From a very young age, Jennifer Sloan loved art in all forms. She would draw, paint and create, whenever she had the opportunity to do so. Her oldest daughter loved Play-doh as a toddler and they would play and create for hours.
“It was always very sad when we had to squish our creations and put them away so that's why I wanted to make things for her that she could keep forever,” says Jennifer. She did some research and found polymer clay and fell in love with it and never looked back.
“I started creating realistic baby sculptures, moved on to robots, animals, monsters, pretty much anything I could think of. Dinosaurs and dragons came later and quickly became my very favorite things to sculpt. Now I even make some species of my own. I get an idea for a creature and immediately have this need to bring it to life,” says Jennifer and we are glad we can offer you the tutorial so you can make one of her amazingly cute stegosaurus by yourself.
Enjoy your creating and hopefully you will share your beautiful dinos with us on social networks!
TOOLS AND MATERIALS
skin toned polymer clay
translucent polymer clay
glass or acrylic taxidermy eyes
assorted sculpting tools
silicone tipped brush tools
dotting tools, texture rolling tools
pointed nail tools and knife tools
a reference photo to help with anatomy
paint of your choice (I use Genesis heat set paint thinned with odorless mineral spirits and mop brushes to apply)
bright green pigment powder and liquid polymer clay.
1. Create a body shape from aluminum foil.
Wrap the foil body with a masking tape.
3. Condition the clay and prepare a thin sheet on the machine and place it over your armature. Bake the armature according to the manufacturer's instructions and let it cool down.
Hold your armature by the cured head shape for support. Bulk up your body shape with conditioned, raw clay. Extend the end of the body out to create a curved tail.
Condition 2 lumps of clay that are about the same size. Using your large dotting tool, create guides for where the rear legs will be placed.
Place the lump of clay over the guide and smooth it with your fingers and some rubbing alcohol to make a seamless transition between the body and leg. Shape the leg to a proper position and create a rough foot shape.
7. Place the lump of clay over the guide and smooth it with your fingers and some rubbing alcohol to make a seamless transition between the body and leg. Shape the leg to a proper position and create a rough foot shape.
8. Define the toe shapes using your fingers and a pointed silicone tipped tool.
Use the edge of needle tool to create lines around the tip of your toes. These will be your dinosaur’s toenails.
10. Flip your sculpture over. Create a textured pattern along the complete underside of your dinosaur. I chose to use my pointed silicone tool on an angle for this pattern.
11. Flip your sculpture and create a scaled pattern on the top of your dinosaur. I chose my homemade scale tool. Get creative using a combination of texture tools and sculpt as much or as little texture into the skin as you like.
12. Using your pointed nail tool and your reference photo, create lines, wrinkles and folds.
Use a medium-large size dotting tool to create 2 rows of guides along the spine of your dinosaur. Be sure to make an even number of guide dots on both sides.
14. Create large plated scales and place them in your guides from Step 13. Smooth the seams with your pointed silicone tipped tool dipped in rubbing alcohol.
15. With a medium-small sized dotting tool, create ridges along the sides of the plated scales for texture.
16. Use a medium-large sized dotting tool to create guides for your dinosaur’s front legs.
17. Take a large paint brush and dip it in rubbing alcohol. Brush over the entire body to help smooth out any fingerprints and harsh lines. Bake it all according to the manufacturer's instructions of your clay. Let cool completely down before proceeding to the next step.
18. Hold the now cured body of your dinosaur for support and bulk up the head shape using your photo for anatomy reference.: Create eye sockets on either side of your dinosaur’s head with your dotting tool.
19. Place your eyes of choice in each socket.
20. Create a bottom and top eyelid and smooth with your pointed silicone tipped tool. Create lines with this tool as well to act as folds in the eyelids.
21. Use your photo for reference and add a bit of clay at the front of the face to create a beak. Use a sharp pointed tool to divide the top and bottom jaws and create an expression. Smooth out any imperfections and add details to your dinosaur’s mouth with your silicone tipped tools.
22. Using a small ball tool, create nostrils above the beak. Be sure that they are as symmetrical as possible for a realistic look. Define the nostrils with your silicone tipped tool.
23. Create ears on either side of your dinosaur’s head with an extra small dotting tool. Use a silicone tipped tool to smooth out the harsh lines and define the details of the ears.
24. Start detailing the face. Use the same combination of texture tools as you used on the body of your dinosaur for a more uniform look. Add a few raised scales around the nose for dimension. Be sure to smooth each seam with your silicone tipped tool.
25. Create a few more guide dots with the medium-large dotting tool to continue your large plated scale pattern onto the back of the head.
26. Condition 2 lumps of clay around the same size as your dinosaur’s front legs. Position and smooth them onto the body in your desired pose.
27. Use your knife tool to create slits for your dinosaur’s toes.
28. Use your pointed silicone tipped tool to smooth and define the toes. Detail the front legs in the same manner as the rear legs. Try to blend your raw clay texture into your cured clay to create a seamless finish.
29. Condition a small amount of translucent clay and add your green pigment powder. Create a small worm and detail it with the side of a pointed nail tool. Adhere the worm to your dinosaur’s nose with some liquid polymer clay and bake according to your clay’s baking instructions. Cool completely before continuing to the next step.
30. Bring your sculpture to life with color. There are several techniques and types of color that can be used for this. I use Genesis heat set paint thinned with odorless mineral spirits. This paint needs to be baked between each coat at 130°C for 10 minutes to adhere to the piece.
, And the Lazy Stegosaurus sculpture is done! Be inspired by Jennifer's other sculptures, we can't wait to see your results!