How To Sculpt A Simple Bird for Beginners - Air Dry Clay + Acrylic Paints | Stephanie Kilgast | Skillshare

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How To Sculpt A Simple Bird for Beginners - Air Dry Clay + Acrylic Paints

teacher avatar Stephanie Kilgast, Contemporary artist.

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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

6 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Bird Introduction

    • 2. Bird Materials

    • 3. Bird Armature

    • 4. Bird Modeling

    • 5. Bird Painting

    • 6. Bird Conclusion

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About This Class


How To Sculpt A Simple Bird for Beginners - Air Dry Clay + Acrylic Paints


This is an easy class for beginners with minimal difficulties.

Learn how to create a miniature bird from scratch and the basics of working with air dry clay and painting a sculpture.

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Meet Your Teacher

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Stephanie Kilgast

Contemporary artist.


Inspired by natural forms, Stéphanie Kilgast’s artwork is an ode to nature and its current biodiversity. Plants, mushrooms, insects and other animals encounter in a vibrant swirl of colors under her brush or sculpting tools.

Since 2017, in her series “Discarded Objects”, she grows colorful organic sculptures on human-made objects, celebrating the beauty of nature in a dialogue with humanity, questioning the lost balance between human activities and nature.
Her work has a cheerful post apocalyptic feel to it, a reassuring reminder that nature has the capacity to grow back, if we only let it.

She built her reputation and her sculpting skills around hyperrealistic miniature food sculptures. Her wo... See full profile

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1. Bird Introduction: Hello, I am Stephanie chaos and I've been a professional artists for the last decade. In today's video, I would like to share with you a simple tutorial on how to sculpt a bird and how would you painted using eric clay and acrylic paints. This class is easy and I tried to make it as approachable and accessible as possible. So if you have no knowledge into sculpting, no painting, you can still try it. It really is a classmate for beginners. I will guide you step-by-step into how to build up an armature, how to sculpt the bird, and how would you paint it. I will also give you tips and tricks. How to keep your materials in good shape. The class project is extremely straight forward. I would like you to create your very own bird. For that you can play around with textures and colors, or follow my own bird exactly. If you'd like to share your project on social media, you can do so. You can find me on social media. I go by the moniker at pretty much everywhere, but I'm mostly active on Instagram. Air directly is a medium that I've been using more and more and my artistic work, and I really love it. I had a lot of fun creating this class, and I hope you will love it too. So without further ado, just let's hop into the class. 2. Bird Materials: For this class, we will need aluminium file black wire in 0.30.5 millimeters. Cutting pliers, masking tape, acid free, archival white glue. Be sure it is acid free, otherwise, it will damage your work over time. Air dry clay. I will be using Adobe Premiere by activa, sculpting tools. Acrylic paints. I will be using following pains. Cadmium yellow medium, PY 35, cobalt, two coils, PG 50, ultramarine blue, PB 29, quinacridone magenta, P, one to two, titanium white PY six and ivory black. K nine. Synthetic brushes and acrylic varnish in months and glossy. 3. Bird Armature: We are starting to create the armature. This is key when working with Android clay or any clay that is very soft, you really want to take your time to make a proper armature as the base on which to work on this bird. I decided to simplify the overall shape and also to make a bird on the chubby signed. So I am working only with aluminum foil. I start with the corner of the foil to shape the beak and then starts to crunch the foil around to make the hand, and then proceeded to make the body. I then flattened the rest of the foil into the tail. You might need to cut the tail to your liking. Please keep in mind that you will add clay over the foil later on. So if you want a very specific end size, the file buddy should be smaller. And you can add and remove foil as you go until you have a body shape you are happy with. Then add masking tape around the foil to keep the shape intact. The masking tape will also help secure additional small bits of foil that you might have added. Now again, this is a small, chubby bird. So I didn't use any wire nor mesh wire to strengthen it as the end shape is strong enough. However, if you intend to make a bigger bird or a bird that is sinner, you will need to add extra wire to the armature for strength. For the feat, I used black wire and go 0.5 millimeters. Bird paths have for visible fingers. Three are in the front and one in the back. For each foot, cut cheap pieces of wire and fold them into, then twist them together. You might want to use a player for an easier twists, repeat for the other foot. And then using a smaller wire of 0.3 millimeters, thread the wire through loops and rub the legs around the body. Secure everything with some masking tape. And you are done with the armature. 4. Bird Modeling: Now it's time to add the clay. When working with Android clay, I started to cover the armature with acid free white glue and then add the clay onto it. The glued does several things. First, it's firmly attaches the clay to the armature or the base you're working on. Secondly, it creates a ceiling barrier between your base and the clay. And lastly, as the clay will soak in some of the glue, it also strengthened the clay. Now the very important fact you need to keep in mind is to choose Asset free, white glue. Acid free ensures that your work is going to be archived off so it won't ruin the materials you use in your work. Some artists are so adamant on making sure the work is archival. They refuse to use white glue and prefer using acrylic mediums. But as long as you're white glue is asset free, you are going to be okay. The clay I am using is ladder premier from activa. It's a claim made out of paper and pull miss with a very fine grain. It holds details really well. I keep the clay in an airtight container and spray it with water to keep it moist. Once you added acid free white glue onto your bird's head and the clay. Smooth it down using your fingers. Using a silicone spatula tool. Push the clay around the beak towards the head to define it. Then using a needle tool, draw the eyes and the continuation of the beak. As far the feather round, we will be simplifying them by trying tiny lines. Draw circles around the eyes, and then lines that go from the beak over the head to the neck. We also draw a line on to the beak for its opening. Thank you. Once you had this finished, move onto the body, Russia layer of white glue onto the body and then under clay on top, smooth the clay onto the bunny with your fingers. You can mark the wings if you'd like. Then proceed to texture the burn like we did the hand with tiny lines all over. Let try for a few hours. Now onto the tail at some acid free whites glue onto one side and then some clay. Draw two lines to create three big feathers. Then draw small lines to create the feather texture. Lastly, using a silicone spatula tool between the feathers to mock them. You now need to wait for the tail to be dry to the touch before repeating the same texturing on the other side of the tail. Once you have entirely finished the modelling part of your birds leave it to dry overnight. Depending on where you live. The burned welder I more or less faster. Andrei clay is completely dry when it feels warm to the touch. As long as you touch it and it still feels cold. It isn't completely dry and needs to drive further. 5. Bird Painting: Once you're sculptures dry, it is time to paint it. Again. The sculptures dry when it does not feel cold to the touch. If it still feels colder than room temperature, then it needs to dry a little longer. For this bird, I will be using following acrylic paints. Cadmium yellow medium, PY 35, cobalt, two coils. Pg 50, ultramarine blue. Pb 29, quinacridone, magenta, PR, one-to-two, titanium white PY six, and ivory black. P BK nine. I am using a tiny ceramic tile as epaulettes and keep the pallets in an airtight container. That way I can keep the paint moist for a few days. I always spray paint some water on top of the paint as well. This helps you to work on the slow side and also to not waste paints. We are starting with the cadmium yellow to paint the birds had. Don't worry, if you get some yellow paint onto the eyes are the beak, as we were all painted in black and the end. For the feathers, I am going to create a gradient from meant bloom towards purple over ultramarine blue. Now to replicate the feathers I am painting and small strokes. I am adding one color and small batches all over the body. Then rinse the brush, load it with another color and repeat adding random strokes over the body. The only thing to keep in mind is to start with lighter colors and the top and go darker the more you go towards the tail. You might also want to accentuate the underbelly with darker colors and the color just below the hands. Keep in mind, went painting, sculpture. You're always trying to accentuate light and shadows with your colors. Here, I added some light lavender and the upper body. Next to light meant and light blue. You might want to use an island bristle brush to push the paint inside the textures nukes. You will likely need to go over the paint a few times until all nukes are well painted. Avoid using too much water as this will soften the clay. I never have issues painting the clay directly. However, if you find it too difficult to paint without softening the clay. Another option is to seal the clay before painting it. For that, cover the sculpture once it's dry with a wash of watered down asset free white glue. Like dry and then cover and Primum D4 painting. It's and and and and and and in each case. Okay. That's it. Okay. And then once you painted the whole body Latin dry, taking a final round brush, we are going to paint the eyes and the line around the eyes and Blanche. Now we are going to add some highlights with white clay and a dry brush. You want to dip your brush into your paint, remove most of the paint, and then go over your sculpture. This is called dry brushing. This culture will retain a bit of the white paint just enough to give the illusion of light. And the painting job is done. If you are unhappy with it, take your time. You can layer acrylic paint without much problem. Once you are completely happy, let it dry for at least a day, then vanish your piece. I would suggest using a month varnish for the body and glossy varnish for the eyes. 6. Bird Conclusion: Thank you so much for taking this class. I hope you loved it. I had so much fun making it and painting the little bird. I really hope you enjoyed it as well. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask in the comment section just below the video, I always answer the commons, however, I might take one week, ought you? The class project is simple. I will ask you to make your very own bird. You can really play around with textures. You don't have to do the first type of texture I did. You can play around with other types of textures and you can also play around with the other colors. You don't have to go. The yellow meant blue theme that I picked. But you can imagine going in the red hues are paying orange, whatever you like best. And once you have done your limb project, please share it with the class. I love to see what you come up with. And it also helps other students, if you share it on social media, please tag me. I go by the Monika pretty much anywhere, but I'm mostly active on Instagram. Again. Thank you so much for being here with me and I really hope to see you in my next class. Bye.