Delicate Sculptures: Papier-Mâché Birds | Sharon Ross | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Delicate Sculptures: Papier-Mâché Birds

teacher avatar Sharon Ross, Illustrator and Atelierista

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (15m)
    • 1. Introduction to Delicate Sculptures: Papier-Mâché Birds

    • 2. Inspiration - Papier-Mâché Birds

    • 3. Planning Your Sculpture

    • 4. Building your Armature

    • 5. Papier-Mâché Birds - Checking In

    • 6. Applying Papier-Mâché

    • 7. Painting your Sculpture

    • 8. Summary - Papier-Mâché Birds

    • 9. Wrap Up and Thanks

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Looking to bring your sketches to life? Interested in sculpture using some of the items you may already have at home? Join me in this class, Delicate Sculptures: Papier-Mâché Birds where we put a sophisticated spin on a well known medium.

In this class learners will  look at the process of planning and producing a delicate bird sculpture.

By our class end you will created an elegant, one of a kind, papier-mâché sculpture of a small bird.

This class will cover:
Choosing inspiration
Sketching for sculpture
Materials and armature
Form and Shape
Using reference
Completing and displaying your small sculpture

This class is ideal for learners of all experience levels who may or may not have experience in sculpture or modelling. Drawing and painting experience is helpful for this class.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Sharon Ross

Illustrator and Atelierista


With a focus on traditional media, old and new art techniques and a core understanding of the principals and elements of art and design, I strive to give learners the tools they need to not only be successful artists but to facilitate the ability to apply those tools to creative thinking and discovery outside the classroom.

As an illustration graduate and published children's book illustrator, I have been very fortunate to have a creative career including work in graphic design, sculpture fabrication, freelance illustration and portrait artist, fine artist with work in art shows and competitions, AND art instructor for both children and adults in private studios, homes, community centers, and classrooms.

Welcome to my classroom! I look forward to learning with you.

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction to Delicate Sculptures: Papier-Mâché Birds: Hi, Mayor. My name is Sharon, and I'm here to help guide you through project I hope you find Is this fun? And exciting as I do, we're going to be creating small birds using paper mashing in this class, we'll take a look at gathering reference and inspiration how to sketch with sculpture in mind. I had to create an armature and build your sculpture how to apply paper machine painting and displaying our artwork when it's through. So why don't you try me in this class as we create delicate sculptures, small birds using paper machine. 2. Inspiration - Papier-Mâché Birds: Let's talk about inspiration. It's important to spend some time in the beginning gathering reference an inspiration for your sculpture. This could mean for you spending some time surfing the Web to look at images. It could mean flipping through books at the library or magazines books that you have already. It could mean doing field research with your camera or sketchbook. You'll want to identify the source of inspiration. What is the recurring theme that you're finding in your reference? Is it shape? Is it texture? Is it movement? Is it color? Identify what it is that you continuously see in the reference that you're drawn to and from there will be able to curate. A collection of images that will work is exceptional inspiration. As we continue through this project for the first assignment, you're going to create a collage using 3 to 5 images that showcase your reference and inspiration for this project. Host this collage to the classroom and include a brief one paragraph description that talks about the images you're using for inspiration 3. Planning Your Sculpture: Once you have identified your references and inspiration, it's time to play in your sculpture with some sketches. When sketching for sculpture, you want to attempt to discover any potential building and construction problems before you get started. This means that you'll watch a sketch a minimum of three angles for your object. Front top inside additional angles like back bottom and other side can be very helpful, especially for asymmetrical sculptures. 4. Building your Armature: Now that you've gathered your inspiration and reference and you've planned out your sculpture, it's time to get building. For this, a step of the project you're going to need. Paper towels, foam shapes of varying shapes and sizes. Strong, malleable wire, scissors and executive lead. Heart stock, masking tape and lots of it. Using your drawing as a guide. Connect the shapes using the masking tape. Be generous but deliberate with your placement of the masking tape. By the end, your entire structure should be covered or sealed in masking tape. Tim burnished the tape is your finger or a paintbrush. Keeping the layer smooth is not critical here, but making sure that all parts are sealed by the tape is tip. Can't find the object in the shape that you need. Use card stock and scissors to cut the shape and paper towel to fill in any spaces. There is no assignment for this project at this date, however, I would like to encourage you to post your progress in the classroom. I want you to take your time, ask questions and work with your classmates. Teoh creatively. Problem solved 5. Papier-Mâché Birds - Checking In: it's time to check in at this stage. You wanna have a look at your sculpture and have a look at the reference you initially collected? Are they working towards the same end, or is it time to stop and reassess? Reassessing could mean gathering more reference for your new direction for slightly altered direction. Or it could mean making changes to your sculpture construction, any changes that you want to make either to reference or sculpture. This is the time to do it. 6. Applying Papier-Mâché: it's time to paper mache. For this part of the project, you're going to need two colors of tissue paper, one Tupperware container, water, white clue, a stiff bristle brush and a placemat or table covering for your workspace. A damp cloth can help clean up any spills that you might encounter along the way. Step one will be to take one of the two colors of tissue paper that you have collected and tear it into small pieces. You'll want to preserve the jagged edge of the tissue paper to ensure your sculpture has a handcraft look. At the end. However, you can use scissors to help contain your tissue paper pieces. You might want to consider a small box of shoebox, or is it blocked bay to keep your work surface tidy for stick to, you'll want to take your Tupperware container, preferably one that can seal and in it you'll want to mix three parts water to one part white glue. Use your stiff bristle brush and combine these elements paper initiated by using a sealable Tupperware container or equivalent, you can preserve your glue mixture for a later time. This means that you can work with the same batch of mixture and allow for the maximum amount of dry time in between coats. Once their combined, you can take your stiff bristle brush. You can dab it onto your sculpture. At this point, you'll be dabbing onto masking tape. Place one of your small pieces of tissue paper and then paint your glue mixture on top of that tissue paper. You'll want to repeat this step over and over until the entire structure is covered with tissue. Paper Paper mush Tip. Take your time paper. Bechet with tissue paper is very thin and delicate. Don't use too much water or you'll tear the tissue paper, but use enough that it coats the paper and allows it to adhere to the masking tape. The first layer can be a little tricky as it might slide around on top of the masking tape if you apply too much water. If this happens, step away from the project for just a little while. Let that water evaporate and that blue start harden come back and start again. It's important to use your stiff bristle brush to push the tissue paper into the creases and around the shapes that you have carefully created in the previous steps. Take your time here. There's no rush. This can get a little wet and a little messy. Or it could be clean and tidy, depending on health. Quickly you work paper mache a tip. Use your stiff bristle brush to push the wet tissue paper into the creases and crevices off your sculpture. You have spent time carefully using masking tape to preserve all of the shapes. Try not to lose the form by moving too quickly on this layer. It is critical that after your first layer of one color of tissue paper, you allow for ample dry time. I recommend at least 24 hours, if not more, before you return to this sculpture to put on a second layer of tissue paper in a different color. Using two colors of tissue paper will help you to identify any areas of the sculpture that may be exposed. Once your second player of tissue paper is completely dry, you'll be ready to paint 7. Painting your Sculpture: So you have a completed sculpture. You've applied paper mache A and you let it dry for a minimum of 24 hours. That means you're ready to paint. For this stage of the project, I recommend using acrylic paints. You can use something such as the liquid tech basics. If you choose to use craft paint, understand that you will likely need many. Many Blair's as craft paint contend to be thinner. To start with, I recommend a base coat one color to cover the entire sculpture. From this base coat, you'll be able to apply your mid tones, your shadows and your highlights. Be sure to look back at your reference. You spent a lot of time collecting reference and inspiration, and now is the time to use it When mixing on your palette. Remember that less is more with acrylics, unless you have the time to sit and paint from beginning to end. You don't want to put excessive paint on your palate because it will try up and be unusable . Use only what you need for right now. Once your sculpture is painted exactly how you want it, your small bird looks just like your inspiration and reference photos. You conceal your sculpture. You can use an artist grade ceiling. Or, if you kept it, you can use the glue mixture that we used in the paper. Mache a step. Now this won't be waterproof, and it won't be UV protective. So if you are concerned about leaving it in a sunny space and colors fading over time, you'll want to look at the artist very ceiling. You'll find that in your craft and hobby store for this purpose. For your first project, you might be fine using your blue mixture. Alternatively, many people have mod podge at home and that can be used to, though not my favorite. Consider if you will, where you like to present this sculpture. We talked about that a little bit at the beginning, but now way really want to figure out where we're gonna display this? If you're armature, attach is in any way to a base like mine does. You'll be ready to attach it now and make sure you get that sculpture in its proper location, ready for viewers and friends and family to take a look at all of your hard work. You just created a delicate sculpture using paper Mashaei 8. Summary - Papier-Mâché Birds: So let's talk about what we did here. In this class. We gather reference and inspiration. We talked about sketching for sculpture. Specifically, we showed three angles of our sculpture. At minimum, Clean created an armature using found items around the house. Maybe you had to go out for a couple, please, then covered that are mature in masking tape. No area was left exposed. Then we used a glue mixture, stiff bristle brush and tissue paper. Finally tour of tissue paper to create the paper mache layers of our sculpture. Once that was dry, we painted, resealed it and then we displayed it. Congratulations. You've done an amazing job, and I'm very excited to see your work in the classroom. 9. Wrap Up and Thanks: I won't take a moment to thank you for joining me in this program. I have a lot of fun seeing your sculptures, your sketches and your inspiration for those of you here on skill Chair, you'll see more of my work coming soon, including working, pull over clay, rubber stamping and drawing and so much more. For those of you who have learners at home who are under the age of 18 you can find some of my classes at out school dot com, and for everything that I am currently worried working on and creative explorations, you can find me at Sharon ross dot org or on instagram that Sharon Ross heart. I'm happy to have worked with you, and I hope to see you in the classroom again soon.