Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cat Poseable Doll WIP 1.4

This post spans over a few days.  Making a silicone rubber mold takes time.  How much?  At least the cure time for the silicone rubber you use.  Add to it the time it takes to prepare the mold.  Let's also not forget you double all that when you make a 2 part mold.

The cat head I am making a mold of will be a 2 part mold.  I could probably do a 1 part mold and slush cast the resin, but I prefer to do a 2 part mold which gives a more consistent thickness.

I used magnets for my keys and the wall is foam board.

One part is done.

And here are the 2 parts of the rubber mold finished.

A side-by-side comparison of the original cat head and a resin cast head.  The original polymer clay head weighed 26.1 grams while the resin head weighed 21.9 grams.

There are some slight imperfection with the teeth and the back of one ear.  I have to check the mold to see if it was a one time thing or if some epoxy will be needed to do a minor fix.

I used Smooth-On Dragon Skin 30 for making my silicone rubber mold.  I used 8.4 oz of rubber for the first half and 5 oz of rubber for the second half.  The cure time is 16 hours for each part and I used 50 psi in the pressure pot to get rid of the bubbles.  Although you can use OOMOO 30 without a pressure pot, the results are better with a pressure pot.  The Dragon Skin 30 you NEED a pressure pot.  Even if you try to mix carefully, bubbles are created.  This stuff is thick to mix when compared to OOMOO 30.  And it costs more too.  :)

The resin I used was Smooth-Cast 305.  For the first cast I mixed 2 oz of resin, which was too much.  The second time I mixed 16 grams of resin, but that was too little.  So the third time I mixed 25 grams which was still just border line.  In the future I will aim for 27 grams.  I have to take into account extra resin that is left in the cup, syringe, and resin needed for the vent and pour hole.

I should probably make the paws next instead of giving into the temptation of painting the resin head.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cat Poseable Doll WIP 1.3

I couldn't put the cat head down, so I started working on the ear.  To help make the ears symmetrical, I made a cut out pattern on paper and cut it out of flattened polymer clay.

His head still needs a little touch-ups, but is otherwise mostly done.  I plan to make a silicone mold of the head so I can cast it in resin.

Cat Poseable Doll WIP 1.2

I did some work on the cat head today.  I added teeth and the eyes.  He still needs ears.  You can also see above the round polymer clay I was using.  I mixed black with a translucent white which looks gray but baked black... duh!  I should have used regular white to make the head gray.

I am not completely happy with the left tooth (or right one if you are looking at the picture).

He still needs ears.

And above you can see 2 attempts at claws.  The one on the left was the first attempt and the other is the second.  The first was too fat and round.  The second was much better.  I am not sure yet how big his paws will be so this was just a test on how to make the claws.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cat Poseable Doll WIP 1.1

I have decided to work on another poseable doll.  This time it will be a cat similar to the Cheshire Cat from Alice in the Wonderland.  Notice the wide grin but still simplistic in style.  I did finally add texture, which came out really well.  I still need to add the teeth, ears, and eyes.  He is made from polymer clay.  I wanted him a light to medium gray, but I made the mistake of mixing transparent white instead of real white...HAHA  Live and learn.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Making a Poseable Art Doll: Part 9

I suppose it has been a while since I last posted.  I guess I needed a little break.

But I did finish my dragon today.  Here he is:

Since I didn't find fur I liked that was longer than the white faux fur I bought, I decided to weft in yarn 1 ply at a time.  I brushed it out and then trimmed them up.  I painted the faux fur using Dye-na-flow.  He is green and black with some white showing through.

I like how he turned out.  I do plan to try another one later.  Not sure what I will work on now.  My bjd is still not complete.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Making a Poseable Art Doll: Part 8

His eyes are done painting, but the rest of the head needs a little more work.  I am definitely going to change that nose color since it doesn't look right.

You can see holes on each cheek where I removed his barb.  It will be re-added later, I think...  If not, I will patch the hole and paint over it.

I used Ceramcoat paint by Delta.  I was going to use my Vallejo Game Color paint, but it seems after having it for many years many of the colors are not good anymore.  The reason I chose Ceramcoat is because I also paint bisque ceramics at the Ceramic Club I belong to.  Overall, the Ceramcoat paint works rather well.  Smooth, bright colors.  Some colors don't have as good a coverage and need several coats, but I am pleased with the results thus far.

I just LOVE how his eyes turned out.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Poseable Pipefox

This poseable Pipefox took me a few hours to make him.  He is completely poseable and is about 16" long from tip of nose to tail.  The faux fur is dyed using Dye-na-Flow.  His stuffing is batting wrapped around a wire armature.  His eyes are glass beads and his nose is sewed black thread.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dying Faux Fur Test

I bought The Exciter Pack of Dye-na-Flow made by Jacquard. I bought it from Joanns (with a coupon) for under $10.   I also bought white faux fur which I think is 100% acrylic.

For testing these colors, here are the other items I used:
- Sheet of foil to contain my mess.  Also worked as a palete for mixing colors.
- Cheap paintbrushes.  Nothing fancy.  I wouldn't use these for art painting, but they work well for this application.  I didn't want to accidentally ruin a good paintbrush if a cheap one works well enough.
- Old slicker pet brush.  I still kept my old brush so I decided to dedicate it to this project.  I have better ones for use on my pets.

I first made sure to brush the faux fur in the direction the hair lays.  To add color, I put a drop of dye-na-flow color onto the tip of my flat paintbrush.  I painted lightly across the top of the faux fur with the grain.  At first it didn't seem there was enough color and I dripped some color onto the faux fur directly, but I found that lightly brushing would waste less and do a better job.  After brushing the dye onto the fur make sure to brush the area as soon as possible.  By brushing the color lightly onto the top of the coat, you create a little gradation of color and make brushing clumps out easier.  This will reduce your loss of fur from the fabric.  You don't want to brush so much it becomes bald...haha  If the color is not dark enough, repeat brushing more paint onto the fur.  It is better to do a little at a time.  One thing to note though is that when you brush the fur while the paint is wet, that it can get brushed into other parts.  So if you are brushing a pattern or something more intricate, be careful where you brush.

So now for the results...

Above is my first test.  On the left is Emerald Green.  You can see how the lower section is darker than the rest because this is where I dripped color onto the fur.  It doesn't look as good as the brushed parts in person.  On the far right I painted black to see how dark it would be.  In person the black seems to be a very dark cool gray.  Close enough.  The top color is Azure Blue.  You can probably see 2 lines in the middle of the fur where I cut it.  That was done prior to my painting experiment to see how adding texture by cutting looks like.

Top row (left to right)
1:1 brown:white
1:1:2 brown:golden yellow:white
1:2 golden yellow:azure blue

Bottom row (left to right)
1:2 brown:white
1:1 golden yellow:azure blue
1:2 golden yellow:brown

The picture makes the black dye look close enough to the black I painted his paws.  In person (as mentioned above) the faux fur looks like very dark cool grey.  Not too bad considering I don't have to buy extra faux fur just to get black.

Here is my slicker brush I used to brush the faux fur.  You can see how it built up when brushing painted fur.

Although the Emerald Green is very pretty by iteself, I want more of a forest type green for my dragon poseable art doll.  So I will have to mix 2 parts blue with 1 part yellow to get this (according to my test above).  I also liked the beige color I got from mixing 2 parts white and 1 part brown.  I may use this for the tummy of the dragon.  And of course there is the black that I intend to use for the legs and the middle of the back.  And if I do a pattern on him, I can use the black too.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Making a Poseable Art Doll: Part 7

He is starting to look more like a dragon now.  His head has been glued to his body now.  I used fusible batting to pad his wire frame.  (I didn't buy fusible batting specifically for this project.  I only used it because it is what I had on hand so why buy something else when this would work?)  All this sculpted parts are also sanded and primed.  Now to start painting.

I am uncertain still how I will paint him.  The colors I like for him are white, green, blue, and maybe a brown.

I may test dying my faux fur a few colors prior to deciding what colors to use for painting.  This should help make sure he matches from fur to sculpted parts.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Making a Poseable Art Doll: Part 6

The feet are sanded and primed.  They are now ready for painting, but I will have to wait until the head is ready.  I do plan to remove the primer where the faux fur will be glued to the feet so that it adheres well.

I have finished most of the sculpting for the head.  The wire is where the barb will be.  I haven't decided if it would bendable or not.  That creates a whole new level of problems.

Otherwise the only other thing that needs work now is the nose.  It keeps trying to give me problems with symmetry.

And this is how the head look on the body.

My favorite tools for sculpting my dragon are the ones shown in the picture.  I especially love those two rubber tipped shaper tools.  I want to get more of those in different sizes and firmness.

I did FINALLY locate some faux fur that I was okay with.  Note I said 'okay'.  I wanted a faux fur that was plush and soft.  Something that could be dyed to the colors I wanted and have a pattern painted onto it.  Since my dragon is small, I wanted fur that was about half an inch and no more than an inch.

The white faux fur I got from Joann is 100% acrylic I think.  It is about 0.5" thick (estimate), but isn't as dense as I would like.  It is also not as soft as I would like either.  I did find other faux furs there, but none fit all my requirements.  One was short, soft, and super dense... but it was brownish.  Another was dense, very long, white, but laid flat and looked choppy.  I ended up settling for the one I bought because of the length and color options (if the dye works).

This project is more complex than I thought it would be.  Or am I making it more difficult than it needs to?  :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Making a Poseable Art Doll: Part 5

My dragon's paws are finally done sculpting.

I still need to finish the head though.  Then I can prime and sand prior to painting the details.  I should also start thinking what colors to use so I can find the fabric I need for his body and possibly dyes to add details.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Making a Poseable Art Doll: Part 4

I still can't figure out how I want to do his ears.  So for now I will put that on hold.  Instead I worked on the paws of the dragon.

First off I made a bunch of nails.  I made more than I needed so I could pick the best suited ones to be used.  These nails were baked first.

My plan was to make a 4 claw per paw dragon.  Three claws in the front and one claw in the back of each paw.

The paws were baked onto the wire armature.  I tested the head on the body to see if the proportion and balance was good.  If you look closely in the picture you can see his back legs raised off the ground because of the weight of the head.  The head itself will be heavier after I add the ears.  That shouldn't matter much since I plan to add some weight to the back end when all the sculpting is done.  His paws are not complete yet.  But the basic structure is there at least.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Making a Poseable Art Doll: Part 3

I got some more work done on his head, but it still needs work.

I still need to add ears.  I still need to fix the right horn.  I still need to fix the symmetry of the face.  But now the jaw isn't as off as it was and the muzzle is not leaning to the left.

And I got the wire frame for the body done too.

Yes, the head looks big for the body, but that is because he has no stuffing yet.  I baked polymer clay to his feet so I future clay I add has something to grip.  Before the clay on the feet was baked on it was bent into a hook to help keep the clay in place.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Making a Poseable Art Doll: Part 2

I posted Part 1 of my Dragon Poseable Art Doll earlier today with progress I had previously made.  Here is what I got done today.

The light colored areas are where I started to sand it with 400 grit.  It wasn't as smooth as I thought it was.  The metal wire in the picture is just used to help prop the head up and is not a permanent part of the sculpture.

Things left to do to the dragon's head:
1.  Add ears.
2.  Make right side horn match left side.
3.  Fix back and lower jaw symmetry.
4.  Fix nose symmetry.
5.  Add barbel.
6.  Sand.

If you can tell from the pictures above, I made changes on his nose.  I have decided he was going to be more of a lung dragon than a western dragon.

My Sculpting Tools

Below is a picture of some of my sculpting tools.

Starting far left to right.

1.  Stainless Steel Sculpting/Modeling Tools.  I find these listed for ceramics, pottery, jewelry wax, etc.  Some of them are also shaped like dental tools.  I have had these for years.

2.  Wire Loop and Ribbon Tools.  I like using these for softer materials.  It bends if you try using it on hard materials.

3.  Sculpey Clay Tool Starter Set.  I use the ball sides more often than the rubber tips.

4.  Wooden Handle Stylus.  I think I bought this one from Joanns in the scrapbooking section.  It was listed as an engraver?  I use this one most of all my ball point tools.

5.  Fiskars Embossing Tool?  I think I found this at Joanns in the scrapbooking section as well.

6.  Ceramics Tool?  I got this from ceramics class so not sure the exact name of it.  I use this the most when working with my carving wax.  I just love this tool.

7.  Colour Shapers, Mini Firm.  I bought these from  I use these a lot when working on polymer clays.  I do use these with my carving wax, but differently than I do with Polymer clays.  I want more of these with different firmness and sizes.

8.  Wood Carving Tools.  Seems odd, but these work out great for various applications.  I can carve wax, y2klay, and even lightly baked polymer clays.

I also recently got a Dremel Carving and Engraving Kit for Christmas that I haven't tried out yet.

Making a Poseable Art Doll: Part 1

Recently I made a post about Poseable Art Dolls.  I have been interested in trying to make my own doll.

I am sculpting the doll using Super Sculpey.  I could have used color polymer clay, but I found Super Sculpey easier to use than FIMO at this time.  I do plan to paint the sculpted parts so it isn't flesh tone.  This works out just fine since I didn't know what kind of doll I was sculpting much less what type/color fabric I wanted to get.  That also means I haven't made the wire armature yet since I wasn't sure on size either.  I figure I do the head first and the rest will be determined later.

At first I didn't know what to sculpt so I made a basic skull and went from there.  I added clay and baked several times before I decided it was going to be a young dragon.

 Above you can see the tools I used a lot for this project.  These rubber tipped tools helped sculpt the clay better than some of my metal sculpting tools.

I did end up breaking the right eye off while attempting to add wire armature for the horns.  I used FIMO Liquid Deco Gel to make the repair .

The dragon is looking better each time.  I still need to figure out what kind of ears it will have if any.  Once the head is done, I will make the wire armature and then start working on sculpting the feet.