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Clay Over Cloth

A special technique for a special face

Clay Over Cloth

Clay over cloth is a wonderful mixed media dollmaking technique that allows you to add clay onto a head made from fabric rather than sculpting it entirely from clay.  You can hide the seams that usually go down the middle of the face, and make 3-dimensional features like a nose and mouth without the need for intricate needle sculpting.  Here’s how I like to do it.

Clay over cloth is a wonderful mixed media dollmaking technique that allows you to add clay onto a head made from fabric rather than sculpting it from clay.  You can hide the seams that usually go down the middle of the face, and make 3-dimensional features like a nose and mouth without the need for intricate needle sculpting.  Here’s how I like to do it.

“This is a dollightful technique. I hope you’ll give it a try!”

Here’s my doll head at the very beginning of the process.  Notice the face is very simple and has just a minimal bit of needle sculpting at the eye and mouth corners, and at the nostrils.

 

After wetting the area with a little fabric glue, I sculpted a nose and mouth with PaperClay.  It looks wet and weird, but once it dries it can be sanded and refined.  If needed, more clay can always be added again.  I’m not worried that it looks strange now because I know what kind of magic paint can do.

 

Next, I smeared a bit more PaperClay over the seam, added some more dimension to the chin, and let it dry completely.  After this, I painted over the entire face with a 1:1 mixture of Liquitex Modeling Paste and Matte Medium to prep the [flexible] surface to accept paint.  It prevents it from cracking and peeling over time.

Here is a quick video where I talk about that technique, using hands in the demonstration:

Once this layer was completely dry, I sanded it lightly and applied a coat of acrylic paint.

 

Of course, the next step is to actually paint the face.  I’m using acrylic paint, a micron pen, and a touch of watercolor for shading.  I purposely didn’t sand it perfectly smooth because that’s the style I’m going for – a little on the grunge / vintage side.  I’m already imagining what kind of outfit she’ll want to wear!

 

Her cheeks are so rosy.  Do you think she’s embarrassed?  I hope not!

 

She needs another eye and some more detailing, but I like to take breaks.  It helps me do better work when I’m not tired and I can look at the doll’s face with fresh eyes.

Have a dollightful day!

 

Thread bearer, clay musher, paint brusher, seam ripper. Turning whimsy into reality, one doll at a time.

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