How to Sculpt A Person in a Sweater With Polymer Clay | Model-Making | Cake Topper | Clay Disarray | Skillshare

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How to Sculpt A Person in a Sweater With Polymer Clay | Model-Making | Cake Topper

teacher avatar Clay Disarray, Artist & illustrator

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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

11 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Prepping your work space

    • 3. Making the base

    • 4. Bake #1

    • 5. Making the body

    • 6. Making the head

    • 7. Bake #2

    • 8. Making hair

    • 9. Bake #3

    • 10. Final result

    • 11. Conclusion

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About This Class

Join me as I take you through in detail how to make a cartoon-style model of a person with polymer clay, which, should you prefer, could also be used as a cake topper.

In this class, you will learn how to use basic armatures, and how to bake new clay on top of old. The same principles can be applied to making other models of 'human' forms, should you wish to create a different pose or make different outfits.

Meet Your Teacher

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Clay Disarray

Artist & illustrator


Lizzie Campbell, who uses the pseudonym Clay Disarray, is a professional clay artist and illustrator based in the UK. She studied at the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design where she graduated with a degree in illustration. Although Lizzie has been drawing for almost all of her life, she discovered polymer clay in 2012 and has since used the material for all of her creative work. 


 John Lennon 'Imagine' sleeve for Secret 7" 


Specialising in character design, her work explores the area between sculpture and image-making, often with a pinch of humour thrown in for good measure. Lizzie has worked on a number of projects including editorial illustration, advertisi... See full profile

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1. Introduction: either. Welcome to today's tutorial, which has taken May ah ha a lot longer, Teoh create and upload than I'd ever anticipated. So, yeah, it's just finally nice to have something upload in spurts. Gonna be taking you through the process off, creating a small character or a small person with politically. So I'll be using some principles of sculpting on already baked play, which is a nifty trick for those working with Parliament play or particularly, colors Parliament play if you wanted to make a human would style kind of sculptures, So yeah, it should be quite interesting if you wanted to make yours into a cake topper. That's absolutely fine. Polymer Clay in its Bates born is completely non toxic, so it's absolutely fine toe pop on top of a cake, and we'll also be looking at the basic principles of amateur. So I'll use some maybe some cocktail sticks on some Kraft wire as well, just to add a bit of security to your work. But we won't go too much into that is just You probably have a basic level today, but there are elements where it is essential to have some. It's a momager involved, so yeah, I hope you get a lot out of it and let's get started 2. Prepping your work space: So before any project work, I like to prep my workspace, so I'm just using a wet wipe. Peter, just Stickley. My my glass play boards on. Don't drive off just with Cem Kitchen wife on using just the teeny tiny piece of white play here. Firstly, to roll between my hands just to pick up any fine pieces of firm dust, all bits of residue that you don't want on your art piece. And then I'll just roll that onto my play board as well. Just pick of any tiny bits of residue again. So now I'm ready to stars. 3. Making the base: So now we're going to start work on the base on I'm just used in some old clay here. Two creates, like a neutral, maybe a dark grey tone. It's always useful to use your old remnants of play, particularly for stuff like this, where you know the color doesn't matter too much. So I've now put it through a pastor roller to next, the color on Teoh condition the clay. So I'm not gonna roll that just with my credit roller. So it's nice and flats on to make the shape of the base. I'm gonna use a cookie cutter on amusing the smallest in the pack here. So I'm just gonna press down really firmly. And it's helpful to put this on some grease proof paper. Just so you know, it doesn't stick to your surface. It makes it nice and portable, so I'll just push that out. And there we go on to ensure you've got nice, clean finish. I'd recommend just finishing off with a wet wipe like so it's always worth while investing just a little bit of time to ensure that your pieces as neat as it can be on just gonna make some very basic shoes, and I need to make two balls of clay here just to ensure that they're the same size. So it's a useful way just to gauge that you've got the same amount of play in each ball, and I just flatten those down just to resemble very basic shoes shapes. Just gonna go for a flat basics, you think? But all I'm just gonna put in some little grooves so you can see the hell definition there . But you know, you don't have to do this if you don't want to. It's not that you'll see it very easily anyway. So now that that I'm just gonna position them onto the base like so to ensure that your model will be balanced while they're not quite in the center. But they're certainly kind of pushed forwards a little. Andi, I'm gonna use a very basic amateur for this base, So I'm using a cocktail stick that's in two parts. Just press for me down to the bottom. I'm just gonna make some very basic trousers, so I'll roll out some Blackley, like so on with my blaze cutting tool. I'll just cut the ends off, said that a nice clean finish at the ends. Andare just cover over like so you might need to do this a few times because it's always worth while to try and be as neat as possible and then just gently position the transfers down so that they eventually reached the top of the shoes. You can always use a tiny bit of liquid female onto the cocktail sticks as well, if you wanted to be extra secure. And I'm just gonna pop some craft wire into the top of the trousers here, like so, and this will ensure that your body will have something Teoh hold onto once it's bakes on. Just use a tiny drop of liquid female here just to make extra secure. So now your base and your trousers older. 4. Bake #1: so rather helpfully, I forgot to fill myself preparing my base to go into the oven. So I'm just using these their trousers here. But you'll see that there are a vacant sheets that I use only for politically work on amusing among here just to help the peace stand straits. It shouldn't actually be leaning on the mark. It should be no, really. In case the base decided that it wanted to topple over, and they're separated with some parchment paper. And just as a tip, it's a great idea to keep a little collection of books just for making purposes. So now you'll need to bake your base on. At this point will need to refer to your own brands of polymer clays bacon instructions. 5. Making the body: Okay, so now I'm going to make the body off my model on, and I'm using a green color here. Really? Because it allows me to use up some spare clay for his jumper. I'm gonna make a kind of polemic shots, really, because it's probably one of the easier things to make. So I'm gonna roll a ball off the play here. Is that the main body piece on being mindful that I need to save some for the arms on for the neck piece as well? On just is a little tip here. If there's any stubborn pieces in new clay, you can always use your blade cutting tool. Just toe lightly Cut those outs on. It shouldn't impact you much on on your play, So this is nicely conditions. Now. It's being through the past a roller, and I've been rolling around in my hand a lots. So I'm making just the very basic kind of body shape here. Like site Onda need the bottom to be as flat as possible, so I'm using my blades cutting tool again to cut the end off. Well, certainly finds that the more that you work with polymer clay, the easier your finds is to handle so that you'll be less likely to leave fingerprints etcetera on your work. So I wouldn't worry too much about it because, you know, we will go through learning processes. It's just about getting started, really. So I may 2 arms here. Andi. I need them to be of a similar size and length, so it's a good idea to line them up together and use your blade cutting tool just to trim the ends. So now I'm happy with my body shape so it's ready to be attached to my previously baked legs and some liquid fy. Mo is always a good thing to do, to attach two pieces together, reading as the ancestor an extra bit of security. So I just need to attach the two together. Let's come on pretty well. So it's a case of just smoothing down the the edges, etcetera. And again, the more time that you spends on trying to make you your workers needs as possible, the better your work will be. Really, I really advised against Russian your work, my possible because you know parliament, please pretty expensive material, so just investing that little bit more time is always worthwhile, so I'm moving on to the hands now. So I'm working with the skin tone. Play on This is female doll Arts in the Color Sands have to say that he may do a pretty broad range of skin tone clay, so they're always worthwhile looking out for on making a very basic hand shape here. I'm really keen Teoh. Just use a kind of very generic character design here. It's certainly not representative of my own style of working for my unusual style of working, but I just wanted to create something very sort of basic and all artists in who are encouraged to develop their own style of working. So it's just really sick if you annoy idea of elements and placements, really. So I need to add my hands to my arms. So I'm using some craft wire here. Does it matter too much? What gauge your craft wires just helps did secure the pieces together. I'm cutting it as an angle as it's easier to place onto the body on. You know you don't have to do this. If you prefer a more rounded shoulder in your appearance, that's absolutely fine. This is just a personal preference, really. I'm just gonna bends the arm slightly and just gradually, multi into the Balti. Now I need to make another hands on the Ganges shoes in my needle, told to make a kind of basic thumb in the hands on. It's really important to make sure that the same size, so it's always good toe kind of cross reference what you doing and just custom of the piece of wire for my seconds. Hands and arms, hands a cane. I'm just cutting a slants, but again, you don't have to do that. It might well be easier if you're new to model making just to keep you your arms or your shoulders rounded. Because though they may well attach be easier, it's entirely up to you. So I'm using a wet wipe here just to try and mould of the pieces together. Further, really can take quite a bit of time this bit. If I'm honest, he might well want to ever were destined on just pop your arms on us. They are no need to make sure that my hands are nice and secure the bottom as well, so I'm just pressing those in nicely to to his jumper because you always need to think about the integrity of your model overall because you don't want your arms to break off after baking on. If you're struggling with your play in terms of trying to mold it together, this skull P clay softener is pretty good toe. Help secure your pieces and the ball tal can be quite useful as well, just toe a little bit of definition. So now I'm happy with my body. I am going to make the collar off my, um, my polo neck. So I'm just using a rounded piece of clay like So I'm just getting a little bit of detail in with money Little to ensure that it looks like a neck piece. I'm not just the touches on top, nice and easy, and we, of course, have to think about how our heads will be secured to our body. So I'm just studying Cem Graph wiring here, and it's actually quite a thick gauge. It doesn't matter too much. What gauging using just it has to be pretty sturdy here, but if you haven't got any kind of sturdy craft while you could use a cocktail stick here if you preferred. If you're a little worried that your arms might break off after baking for any reason, you can always press the more firmly into the body so you don't have to have any gap showing a total. So my body's older on. I'm ready to make my head. 6. Making the head: So now I need to make my models heads. So I'm using some more off my skin tone politically in sounds at the gain on issues a small piece just to pick up any debris on my work surface. Because, you know, it's something that you always have to fight against. And I'll just roll that into a basic bull shape to get things started. I'm just gonna pick up any bits of dirt debris with a wet wipe, and it's good to ensure that your head is a good Sundays in terms of proportion to your body before you go any further. So I'm happy with that. So I'm gonna flatten it. Ever sustain pay? Andi, I'll just pop that onto the wire, like so I'm just kind of positioning into a shape and a position that I'm happy with. So now I've got my basic head shape. I'm gonna pop on Somalis on. I'll use just two small walls of white clay here. This isn't typical of my usual working style. I just wanted to great something so fairly generic for this left. As you know, it's always good to try and develop your own style, really so they popped on the news and just some black clay fists and peoples plans for the mouth. I'm just gonna fashion a very basic shape with my needle tool here, but you can use whatever tools that you like Female 50 news and play for your mouth. If you wanted just to pop a line of clay on, there should be fairly easy. Not all pop on some is so he's looking more like a character now has maybe some cheeks as well. So now our model has ahead. 7. Bake #2: Now it's time for baked number two. So I'm positions, my little model like so on and again. He's not really resting on the mark because I don't want to create any indentations on my clay. Is there really just for some support? Should he decide to fall, which hopefully he won't? So again, you will need to refer to your own brand of polymer clays bacon instructions. 8. Making hair: So now I need to make a chaps hair. So I'm just flattening able of black clay as I'm gonna give him black hair thing and then I'll mold that to the back of his head, like So I'm just pressing him really firmly. And you can roll it on your surface as well just to ensure its sticking well ons. Because there's some little gaps just on the top of his ears. I'll just squish more play in that. I've got a little tool here that creates little I shaped pieces. I'm gonna gradually start building those up on his heads. This is just one way to create her. You know, I'm sure there's thousands of ways on and you'll find a way hopefully that you're comfortable with and represent your own style. A little come with practice. So you gradually develop a taste for what you like, what you're not so keen on. So about it, enough clean out to his heads, I think, to represent his hair and to add some expression to his face. I'm not some little eyebrows as well, and these could be quite fiddly, actually, So they're years solder on, and he's ready to be baked for the third and final time 9. Bake #3: so as before, I need to position my model on my bacon cheats like so and I'll bake him for the third and final time. 10. Final result: So here's our model older Andi, yet pretty pleased with him. On the more practice that you have it making these kinds of models, the more likely that you will develop into your own character design. This is an example of mine, and with a little more experience, you could go on to make it a double model or a wedding cake topper like this one. 11. Conclusion: Well, I hope you found that useful in some way. And you feel ready now to get started and creating your own little model or cake topper. The one thing that I would recommend, however, is if you have any spare clay kicking around, perhaps practice with symbolically, fast before you start with your lovely, shiny new clay, Really? As it will probably take you a few attempts to get a result you're happy with. You know, certainly when I started model making it, I used to get quite frustrated at times that I wasn't able to kind of achieve kind of the neat Nestle. They have all aesthetic that I was looking for. But you know, it all takes time and practice really on. The best thing to do is just get started, so good luck.