HERCULES BEETLE • Yana Davydovych

Yana Davydovych loves nature very much, so she often turns to it for inspiration and interesting ideas. “Nature is enchanting with it’s grandeur and beauty. It’s creations are so amazing that they take a breath away,” adores Yana mother nature.

She was inspired to create this beetle by a real Hercules beetle. It is the strongest and one of the largest beetles in the world.

It combines strength, beauty and elegance of form. Yana was very impressed by it’s spectacular appearance and wanted to interpret it in the way she sees it from her artistic view. Now you can dive into the claying and making of this beautiful beetle by yourself, too!


Polymer clay black, carmine, red, orange, yellow, shiny gold

Liquid clay

Sketches of beetle

Sculpture tools: silicone brushes, modeling tools


Flexible blade

Machine or rolling pin

Metal wire ø 0.7 mm

Black lacquer

Glossy varnish

UV epoxy resin

UV lamp

Aluminium foil

Red pastel


Wet wipes

1. Start with making the bases for the torso and wings. Take two pieces of foil and press them very well. Make sure to remove all the air out of them. Make two forms that are similar to the shape of a beetle. Dimensions of the bases for the torso are 1.6 cm / 4.0 cm / 1.5 cm and for the wings 1.9 cm / 3.5 cm / 1.5 cm.


Take a larger base and wrap it completely with a sheet of black clay. That will be the torso. Smooth all the irregularities with fingers and a modelling tool and wipe with a wet napkin.


For the second base, prepare two sheets of polymer clay black and gold. Run them through the machine on a thin setting. Place the gold sheet on the black one and roll them again. Use this two layered sheet of clay and wrap the second base made of foil, but only on one side. Cut off the excess clay by using the blade. Firmly press the clay to the base of the foil. Smooth the edge with a silicone tool.


By using a scalpel make a longitudinal line dividing the layer into two wings. After that, round off the edge of the wings in the upper part near the head.


Take a bright red pastel and use a generous amount of pigment to tone the contours of the wings. Now put them aside and start working on the torso.


Take a base wrapped with a black clay. Measure the approximate size of the torso and separate it from the head with a line. Make a texture on the torso. Mix the colors you need for the pattern.


Use a sharp tool to redraw the pattern from the sketch to the torso.


Start pattern with the most intense red color. Roll the clay into a thin strip and divide it into little pieces. Make teardrop-shaped elements from them and attach them to the torso as on the sketch.


Alternately lay down all the colors one by one creating a smooth transition. Finish the pattern with a lightest yellow color.


When all the colored elements are laid down, add elements made of black clay. These are very small balls of three sizes.


The body is ready, so you can start working on the head now. Attach a large piece of black clay and use your fingers to model the shape of the head.


Insert a curved wire into the front of the head and secure it.


Cover the protruding wire with black clay. Use your fingers to smooth out all the irregularities and finish the shape of the head with modeling tools. Wipe the surface with a wet wipe.

14. The shape of the head is ready so now transfer the pattern from the sketch to it using a sharp tool.

15. Lay down a pattern with a red clay in the same style as the torso has and according to the sketch.


Add small black balls to complete the decor as well. Set aside the finished torso with the head for further baking with the rest of the elements.


Make legs and frames for the wings from metal wires with a diameter of 0.7 mm. Bend the ends of the wires.


Make teardrop-shaped elements of black clay on the bent ends of the legs.


Place a sketch of the veins for transparent wings under the piece of glass. Make the veins in thin black clay lines according to the sketch.


Place the torso with a head, metal legs, hard wings toned with red pastel and veins for transparent wings on a glass and bake according to the manufacturer's instructions for 20 minutes - first baking. After baking, when everything cools down, cover the tinted wings with a glossy varnish to secure the pigment of the pastels.


Prepare a sheet of black clay about 2.5 mm thick and cut an oval out of it. Place all the metal elements on it and cover the surface with a liquid clay.


Attach the sheet of black clay with legs and wing frames to the torso with the head. Press firmly and smooth out all irregularities. Texture the back of the torso and attach a pin. Bake according to the manufacturer's instructions a second time.


Do not remove the veins for transparent wings from the glass after the baking. Fill them on the glass along the contour of the sketch with UV resin. Place under the lamp for 1-2 minutes.


When the varnish on the wings is dry, remove them from the foil base. Cover with liquid clay, add a small piece of black clay and attach to the top of the torso where there is no decor. Put foil under the wings to keep the desired shape and put it in the oven for the final baking.