How to Sculpt Nudibranches (Sea Slugs) using Polymer Clay & Acrylics | Stephanie Kilgast | Skillshare

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How to Sculpt Nudibranches (Sea Slugs) using Polymer Clay & Acrylics

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

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Nudibranch Rhinophores


    • 4.

      Nudibranch - 1. Base Sculpt


    • 5.

      Nudibranch - 2. Leafy Pattern


    • 6.

      Nudibranch - 3. Bumps


    • 7.

      Nudibranch - 4. Algae Trio


    • 8.

      Nudibranch - 5. Looking Up


    • 9.

      Painting - 1. Mint


    • 10.

      Painting - 2. Purple


    • 11.

      Painting - 3. Pink & Mint


    • 12.

      Painting - 4. Blue


    • 13.

      Painting - 5. Pink & Yellow


    • 14.



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About This Class

Sculpture : How to Sculpt Nudibranches (Sea Slugs) using Polymer Clay & Acrylics


In this class, I am going to show you how to create five different nudibranches.
Thus is a very fun class suitable for beginners where you will learn the basics of sculpting and painting sculptures. it will allow you a lot of possibilities in terms of colors as well.

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While this class doesn't need any prior knowledge, I would recommend watching these two basics class first:
- Polymer clay Basics:
- Art and Colors, How to Pick and Compose:


Nudibranch - 1. Base Sculpt
Nudibranch - 2. Leafy Pattern
Nudibranch - 3. Bumps
Nudibranch - 4. Algae Trio
Nudibranch - 5. Looking Up
Painting - 1. Mint
Painting - 2. Purple
Painting - 3. Pink & Mint
Painting - 4. Blue
Painting - 5. Pink & Yellow



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

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hello. I am Stephan Kill gas and have been a professional artist for the last decade. In this class, I am going to show you how to sculpt sea slugs from scratch. I am going to guide you through the sculpting process, going to explain exactly how I did it and then show you some variations on that specific subject. And then in a second phase, I'm going to show you how to paint you sea slugs. And this is going to be really interesting because I'm going to show you step by step instructions on how to pains how to use your brush to get certain effects, how to blend, how to use different tools to a textural etcetera. It's going to be a very fun class. I certainly had a lot of fun doing it, and I'm convinced you're going to enjoy it, since the sculpting process is fairly easily and the painting job really can be adjusted to your own level. This class is absolutely fit for beginners and even kids just be sure to supervise kids as I'm going to use blades. The class project for this is extremely straightforward. I just would like you to make your own sea slugs, but one or two or more. And if you'd like you can share you project with the class special ways A tub just below the video to share your project with the class I love doing with class, and I'm very excited to share it with the use. I really hope that you're going to take it. 2. Materials: for this class, you're going to need Paula McLay in grey or mixture off scrap Klay. The color doesn't matter in this class as we're going to paint it at the end. Liquid polymer clay. A ceramic tile to work and bake on sculpting tools. Wire aluminum foil. Just sue acrylic paints. These are the ones I will be using. Painting brushes, varnish optionally a pasta maker to mix and roll out the clay. A candle oven to pre bake small parts Ni tral Are latex gloves to avoid fingerprints and to protect your hands. 3. Nudibranch Rhinophores: we're starting to sculpt the Rhino force. Those are the things that look like bunny ears on top of a nudie. Branches head. For this. Take some stainless steel wire engorged 18 and cut small pieces off about 20 millimeters. Wrap each piece off wire in some masking tape, then Rupp clay around it. The masking tape really helps the clay to properly stick to the wire. Now former long oval shape around the wire, pressed with your fingers at the edge to ensure that the clay dozens go over the wire. You really want to make sure that the tip of the clay is the same than the tip of the wire , and now we're going to draw some lines. I used an Exacto knife for that. The best way to do so is to place the knife slightly askew and pushed down the clay. You do not want to slice the clay, so be careful with that, that at the tip of the wine or four and work your way down. If working with kids, you can also skip the line work. It is not absolutely essential to the sculpture. Another way off. Ryan lines on through the Rhino four is to use the Exacto knife or, if the needle and roll, while applying a bit off pressure to create lines. Keep rolling and pressing until the rhino four is covered in lines. Prepare as much piers as you want to make sea slugs once you're happy, pre baked for about 20 minutes following your manufacturer's recommendation. 4. Nudibranch - 1. Base Sculpt: while the rhino force are baking, we can start on the body, take some aluminum foil and crunch it to form a sea slug shape. Take your parliament clay that you have preconditions and rapid around the foil. Be sure to avoid probables, pressing tightly and cut out the excess clay way. Use a bladed to remove the slug from your tile, then Russia fingers over the clay to smooth it down. - Way now pinch the sides to create the slugs foot. Give it a slight wave. Push the body down onto the tile once you are happy and readjust the overall shape. If needed. Roll out a piece of clay. Cut a long oval of the size of your sea slugs. Buddy. Press down the edge with your finger. Remove the sheet with a blade and then pressed the edges between some and forefinger too thin on the clay. Now place the obtained shape onto the slugs body and pushed own Onley. Press in the center of the oval shape using a metallic tulle or even just your fingers, accentuate the wave of the edge around the body. You can also give the waves a slight pinch with your fingers to define it a little bit more . Now take your baked and cooked rhino for dip them into liquid polymer clay and push them into the sea. Slugs head. We're now going to add some tentacles onto its back for that role, some clay into a thin snake pinch of the end into a points and cut out a piece. Place the tentacle onto the back and repeat until you have a few. - Finally pushed some lions into the body using a metallic tulle. You want to press the tool very lightly, creating soft lines all over the body, giving it the resembles off a soft body. Once you're happy set aside, we will bake at the end once we have sculpted all sea slugs variations, okay? 5. Nudibranch - 2. Leafy Pattern: like with the base sculpt. Start to shape the aluminum foil, wrap it and clay that you will smooth, cut and form an over shape that you press on to the body with rhino. Four. After having dipped them into liquid clay. No to the variation. Roll out a snake off clay off about 45 millimeters and then cut equal pieces of about 1 to 2 millimeters. Roll each piece into a ball and then flatten it onto the tile. Remove with a blade and then, using a metallic embossing tool, place onto the back, starting at the end. Now, on these leaf shapes, row by row, like with knitting pattern. Alternate the disposition of the leaves. - Ah , just the number off leaves in a TRO, depending off the place you have, for instance, in the center of the body, my rose off to become rose off. Four. Keep alternating rows off leaves until he covered the whole body. Set aside 6. Nudibranch - 3. Bumps: again. Same stunts. Shapely aluminum foil rapids in clay that you will smooth down, make the oval shape and press it down onto the body at the Rhine off wars after dipping lemon she liquid clay First, I added soft lines in this one, but it's not necessary for that. Variation now. For the variation, roll out a snake off playoff about five millimeters and cut equal sized pieces off about 2 to 3 millimeters. Shape each piece into tiny balls of clay, then on each bowl onto the back, creating alternating rows using a metallic and Boston Chul Bolender chul are silicone tool smoothed down the bolt onto the back, creating the illusion of a bump. Repeat for each ball and until the whole body is covered. 7. Nudibranch - 4. Algae Trio: Samos previously start to shape the aluminium foil, rapid and clay and smooth, create viewable shape and press it on top of the body at some soft lines by gently pressing the clay with a metallic tulle. Add the rhino four by dipping them into liquid clay and pushing them into the head. No for the variation. Take a piece off clay and form a ball. Pinch one side and roll into a coon. Push the cone down onto your tire to flatten the base, then place it on top of the slugs. Back first. Smoothed down the clay at the bays with your fingers are tools thing, then pinched the size of the cones, creating something that resembles algae. Repeat the steps two more times, so you have a total off three algae like tentacles on the back set aside. 8. Nudibranch - 5. Looking Up: for the last variation. We're going to make a different body shape instead of shaping the aluminium foil into a slug that is on the ground shapes a slug as if it were looking up. Then, like before, rubbed the foil and clay and smooth it down, cut in oval shape and press it onto the body for the slug. We're going to cover its back and something that looks like the tentacles with it. In the first variation, roll out a snake off clay, pinching one end to make it pointy. Cut a so formed spike and place it onto this lug, starting on the back, the final force and she liquid clay and push them into the head. Now keep repeating the steps and add spike by spike onto the back up to the head. You also want to slowly decrease the length off each spike. Once you have all the slugs you want, you can bake them for 40 minutes at your place. Manufacturers temperature recommendation 9. Painting - 1. Mint: After baking and cooling off, prepare the slugs for the pains. Using a soft brush, cover all the slugs with a thin lay off Jess. Oh, we're quickly and gift rush brushstrokes to avoid leaving too much brush marks. Jessa will give the surface some tooth, so the acrylic paint will be easier to apply. Since Jessel is white, it will also offer better coloring bays, making the colors you will use Pop. You could also sculpted the slugs in a white or light gray and paint them directly. But Paula McLay is extremely smooth and Onley except pure acrylic paints. If you only thin acrylic pain slightly with water polo, McLay will not accept it. Hence why Jess Oh is so useful. Jessel will also create a barrier to avoid the pigments from traveling from the acrylic paint to the polymer clay. My Jessel is ready in 30 minutes, but depending on you, just so you might have to wait longer before applying the pains, please check the manufacturer's recommendation. For that, we are starting to call her the base sculpt mix some mint color. I used Stella Green that is pigments P. G seven and cobalt turquoise that is pigment PG 50 with a bit off white to get um in color Liked. The goal is to blend the mint in the center of the body, toe white on the edges. You want to work fairly quickly, but with precision. Start by adding the men color in the center, then remove most of the paint. Paint off your brush by wiping it off a towel. Dip your brush into the white paint and then brush that paint just next to the mince stroke going up and down to us the edge. The idea is to work wet in wet and blend the girls together way. - Paint the final fours and the tentacles in mint paint , the foot and the part on though the whale. In minutes after the paint has dried, I refined the blending by adding very little white paint on the edge. I top the brush along the edge, and when I hardly have any paint left, I top up towards the means to blend the white toe. What's the mint color? I work that way in many layers until I am happy with the blending. I also always try to avoids to see the strokes however, don't worry too much. I collect rice fast so you can always read you your painting job if you don't like it. If blending seems to be too difficult, you can also practice on paper first. - Then we will be adding a purple patron to make the purple use an equal proportion. Kinnock redone magenta that is pigments P R. 100 and 22 an ultra marine blue that it's pigment P B 29. Then add some titan white to lighten it up, take a small pointed brush and draw small, random bean shapes. The key for this pattern is to keep the distance between the beans equal, but to vary the size and shape of the beans. Keep doing until the whole back is covered. - The pew brush in the purple paint and wiped most of the paint off onto your palate or towel. Then brush over all edges off the whale, creating a line off purple work with a dry brush and very little paint. It's best to go over the edge several times. Then you have too much paint on your brush as you'll just smudged the pains. Finally, take a toothpick dip. It into the purple paint and paints tiny dots all around the patron you previously painted let dry covering your palate so the paints doesn't dry. 10. Painting - 2. Purple: take the slug with a three algae like growth on its back, I decided to use the same purple mix that I made for the previous slug as a reminder to mix the purple. Use an equal proportion Kinnock Redon, Magenta pigment PR 1 to 2 and ultra marine blue pigment P B 29. Then at some Titan white To lighten it up, we're going to create a blending from purple to white. Start by painting belief. He like tentacles in purple, then at purple on the center of the body. Wipe your brush clean, dip it in the white paint and then brush horizontally next to the purple and down to the edge. Repeat, going slightly up and down to blend the purple and white together. You can also add the white on the edge and work your way up to the purple. - Then paint the foot in purple paint the rhino force in purple. Now we work your blending if you feel it's necessary. I usually rework my blending at least ones I like to make two types off brushstrokes to blend the horizontal line, and then the topping Grosh up and down. Don't hesitate to work in layers until you have a result you like always let the paint dry between the layers. Once you are happy with your blending, let's dry. Then, using a small, pointed brush painter pattern off beans all over the body, similar to the pattern we did on the Minton Purple slug. The goal is to have the space between the shapes off equal size. Cover the central part of the body in that pattern. - Then take a toothpick, dip it into the paint and create small dots to finish off the pattern towards the white edge. 11. Painting - 3. Pink & Mint: using Kinnock, Redon, magenta and Tighten White makes a dark pink color. Paint the scales of the slug and pink, making sure you paint all sides of the scales over and under. Keep turning your slug around so you see if you missed some spots, you can add a little water to the mixture to make the acrylic paint more liquid. Then start lending the sides to white edges. Start with a brush stroke off pink. Wipe your brush clean, dip it in white, then add a stroke next to the pink one and you a few hers until strokes to blend to the edge. Wipe your brush clean again and then do the reverse, adding white on the edge and then making horizontal strokes up to the pink. Paint the foot and pink paint the rhino force and Pinkas well. After letting it dry, go back to your blending from pink to white. Dip your brush lightly into white paint and top you brush on the edge until you hardly have paint left in the brush, Then start topping up to the pink, refining the blending. Repeat until you're happy 12. Painting - 4. Blue: we are painting the slug with the tiny knobs on his back. Apply ultra marine blue with a small pointed brush between the numbs, making sure you leave the knobs untouched. This is easiest, the longest painting job as you need to be precise, and thus you will paint on the slow side. It is a lot easier to start painting a line along each knob, and then you fill out the in between with the blue paint way , then booth blue to the white. Start with a stroke off blue near the nubs, then dip your brush into the white paint and other stroke next to the blue one. Go towards the edges. Repeat as you see this time, I am working in smaller strokes. There's no hard rules for blending the keys to work fast as you're working wet in wet and in layers to refine a blending. Always lead the layers dry before coming back to it and working on the blend again. - Also created. Blend from blue to white on the rhino. Fours. For the numbers, I will be using some yellow pigments P y 154 start by adding white paint on the nubs. Then dip your brush into the yellow paint and add a touch of paint in the center of the nub , blending the white and yellow. Repeat on all knobs, paying the foot in a mixture off ultra marine and white way. Rework your blending if you feel it's necessary. I wanted the edges to be white for so I am mostly adding more white to the blend, starting on the edges and working my way up. - Finally , I added some yellow on the edges for pop of color. Dip your brush into the yellow and then wipe your brush off on the edges. Go all around the slug. You do not want to put too much yellow on your brush as you'll easily smudge As a general rule, it is a lot easier to repeat the gesture until the yellow or the color is bright enough. Then you try to get it right on your first time. - Also add some yellow on the tip of the rhino force. Now to finish off this slug, use a bit off common red to mix in with the yellow. To get a warm orange, dip a toothpick into that orange and pain small dots in the center off each knob, then at some orange on the tip of the rhino force, let dry. 13. Painting - 5. Pink & Yellow: for this slug. I went with the pink and yellow orange theme. I mix yellow and Kinnock Redon magenta for the orange, adding a bit off white to make it more covering. I used the magenta for the orange as I was going to use the magenta for the pink. I tend to keep a very small pellets and mix my own colors as it gives a better unity of the end. Start painting the tentacles and orange and yellow, making sure you go through all the nukes. You can blend in some yellow and red to give it more interest. - Makes a nice pink with white and magenta, then start lending from yellow orange to the pink, using the horizontal strokes techniques I did for all the previous slugs for this slug. I changed my mind once it was finished and reworked it. This is the original finish. I kept blending from yellow orange to pink, painted the edges in a dark magenta and added magenta dots with a toothpick. But I really preferred the white edges of the other slugs, so I decided to redo the painting job. I am showing you this change so we can see how easily you can paint over something you don't like. This is one of the biggest benefit off acrylic paint, since it's trying really fast, you can easily paint over and change to the color scheme entirely, especially if mixing white into your new column as tight and white is a very opaque paint. I reworked the blending from the edge towards the yellow tentacles. I started adding white than pink, blending in horizontal strokes, but also by tapping the brush all over to blend back and forth. I worked really intuitively on this one. Other wasn't completely sure what is going. I decided to keep the yellow head because I like the pop of color, and I kept refining the blending from picking to what Then , using a toothpick, I made small white dots, which I placed exactly why I had put my magenta dots previously to ensure they were all properly covered. - I also painted the tip of tentacles in whites and finally brush some white paint over the rhino force as well. And these are all your finished slugs. You may von issue pieces to protect the paint 14. Conclusion: Thank you so much for taking with class. I hope you loved it. If you made your own sea slugs, please share them with the clouds. I am love to see what you come up with. And it really helps other students as well to see different levels and different approaches to the same thing. If you'd like to share your work on social media, you can always tell me I go along. The Monica pretty plot pretty much everywhere. But I mostly active on Instagram to go further. You can always spice up the patterns, spice up the sea Slugs make the shapes more complex. The pattern small, complex work with more callers on each sea. Slugs. Really? This guy is the limits. I really want you to have fun and to find your own style again. Thank you so much for being with me today. And I really hope to see you in my next class. Bye.