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.
I’ve heard many crafters complain that their studio is a mess. That they can’t find anything or they are embarrassed by the chaos.
There is a simple solution to this, one I use every time I craft. It boils down to one saying
“Everything has a home”
or like my dad used to teach me “Elke ding het sy plek.” Its an Afrikaans saying that boils down to the same thing.
When you are done using something, put it back where it belongs. Throw little bits of paper and junk in the bin as you work. Don’t leave it on your work space.
As you finish one part of your project, put away the tools you used for that part.
You’ll find when you are finished you have very little to clean up and your work space and craft room will stay organized.
Finding tiny brushes for sculpting can start working out expensive. For painting your clay creations and for working the clay.
I discovered that I could go buy a whole set of “Nail art” brushes and my local Planet Nails for the price of two or three artist brushes. Not only are they tiny for detail work but they are pretty good quality too.
Yay, its done, and in my searching for what I wanted to knit I found a LOT of pattern.
I’ve added links at the bottom to the patterns I used, in case you would like to knit them too. The flowers are small ones I bought at Herannies (a massive craft shop here in Centurion) a while ago and I used tacky glue to make sure they stay. I only used glue because this is for a reborn doll. Had I been making it for a real baby I would have stitched them in place.
But there was one blog in particular that was wonderful for patterns.
Marianna’s Lazy Daisy Days
She is a prolific knitter and pattern designer and several of her patterns are now in my reborn knitting book.
I have a hard cover book where I’ve pasted all the patterns I’ve printed that I want to knit for the babies I’m going to be making. It lives in my knitting bag and it makes my life a lot easier.
You will notice that in the picture there is a hat but there is no link to the pattern.
*looks sheepish* That’s because bright spark here (points at self) printed the pattern and forgot to book mark the page, and now I can’t find it no matter how hard I search.
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 adding the hair to a reborn doll it help to have something you can put the dolls head on to stabilize your work area. This is what I came up with to do the job.
What you need:
Some fabric: I used a pretty Hello Kitty patterned flannel.
Sewing machine (Optional you could hand sew this.
A large bowl: I used a cake dish that we get our cakes in. The cover works brilliantly for size
- Fold your fabric in half (right side in) and use your bowl as a template to draw a circle shape on your fabric.
- Before cutting put a generous amount of pins in the folded fabric so it wont shift when you cut.
- Cut out your circle (sorry about the blurry image)
- Now take a tape measure and measure the circumference and the depth of the bowl and you have your middle part
- Cut out
- Pin (with right sides together) the straight edge to the curved edge
- Sew slowly and carefully. Make sure you keep the edges aligned.
- I wanted the pillow to be slightly smaller than the bowl so I didn’t add a seam allowance. I kept the seam to about 1cm all around the edge. On your second seam make sure to leave a little space for stuffing
- Sew down the middle of the band so you only have the stuffing hole open
- When you have sewn both sides, clip the seams without clipping the stitching.
- Now turn it the right way around
- Start by filling the pillow about half way with rice.
- Make sure the rice stays at the bottom then fill the rest of the pillow with batting. (it will give a more solid surface than the fiber fill and work better as a cushion. The batting part is the bottom of the pillow.
- Be careful not to over stuff the pillow. Sew the opening hole closed well and turn the pillow over
- Now you can manipulate the rice stuffing to position your doll head how you need to for easier rooting.