Friday, March 5, 2010

My Dragon is Finished!!!

Well, he is finally finished after about 3 lengthy leg surgeries! He had to have to splints put in so that his legs could support his weight. He also had some hair implants put in cuz the baldness was getting to him! So, I'll let u watch the video and then afterward I'll tell you what I learned!

What I've learned....

I won't decide mid project to make movable legs become stand alone legs and IF I ever do, I will use splints (wire) to re-enforce instead of layers of skin (paper towels)! And any project I deem to be stand alone will have a MUCH BETTER skeletal structure. The weight of the wings and arms plays into the ability to stand quite a bit more than I anticipated.

If I use Sculpey again (and I'm sure I will) I will bake the pieces WITH the wire already inserted to make it easier to attach to the body.

I will get a better glue gun...cuz it's important!

I will make the body smaller so that the brake line is easier to control (if I do another brake line project)...OR I'll just get a longer brake line! My first idea was for him to be more Woodbaby size and sit on one's shoulder as Woodbabies do, thus allowing the brake line to be inconspicuous and easier to control. As you can see, Dimi is way bigger than a Woodbaby. Sigh, live and learn!

I won't make a custom paint for the main color cuz then you have to KEEP making it as you run out...and you WILL run out!

I will make the folds in the wings more arched at the bottom.

I will cut the head in half and add gums -n- teeth like Dan Reeder does...;)

I will make the tail LESS straight....Dimi actually has a hose in his tail and the idea...initially...was to use the hose as the actual tail cuz it's flexible but the point became mute when I layered it...;)

I will paint and clearcote spray PRIOR to doing an antique wash because, otherwise, the paper towel skin just absorbs the color as opposed to the color going into the cracks. And when you wipe or dab off the excess, I think it will come off better leaving more contrast.

The flat-on-one-side but natural-on-the-other, magnified glass beads that you find at any craft store make GREAT eyes! One need only paint a pupil! The pupil will actually follow you like the eyes in some freaky paintings do!!!

If you spread some Gel Medium or glue on the surface of the body and stick some loosely formed styrofoam to it and let it dry...when you pull it off the next day it leaves a texture that looks like warts or toad skin. I will definitely use that this ,which I learned by accident, in future projects...especially when lizard typed skin is needed!!!

When doing the paper towel skin, it's best to use paper towel pieces that have no straight edges. If you rip all your edges the skin lays down better and doesn't leave any hard lines. Two ply paper towel works best.

Gel Medium works better than Elmer's Glue and is harder to get off of your hands! For me, Dawn dishsoap was the best thing to use to get it off.

Keep fur trim FAR from cats!

I have, naturally, started collecting anything I can find that can be used in a papier mache projects like; newspaper, used Creamora cans and paper towel/toilet paper rolls. I am stunned at how many of these I can QUICKLY collect! So, what I learned with that is that my family ALONE is causing a huge land fill somwhere!!!! Recycle, recycle, recycle!!!

The most important thing I learned is that this medium is PERFECT for me and allows for so much versatility. There's an engineering process, a very artistic textural process and, of course, everyone's fave the painting and embellishment of it all! I really enjoyed this and hope everyone will give it a whirl! I can't wait to do another!!!

Thought I'd add some still shots too...;)


  1. Throughly enjoyed reading this post about the birthing of Dimi! It is in the process of creating where artists are most connected. Your work is beautiful and so are you!

  2. What a beautiful & stunning creation. The moving head caught my attention especially since i have some animated paper mache projects in mind myself (i have 'some' WIPs to be finished when i have room & time) later.

    The pedastal really sets this piece off too.

    If you want to make lighter wings i have a 2 part tutorial on YouTube. Simply change the intial shape but use the design method:

    PART 1:

    PART 2:

  3. Thanx, Ma!...;)I agree about the process. Being passionate about a project causes an artist to be like a god but then the creation takes over and quickly the god become the slave!

  4. Jonty, Thank u so much for leaving me a comment and for what u said!...;) I spent a lot of time at your blog. I will be visiting there often!!! There is so much great stuff there to look at and investigate!! I really love your work. You get such smooth textures and I think it's great that u have found how to get the center of gravity. I am really interested to see what u will do as far as anything animated! I will check out the links u gave!

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  6. Lol your welcome. The smooth finish is simply down to finer finish paper & a layer of undiluted PVA glue 'mostly' lol. a little final rubbing or painting in my Dragon Skin mix helps with strength & smoothness. Just keep going through my 70+ listed YouTube 'HOW TO' video's & you will come across it as well as some of my animated stuff.

    Getting the center of gravity for my Troll Screamers was simple enough: Build a body & legs then fix the body fully in place after adjusting it to the point just short of falling over. allowing for counter ballance weight for when the arms are added.

  7. OooOoOooOOo... I really like your Dragon... he is so unique and stylized. I just adore it when an artist creates purely from the images seen from their Minds Eye.... this is one of those creations.... Well Done!!


  8. Jodi,

    Thanx for the compliment. That is such an honor coming from you. I love your work!!!

  9. oh ,a lovely dragon baby! very cool !