Blue Shark sculpture with smooth skin

Made by Elizabeth Keller

Hi fellow sculptors! I used both versions of Johnni’s paper mache clay recipes to sculpt this Blue Shark.

This project was my first time using an airbrush – I still have a lot of practicing to do. I’ve always wanted to be a sculptor and this air dry recipe has finally put me in touch with affordable and accessible materials that let me create anything I can imagine!

I’m inspired by the beauty of nature, especially creatures of the sea. I love the grace and power of sharks. The Blue Shark is one of the most beautiful sharks in the world. My only guide was a few photos I found.

I freehanded the vertical and horizontal profiles in cardboard then used a measuring tape and math to calculate the proportions to ensure they were as accurate as the sharks in the photos. The armature was constructed from cardboard, masking tape and aluminum foil.

I built up the body in layers using the original clay formula. For the final shaping and smoothing I used the smoother clay recipe. It took a lot of sanding and layering of joint compound to smooth the skin on this shark, but I’m pleased with the result.

[You can see Elizabeth’s Manta Ray with Cleaner Fish here.]

Blue shark sculptures with paper mache clay

Blue shark sculptures with paper mache clay

7 thoughts on “Blue Shark sculpture with smooth skin”

  1. Elizabeth that is a great looking piece of work! You really nailed the coloration of a blue shark. Like you sharks have been a favorite subject of mine to sculpt. I look forward to seeing your future creations.

  2. It’s a small shark – only about 22 inches from nose to tip. My dream is to scale way, way up and make life-sized sculptures of existing creatures and some prehistoric fossil creatures. My next project is to do something really complex; either a larger-than-life tarantula hawk, or Pacific Giant octopus (complete with all the suckers on the tentacles).

  3. He’s beautiful, Elizabeth. How big is it?

    I used an airbrush, many years ago, for making designs on t-shirts. It isn’t easy. You did a great job on your shark, both sculpting and painting, and the air brush was a perfect choice for the smooth-skinned fish. 🙂


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