Dragon Head Sculpture Inspired by Dungeons and Dragons

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Dragon Head Sculpture

This dragon bust tutorial was submitted by our friend Tony. He’s known as the Great Big Sword on YouTube, where he creates videos related to Dungeons and Dragons. Thanks, Tony, for showing us how to do it! I’ll let him take it from here …

Dragon Bust by “Great Big Sword”

This dragon, affectionately named “Crooked Horn” was a return to the papier-mâché world for me after being absent for some time. I initially made this dragon sculpture as a decoration. I wanted something to represent my Dungeons and Dragons channel (Great Big Sword on YouTube). Thanks to what I’ve learned from ultimatepapermache.com and Jonni, I was able to make this cool piece.

Step 1: The dragon head sketch.

I usually draw a sketch or a diagram before I start a project.

Dragon Sculpture Sketch

Step 2: The Base and Clay Model.

I started with cardboard and masking tape as a base. I built the framework using Sculpture House Roma Plastilina Modeling Clay – 2 lb, White, Medium. The horns were made with curled up cardboard I had cut from standard paper towel rolls.

I tried to make the details big and deeply set in the clay so when I add the papier-mâché it wouldn’t lose some of the nicer contours.

Once I was happy with the clay model portion of the piece I covered it with Vaseline petroleum gel. This didn’t allow the papier-mâché to stick.

Clay Model for Dragon Bust

Step 3: Covering the Clay Dragon Model.

Then I mixed a ready-made papier-mâché product I had never used before, CelluClay, and covered the model carefully with it. I used a plain old butter knife and made the layer a little more than ¼ inch thick. It took about a day to dry. Removing the deeper parts of the dorsal fins was a bit tricky. Make sure you use plenty of petroleum gel to prevent this.

Removing the paper mache dragon from the clay model.

Step 4: Sanding the Dragon Head.

I sanded the surface a little bit to smooth it out. Once I was happy with the finish I primed it with Gesso. I used acrylic paints to finish up the piece since acrylics dry nice and glossy.

Closeup of the dragon head before painting

Step 5: Making Dragon Teeth.

I made the teeth out of Polymer clay. I molded and baked it in my toaster oven on aluminum foil for 75 minutes.

Dragon Teeth

Step 6: Dragon Eyes.

I purchased the eyes on Etsy from an artist named JP. They are painted glass. Very striking if you ask me!

I use a hot glue gun to stick on all my teeth and eyes accessories. Crooked Horn is now hanging proudly on my wall.

Finished Dragon Wall Sculpture

I hope this inspires you to make some awesome artwork!

Tony the Great Bit Sword
Tony, the “Great Big Sword” in a recent video on YouTube. Click the image to watch it.

10 thoughts on “Dragon Head Sculpture Inspired by Dungeons and Dragons”

  1. Hello Joni, I have been receiving your e-mails, which I like a lot, but I’m going to change my email address, and I do not see how I can subscribe again. Can you tell me? or can you subscribe to me? thank you very much, I love your work!

    • Hi Merxe. I added your new email to my list, so go ahead and hit the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of any of my emails. You’ll keep getting my emails, at the new address. I really should put a link somewhere to make it easier – I’ll try to fix that today, so it will be easier for other people to change their subscription.

  2. Hi Rex,

    Thank you very much sir! I use plain white Sculpey and it comes out pretty hard. I really did it as an experiment. It worked pretty well. I would coat the teeth with an acrylic, that will give it a bit more strength. Let me know how it works out. Thank you again for your input and praise for my humble work.


    • Thanks, Tony. It might help, also, to have the teeth like yours instead of individual ones. I thought about that once I looked at them again. Appreciate it.

  3. Tony, a great dragon. The eyes are very striking. Glass! If you go to Venice to pick up some glass pieces, let me know!

    It is interesting to learn how artists approach in the creative process. I love how you did the teeth. Is polymer a brand name or a type of clay? (I tried making some from SuperSculpty, and they broke very easily. Everyone wants to touch the teeth, and I had to repair four or five of them.) I love your approach.

    Also, looks like I need to start recycling my cardboard tubes again. I could use a few right about now.

    Thanks for sharing your art with us and for the inspiration. I have yet to make a dragon, and it looks like fun.

    • Very impressive Tony the way you “translate” an awesome drawing into a dragon head sculpture. Thank you for sharing.


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