its all done with paper clay nothing else. I think it looks good for a first attempt at an animal.

      • I have so much in mind, winged horses,dragons, wolves,cats,bear,cartoon characters,dinosaurs. But since the rabbit was my first animal and biggest thing that I’ve made so far I’m still a bit unsure about tackling something bigger though I’ve seen it done by posters on your website and on you tube, still there is that moment when you might think “what did I get myself into here” so I guess gradually I’ll move on to other bigger stuff. One issue I think is like where will I put all these things, especially if I make larger ones.

        • I have that question going through my mind every time I start a new project. Now that my house is already filled up with sculptures, I have a hard time finding room even for the little ones. But you can’t let that stop you! Every sculpture you make is a huge learning opportunity, whether it’s the second one, or the 400th one.

          But … I wonder if drawing and painting are more popular than sculpting for this very reason? They’re flat, and even if the painting never makes it onto the wall, it can be stacked with other paintings. Drawings that don’t get displayed can be tucked in a drawer. I wonder how many people give up sculpting just because they’re house isn’t big enough to hold any more? And others probably start selling their work, even thought that wasn’t their original intention, just to get them out of the house so they can make more.

          • Jonni I loved to draw and paint since I was a kid but gradually dropped it as I grew older. I’ve had my eyes on sculpting for years now but where I live in the Caribbean its difficult to find many of the materials that one might need I think simply because there isn’t such a large demand for them and importing them via Amazon etc. practically doubles or triples the cost. I used up my fimo basic air dried basic clay before Christmas and called the guy where it was bought only to hear that he isn’t sure when they’ll get any again, this is just an example. As far as selling my work, I’m not sure if there’s a market in my country for such things and if there was it would be pretty small. The overseas markets would be a challenge , I just checked an estimate to ship the rabbit to Nebraska USA using UPS {just a simulation} and it came up to be USD 350.00{volumetric weight} and that’s if I sold it for USD 60.00 lol. So if I had to go that way I’d probably have to go with our local mail service using registered mail, IDK.
            I’ve given away many stuff that I did before like cutting and painting on Styrofoam for Christmas decorations and other things but over the years one thing that I’ve learned is many people tend to dispose of your work quite easily if they invested nothing in it after you put in all that time and creativity into it. So I’m not sure how it will pan out guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
            Here’s a pic of a well that I made using basic fimo air dried clay its a bit limp because the clay was pretty soft. I got the idea from a similar one made on you tube out of ploymer clay.

            • The wishing well is very nice – so much detail! And I do understand the problem with shipping. I try to avoid it if at all possible. It seems to be more expensive every week, and you have to be so careful when packing so it arrives in one piece.

              Are there any traditional art materials in your area that you could use instead of the commercial products that have to be ordered online? Carolyn makes some interesting items with the air dry clay recipe, so she must be able to find the joint compound and glue in St. Croix. She does order the silicone mold material, but the recipe can be used without a mold. I like using it over plaster cloth. Can you get things like that locally?

          • Hi Joni I didn’t see a reply button at the bottom of your last comment so replied here. I just checked Carolyn’s stuff and recognized the moko jumbies before I even read it btw jumbie is supposed to be a monster its part of our local folklore here in the Caribbean and even though from Island to island there may be different names or forms its the same thing as the fae,nature spirits or fairy folk you might know of just with Caribbean flavor. Its interesting that I was thinking about creating local folklore stuff but forgot to mention it yesterday. Things I grew up hearing stories about. But in a culture such as my country I can’t help but wonder it making them as sculptures might be likened to the sculpture of Satan in New York by locals lol. As for traditional materials to be used as substitutes the only clay I see at the art shop is local Grey water based clay at US equivalent 4.25 for 2 lbs or you “might” be able to buy the ochre colored clay from people who make ceramic I did try that once years ago but it was rough and hard and difficult to work with and hardened quite fast also unless I have access to a klin its not really of any use, unless I plan to make a mold and dump it after which I was considering but the silicones I most likely would have to import which would be way to expensive because of weight and taxes as I would be looking at larger scale sculptures. I’m not angry at all this as I clearly understand that I’m from a tiny Island so there isn’t such a demand for these things here. So art is costly to create over here and imo under-appreciated especially hand made things like these when much cheaper resin castings imported from china usually flood the markets. I get what you’re saying about wrapping and all that though I don’t think that I’ve used regular mail to send anything in years but only to receive so I’m out of touch with the rates and procedures.

    • It does look good. I have to do a jack rabbit this year, so this is inspiration. I’ve made all those mistakes that you mentioned. I have never had paper mache crack, but when I use gesso (especially if it’s been in the fridge for months) it does tend to crack when too thick.

      Thanks for showing us. I like it.

      • Thank Rex, I like your work as well, may I ask if the fur on the warthog is real fur ? And was it stuck on with glue ?

        • No, Dazz. It is off material (thick) that I glued in piece by piece. A friend gave me some “fur.” I couldn’t figure out a way to work with it very well. Thanks. I actually drilled small holes in the figure and then glued the strings in with tweezers. Labor intensive.

    • Nice rabbit Dazz and I like your comments about your process (you call them mistakes… I call them process… I think we all try things and then have to re-think and adjust!). I think I’ll try using a wire brush to create fur; it’s a great idea!

  • This is the second cartoon cat and the one I had most trouble with. When I was painting it I hit the tail on something and it cracked in two places all the way around. I noticed that the cracks were in a place that didn’t have any tape only foil so I think that is one lesson learned. I had to tape most of the tail and then applied a cast of clay which turned out fine, but then I added glue between the body and the tail and wrapped some paper towel and then a wire around the whole thing so that the tail was glued right to body and was firm. So now I know the armature has to be covered with tape because the clay just doesn’t want to stick to foil. Also on one of the cats I added the front legs after the body was dry and that didn’t work well either ….they both feel of and I had to do surgery on them. But all turned out well …my grandsons loved their cats (I think) and I learned a lot.

    • It’s beautiful, Joyce. I can see why your grandsons loved them. What a nice present!

      Did you use a wire inside the foil tail? I wonder if that would have helped prevent the crack – but the tape obviously did the trick so my question is just out of curiosity.

      • Thank you, Jonni and yes I used a wire in the tail. It was kind of strange the way they cracked-it was more like two breaks all the way around the tail an inch or so apart and you could clearly see the foil. I used a tool to compact the foil more and then wrapped it with my good tape and covered that with clay. i sound up doing most of the tail because the clay did not stick to the painted surface very well. I did the first cat with Das and would not buy that again. It was very hard to work with, but that might have been because I was used to polymer clay and a pasta machine to get smooth sheets of clay, I read that air dry clay shrinks a lot and that would account for all the small cracks that appeared when the clay was dry. Does paper mΓ’chΓ© crack?

        • I wonder if the Das cracked because it shrank around a hard armature? The home-made air dry clay can do that, if the armature can’t shrink along with the clay. Paper mache strips and paste can do that, too. Anything that’s larger when wet will shrink when it dries, but with paper mache it’s pretty rare to see cracking – unless balloons are involved. Maybe that’s because the paper fibers are acting as reinforcing. But I’m really glad you were able to save your kitties, because they’re great.

    • Joyce, your cats are beautiful. I really love the paint job you did and I know your grandsons will love these. If they can keep these till adult hood and marriage, they will have a nice keepsake to tell their children what grandma made.

      • Thank you, Christine for your kind words. They also gave me a little chuckle because Jamie and Jeff are 40 and 37 bachelors although Jamie has an 11 year old son from former relationship. Then have always had a cat or two, but they either get lost or sick so I made these so they wouldn’t have to worry about them.

    • Joyce, I adore both of your cats. They make me very homesick for my hippy days! You did an awesome job.

      I have never had clay crack, except when using balloons. (I think someone said that!) I never get clay all around anything I’m doing, of course. I have had endless problems with tails breaking. Partly because I’m clumsy. Now when I do tails, I usually stick them to the body at some point. I’m making a calf now and the tail was sticking up. Yesterday I wrapped it around and stuck part of it to the thigh.

      I absolutely love these cats. Your boys are very lucky. Great job.

      • Thank you so much, Rex. Although I had a lot fun making these, I also ran into problems too. Besides the clay cracking, the legs on one cat fell off and of course I’ve already mentioned about the tail breaking. You’re right about having an appendage not free standing. Before I painted them I gave them a coat of gesso and then a coat of white glue mixed with a little water and I hope they will survive. I really appreciate your kind words.

        • Joyce, do you use two layers of clay? I realized when doing pumpkins that some of the “spots” have very little clay. I have broken any number of things by dropping them on the floor. The only things that break seem to be legs or tails.

          • Rex, I only used one layer of clay except where I repaired certain spots,but I would do it differently next time, I read where one person puts a layer of clay on, let’s it dry, fills in the cracks and then adds another layer, sometimes even two. She puts hers in the oven at a low temp after the first layer.

      • Thank you, Suzanne and thanks to Jonni for letting me post them here. I have had so many nice comments about them.

  • Well I finished my cartoon cats in time for Christmas, but I almost forgot to photograph them. My grandson did it for me and I didn’t have time to set up a backdrop so he took the pics in front of my plastic covered sewing machines. They were not delightful so it has taken me a while to isolate them and give them a new background. I am not too happy with the way the photos turned out. Jeff took them with his phone, but the colours are not nearly as nice as the actual sculptures. I will post one at a time and see what you think of them. This is quite a new venture for me because I used polymer clay in my small sculptures and these are air dry clay and I didn’t measure them but they are the length of roll from kitchen towels plus a 2 and half inch styrofoam ball. I will post my trials and tribulations with each one.

    • Joyce, I am a photographer and I have in the past posts have given advice to the readers of this blog on how to photograph your sculptures. I have found that backgrounds affect how a sculpture looks when posted. I use a dark blue or black fleece cloth as my backgrounds. I usually buy a yard or so. If you have a dark colored blanket like brown or dark green and your sculptures are light they will stand out more. As I am writing I will post some examples when I can look at my vast collection of photos.

      • Thanks again, Christine. I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of the cats after I had finished them except it was almost Christmas and I still had a lot to do. I certainly would have chosen a better background, but my grandson was taking the photos with his phone and we really didn’t have anywhere to do it except in my work room. I will remember that about the dark background. It took me ages on the computer to select the cats and give them a new background. Maybe that should have been darker?

        • Hi Joyce, the photo of the cat in the yellow/gold background would have come out a lot of you had used black in the background. The colors of your sculpture in that photo have been muted by the background as many of the designs were very close in tone and hue were close to the light background. If you had an empty brown shipping box and put the sculpture in it, the brown would have accented the light colors. I also use the big poster boards you find in the craft section in Walmart, and have used green black and blue, depending on the color of my sculpture.

          • Thanks, Christine. These are definitely not good pictures of my cats and I was very disappointed in them. My grandson took them with his phone and I didn’t see them until he emailed them to me. I usually take photos of a sculpture as I am working on it and these cats were the most exacting clay I have done and I didn’t take pictures. The ones he took are in front of my plastic covered sewing machine with a light right above so they had a lot of reflections on them. I had to do a lot of digital work to get them to the way they are as posted. I wish I had them back so I could photograph them again, but my grandsons live in a different city. I do thank you for your advice.

    • Joyce,
      Love your cat! I have been wanting to experiment with the “patchwork” style of painting on my paper mache but had a metal block on how to begin, what design to use… I look at some artwork online but so many were very complicated designs. Yours is simple, adorable and has inspired me to just “go with it.”
      Thanks,
      Kathleen

      • Thanks, Kathleen. I found not painting straight down as you would in painting a picture, my hand was not too steady (I am quite an elderly lady) so I only used a brush to paint large sections. For most of the designs I used various tools dipped in paint and the smaller circles and dots were made with paint markers. I didn’t plan ahead what I was going to do and might do it differently next time. Good luck with your venture. I would love to see what you come up with.

    • Maure I love all your work but especially this one… the expression and texture and colours are fantastic! I hadn’t thought of using watercolour but after seeing your work, I think I might give it a try.

  • Hi Everyone,
    It’s been a long time since I posted, so since it’s a new year I just wanted to share with my fellow creators what I’ve been working on this year, as you can see I like a lot of texture in my pieces, also I paint all my work with watercolors and the seal them. I’ve finished a few pieces this year and since I don’t think you can post more then one photo,as Arnie said” I’ll be Back”. Happy New Year to all , and much creating.
    Maure

      • I use pretty much your recipe for the paper mache clay, with newspaper, wire and masking tape for the structure part pretty simple really, love the homemade clay it’s like icing a cake, I also use glass eyes since I use to make a lot of teddy bears and I still have the eyes. I love the medium it took a little while to get use to using pallet knives , instead of my fingers, but once you master that . Then it’s just so much fun to challenge yourself to see what else you can make.

      • Maure, I’m with Jonni on this. Great textures, colors, etc.—all three sculptures are terrific. Do you sell them, keep them, give them away? In any event, thank you for showing us. I hope this is a very Happy New Year for you.

        • Thanks so much for you comments, I live in a very small cottage 700′, and since I can create myself out of even sitting room very quickly, I sell my work on the net and shows, some that I get emotionally connected get to live in my little place, and some I give away to people that touch me.

          • Do you have any advice for other people who would like to sell their paper mache creations? If you do, would you be interested in writing a guest post for us? We get tons of questions about the best way to sell artwork, so I know people would be interested.

            • I think I might have some suggestions, I’ve been selling handmade items, for over 35 years, and have done it all, from indoor shows,outdoor shows, galleries,the net, local stores,also teaching and at my workplace, so if you think people might be interested in my thoughts, I’d be glad to.

    • Maure, love all of your animals. I like the rough texture. It has a character of its own.

      I have had people ask me why I don’t use watercolors, and I never considered it to be serious. Maybe I can learn something else from you. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Maure, all three sculptures are very sweet with great character and expressions! You paint with watercolor? Can I ask how you seal them? I would think the color would run if you applied a paint on varnish. Do you use the spray varnish? Does the color ever run? Nice work…cant decide on my favorite, they are all that good.

      • I’m a painter also, and have tried different types, I really don’t like acrylics on the paper mache since you can get heavy handed with it real easy and it’s harder to blend. So I use my watercolors that are artist grade, which have a lot of pigment in them. I like M.Graham watercolors they use honey as the binder, which really have intense colors. I seal with Krylon triple-thick crystal clear glaze, its a spray can, I’ve never had it run. With the watercolors you can go soft, so you can see thru it, or add more and get a more opaque look.
        Hope this helps

  • Happy New Year 2017 you wonderful creative persons!

    Soooo, there I was watching (binging on) season 6 of ‘G.O.T.’ (Xmas pressy), scrunching up the used wrapping paper to see which was recyclable & which was not. (Apparently if you scrunch it into a ball & it completely unfurls it has a plastic content & cannot be recycled with bog standard paper, but that could be just in the UK).

    Anyway, I was left with a large pile of paper that would not stay scrunched.

    Reach for masking tape, decoupage paper & PVA glue &….created these Celtic standing stones with the un-recyclable xmas wrapping paper.

      • Kuriologist, is there anything that you can’t turn into something beautiful. I doubt it. I was going to ask you to tell us again how you get that gorgeous honey glow, but I’d never be able to achieve those results anyway. Thanks for sharing. I hope wonderful things happen for you this New Year.

    • Wow. They are amazing. I have tried to do Celtic designs. I find them difficult. I did a small painting using them for a sister, but these are totally awesome. Love the patterns.

      Happy New Year to you, also. Great.

  • Jonni, I hate to wear out my welcome, but I am afraid that people coming back from celebrating the holidays and having inboxes full of emails, may miss the pattern/s & instructions for your glorious little baby unicorn (and maybe the adorbs rabbit). I know I’m being self-serving because, as I’ve mentioned before, I really want to see the other artists’ versions of these sculptures, but please remind everyone that the patterns are available now. And thank you for all your hard work.

    • Hi Adam. Did you try to post a photo of your jester’s mask? It didn’t come through. Did you get an error message? The upload thingy is supposed to tell us if we try to upload an image that’s too big. Or maybe the image just didn’t have time to upload before you closed the window? Whatever it was, I do hope you’ll try again, because we really want to see how your mask came out.

  • Jonni, you made me go look at the images of Somali wild asses. What a brilliant choice on which to model your magical little unicorn. Will the pattern & instructions for the baby unicorn be available for purchase today? Are there more pix of the finished unicorn?

    • I’m working on it – I have the files ready, and a new video showing how one could change the pattern to make the unicorn running (or whatever you want him to do). Now I’ll work on the post. It should be finished in a few hours. And you’re so sweet to ask for more photos – I’ll add more pictures to the post.

      • Wonderful! Thank you so much. I see that there is a good deal if one wants the patterns and instructs for both the unicorn & the rabbit.
        I just saw the different angle for the unicorn’s face. He is even better than I thought. And I already thought he was amazing.
        It will be so cool to see other artist’s renderings of these gorgeous creatures.

        • Hi Shelbot. Such nice things you say. Thanks.

          I finally finished the video, and the post is now online. Be sure to scroll down on that page to see the rabbit and the Unicorn together – they look so sweet together, if I do say so myself. And it was fun to build another armature in the video to show how to change the posture. I’m not sure if I’ve ever explained that before.

          I used a different video camera this morning, and the colors came out really strange – I turned sort of orange, for some reason. After all these years making videos, you’d think I’d know how to use the cameras. But it’s done, and I’m not doing it over. And tomorrow, I start something totally new. What, exactly? I’m not sure yet – but I’ll think of something. πŸ™‚

  • Here is warthog #1. This one has a different mane than all the others, and it is the thinnest. I cannot begin to tell you how many layers of paint are on this thing. He began gray.

    My artist friend gave me a bottle of Satin Varnish. It is made by Americana and is called DuraClear. It is a polyurethane satin varnish. I love it. It applied smoothly and quickly (I always fight this stuff) and dried in very little time.

    • Here is a side view. Any suggestions will be welcomed.

      He is the only one that will have spots like this.

    • Rex, you’ve really outdone yourself with this lovely creature. All those different colors, the different strokes – it’s wonderful!

      I just looked up DuraClear varnish, but the one I found is made by DecoArt, not Americana. Maybe they’re the same company? That link is to their ‘ultra matte’ version, although they have satin, too. If that looks like the one you used, I’ll order some – I just used the last of my varnish, and I need to replace it.

    • Fantastic job!!! I love the color combo you used as well. I am so impressed with the mane, what did you use for that great effect?

      • Thanks, Nancy and Susan. For the mane I bought some loosely woven material the fabric store had for Halloween. It was black. I pulled the strings apart, bleached them, and then drilled small holes across the head and down the back. Then I spent about three hours, using tweezers, to dip the end of the strings into Elmer’s Glue and stuck two or three strings into each hole. When they were dry, I cut off the strings.

        I did the second warthog using paper mache clay and then asked three or four people (neighbors) which one they liked. All of them said the clay, so that is how I finished the rest of them. They all said they liked the strings, also. A bit labor intensive.

        So the mane is a mix of black, brown, and white strings, plus whatever I splashed on it during the process of painting.

        • I didn’t even think of using paper mache clay, wish i did. Now I know, thanks. I ended up using jute cord that i cut and tied around a long piece then dipped in a water and glue mixture to stiffen, then I hot glued it on and cut it to length for the giraffe mane

        • Is King Rex redundant? From either angle the warthog is wonderful. I doubt you can top him (I wouldn’t even try), but can’t wait to see the others.
          I just found some other comments you posted that I hadn’t seen earlier & I’ll have to read later because I am extremely nosy.
          But am concerned about your anti-anxiety medication. I hope you’ve checked with Dr. about how/if to stop taking.

          • Well, Rex is for King (American’s had to name their dogs something to tell King George III what they thought of them — Duke, Prince, etc.) and Winn is for Meadow. So I tell people that I am King of the Meadow. (Maybe that’s what I should post my name as after this.)

            Yes, will check with the doctor! Thanks.

  • This is my paper mache giraffe that I finished just in time for the Holidays. Now, what do I do with it? It stands nearly 14 feet tall and is in my living room, the only thing I can think to do is create a zoo. I had a great time creating it and got so much inspiration and great advice from Jonni.
    Thank you!!

    • Res, I think it’s fascinating, the way you’re able to get such character into those pumpkins. When the warthogs are finished, do you know what comes next?

      • (I left posts yesterday, but I got an error message.)

        You mean posting photos? lol.

        I’m going to work on the Jack Russell and see if I can get her finished. Then I’m not sure. Three new babies are coming this year (I just found out), so piggy banks will be in the future.

        It has been 3 degrees at eight in the morning, so we’re freezing. I’ve had a migraine and neck pain, so painting halted. Neighbors complain of the same, so I’m saying it’s something in the weather.

        • Hi Rex. Do you remember what the error message said, by any chance? One more thing to fix? πŸ™

          What fun – new babies, and new piggy banks! Try to stay warm, and take care.

          • I entered a couple of different comments, and after each one a screen would come up that did not seem to be associated with this blog. Sometimes when I am on Yahoo, it does the same thing. I thought perhaps my Internet signal was “busy.” When I have had comments not go through on this blog, it usually sends an “HT ERROR” and gives a number. That did not happen this time.

            Keep your fingers crossed!

            • Could your computer have a malware file on it, by any chance? My dad gets strange popups sometimes because he doesn’t use any kind of anti-virus program on his computer. If it happens on several different sites, that could be the cause of it. Next time it happens, write down the exact wording on the popup window and then copy them into the Google search bar. It might tell you where the message is coming from.

            • The HT error is a new one for me, too – does it happen when your images are too big? It doesn’t sound like the right message for that. I almost never use the comment box out in the front end of the site, because they all show up on my dashboard – so when things aren’t working right, I am usually the last one to know. Isn’t that the way it always works, though? πŸ˜‰

            • Jonni, I didn’t know you couldn’t see all the “pages that display errors.” I will pay strict attention for now on. My feeble memory tells me that a couple of weeks ago when you were having computer problems, I was getting an “HTP error” that indicated the site was having problems. A couple of days ago I did not get the HTP error, but a page saying that page was not available. I will let you know as soon as I see errors of any kind. (I couldn’t say whether or not I have malware on my computer. I did erase a couple of files the other day that were questionable that Windows told me were not safe.) And I do have slow Internet, so that may have been the problem. Happy New Year.

              Painting fur, trying to! (A long-extended mystery with no payoffs gets boring after months!)

            • Hi Rex. Yes, I would appreciate a heads-up if you see any more errors. There’s probably some software, somewhere, that would check things fo9r me, but you know how well I get along with software. I am looking forward to seeing all those painted warthogs all in a line. I think you’ll be happy to see them finished so you can move on to the next challenge.

              Speaking of challenges, I just now finished my unicorn pattern. Or, to be more precise, I finished the instruction booklet that goes with the pattern. So many other things got in the way (like software problems), but now it’s finally finished. I really like the way the unicorn came out, and I found an easier way to attach leg patterns to body patterns, without the need for cutting foam blocks, so that’s good. But now I’m really looking forward to doing something else. I haven’t quite figured out what that will be, though. Still thinking…

            • Jonni, I’ve been thinking. Is the unicorn going to be a “beast” rather than a horse with a horn on it? I was thinking maybe I could do it as a piggy bank, but I want something more wild than the other ones I made. I love the idea of one sitting in a maiden’s lap, but I’m not going there.

            • Gosh – I think my unicorn is a little too ‘tame’ to be called a beast. I did hint at him being wild, but he’s still closely related to a horse. And I’m not sure about the maiden, either, although it would be fun to see a young girl riding him. I used a Somali Wild Ass for the model, and some of the photos of their foals are really amazing – they have such fun! I’d love to see someone do one leaping through the air. Could that work for a piggy bank?

              This is how he turned out:

    • So colorful and cheerful. I never get tired of these, Rex. Can’t decide which one I like best, I’ll just love ’em all.
      Now—Warthogs, PLEASE!

      • Yes, sir! I have no idea how many brush strokes I need to make for fur, but I’m about to find out. How are you doing?

        • LOL. They are going to be fabulous in any event. As for me, I am tired and unbelievably sloooow. How are you feeling? Did you have a good Christmas?

          • Teca and I had dinner with the neighbors. We were very lazy the rest of the day, except when she got me out in the snow and 20 degree weather. (The doctor put me on some anxiety medication because my heart has been pounding, etc., etc., and it makes me tired. I think I am going to stop taking it. Makes it difficult to get anything done, on top of being slow!) Happy New Year! We go to bed at eight and hope no one runs into the house.

      • Okay, Sir Shelbot. The first warthog is finished and posted. I don’t know whether I should consider this harassment or encouragement, but it got the job done! lol. Thanks so much.

        Jonni, I can’t wait to see the unicorn. I may have to do another one. I have been painting the warthog all day. I think I used every color but green. I really like the purple in the black. Any suggestions for the other four? I don’t know if they’ll end up in a row or not, typically what I do, as you know. Thanks.

        Also, very interested what you use instead of foam blocks. Creative minds — wow!

        Happy New Year, everyone.

  • Okay so the cling wrap worked really well as a release agent… but my sculpting work was grotestque.. im a total newb at this, but after a few days of practice I managed this…

    • Hi Adam. I’m sorry your sculpture isn’t turning out the way you hoped. I think you may have tried to upload a photo, but it didn’t come through – the file size was probably too large. Please edit the image and try again.

        • Oops – still didn’t work. The image needs to be less than 250 k – did you try using the link at the top of the page to reduce the size? (Really big images slow down the page, so we have to have a size limit.) I really want to see your mask, so I do hope you’ll try one more time!

            • Adam, your photo came through – and I can’t understand why you aren’t happy with this sculpt – I think it’s great! There’s a hint of deviltry in his expression – happy, but at whose expense? I love it. I can’t wait to see how the paper mache versions come out.

            • Thanks for resizing, Adam. Really great character face. Please show us more when you can.

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