I know this picture is going way ahead of things as far as this tutorial, but I could not resist putting at least part of her here for you to see. Okay, lets continue on with building this Chicken.
I wanted to give you a peek in the last section at the clay I use and my work space, but I will start with it here. As you can see I work on glass, that way the dust can be cleaned away and the work space can be cleaned up nicely as well. I keep my open clay in a container with a damp paper towel and in a zip lock when I am not using it. This keeps it moist for next sculpting session. You can see my bin of sculpting tools and several on my table. The best tool of all is your fingers for smoothing!
Here it has been about a day, the clay is pretty hard but I know that the clay inside is still damp. I took my fingers and pushed in around the comb and beak to release the sculpted pieces away from the fabric. I gently pulled them off to finish drying.
I removed the head for painting. This picture shows how I have a dowel inserted into the head and tied off. I will sand any extra clay off the head now. As you can see here, there are holes in the beak and comb. I took toothpicks and drilled holes, this will be great for a way to paint them without touching the pieces.
I am letting the beak and comb finish drying. In the meantime I need to draw up the wings. I do this by taking the actual body pattern and laying a piece of tracing paper on top. I can see how big it needs to be this way. I know none of you will have to do this part, I thought I would throw this in so you can see a bit of how this is done. This isn't the actual wing I used, I found that this wing was too short, so I lengthened it.
They are dry now so sanding and cleaning up is in order. This clay is great, you can always take a knife and cut off and sand down what you want to change, or add to it even if it is dry. I realized that I ended up sculpting the beak of a duck instead of a chicken! I cut her nose off more to a point and liked it much better. Once your dry clay is how you like it, paint on a coat of gesso to seal the pieces and then they will be ready for paint.
Here you see the benefit of using toothpicks to hold your clay while painting and for drying.
Reds are so hard to decide upon since there are so many variations. This is a great idea if you are needing to choose the perfect red, green or whatever color it may be. I took a foam plate and painted a sampler of all the reds I thought may work for Henrietta's comb. I wrote what they were beside each one. Once dry that gave me a true idea of what these colors looked like. They always dry darker than they come out of the bottle. I chose Tompte Red!
I chose three colors of creams for the body. I do not like the look of brushstrokes on pieces like this so for me sponging them on is the way to go. Sea sponges can be purchased in any craft store. There is no substitute, grocery store cleaning sponges will not do the same thing at all and do not work.
I can tell that I will like the combination I chose by testing it out on a foam plate first. I am now ready to start painting my sweet little chicken! This ends part 2 Stay tuned for part 3 which will be the actual painting and finishing of Henrietta!