Daily Sculptors Page

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15,236 thoughts on “Daily Sculptors Group Page”

  1. Hi Guys, I finally finished my Warthog sculpture and thought I would upload it to YouTube for those who are interest to have a look-hope you enjoy it! I won’t have access to a computer for the next 3 weeks so I will catch up with everyone when I am back on line-in the meantime enjoy your sculpting!

  2. I have thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with all of the recipes you have posted on your blog.
    I usually play with polymer clay, but this medium lends itself to large, fun projects!
    (I couldn’t figure out how to post a photo) I have included a website where a picture of my finished bird is posted. http://trollopspeacocks.wordpress.com/
    I used the ultimate paper mache recipe which I mixed and remixed in a food processor to get the consistency as smooth as possible.
    Thank you for all of your generous tips!

  3. I was very inspired by your work and your wonderfully clear tutorial. Thanks for so generously sharing your techniques and tips with us.

    My first paper clay sculpture is a tribute to Breast Cancer Survivors and is called ” Hope “.

    I wanted to share a photo of her but you can check out my blog


    to see the entire process. I hope you get the glitch fixed soon.

    Many thanks again. Jane

  4. Latest progress on the Kudu-after the shock of the close ups I have now had another go at re-painting my Kudu-still not really happy but a big improvement. If you flick back to the before pics you can see the changes. I noticed I had forgot to sculpt the viens of the face so I cheated and panited some on with highlights -its quite convincing from 2m away! So one half done and the other half to paint! It was a bit stupid of me really to just paint one side because now I have to match all the mixed delicate shades to match side 1-oh well I like a challenge!

      • Hi Jonni, Hope you are ok, thanks for your kind comments-I think I will need lots of luck trying to match up the colours! I’m glad you fixed the comments part of your website-have you ever thought of exploiting the free cloud drive or skydrive space you can get from microsoft to upload photos and comments? I don’t know if it would be as controllable as your current system but it might be a a make do and mend soloution until you sort out the problem. Any one who missed out on the finished pics of my Kudu can see the video on youtube at the link below, take care, or if the link seems to complicated to copy and paste into your browser just type Bwana Foster into YouTubes search facilty and look for the Kudu in the list of videos-it should be second from the top.

        • Thanks for the link – I’ll be sure to go take a look at your video. I’m still working on the comment problem – we should be able to see all the old photos that you and others uploaded when I get it figured out. So far, forums haven’t been much help, but at least we aren’t seeing the same warning message in place of all the comments. That’s a positive start, right? Now I need to find someone who knows how WordPress works.

  5. I’ve started to work on heads independently of the body and armature because it really helps with not ruining any part of those features while working on the body. The heads are usually the hardest thing for me and where I spend the most work sometimes because I’m always trying to make my sculptures look unique. Therefore, I’ve been trying to get better at making specific features for people by working on portraiture. These are some work in progress sculpts where I was working on male features and was trying to do something different with each one as can be seen by the variety of heads (ex, bald-short hair-long hair, younger-older, clean shaven-hair on the face, etc.). They’re based on some specific people but I’m not sure how close I got to people actually being able to tell who they are. They each measure about 1.5 inches tall. They are made of a mixture of super sculpey beige and original sculpey. I did these over a period of a week so it gave me a lot of practice. The good thing about working this way is that once finished I can choose which ones I want to complete by making their body and the others can just remain as practice. From taking pictures I can already see some things I can fix.

    • OMG Jose, you are amazing! Those faces are SOOO good! Several of them look familiar, but I can’t remember names to save my life, so they probably look just like whoever you mean them to be! 🙂

    • Wow!

      A few months back I ordered Pop Sculpture: How to Create Action Figures and Collectible Statues, just because it looked like a fun book to read. I was really impressed with the process of making the small figures. The work involved in incredible, so it’s really inspiring to see someone actually doing it! And doing it well, I must add. Great characters, Jose.

      I’m sure I should know this already, but I’ll ask again, anyway – do you cast your Sculpey figures in resin?

      • Thanks Jonni!!
        That’s funny. I actually got that book to help me with my sculptures as well as the one by katherine Dewey for working with polymer clay. They’re both great books. I like looking at the pop sculpture one because it has such great pieces that are so inspiring to look at. I’ve read both of them and combined the methods I learned from them. I haven’t gotten to being able to cast them just because of finances but I would like to learn how to do that someday.

    • Hi Jose, this is my third attempt at commenting on your post! I think I might need a new computer. Jose these are great I can’t believe you get so much deatil into such a small piece of work-they do remind me of someone??? possible a young Ronald Reagan or a bit like the guy of Hawai Five 0 from years ago-sorry I can’t remember his name-anyway great work -do you use a magnifying glass whilst sculpting?

      • Hey Bwana,
        Thanks for being so persistent in giving a comment. Yes it is tedious trying to get detail into a small piece of clay but I enjoy seeing the face taking shape. I have a magnifying glass but I don’t use it as much. Maybe if I had one of those contraptions that you stick to your desk to hold the magnifying glass for you, I would use it more. Until then I have to wait until I grow a third arm I guess. I wanted to let you know I saw part of your youtube video of your paintings and drawings of wild animals and you have a knack for that too. Great job as always and your Kudu looks amazing with the new paint job.

  6. It kept itching and I couldn’t wait to start on another big project after all. If my friend gives permission I will post the picture of the deer in her garden later on. It’s a deer standing with her behind to the camera and looking back who is making a picture. So figuring out the neck and such won’t be easy but I’ll work on that later. It should become about 80cm/32inch shoulderheight.

      • I’m already a bit stuck on the neck I think, haha. I’ll figure something out but not quite clear yet how to go about with the base board for the neck and head. I thought I saw something like that on here with a similar bended neck but can’t find it so was probably somewhere else. Yes it will be quite a challenge. Also with the thin legs and such will be quite a challenge to get it done with what I have in the house. I still have some old aluminum curtain rails though that might work as the legs since it will have to be sturdy but also bended and I don’t want them to snap if it topples if I only use the softboard. Quite a different story then the nice big round ele 😀

        • Somewhere I must have messed up with the scaling, those heads look way to small B) Back to the drawingboard…. I’ve been assembling from different pictures and probably rescaled the grid somewhere…

          • Can you find one photo with the deer in profile from head to toe, and then measure the length of the head from nose to ears? Then, if you can find some other points on the deer that are the same measurements (perhaps the shoulder to elbow), you could then size up your head patter to fit the body pattern.

            I can tell from the patterns you already made that the final sculpture is going to be very nice. Bending the neck will be tricky, but if you use cardboard for the pattern and the neck won’t stay where you put it, you might want to reinforce it with a bit of wire. That way, the bend will stay bent while you work on the rest of your armature.

            • Thanks Joni, the cardboard for the neck is a good idea. And yes I have some pictures of this particular deer from side profile my friend posted after I already used a different deer for the side profile which could also be causing the different sized head. Gonna put the new picture in the grid to match it up with the side profile I already made to get the right sizes.

              I’m going to have plenty to work on, my mom asked me to make her a smiling buddha which I might try to make her for Christmas or else for her birthday in august so plenty of time since no promises are made.

              Another fun thing to share is that on a facebook group I am in someone shared how she uses magazine photo snippets to color all her work. She doesn’t use paint at all and it looks amazing!

            • This one seems to make more sense. The ears need to be a bit bigger but they will be made separately anyways.

              I am also going to start on a dolphin to hang from the ceiling.

              I really enjoy making the basic shapes with scrap so I can work on several projects at once this way. For now they will all be big near life size. Except for the buddha :p

            • Made the dolphin pattern and the buddha pattern so should have enough now to go to the next step of sawing out the base so I can use the leftovers for new paste and start creating the ‘skeletons’ to work on. Tail piece and fins are separate items except for the back fin.

            • Soul I have to say your patterns look really good. I was wondering how your elephant is coming along?

            • Soul, you’re making me feel really lazy! You have so many projects going at once, and they all seem to be turning out really well.

            • Tammy the elephant is moving along slowly. The first ear is covered in the same as the bodymaterial but still needs work. I probably either need to refine the pulp even more or work with a different top layer to be able to sculped more refined. The second ear is covered with paper but not yet attached.

              Jonni, I’m looking forward to see what you are working on but to be honest my starting on new projects is also a bit of procrastinating what I am not sure about yet :p Next to that creating the big starting shapes is more rewarding in terms of progress. There is still a lot to find out how to do things so doing the things I already got familiar with is easier. We are having a few warmer days so I hopefully will be able to saw out the base shapes soon outside so that I can use the scraps for more paste. That’s also another reason why I first wanted to start on more projects so I know what will be leftovers I can use.

            • It was a lovely weather out again so got to draw and saw out all the patterns. Done with the noise, now on to building a frame so they can stand and I can start building up.

            • Wow Soul it looks as though you are going to be very busy! I feel lazy now! Can’t wait to see how all these pieces turn out-when do you ever sleep!!! Ha Ha!

            • Bwana if I come anywhere near the beauty of your Kudu I’ll be very proud. You have so much detail in there. It’s a great inspiration to look at. I don’t think I put half as much time in it as most of you.

              To quote Jonni at the beginning of this page: “The challenge is to do the work every single day. It isn’t about creating something that is perfectly finished or gallery-ready. If you show us your daily work it may encourage others to submit theirs, and together we might be able to vanquish Resistance and Procrastination, at least for one more day.”

              I don’t work on it every day but I do find that doing something creative especially when not feeling well helps much more to keep the spirits up then just browsing the internet or only looking at pictures or youtube videos. It is nice to see something grow if even a tiny little bit. Though sometimes it can also be quite terrifying at this stage not knowing if something will be an improvement or not :p

            • Hi Soul. I didn’t notice your comment before about the magazine photo snippets. Do you happen to have a link to that article? It sounds interesting.

            • I have started on another new project for a Jaguar cub clinging to a tree branch where I want to try out that photo snippet technique on. Will be a challenge to find the green colored hair that my niece picked out to match her room for the spots though.

            • I hope you’ll put up photos on the Ultimate Paper Mache Facebook page. I can’t wait to see him – especially if he has green spots. I have been lax about approving friends on the Facebook page, but I guess that’s what I have to do so people can put their photos there, right? (I’m so lame when it comes to Facebook, but we can’t upload photos to comments on this blog any more. Sheesh…)

  7. I love the eyes! Had to look up what resin means didn’t know about that yet. Very life like! Tammy I was thinking about that earlier that the smoke would come out of the hole you put the incense trough. Would it be possible to make a tiny lid that would fit the whole and paint it the same colors so it won’t show? Then maybe the smoke will find it’s ways trough the nostrills more.

    • Thanks Soul…I was thinking the same thing …but I did notice on the original one that there was 2 holes under the frills (they are really small, you don’t even notice them.) I’m thinking that, that might pull the smoke over to the sides and more to where the nostrils are. I am going to try and get some pictures with smoke. I will post soon.
      As for the resin thing here is where I learned about it on you tube…
      Check it out.

      • Ooh thats no option for me financially or healthwise. But I think I have a transparent bouncing ball laying around somewhere that I could cut of some pieces to try that on one or the other project. Thanks for sharing, it does give me new ideas! I wonder if natural resin from a pine or conifere in my garden could make that some how… For now I’m gonna stick to using only what I already have around the house. Sometimes plastic bottles also have a rounded thicker part of plastic in the bottom. I may look into that as well as an alternative. Looking forward to your smokey pics 😀

        I send a request out to my family and friends to find out what they might like me to make as a gift and first reply I got was Richie Sambora on guitar so that will be quite the challenge :p If they send me a picture I know they are serious and I’ll accept it. Might have to give him sunglasses though B)

  8. Ok everyone,
    Here is my finish dragon head.I would love to hear any opinions, question or criticisms.

    This is the resin eye I made. ( you make the shape than paint thee back).

    I know..I know this picture is squished …but I don’t know why, I didn’t do any thing to it but size for posting…..the original looks the same. Ideas on photo’s?

    This is a view with the in-cent hole on top . Yeah it holds in-cents and hopefully the smoke will trickle out the nostrils. …Got to test it still …don’t worry there is a can on the inside where the in-cent sits.

      • Thanks Jonni, I did put one incense in it and the smoke came out of the top but very little came out of the nostrils. As long as you stand back it looks ok.

    • Tammy your dragon is brilliant-and what a great idea to use an an incense burner! When I dabbled in taxidermy years ago I tried all sorts for eyes-real taxidermy glass eyes are very expensive but well worth the money, however you can(like you have ) get great results with clear cast resin eyes ground out on the back and painted on the back-a lot of work but worth it. I used to make simple molds by pressing jewelry beads or small torch bulbs (lamps) into either plasticene or modelling clay and then filling them up with clear esin-once it had gone hard I would grind a hollow into the flat back with a power tool and abrasive head and then paint them-the results were really good-in fact I I have a root around I might be able to find a couple of pairs to photograph to show you. I also used painted jewelry beads for plain black eyes, painted flashlight lamps again for slightly larger black eyes and two part expoxy just rolled up to the size I wanted left to harden when completly spherical and painted afterwards. I love the paint finish on the dragon by the way-very imaginative! Oh by the way on the photos-I dont know what programme if any you are using to resize your shots for the internet but on most programmes when you are resampling or resizing downward or upward there is normally a button or option which says “maintain aspect ratio” if you click that they should not get “squished” as you put it! I use a really old programme called paint shop pro 4 -you should be able to download it free off the internet.

      • Ha Ha!- I never throw anything away! Here are a couple of shots of some Fox resin eyes I made 30 years ago-I hope it gives you guys some ideas! By the way I used to seal them on the back before mounting them with clear silicon or similar to avoid scratching the paint finish .

      • Bwana what a great idea to reuse light bulbs. Love it!
        Another way to recycle, it makes me so happy to be able to reuse all kinds of things that would otherwise be more waste to this planet and is giving so much enthusiasm. It’s bringing all kinds of new ideas to my mind. Thank you so much for sharing. My mum asked me to make her a big Buddha (30-40 cm) that I want to build up out of scratch for a base and a big old light bulb that I still have lying around would be perfect as a base for the head. Or I might save it for another project and leave the place for the eyes open to get the glassy effect… It might even work to carefully smash it up and use pieces that are painted from the inside as eyes. So many things are bubbling up inside simple by reading everyone’s entries. Thank you so much everyone for sharing all your ideas. So much more to learn and love all the creative ways everyone is using.

      • Bwana, Thanks for the info. and complements.
        I would love to here some criticisms though ( I want to improve ) My son doesn’t like the horns …he says they are too bright. I think I will add a wash to them to tone them down a bit.
        I am finding that I am not liking my paint jobs much. Here is some pictures of my giraffe so far( still have to neaten it up… but I don’t like it. Help!!!!! you do such nice paint jobs.
        (umm..there is no browse box??? for uploading pics??)
        I would love to see your resin eyes. Also I don’t grind out the back of my eyes…I paint the back ( kinda backwards, starting with the pupil ) than when it is dry I paint the back black. When you grind out the back doesn’t it leave marks? and how do you paint them?

        • ok now there is a box to upload…here are the giraffe pics.

          AS for sizing I do have that button on (thanks by the way Bwana for that tid bit) but the originals look the same 🙁 I will have to read some more of my manual and do some research grrrrrrrr. Technical stuff and me just don’t mix :(.

          • Hi Tammy, I think your Giraffe is looking great! The only suggestion I would make is maybe put a very watery wash of the same color as is on his muzzle over the white areas. I know they look white when you look at them from a distance , but there is actually a slight bit of color to the white. Otherwise I think he is just gorgeous! I like to bring up all the great photos of giraffes you can find on line through google or bing. If you can find a close-up of their eyes I bet you can paint it perfectly. They are so soulful, and your painting is very nice. 🙂

            • Hi Terry,
              Thanks for the suggestion, I think I will definitely put a wash on it. As for the eyes I already made them ( with resin, like the dragon) I actually painted over them, but when I am done I just carefully scrape the paint off the eyes and viola!

        • Tammy it is hard to criticize something looking so good! Maybe you could give a tiny little bit of extra shine to the skin is the only thing I can think of. And maybe sharpen the white thingies below the eye. But really, I love it as it is and love your paint work! I loved it when it was white too and wasn’t aware it wasn’t painted yet.

          The site doesn’t always work for me either, just try again a little later. I had the same problems yesterday with the button not showing up and every now and then get 500 errors with the page not loading.

          • Yes, the site has been acting a bit weird lately. I’m trying to figure out why – but so far it’s still a mystery. Fortunately, the error messages are intermittent, so click the refresh button, or just come back in a few minutes and try again. I hope to have it fixed soon.

        • Hi Tammy,

          Don’t be too critical of yourself! We are all learning here-if you would like some small tips on painting your giraffe I would suggest the following. Get some close up photos of the internet of a giraffes hide. There are three main types reticulated , Rothschild’s and Maasai and the patterns on each are very different! My favourite is the Maasai ,the blocks of colour which in this subspecies resemble oak leaf shapes are darker in colour toward the centre and lighter toward the edge and there is not such a marked edge to the edge if you know what I mean. The top part of the horn on a younger giraffe is very dark black but in an old male can be grey to bald! I would paint the eyes a rich very dark brown or black and give them a coat of varnish to give them a realistic sparkle and maybe add a thin pink line around the eyes to show the inner edge of the eyelids. I would also put a lick of varnish inside the nostrils.
          Going back to the horns on your dragon you could use an old taxidermy tip –after painting them an off white or cream all over get a little potassium permanganate and mix it with water it will turn a very dark purple colour then quickly paint this on to the horn getting plenty in the cracks and fissures in the horn, quickly wipe off the excess with a rag and leave to dry-it will change from a purple to an extremely natural looking deep brown. I have used this many times on old sun bleached antlers that I have found. If you don’t want to use chemicals just use raw umber acrylic paint and use the same method. Hope this is of some use to you-the heads look great!
          I used to use grinding paste and metal polish to clean up the ground out resin eyes and then paint them with acrylic or oils sealed with varnish or better still silicon bathroom sealant.

  9. Thanks so much Terry.
    The relief cat is going to be a tiger. and yes I am planning for him to hang on a wall. I do have a few pictures of the progress but it is my very first try on this type of sculpt. My proportions are already wrong ( the length between the paws and head) but I’m going to see it through. Here are a few pictures but remember I’m winging it on this first try.Please keep the comments and questions coming. It helps me learn 🙂 Well all of us really :0 I love this site:)

    Hope this helps a little.

    • Tammy, thank you for sending additional pics. I love how this little guy looks – something just tugs at my heartstrings about him! Can’t wait to see him finished!

  10. Hi Jonni,
    I just wanted to say thank you soooooo sooooo much for creating you blog and books and heck just being the great teacher you are 🙂 I really am learning a lot and love seeing all the work from everyone! ……..Yeah I did just have my morning coffee and am feeling quite chipper but I really mean what I say …Thanks for being you!

  11. Lately I’ve veen trying to finish up the sculpey sculptures I was working on. I just bought some original sculpey recently so that I can make a base for allthe sculptures that still need one. I also started painting some of them. Here are two that I have completed.

    I’ve also been working on some portraiture by just working on heads to see how close I can get to a likeness of a specific person. I will have to post those later when I’ve taken some pictures.

    • Wow Jose these are great! I have always wanted to try using sculpey. I have always been scared though. (I might ruin it when I bake it. After all I have only made a few teeth and claws to add to my paper mache sculps ,however they always seem to break really easily) Do you have any tips ????? I would love to see how you make your armatures and find out if you bulk them up with something first before applying the sculpey.

      • Good question, Tammy. The same thing always seems to happen to me. And when I use Super Sculpey, the items never really seem to get very hard. Tips, Jose?

        • Ok. I’ll let you in on some of what I’ve learned so far. Hopefully it will allow you to bypass some of the pitfalls that I have learned of by going through the learning curve. First off it’s about picking the right kind of sculpey to work with based on your budget or your preference for how it handles and how much detail it can retain. The original white sculpey is the cheapest kind of sculpey you can get but it also tends to be the softest so it takes some getting used to in learning how to work with it. This is not as good at being able to get fine details because it can be very soft. It’s not impossible to get fine details with it but it takes a more skilled and more experienced hand to achieve an intricate level of detail. If it’s the only one you can get I would recommend this more for a large sculpture or waiting some time to get used to it before attempting something more complex. It tends to get sticky after working with it for a while and feels more like a paste when you get to that point and then you have to give it some time to firm up a little bit. There is a way to do this as you work with it. What I learned is that you have to leach it which involves wrapping a flattened piece of clay in a paper towel, putting something heavy on top of it, and leaving it under there for at least four hours or even better overnight. The paper towel will soak up the excess oil from the clay and that which you have added by simply working with it with your hands. I tend to do this in the beginning when I’m getting my clay ready to sculpt and then any time after that when it is needed because it’s gotten too soft and paste like. This kind of clay also tends to, but not always, crack after being baked. Even with these drawbacks I still use it to minimize the cost of making my sculptures. I mix it with the more expensive kinds to be able to get more of the better clay to work with. Mixing it can make the beige super sculpey less translucent while still retaining a lot of its firmness. Mixing it with the grey firm super sculpey makes it a lot more workable because they grey one tends to be really firm when you first get it out of its box. I use it by itself, when making bases that don’t involve too much detail such as the ones you see in the sculptures I have finished so far. The beige super sculpey is really good with being firmer and retaining detail however, as I mentioned before, it’s color makes it more translucent and therefore it’s harder to see details on the surface that you don’t want showing up such as your fingerprints. The grey firm super sculpey is the best kind once it’s mixed with the other kinds to get it to a more workable state. It stays on the armature more firmly, can take much more intricate detail more easily and the gray color helps in seeing the surface details that you don’t want showing up. However, once you’re done baking it you have this gray sculpture that you have to prime so that the colors you paint it with, don’t come out as dull. It is because of this that I am leaning more towards using the beige super sculpey, since with that one once baked it is ready to be painted since the color of the clay does not affect the paint job you apply.
          I’ve actually been making my armatures in different ways every time it almost feels like. Each time it’s been a little bit different than the last. I’ve attached a picture of the latest kind of armature I’ve been using. I use two types of wire. One is a thicker kind that I use for the torso and legs. The other kind is a thinner type of wire that I use for the arms and then use to wrap around the legs, torso and arms in order to make sure the clay doesn’t slide when it bakes because heating it causes it to get soft before it gets hard. I used to use wire to make the fingers the way that Jonni made the hands of the chimp but I noticed that it made the fingers too thick at the scale I’m working on, which is about 9.5 to 10.5 inches. Therefore I started just sculpting the hands exclusively out of clay. I also use the thinner wire to help the armature stand up. I wrap around some wire around the chest area and make it long enough so that it comes out of the back and can be wrapped around an armature stand. There’s a better fancier way to do it but this is what I’ve been using and it works for me so far. It is recommended that you bulk up your armature to minimize the amount of clay you need and to help with baking. I use aluminum foil because the clay tends to cling to it rather well. As you can see I only added some foil around the chest area. This is because at the scale I’m working on that will be the thickest part of the sculpture. As it is I use it sparingly so that it doesn’t interfere with the sculpt that will go over it. I don’t use any on the arms and legs as I said because of the scale it doesn’t need the extra bulk but if you are working at a larger scale then you would need to add foil to these areas as well.

          With this armature, I’ve started working on the head separately because I noticed that when I worked with the head and body together on the armature, I would accidently smudge some of the details on the face and I’d have to fix them again. When you work on the head you just have to use something long, like a pencil or I was using a piece of a thick part of an old antennae, that you can wrap some aluminum foil at the end into a sort of ball. Then you place your clay over it and shape the face. I worked on getting the details of the face until I felt they were just right. Here I used a tip for smoothing out imperfections. You can use a brush with alcohol or some people use turpine to apply over the whole sculpture and acquire a smoother texture before you bake it. One other tip about working with sculpey is that you can use a method called series baking which involves baking the sculpture you’re working on multiple times. Baked sculpey will still adhere to unbaked sculpey so this is a way of getting something to a level of detail that you want to make sure you keep and then being able to add more to it without ruining what you already have. For example here I baked the head sculpt once I had the details of the face and ears without adding the hair yet because that might cause me to mess up those details. Then once it was cool I added the hair and was able to hold the sculpt with my fingers as I focused on adding detail to the hair alone. Series baking actually helps make the clay harder. The more it’s baked the more stable it becomes.

          Then you can work on the body on its own. Here, once I had set the pose I started covering the whole armature with the clay. Once you have everything covered you can start shaping the body. Here’s where your knowledge of anatomy comes in handy or where you can find pictures to help you get the body right. If you plan on adding clothes or garments, you always want to start with getting the body and anatomy right before you focus on folds and creases and shirt collars, etc. The reason and tip is that the body underneath will inform how the garments/clothing will go over the body so you want to leave that for later. I usually bake the sculpt once I have the anatomy where I feel it looks right. The other thing is that if you bake it at this point it will allow you to get the pose right while it has the support because you get rid of it in the next step. You might want to add the hands at this point too and it’s just basically about shaping the hands and getting them to the right size and then adding them to the hook like things at the end of the arms that you see on my armature here.

          Here is picture showing the sculpture from the back. Once baked and cooled you can cut off the excess wire that’s coming out of its back and plug up that area with more sculpey. This is the point where you would add more detail over the body or the clothing keeping in mind how it would fold and crease with the pose you’ve chosen. Looking at pictures has helped me with that respect or also looking in the mirror while you wear something similar to what you’re putting on your sculpt. The tip here is to add some petroleum jelly over the area that you plan on making additions too such as a fold of clothing. You rub off some so that there’s only a slight layer left. This will help the unbaked sculpey adhere to the baked sculpey and once baked again will glue the pieces together more effectively. I’ve done it without adding the petroleum jelly before and it still works but it works better when you add the jelly. That’s what I have for now. I hope I explained myself well enough. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

    • Jose, these are once again up to your incredible standard! the detail and anatomy is awsome, even down to the hands and fingers-great work! Even the painting is excellent!

  12. Hi Guys, I have been working on 3 separate paper mache sculpts ( oh-know there is that addiction again….the house is clean I swear…lol) Any ways They are not finished but will be soon. Here is what I got so far……

    For some reason I can’t upload my last photo but I’ll work on it.

    ah there we are …….

    • Tammy these are really great , love the detail in the dragon head and the giraffe head is shaping up nicely-how do you get the eye socket looking so perfect! Your big cat has give me a great idea for a door panel decoration -I was going to spend a lot of money on a carved front door with a safari theme but after seeing your photo I think I might have a go at making a PM relief panel to fit to a much less expensive plain door-thanks for the idea! I can’t wait to see all these pieces of yours finished!

      • Awe … Thanks Bwana :0)
        I’m glade I could give you an idea for your door. Now you have got my mind going, …safari scene, …jungles,..parrots, …monkeys …oh this addiction may just be getting worse …lol . Anyways this is my first relief sculpture so I will let you know if I run into any pit falls. So far my per-portion is off for what I had in mind. I tried to squeeze the paws into a space that was predetermined by the cardboard and didn’t draw it out first. I always have a small quick sketch but next time I will first draw it out on the space provided and make sure it looks ok and there is enough room around the edges. I know, what a silly mistake. Live and learn.
        Now ..for the the eye’s and sockets. Believe it or not they are actually fairly easy. I never can sculpt perfect eyes they are always lopsided but…… thanks to another great artist like Jonni … named “Dan Reader” a.k.a. “Dan the Monster Man” I learned a technique using cloth and glue. You cut up some old pieces of sheet, dip it in white glue, squeeze out the access and fold your cloth in half or just fold it to make a crease. You can than place the cloth over the top of the eye..The crease is the inner part next to the eye) Once you have the top lid done you can do the same for the bottom of the eye. You than shape the wet lids the way you want them to frame in the eye and ta-da! nice looking eye lids. Hope this helps. Please ask more questions and keep the comments coming….you know I’m gonna pick your brain to learn things.

        Here is a turtle I did using the same type of clothe technique to make loose like skin.

        After cloth

        Before cloth

    • Tammy they look great! Especially love the detail on the dragon head, don’t think I’m up to something like that yet but I’m sure my nephew would totally love that! Are they going to be wall hangers or are you going to make bodies as well?

      • Soul thank you for the compliments 🙂
        What do you mean you are not up to something like this?? Your elephant is fantastic and full of detail. I think you could do something like my dragon head any day. I keep getting better each time I do a sculpt. Or at least I learn a lot. AS for these 3 sculpts (wall tiger, giraffe head and Dragon head they are meant to be set on a shelf or hung up. I actually am trying to see if I can make the dragon head an in-cent holder. I sculpted him around a pop can. I have left a hole on top of his nose to drop the in-cent stick in. I also made the nostrils holed over the opening so the in-cent smoke will come out. I don’t know if it will work yet so we will see. I did not think of this idea myself ..I have a dragon head out of resin that is an in-cent holder. I got it as a gift years ago.
        I can’t wait to see your elephant!

        • Ooooh I can totally see that working out! That is gonna look great. I’m sure the incense smoke will find it’s way out. You just have to find a way to make sure the inside is non flameable and can’t catch fire, you don’t want it to spit fire 😉

          • Hi Soul, I actually cut the top off a tall pop can and put it inside the head. The hole and nostrils are placed over the inside of the tin can. I definitely don’t want a fire breather with paper mache 🙂 I will let you all know how it turns out or burns up??? Or just sits there.

            • I bet that gives awesome pics Tammy, can’t wait to see it in action 😀

              By the way Terry, no I don’t have a name yet but do know it’s a girl. Maybe Shanti since it is a real quiet elephant :p

    • Tammy, these are just fantastic! I’ve been trying to send you a comment on them all morning, but kept getting an Error 500 message. I hope this one goes through. I especially love the Giraff head, but would love to know more about the lion emerging from the cardboard! Do you have any other photos of him in progress? I’m very interested in the process for him. Will he be a wall hanging or what? Beautiful work!
      Thanks for sharing!

  13. Here are a couple of Halloween masks I’ve made. I used a plain white, paper mache’ cat mask I found for cheap, at the store….then retro-fitted them to be egyptian masks. I’ve got to paint them obviously, and I’m not quite done with the paper mache’ yet either.

  14. Finally able to post an update. Had a real struggle with those ears but found something that seems to work now. Working on the ears, tried all kinds of methods that didn’t work. Now just stripped of the nylon of the butterfly wings and put on brown paper bag instead. The color doesn’t even differ that much with the body material. We’ll see how it dries up, needs more work thats for sure. In a Dutch zoo they put up a few webcams in the Asian elephant area a week or so ago since a baby is going to be born any day soon now and it is so nice to be able to study them whilst working on this baby. Because the cams are high up it is real nice to see that it actually does look like them seen from the top.

      • Wow Soul this is looking really good! Studying the elephants from a live source is really paying off! You have even captured the very subtle heel on the rear legs perfectly-an element that many(including myself) fail to observe and convey correctly, its been great watching this piece develop-I can’t wait to see it finished!

        • Thanks Bwana. Too be honest I think that more or less accidently shaped that way because of how the paper roles connected :p You should be able to see that in the fase before the smudge went on. I’m just happy the first ear is on.

          I’m really inspired by your work and all the others who post here too. Today a friend posted a beautiful picture of a deer and young that where visiting her garden which made me really itch to start on a life size deer for my garden. I’m in the city and wildest mammal I have seen from my garden is a squirrel a few years back. Would love to have some paper mache wildlife in there that won’t eat my teeny tiny crop. Though I love elephants I’ll probably love them less if they WOULD visit my garden :p Happy I don’t have to feed one too, long live paper mache!

          By the way Jonni I weighed my Ele today and she is a bit under 4kg around 8lb right now. It’s amazing how sturdy the material is. Just out of curiosity I tried to sit on her and it probably won’t hold grown ups if they sit on it full weight but I’m confident that if my almost 2 year old niece might accidently end up on her it will probably keep her with not too much problem. Thanks again so much for sharing your ground plans and all your information, it inspires so many people!

          • Bwana I looked back at the other pictures and credit should go where it belongs, it is Jonni’s base pattern that already has the heel in! So all credit for the heel detail goes to her! It’s her generous sharing of her elephants pattern that helped me get this far. You can see right here: http://ultimatepapermache.com/baby-elephant-pattern

            I’m excited to try making a pattern of my own on next project though. She has shown how to do it so nicely!

          • My grandson sat on my elephant once, and it held up just fine. The only problem was that it wasn’t engineered with legs far enough apart, so we adults were afraid the beast would fall over and squish him. I put so many layers of paper on mine, I think even an adult could sit on her, but I wouldn’t actually let anyone do that, of course.

            I’m really enjoying all your posts about your elephant’s progress, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

            • Thanks Jonni, though I’d love a deer for my garden I’ll probably start working on projects that would be fit to give as gifts to my nephews and nieces and my friends kids… I’m covered with gifts till november so I’ll have plenty of time to work on those for the next batch of birthdays that won’t be till next summer. I don’t want to work under time pressure so this should be just fine. And since the first two are boys who will turn 14 and 11 it will have to be something they would think is cool to have on their wall or in their room so maybe tigers or panters or something like that… Maybe for the 14 year old I’ll look at some of his artwork and see if I can turn that into a 3D sculpture. He loves to draw and is pretty good at it too. Jose’s artwork is a real inspiration, it are figures sort of in that direction that he draws but with less body detail so turning that into a sculpture I think he’d appreciate that and wouldn’t be a too big a challenge for me since I’m pretty awestruck with all the details in Jose’s work and don’t think I’m ready for that as of yet :p Then my niece is turning 8 and she loves dolphins so I’ll probably make her a dolphin. At the moment I’m thinking of sculptures to hang on the wall that will probably be most fit for kids and teens to not get cluttered and broken in other stuff laying around 😀 Though a real size dolphin to hang on the ceiling would be pretty awesome too. Then when my niece will turn 3 maybe a zebra or panda since the mom loves black and white. There is this real cute picture circling the nets of a baby panda that waves hello that would be adorable to make. And then my nephew that will turn 7 that year also has elephants as his favorite animals so I’ll be looking into making something suitable for his room. Maybe a game type of elephant head wall hanger where they have to toss rings around the trunk or something like that. Plenty of ideas and inspirations, we’ll see what actually comes alive 😀 But yeah I like the idea of gifts, keeps me occupied, is perfect for my limited budget, and keeps the home uncluttered and the artwork still ‘in the family’.

            • Looking at Tammy’s heads I just thought of something, a stick zebra would be perfect for a 3 year old 😀 I’d just have to make it really really sturdy but I think that can be done… What is your experience Jonni, could paper mache make something that is resistent to being dropped and smashed around by a 3 year old?

            • Hi,

              My name is Valmy and I create figures, mainly toy soldiers in paper. The scale is 1/30 or 6cm. Why paper ? Cos I don’t want to use tin or plastic.
              I design pattern for my workpieces and form in order to assemble the figure.

              Have a nice WE

  15. Hello Jonni,

    I just want to say, “Thanks so much for your paper mache clay recipe. I love working with it. I am president of a local art group The Arts Institute Group of the Merrimack Valley, Inc.

    This year we will enter the local “Festival of Trees” project. Groups, businesses and individuals donate decorated Christmas Trees. Thousands pay to visit the display of over 200 trees and buy raffle tickets for chances to win them. Proceeds are used to restore historically significant sites in our area.

    Our Tree will be decorated with numerous miniature original art works. For the topper, I have made the figure (Vincent) using your wonderful paper mache clay, using wood skewers for the armatures for his arms and legs . Once he was completely dry, I glued his fabric clothing onto his body and coated it with Mod Podge, using acrylic paint for the final touches. In collaboration with a fellow artist( who is an engineer), the topper will be in motion aaround the tree top and be counterbalanced by a tiny easel and painting.

    I’ve been telling everyone how much fun I’ve had using your clay and now several of my fellow artist are asking me to have a workshop so they can join the fun.

    Thanks again,

    Gail Fuller

  16. I know, I know, get off my duff and finish!! 🙂 I am a terrible procrastinator!
    Thank you so much for the nice comments.

  17. Tammy, he looks great, wild and untameable-and I love the dappled painting and your use of black and white in the mane! I think you should take some eye level shots of him aganst a plain background so w e can see more of the detail please! The wings are so realistic! (not that I’ve ever seen a flying horse-well maybe once a one too many drinks!)
    Well done


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