Note: If you would like to get a faster start on your next sculpture, check out my Lion Mask pattern. You can wear it to a fancy dress party, or display it on your wall, like I do. The pattern creates all the shapes for you, so it’s a fast, fun project.
Create a poseable armature for an animal sculpture:
Several people have mentioned that they’d like to make to make patterns for sculptures that show animals in twisted or dynamic postures. Our cardboard patterns work really well in most circumstances, but there are times when cardboard just doesn’t want to cooperate.
(If you’re looking for a video that shows you how I make most of my patterns, using a sketch or photo, click here. That’s also how I teach you you to do it in my book Make Animal Sculptures with Paper Mache Clay.)
Way back before I started using any patterns on the inside of an animal sculpture I created a group of large cats – a snow leopard, four lion cubs, a bobcat, and two ‘angel cats,’ for a show. I needed to make them quickly, and that’s why I created the paper mache clay recipe.
The method I used to create the armatures for those cats did work, but it wasn’t easy. I never used the same method again, in fact, because I started using the cardboard patterns instead.
But the one benefit of the cat’s armature was that the legs and spine could be posed more easily in a dynamic posture. Cardboard doesn’t like to twist.
To see how I would do these cats today (or any animal sculpture that has a pose with a twisted spine), watch the video above. And click here if you’d like to check out that post about making a poseable hand armature that I mentioned in the video. You can also use it for paws.
If you try this idea for your next sculpture, I hope you’ll show it off in the comments below. And let me know what you think of this idea!