I finally finished my new sculpt and I think I am pretty happy with the results (for the most part.) In the end, I was torn between whether or not to add hair and I battled over this decision for many hours. Sometimes I hate (more like despise) this indecisive curse that was put upon me. For those of you familiar with astrology, I am a gemini so as you know their are two sides to this sign and mine never seem to agree, making things quite difficult. Anyway, in the end I kind of felt a little sad that I had not left her in her original state but I had to accept that what was done was done.
However this post is not for me to ramble on about my regrets. Although I don’t have many, I decided to share a few of my progress pictures. I have been asked several times to do tutorials however I am such a horrible teacher so I figure I would just start posting the various stages of my works. So far I only have a few shots of my painting process so for now I will share that and hope that someone can benefit from it.
So anyway here is my sculpt. She is sculpted using Cernit clay (which in my opinion, is the strongest clay and the best clay for making details.) Unfortunately, I was sent an older batch of clay and as many of you have probably experienced, once the oils separate, it becomes quite a pain to knead to a workable state. Many people suggest using a clay softener however I have not had the best of luck with it. Don’t get me wrong, it does get the clay soft and workable rather quick however I find it just makes my clay sticky and too soft for my taste. Perhaps I am using too much??
After my clay is cooked, and cooled, I prep my sculpt with a layer of clear gesso.(I used Liquitex Clear Gesso). This is important because the gesso acts as “teeth” and help the paint to stick nicely to the clay. Make sure you let it dry completely before you start to paint. The bottle says 24 hours however I never wait that long since I only apply one thin coat. Once dry, I apply a thin layer of white acrylic paint (or whatever color you are using) Always let your coats dry before adding another or your paint job will end up very sloppy, thick and uneven. For an impatient person like me, it is very hard to sit and wait however acrylic paints do not take that long to dry.
Using a thin pointed paint brush (I used 10/0) , I fill in the deep cracks with black, to help give it some dimension. Using a dry flat brush, I LIGHTLY paint over and spread the black so that it does not have hard edges (unless you desire them that way)
I add blue to the desired areas, and once dry I use powdered pigments in gold. I do not buy the loose mica powders sold at hobby lobby although I am sure they work just as good. (I cannot comment on them since I have never used them). Instead, I found that loose makeup works well (at least the golds that I use do). To help it stick it, I mix the powdered eyeshadow with Varathane gloss (which is an AMAZING product) and apply it randomly over the blue.
Once again,I add, black to the deep cracks of my sculpt.
After my sculpt is completely painted I add several layers of Varathane gloss (water based). Make sure you let the coats dry in between. This takes about 2 hours. I then add my finishing touches such as eyelashes and hair. I am using polyester hair from one of my old wigs however if you want a more natural looking hair you can purchase Tibetan Mohair.
Now I just need to add those jointed arms and she is done! (unless I decide to leave her limbless).