Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Creating a Vintage Face With Creative Paperclay®

Creating a Vintage Face With Creative Paperclay®

Hola, me llamo Vidal!  Hello, My name is Vidal!  I am a Fysh-Stik Wall sculpture.  This is where my adventures from a lump of Creative Paperclay® to vintage swimsuit super model began.  LaLa Ortiz, cuckoo NorCal clay artist, (SHHHHH!  Don't tell her I said that!) is going to show you how she helped bring me into this world using Creative Paperclay® and a few other basic materials and supplies. 


Masking Tape ( florist tape, gaffers tape, and painters tape work too.)
Aluminum foil or newsprint paper
Dowel or Chopstick
Creative Paperclay® I used about a third of the package!
White Gesso ( I used Liquitex brand. )
Acrylic Paint ( I used Liquitex and Golden. )
Paint Brushes ( Gesso can be hard on brushes.  Use cheap foam brushes for this. ) 
Wet/Dry Sandpaper (The kind you find at automotive stores)
Sculpting Tools are optional.  I did this with my fingers and a bit of water.
Shop Rag – To smooth over clay.  You will wreck this!  Don’t use your pretty tea towels!
Dust Mask or Bandana
Sealer - ( I have used PYM II because it is what I had.  I have also used Krylon Matte and Crystal Clear and Golden Archival Spray Varnish.)

Check out this article about sealer by Creative Paperclay® Design Team Member Gloriann Irizarry

Let’s get started!  

Start with a ball of aluminum foil or newspaper, or junk mail (I like offering economical and ecological options).  Crumple it up to make it round and flat, like a hockey puck.  

Before compressing the shape too much, push a dowel or chopstick into the neck, like a lollipop.

Cover your lollipop with a layer of masking tape.  This creates a smoother more even surface for your clay to adhere to.

Paint a layer of gesso onto the clay surface.  I have tried without doing this and it does work but, I find that the gesso gives the clay a better surface to stick to.  You can also use acrylic paint or white pva glue.  Allow the gesso to dry.  A blow dryer is the great expediter.  We wanna get to the fun part, right??? 

Now you get to bust open that package of Creative Paperclay® YAY!!!

***Tip - I cut my packages open with scissors and immediately put them in a Ziploc bag with a wet sponge.  I store unused Creative Paperclay® like this to maintain a humid environment.  

Add a layer of Creative Paperclay® to the entire surface of your "lollipop" shape.  This should be no thicker than a pancake.  You may be tempted to continue on with sculpting facial features now.  I recommend stopping at this point and allowing your "lollipop" to dry.  You can allow it to dry naturally over night or in an oven at a very low temperature (200-250 degrees for 30 to 60 minutes).  I have not done this.  I always just allow them to air dry.
***Tip - Some cracking can occur on the surface during the drying stage.  It is easily patched up with wet clay and a bit of water.  Slow drying and thin layers will give the best results.

 Once your lollipop shape is dry you can add some padding for facial details.  Since we are going for a simple vintage, primitive look just keep the shapes very basic.

I used  a half circle shape for the forehead.  A thick noodle for the nose.  (If you know pasta shapes we are going for ziti or macaroni without the elbow curve.  Carrot slices for cheeks.  Peas for chin and mouth. 

Smooth out each piece as you add it to the "lollipop" using a bit of water and your fingers, a brush or tool.  I mostly use my fingers.  Knitting needles also make great sculpting tools.  Smooth over the entire surface of the lollipop or face, it's a face now isn't it?  It's a face!  You made a face!  You're awesome! 

Here I offer my very simplified Face breakdown

  • Hockey Puck
  • Lollipop
  • Half Dome Forehead
  • Noodle Nose (Ziti)  Mmmm Yummy Ziti)
  • Peas and Carrots - Peas for mouth and chin and carrot slices for cheeks
If you feel the need to add more padding in any area just use the same shapes to keep the facial pattern.  Smooth and blend any additions with a bit of water.

Et voila!  You made a new friend today!   I love making new friends!  Don't you? Whether going for a very detailed, realistic look or  basic vintage look like this, I start all of my heads this way.  Sometimes the challenge for me is knowing when to stop.  

Once you are happy with your face allow it to dry completely.  Once dry take a damp cloth to smooth over the surface.  I'm so impressed with the continued work-a-bility of this Creative Paperclay® even after several weeks.

Add a couple of thin coats of white gesso, allowing it to dry between coats.  Remember our great expediter, the blow dryer!  This will fill in any slight imperfections and create a nice surface for your paint.  Sanding the gesso is really optional but, I just love the surface for painting! 

After final coat of gesso is completely dry, using wet/dry sand paper (320-400 grit) Sand down the surface of your entire piece.  I mostly dry sand unless I have a particularly tough spot.  In which case I add a bit of water with a spray bottle to break it down.  Not too much water of the clay will get reconstituted.

***Tip - At this point I recommend wearing a dust mask or some other barrier to prevent you from inhaling the gesso and Creative Paperclay® particles.  You only have one set of lungs.  Take care of them!  Safety first!  This is also a messy job!  Do it outside if you can. 

After sanding and gessoing you are ready to paint!  Hurray!  Paint your face with acrylic paints as desired.  After it dries seal your painted piece with a clear UV resistant sealer.

Check out this article about sealers by Creative Paperclay® Design Team Member Gloriann Irizarry 

You can go on to create a body for your lollipop head or just embellish with a bit of fabric, lace or ribbon around the neck and dowel and call it a stick puppet.  I love stick puppets! 

Creative Paperclay® and Delight™ are conveniently available for you to purchase online and at the below listed retailers.

I hope that you have enjoyed this project as much as I have!  I'll be back with more "What's On My Workbench Wednesday" fun on the first Wednesday of each month.

Until then, stay creative!  




Barbara Moore said...

I love it LaLa! I knew I would. Fantastic piece and wonderful directions. Thank you for sharing it with us.

LaLa said...

I really appreciate your encouraging words, Barbara! Thank you!

Kat Anderson Studios said...

I really enjoyed this! Great tutorial LaLa!!

LaLa said...

Thank you very much, Kat! I enjoyed creating it! I hope to see some photos of student work! :)

Melandolly said...

Very cool Lala! i actually use the oven dry method when i am in a rush. i usually check the piece every 20-30 minutes because they could actually start burning. It's nice that you mentioned this method for those that don't know about it!

LaLa said...

Melandolly, I appreciate your additional information and experience with the oven dry methods. I will be trying this myself soon. I wanted to also make it known that I was not suggesting this from personal experience.

Linda Hess said...

so creative! I look forward to seeing future posts.

LaLa said...

Thank you very much Linda! It's great seeing your name pop up here! I appreciate your kind words!