Let’s Make a Basset Hound
In this first video I put the pieces of the Basset Hound pattern together, and play around with the posture. Be sure to see all the other videos, too, that will be added below as soon as they’re done.
If you’d like to make your own Basset Hound, you can download the free pattern, and either print it on full-sheet labels or use copy paper and glue it to your cardboard with a glue stick. Note: the pattern has been altered since the first three videos were made. The button will take you to the new, revised pattern.
If you want to make a different kind of dog you can make your own pattern. See this post to learn how.
Tips from Part 6: The Stanley Surform Shaver tool can be found on Amazon.com or at your local hardware store, and you can find Angi’s comment about the brush-on paper mache clay in the comment section below the videos and photos.
Part 2 – Starting to Pad the Body:
Part 3 – Still Working on the Armature:
Part 4 – Adding the Feet:
Part 5 – Adding the Face and Ears
Part 6 – Adding the Paper Mache Clay
For the pattern you’ll need:
- A printer
- Full sheet labels, or copy paper and a glue stick
- Corrugated cardboard
- Aluminum foil
- Hot glue gun
To pad the body you’ll need:
- Crumpled paper and masking tape, or;
- Aluminum foil and hot glue
To add the paper mache clay you’ll need:
- One or more batches of paper mache clay
The full instructions are in each video, but here are a few of the important steps:
Step 1, Print the Pattern and Cut it Out
After printing the pattern, cut along the dotted lines so the two ends of the body can be lined up on the cardboard.
Stick the pattern pieces onto the cardboard. Use a glue stick if your pattern is printed on copy paper. Use a piece of cardboard for the body that’s wide enough so the pattern doesn’t go across a fold line.
I’m not going to use a wire to make the tail instead of cardboard, but I’ll use the tail pattern to show me how long the tail should be. And I’ll make the ears longer than the pattern (just because I feel like it) and I’ll probably use lighter card stock. We’ll decide that later.
Cut out all the pattern pieces with a sharp knife.
Step 2: Position the Legs
Look at photos of Basset Hounds, and determine where the legs should go. You may need your dog’s legs to be in a different position than mine, depending on what posture you choose. My dog will be sitting down like a typical Basset Hound.
To help with the positioning of the legs I looked at the drawings of a long-legged hound in the book Drawing Animals by Norman Adams and Joe Singer (one of my favorite books).
Once you know where the legs should go, draw around the outside edges.
Step 3: Cut the Pattern So it Can Twist (Optional)
Cut the cardboard pattern from the tummy to the spine if you want your Basset hound’s body to bend or twist. You don’t need to do this if he’s going to be standing up straight. I didn’t cut the neck, but I probably will do that later.
Step 4: Add Aluminum Foil Spacers for the Legs
Crumple fairly large balls of foil to use as spacers for the legs. Use hot glue to stick the foil onto the pattern, inside the outlines of the legs that you drew in a previous step.
Step 5: Glue the Legs to the Foil Spacers
Add the legs to your pattern. You’ll want to move the armature around to see exactly where the legs should go so it looks natural.
Step 6: Add Foil or Wire to Stiffen the Spine (Optional) and Play with the Posture
If your dog’s spine is twisted or curved, you’ll need to make the spine stronger with crumpled foil or wire. Use hot glue to attach foil to the armature. If you use wire for the spine, hold it on with masking tape.
Now that your pattern has been put together, you can move everything around so your dog sits, stands or runs. He will still need a lot of work, but in the next post we’ll fill out the armature so it will be very strong before the paper mache is added.
Step 7: Start Padding the Body
Add tightly crumpled newspapers behind the leg patterns to make them much more solid. If you’re using crumpled foil, stick it on with hot glue.
Fill in the body with the crumpled paper or foil. Make changes to the posture if you need to. Be sure to look at photos of dogs while you work.
Start by putting tightly crumpled paper or foil behind the leg pieces. Then fill out the tummy and chest, up to the level of the legs, as shown above. See Video 2 above.
Step 8: Fill Out More of the Shapes
Now we start to make our Basset Hound look more like a real dog. Add more crumpled foil or paper to the armature, while looking at photos of your favorite dog. This will take quite a bit of time, but spend as much time as you need to get it right.
If needed, go ahead and make changes as you go. I changed the back leg, and removed some of the paper on his tummy. I’m sure I’ll make many more changes before I’m done.
Add the tail – I cut a piece of aluminum armature wire that is long enough for the tail, plus an extra six to eight inches to leave plenty of room for taping the wire along the spine.
Add crumpled foil or paper to fill out the tail.
Add the feet. Basset hounds have big feet, but remember that you’ll also be adding paper mache or paper mache clay.
I extended the toes after this photo was taken – see the Sixth Video in the series, above, to see how they look now.
There are a lot of photos of basset hound feet on Google. Make sure you look at some of those photos when you add foil or crumpled paper to sculpt the feet and toes on your dog.
Add the face and ears. It’s hard to see the shapes in a photo when all the light is bouncing off the foil, so make sure to use photos of real dogs for your model. My Basset hounds face will change quite a lot. It’s hard for me to sculpt when I’m trying to hold him in one place for the video camera. 🙂
Step 9 – Add the Paper Mache Clay
I used just 1/3 cup of flour in the Paper Mache Clay to make a thin mixture that can be spread with a flexible spatula. Be sure to watch the video to see an even thinner mixture brushed on over the first dry layer of paper mache clay – and a big thanks to Angi for suggesting it.
Also check the video to see how the Sureform Shaver tool can be used to remove unwanted bumps from the dried paper mache clay.