Lady Peppy – Adding the Magic Sculpt…

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My mixed media sculpture of a Shih Tzu wearing a winter outfit from Downton Abbey is done…

This is the second video in a three-part series. You can find the first video here, and the third video here.

I learned a lot with this project, and I really like the way the ruffles on the blouse and the fur on the ears turned out.

But for the rest of it...

OK, I’m really not excited about it — but it was still a fun project and I learned a lot. For instance, I don’t usually spend much time sculpting the fur on my critters, but Peppy’s ears really have me excited about doing it on my next projects.

I’m also watching some videos for painting fur on the StudioWildlife YouTube channel. I’ve learned some techniques that I will definitely be using on my next sculpture, even though I don’t think I’ll finish painting this one.

To see the previous post that shows how the basic shapes on Peppy were built, click here.

Now I’m going to  interrupt this post to brag a little ... ?

Ducks by Jessie Rasche

My daughter, Jessie Rasche, was featured in this month’s Southwest Art Magazine. Congratulations, Jessie!

You can read the article here.

And now, back to Peppy.

If you’re interested in the string idea that worked very well for the horse’s mane, (but not for Peppy’s long silky hair), watch this video.

And to see that book I used to help me sculpt the fur on Peppy’s ear, click here. (Yikes – It wasn’t that expensive when I bought it 15 years ago!)

Of course, the real master at sculpting paper mache animals wearing people clothes is Mélanie Bourlon. You can see her sculptures here.

One thing I noticed a few minutes ago when I looked at Mélanies website is that her  sculptures have a much longer torso, so they aren’t unbalanced the way Peppy’s sculpture is. I’ll try to remember that I ever do something like this again. Not that I’d want to copy her work, of course, but there’s no harm in learning from people who know what they’re doing. ?

:) Have you sculpted an animal dressed in human clothes?

If you have, we’d love to see it. You can show it off on the Daily Sculptors page.

8 thoughts on “Lady Peppy – Adding the Magic Sculpt…”

  1. One thing I do when I make my repairs is to make sure I remove enough old material to give the new clay patch strength. I usually carve deep lateral lines along the break too so the clay will have something to hold on to. I also try to create a void inside the break area and put a glue product, a piece of wood such as a toothpick or wire to fill the space. I don’t want to fill the void with the clay because it might not totally dry. When that’s done, I brush a little Elmer’s glue on the raw area first then apply the air dry clay and smooth it out, let it dry completely then add more if necessary, it usually is because the air dry clay shrinks a bit. Then I sand the area until it’s totally level. Then touch up the paint. I wish I had some before and after photos of some of my repairs but I hope this helps.

  2. I’m impressed with the ears, and your willingness to go with Plan B. This is the point where I always give up, rather than sticking with it for the sake of learning something. On a related note, I find myself getting frustrated with my camera because it “sees” so much more detail than my eyes can see. The detail overwhelms the overall image. To my eye, your initial use of string is like what my camera sees. And your final result is more like what my eyes see–the suggestion of fur without defining each strand of hair. Very interesting video. And your daughter’s paintings are delightful. Again, a suggestion rather than overwhelming detail. We get the picture. Our minds fill in the millions of blades of grass in the field, and focus on the composition and technique.

  3. Peppy is still cute and fun! Painting it could bring out the cuteness and get rid of the sadness just by the twinkle in her eyes. I agree that one learns from every sculpt. The furry animal sculpt is one of the hardest, it’s really hard to make it look soft and fluffy. I wonder if you could achieve that better with your silky smooth clay rather than the regular clay? I think she is a triumph even if you aren’t wild about the outcome.
    I’ve never sculpted an animal dressed in clothes but have done so with human forms. There’s a lot of challenges with it for sure.
    And congratulations to Jessie! She really has a talent and it was sweet of her to list you as her number one influence! Hey, you would be mine as well!

    • I think the smooth air dry clay would have been a better choice, for sure. Making her smaller would have been a big help, too – she’s way too big. I am getting excited about trying another furry animal, though, to see what could be done with it. More practice required! (And better up-front planning. :) )

  4. I agree with Stephanie-painting her will make a big difference! In fact, she would be good to practice painting techniques on, and give her a “life” at the same time. Yes, I have a portrait of one of my poodles that I would like to redo the background for. I was happy with the actual head portrait, and the smaller image of her sitting on a mine dump hill facing the wind, but the background really sucks, We have gold/brown mountains with small, scrubby pinion pines here in Virginia City, NV. I did not do a good job on those, no help from Bob Ross there!

    • I’m not a painter, but the few times I’ve tried to paint on canvas the backgrounds were the most challenging parts. This is an interesting option that I’d never heard of before (because I’m not a painter. :) ) It would still be challenging, though, to make it feel like mountains and pinion pines without actually painting them.

      Would you be willing to share your portrait of your poodle? We like to see each others’ artwork, even if it isn’t sculpted with some kind of paper mache. :)

  5. I think it’s adorable, painting it and giving it sparkly eyes will make a huge difference, but I find that using your clay recipes is great because you can redo at anytime. Let it sit for a while then go back with new ideas and try again. I’ve changed my sculptures many times and love knowing this clay allows that ability. I’ve sold many dog sculptures and at times have had to repair broken legs (one was accidentally dropped down the stairs) and broken ears (Boxers), you’d never know they had been damaged. Thank you for giving me years of enjoyment with your clay recipes and knowledge. After seeing your Peppy, I want to try sculpting a furry dog using your methods, should be fun, thanks again :)

    • I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipes! My critters get damaged most often when I’m moving them from one room to another, and I forget that an ear or tail is sticking out. They get whacked against the door frame, and then I have to get out some paper mache clay and fix them. By the way, with all your experience fixing sculptures that break, you might have some good advice for Dawn. Her owl’s crutch is cracked at the base, and my suggestion would be a lot of work. If you have a suggestion that would be easier, I know she’d love to hear from you. :)


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