Saturday, March 8, 2014

Make a Blissful Bunny with Me (Part 2) by LeeAnn Kress of Charmed Confections

Hi Again!

It's LeeAnn -- posting Part 2 of how to make a Blissful Bunny!  If you are looking for Part 1, it is the post below this one. 

Are you ready to sculpt a bunny head?  Come on it's fun ... you can do this!!

Materials Needed for Part 2

Creative Paperclay®
1 1/2" Styrofoam ball
Tooth brush
Ice pick
Wire mesh or tin foil
2 1/2" wooden dowel
Paint - your choice
White gesso used as a base coat before painting
Burnt umber paint / staining medium (optional)
Matte varnish
White tacky glue
16 gauge wire
Needle Nose Pliers
Bead stringing wire or fishing line
Ribbon for collar
Glitter - optional

I have taken my 1-1/2" Styrofoam ball and pushed in indents on each side of the head.  Bunny eyes are not straight on like ours, but more on the side of their head.  You can see a better picture of my indents in the next picture.

Here you can see the eye indents better.  Make a pancake of clay and lay it over your Styrofoam ball.   Smooth it over the entire ball, just like we did for the body in Part 1.  Use a little water if the clay is too dry or if you need to smooth it out better.  Once covered, let this set up for a little.  It is ok if it dries up a bit.  In fact, if you let it dry completely, when you add more clay on top for the features this base clay stays put.  It makes a nice foundation for your sculpt.

So while this is drying, let's make some bunny ears!

In this picture, I have shown you two different types of armature for the inside of the ear.  One done in a small wire mesh and one made from tin foil.  If you have this mesh, just cut out the shape of a bunny ear and bend to your liking.  I really love the wire mesh.  It is so fine that you can practically sculpt it into any armature and it is a little stiffer than tin foil.  I will be giving a tip on this mesh later this month.

Since we all have tin foil, I will be making my ears out of that.  Take a small piece of foil and mold it into an ear shape.  Make sure the foil is a few layers thick and mash it tight.  No flimsy ears for our bunny!  The width of the foil should be a little smaller than you want your ears to be since we are adding clay to it.  Make a longer point at the bottom of the ears to insert it into the head.

Poke a hole with your ice pick where your bunny ears should go and work your tin foil ears down into the hole.   Mine are nice and secure without gluing -- but if yours are not, use a little super glue in each hole and wait for it to dry.

Once our bunny ears are in place, you can now start adding a thin layer of clay to the foil.  Just little bits of clay to build up the armature.  Get it nice and compacted down at the base of the head and ear.  Do not worry about detailing the ears now.  This is just a rough cover up.  We will detail those ears later.

Now that my ears are covered in clay, I am going to shape them a bit.  Bend them into the curved shape you want.  The clay will dry holding your shape in place.

Let's move on to the face.  In the picture above, I have rolled out three balls, two for cheeks and one for the chin.  The cheek balls should be the same size and the chin ball about half as big.

Use a "little" water to dampen your bunny face.  Press the clay balls into the face like shown.  You might think ... gee, this bunny looks as if he has eaten way too much candy.  He is a chunky monkey.  No worries, we are going to blend the clay and smooth it all out.

In this picture, you can see that my fingers are damp.  I pushed the top part of the round ball of the cheek into the eye socket.  Then went around the entire outside of the cheek ball pushing the clay towards the back of the head.  I am just blending and attaching the cheek ball to the face.  Do this on both sides.

 With the chin ball, I am blending it down towards the neck.

In this picture you can see that the three balls of clay used for his cheeks and chin have been smoothed out.  Switch to using your damp paint brush to get into the space where all three balls connect (in the middle of his face).  Smooth all around, but keep your chin and cheeks rounded.

Now, I have taken a small round ball of clay to make the nose.  Wet the ball and place it where the nose would go.  Press down on it to adhere it to the face.

Shape your nose ball into a bunny nose shape - wider at the top and tapered down in a "V" shape.  You can do this with your paint brush.  Smooth the clay around the nose to blend.

If you look at the picture above  this one to compare, you will see that I added two small balls of clay under the nose to form the upper lip. I have marked them in the picture above with black circles.  I have blended them into the clay and smooth out the ridges.  Once you do that, take a pointy tool (I like my ice pick) and draw a line in the clay from the tip of the nose down to where you want your mouth to be.

Now take a ball stylus tool or a small tool with a round end on it and make three indents for the mouth.  See picture below!

I have marked these in yellow.  Once you have these three landmarks, draw another line in the clay (a curved one) from the outer indent to the center nose line.  You can also add a tiny bit of clay to pout out the bottom lip.  Blend it all with your damp paint brush.  Let this dry a little before moving on to the eyes.  There is nothing worst than smashing a feature that you just created, because you moved on too quickly.  Let this set up a little (at least 15 minutes) and then move on.

Are you having fun yet?  I sure hope so.  Next, make two small balls for the eyes.  Try and get these the same size.  These are about the same size as your chin ball.

Now, wet the bunny's eye sockets slightly and press your ball of clay into each indent like in the above picture.  Once again, take your paint brush and smooth around the edges blending it all in.

Use your tooth brush to give the backside of the bunny head some texture.

Let's draw in some lines for the eyes.  My eyes are pretty simple.  Think of drawing an arrow.  The point of the arrow starts in the corner of his eyes.  Curve the line of the arrow down and out to the outer corner of his eye.  Do you  see the arrow?  Once you get the arrows in, draw in a few wrinkle lines above and below the arrow.  Cute!

Now, I am going to let the eyes set up again before putting my finishing touches to those ears.

Roll out tiny snakes of clay and lay them on the outside rim of the ears.  Build up the outer rim of each ear so that you have an inner ear look.  (Compare this picture with the one above it.)  Also, if your ears are looking a little thin on the backside of the head, build it up there too.  Once the ears are how you like them, let's call this sculpt done.

Let everything dry completely.  This could take a few days or if you have a drying station that could speed up the process.  For best results, let your sculpt dry all the way through.  After all that hard work, it is time for you to sit back and relax a while.  Where's that Easter candy?  :)

WOW!  Look my bunny is already painted.  Yes ... I didn't elaborate on this.  I did not do too much sanding either.  Since we used our tooth brush to pounce in texture, you really don't want to sand it off.  However, if there are some rough edges, I would sand them down for a pretty finish.

Important!  Before you paint, take your ice pick again and put it through the holes in your bunny's legs and arms.  Make sure that hole is open and that the 16 gauge wire fits through nice and easy with a little room to spare.

Back to painting ....paint your bunny however you like.  I usually paint a base coat of white gesso to give it a smooth painting surface.  I dry brushed in some various tans, and added a little pink to his cheeks and inner ears.  If you want to give him a more vintage look, stain him with some burnt umber paint mixed with staining medium.  When he is completely dry, varnish him with matte varnish.

Let's start to assemble him!  When doing the next steps, don't be scared.  I always get a little apprehensive when poking holes into my finished pieces, but I just put my big girls pants on and trudge ahead.  The worst that can happen is I might need to patch a hole and Creative Paperclay® is fabulous for that!

Find your center in the top of the body (where the bunny's neck would go) and poke your first hole.  Just poke about a 1/2 inch down.  Here goes nothing!

Now we are going to take a small wooden dowel (roughly around 2-1/2" long).  You can see that I sharpened each end with my handy, dandy pencil sharpener!  This is going to be the neck.

Work the dowel into the hole in the body leaving about an inch or so for the head to fit on.  Once the dowel is in, take your head and hold it up to the body to see how you want to position the head ... straight on, tilted, looking up, looking down.  Wherever you like it, mark the point on the head with a pen so you know where to poke the next hole.

Ok ... Here I go!  I am using my ice pick to poke a hole in the bunny head.  Ok ... see that "M" on my thumb, my daughter did that as she was walking by my worktable.  It's stands for Mom!  LOL!  She is a silly girl and wanted to leave her mark in my tutorial.  Moving on ...

Important -- take the dowel out of the body and now poke it in the hole in the head - not too far, you can always adjust later.   If you try and put the head on with the dowel unglued in the body, it will push the dowel down further in the body.  We don't want that.

Now, do a test run assembly.  Since the dowel is in the head, put the other end in the body and adjust carefully.  Cute!  I think this bunny is happy!  I am leaving some room between his head and body so that I can make him a collar.  Now, take it all apart and let's create the holes for the arms.  We are not ready to glue the dowel in just yet.

In the above picture you can see the hole for the neck.  We need to make sure that when we run the wire through the body to hold the arms on, we do not cross the neck hole (since there will be a wooden dowel in the way).   See where my yellow line is.  That is the path we need to take.  Right behind the neck.  Position your arms to the body.  Make sure both arms are even on the body.  Hold one arm and poke a small placement hole through the arm hole into the body with your ice pick.  Scary stuff, but you can do it!!

Now, do the same for the other arm.  We are not poking a hole through the entire body ... just creating a place marker hole for each arm.

I am going to use 16 gauge wire in a pretty brown color.  Cut off a long piece of wire.

Before we poke our wire through the body and out the other side.  Glue your dowel into the body.  I am using white tacky glue that will dry clear.  Next, glue your head on and set the position you want.

Since the dowel is now in place, our wire will have to go around it.  This is a good thing.  Take your ice pick and poke deeper holes in each arm hole you created.  Work this path from both arm holes, poking a little bit at a time on each side until you reach the middle and they connect.  Watch your angel.   When your hole is all the way through, string your wire through and add your arms.  Glad that is done!

 To secure these arms to the body, I just make a tiny loop in the wire to hold the arm in place.  Take your needle nose pliers and curl the wire on itself. Pinch the wire tight on to itself, so the end of the wire does not scratch your pretty paint job.  You do not want the wire to be tight on the arm holes - make sure you leave just enough wire length to let your arms move around and dangle freely.

When attaching the legs, do the same as I mentioned above.  Position both legs on the body, make sure they are lining up correctly and poke a small hole through the leg hole into the body.  Do that on both sides and then gradually use your ice pick to deepen the holes on each side until you meet in the middle.  Watch your angel again.   Go on, be brave!

Once the hole is all the way though the body, string your wire through and secure like mentioned above.

Congratulations!  The hard part is done.  This little bunny is looking sweet!

What is a bunny without whiskers?  Naked!  So let's add some.  I am using bead stringing wire.  It looks like fishing line, but there is a nice silvery sheen to it.  Perfect for whiskers.

Using your ice pick again, poke very tiny ... very tiny holes in the cheeks of your bunny.  I make a triangle pattern of three holes.  Did I say tiny holes?  Yes ... good.  These holes do not have to be deep.  I use white glue here too.  A tiny amount - just enough to hold the whiskers in.  The white glue will dry clear and you won't see it.  Let that dry completely before you embellish your bunny!

 Ta-da!  Here is my finished bunny.  I decided to glitter his inner ears and paint a sparkly heart on his tummy.  He is finished and just as cute as can be.  Here's to another Charmed Confection!

Look at his sweet backside!

Hope you have enjoyed this tutorial!  There were a lot of steps to create this little bunny, but the results were worth it!  Again, please leave a comment if you have any questions.  I am more than happy to help you make your little handful of sweetness!  

If you have time stop by and see all my Creative Paperclay® creations at
I am also on facebook too!  

Happy sculpting!


Lisa said...

Thank you for the tutorial LeeAnn! Very well done.

Charmed Confections said...

You are so welcome, Lisa! Thanks for the nice compliment! LeeAnn

LynCC said...

Oh my GOSH!!! This is amazingly cool, and your tutorial is so well presented, even I feel like I could actually sculpt a bunny face that might turn out decent! I'm going to show this to my college girl who's home for spring break - bet she'll be running to the store for supplies today. ;D

Carolyn said...

Thanks for the tutorial, I can't wait to try and make him! He is so sweet.

Megan said...

Love this tutorial. Your bunny turned out mega cute! Just curious - where do you get that wire mesh at? I'm going to have to try it on my next set of bunny ears! :)

Charmed Confections said...

Hi Lynn, Carolyn and Megan! Thanks for stopping by the blog and checking out my tutorial.

Lynn you are making me laugh ... of course you can sculpt a bunny head. Practice makes perfect, but you can do this! Hope you and your girl should give it a try!

Carolyn thanks for the sweet comment! Break out your clay and just follow along. You'll get it!

Megan ... I order the mesh through
I will be giving a tip on this on 3/23/14 on this site. So come back and see. You'll love it!!


Megan said...

Thanks for the info about the mesh, LeeAnn :) I will check out that site and will definitely come back soon to see your tip!

Dawn Barrett said...

OH WOW! What a lovely art piece! Super fun and springy! you are so talented!

Charmed Confections said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charmed Confections said...

Thanks for the sweet comments, Dawn. I hope you give this little sculpt a try. LeeAnn

Kr. Eliane said...