Be sure – before starting any project that you have washed your hands. Especially with clay.
Especially with white clay:
So wash your hands.
A good way to get off the extra oils is to use some hand sanitizer, it works well between colors if you’ve gotten them into your skin.
A good way to avoid getting color into you skin is to use hand lotion after you’ve washed your hands.
From the very start of learning to draw, my art teachers insisted, no, demanded that I use reference. “Your mind has a set image of something and that is not how it really looks”
They are right. So I’m going to hop on that illustrious bandwagon and say…
Reference Reference Reference
You can’t have enough of it. When I was sculpting my baroque doll I went on google and searched baroque dresses. I had about a dozen images that I printed out and pasted into my reference book, then I worked looking at all of them to create the finished doll.
When you are sculpting or drawing or doing anything that you want to have a realistic look. The best thing to do is going and find as much reference as you can and then pay attention to it.
See how point A fits to point B.
Not how you THINK point A fits to point B
There are many mediums you can use on polymer clay, the most common being soft pastels.
I’m not very fond of them because for me they seem to be to hard.
I prefer to use make up. And before you say eye shadow is all glittery, I’ll say you can get matt make up.
I got this pallet from Dischem the other day, its bright beautiful colors in a matt finish that is gorgeous. Way better than pastels. The pallet only cost about R80 I got it for nothing because I used my rewards points.
Score all the way.
So keep an eye out for things that you can use with your clay and other crafts. You never know when you might find something in the most unusual of places.
When you sculpt there will be lumps and bumps and finger prints and all kinds of irritating irregularities in your work.
There are three methods for getting rid of them and each has it merits.
Using a small soft brush you can either dip in
Baby oil: Takes a lot of work but does smooth the clay down
Vaseline: I like to use this when I have a small little area that needs fixing.
Rubbing alcohol: this is my favorite, it works fast removing lumps and bumps but if you aren’t careful you can go too far.
When you are drawing one of the first things you are taught is to see the shapes in your subject.
The same goes for sculpting.
I will give you an example of a simplified version.
If you had wanted to sculpt this owl you would break it down to its basic shapes. So to do the body you would start with a ball of clay.
The beak would be a little triangle of clay and the toes would be little snakes. Which you then blend into the more complex shapes.
So when you are getting ready to sculpt, create a mental overlay over your reference and see the shapes before you begin.
Don’t be overly ambitious:
Start small, learning and getting comfortable with the medium (any medium) will go a long way to making your work better.
When I started with clay I made sure I did only little charms. I learned how the clay moved and shaped and blended in my hands.
Now I’m more confident with the medium and I’m doing far better work.
So always start small. Keep your goals small and with practice you can make your goals more advanced.
This was one of my first projects. I was getting a feel for the clay and working with shapes.
Now I can do more complicated things.
Baby steps are the way to go.
Happy Wednesday, Crafties.
If at first you Do succeed…
Try to hide your astonishment.
You will very rarely get something right the first time. The key to learning any skill it to know you will fail and accept it, then try again.