Fairy #30 Start to Finish Tutorial – Part 1
This tutorial replaced Fairy #16 tutorial, it is the same pose but done with some different techniques that I now follow. If you have a need to see the old tutorial you are welcome to email me.
You may wish to download the 3D pdf file of the pose by clicking here. This is a great reference to ensure you have all your angles and proportions right
Kits and with printed instructions and supplies can be purchased from our shop
Table of contents
When it comes to sculpting these types of dolls there really is many ways you can go about it. Some people choose to sculpt the head first, some the body. As you get into this craft you will develop your own individual patterns and behaviours. For this reason I would like to point out that my methods in this tutorial are those I have used and found to work well, but should you decide to go a slightly different way please by all means do so. I will also provide options that look like this:
OPTION: If you are finding you are squishing parts already completed as you sculpt new parts you may wish to do a part-bake. Please see the notes under “Part-Baking Tips” here
You may also come across a Tip throughout this tutorial. These will point out tips and tricks to take note of. They may also point you to the Tips and Tricks information which will give you future information on that subject. Tips look like this:
TIP: Please see Tips and Tricks for more information regarding the cooking process. It is well worth the read if this is your first doll.
Try to have fun with it, and don’t let frustrations stop you from completing your work. Like any new craft it does get easier the more you practice. And remember that the pictures provided in this tutorial are for guidelines only. Every doll created is a one of a kind piece of art, so your creation will look very different to mine.
This tutorial is based on a work at your own pace, so I cannot say how long it will take you. The clay itself will not harded in the air even over time. But please note however that if you add uncooked clay on top of cooked clay you will have approximately 2 weeks to cook that clay. This is due to the cooked clay sucking the moisture out of the uncooked clay. Leaving it longer than two weeks could result in the top uncooked clay becoming dry and cracked.
Items below found in Kit K1045e
Items below are not included in the kits
- Baby wipes (to keep hands and work area clean)
- Super Glue
- Cotton Tips
- Gloss Varnish
- Soldering Iron (or candle)
- Oil Thinner (such as linseed oil)
Please use the pictures below to help you when bending your armature into place (please note your screen size will change the physical sizing of these images)
Creating the Armature
If you are using one of my kits you will already have your armature made for you, so you may skip this step.
If you do not have an armature follow the steps below to create one
- Using 22g wire cut a length 40cm long (roughly 2.5 times the length of the doll) And one length of 15cm.
- Bend the 40cm wire in half, use pliers to twist the wire the length of the head.
- Continuously place the armature over the guideline picture to ensure you get the right proportions.
- At the shoulders Insert the 15cm piece and, while holding it with your pliers, twist the short piece around one side and then the other side creating the arms.
- Twist the wires back together under the arms and twist all the way down the torso until you reach the pelvic area.
- Separate the wires again and bend with the pelvic triangle and cut off excess at the foot.
- Repeat process with the second leg.
The armature will serve two purposes; first it will guide you in your proportions helping to ensure your doll looks right; second (and most importantly) it will strengthen your sculpt both when creating the piece and also for the long term durability of your doll.
Filling out the armature
In the past I have used old clay to fill out the inner core of the doll. But now I prefer to use the tinfoil and masking tape method.
This method saves your clay (you can keep your old clay for props). But most importantly it means you don’t have to cook your doll as long, as the clay is not as thick.
First rip the tinfoil into strips and tightly wrap around the doll.
The tinfoil should be packed out around the torso upper arms and thighs. Avoid the lower arms and calves area. Also avoid packing to much in the crotch area. If you pack out the breast and bum make sure you leave the centre hollows free to allow you room to sculpt correctly.
After the tinfoil is in place tightly wrap it in masking tape ensuring there are no gaps. The tape makes sure there is no oxidation from the metal on the clay.
Sculpting the Face
After getting tired of fighting to get the right face shape I have come up with a new way of sculpting the face. This is done by creating the centre ball which acts as the skull, inserting the eyes and eyelids and then cooking at 130° Celsius. Then the features are added in shapes bulking out the face in the correct manner.
If you are using one of my kits you will find I have already supplied you with a set of eyes. If you do not have a kit then you can go to this site http://www.dollworld.co.nz/pre-made-eyes/ and follow the instructions there to make your own, alternately you can just sculpt the eyes, rather than inserting them.
Now let’s start sculpting the head. You can follow these steps as a guideline, but do let your own creativeness come through, as each person usually finds they have their own style that reflects through all of their dolls. Keep your work area clean to avoid getting dirt and dust into the clay, this is helped by having baby wipes available to keep hands and work area clean.
Start by crumpling up a ball of tinfoil roughly .4 of an inch.
Using a wire pole or a toothpick is helpful when sculpting the face, a stylus also works well
After the tinfoil is in place tightly wrap it in masking tape ensuring there are no gaps.
The tape makes sure there is no oxidation from the metal on the clay.
Lightly mark the centre of the face, and two thirds down (should be about .6 of an inch)
My lines are for you to see clearly, yours don’t need to be so deep.
Now press each eye in along the horizontal line. There should be about the width of one eye between them.
This step is super important and you should take your time to get it right.
Add a piece of clay across each eye and sculpt the eyelids. Now cook for 10min!
Once cooled add a triangle of clay to the lower face. The eyes are half way down now.
Add a sausage nose, round cheeks and a line across the forehead. This fills out the face.
Start defining the face by pressing down the nose bridge and smoothing out the forehead.
Work out how long you want the nose and press the rest of the nose sausage down creating the mouth ridge.
Smooth the cheek mounds upwards to just under the eye. Use a toothpick to define the eye shape.
Spend some time now smoothing out the forehead, cheeks and chin area.
Define the lips by creating an indented line half way between the nose and chin. Press down under the line to create the bottom lip.
Create the top lip by pressing up from the lip line and flattening. Press down to define.
Start adding details such as the nostrils (go lightly) and the bump between nose and lips.
Smooth out the cheek and forehead lines and spend time defining each feature.
I fine tune the features by scratching away like a sketching artist with a toothpick.
Smooth out features including the eyebrow ridge. A stylus is great for smoothing.
Add a flat ball of clay to the face for the ears, press down in centre to join and create eardrum.
Press down a line around the ear going all the way around by ending short of the lobe.
If you are creating a fairy pinch the ends to create the peak, or just leave if it’s not a fairy.
When you are happy with the head it’s time to cook it. Give your sculpt one last check over, is everything symmetric? Are the ears tips sitting right? Is it nice and smooth? Place it in the oven at 275° Fahrenheit or 130° Celsius for 30 minutes.
TIP: Please see Tips and Tricks here for more information regarding the cooking process. It is well worth the read if this is your first doll.