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45 steps to make A Custom Bobblehead Tutorial (3)

Share a tutorial series of make a custom bobblehead for handmaker fun or artist,enjoy your fun and place your order as your gifts

STEP 13: Smooth out the eyes and attempt to make them as symmetrical as possible. This is important. The eyes tend to be the first thing people notice when looking at a doll, so if they are obviously misaligned, it can hurt your chances of a sale.If you are finding it difficult seeing if the doll’s face is symmetrical, try looking at it up-side-down or through a mirror. This tends to change your perspective enough so that you can see the error.

STEP 14: Create a narrow pyramid shape for the nose and blend onto the face. Note that the smaller end is at the top, slightly expanding out to the bottom of the nose. Also, see how the bridge of the nose blends into the brow-line in line with the top eyelids. Be sure not to end the nose too high or low. Constantly refer to your photo reference.

STEP 15: Here is a side view to show how the nose lays on an angle. In this instance I have slightly tilted the base of the nose upwards. When working with the features of the face, you can create many different characters just by tweaking things, especially the nose. If you tilt the nose downwards, you will create a hooked nose. This tends to be used more when sculpting aged men or women or more sinister characters. A slightly upwards nose tends to depict femininity or innocence in a doll. Play with the features of the face and see how they change the character of the doll.

STEP 16: DO NOT punch in the nostrils yet. This step is done later. Now you can move onto the cheeks. We need to fill out the cheeks now, creating two small pancakes and applying them to where the “apple of the cheek” would be. Note that it’s more to the front than the sides. If you add all the bulk to the sides of the face, she winds up looking like she has a flat face and huge cheekbones. Sit the cheeks up under the bottom eyelids.

STEP 17: Using the spoon shaped tool, go around the edges of the clay you just added to the cheeks and carefully blend it. You use the rounded end of the tool and GENTLY drag the added polymer clay into the face. You only want to move the edges of the added clay down to meet the face. If you push too hard you will create a recess in the face. Work at it slowly, working in small motions. After you’ve worked the polymer clay with your tool, do the final smoothing with a finger, just caressing the clay to smooth it, not pushing it, (it helps if you cut your nails short like I do, then you can blend with the tip of your finger giving you more control. More control is always best when you’re still learning how to sculpt a face).

STEP 18: Sometimes I leave this step until after I have finished the mouth, but in this instance I’m doing it this way. Using the rubber-tipped tool, I have carefully pushed in the beginning of a nostril. Lean the head in a way that you can see under the nose easily. This will allow you to position the nostril easier. Make sure you compare to a photo referene to get the positioning right. It may look simple but a lot of doll makers struggle when trying to sculpt the nostrils correctly on their dolls.

STEP 19: Create little tear-drop shapes for the nostrils with the pointed ends of the holes slightly pointing to the tip of the nose. Note that the outer nostrils are quite thin compared to the part dividing the two nostrils. A lot of people tend to make the nostrils too small and close together, and ultimately it tends to make it look like a piggy snout. Keep referring to your photo reference. Once you are happy with the size of the nostril holes, carefully tuck the outer nostril around the base of the nose. This will give the nostril some definition. The nose is quite a difficult thing to sculpt, so it would be good to practice on a scrap piece of clay a few times before committing to the doll you’re working on.

STEP 20: Try to get the nose to look as symmetrical as you can, but don’t waste too much time on it right now. You can keep working on it before you bake the doll. When I teach how to sculpt a face; one of the things I stress the most is that you shouldn’t spend too long on a particular facial feature. When you spend too long on something, your eyes tend to glaze over and you stop seeing your mistakes. This can potentially set you back quite a bit. Work on something, then once it’s reasonable, work on the next area and come back to it later with a fresh eye. Now you need to make way for the mouth. Using your spoon shaped tool, create a hollow right around the mouth area, but be careful not to make it wider than you want your dolls mouth to be.

STEP 21: Knead some clay until it’s warm and malleable. You want to be able to blend this without needing to push too hard later. Create a small sausage of polymer clay and add it to the face where you created that hollow in the previous step. It should sit nicely inside the hollow if you bend it into a horseshoe shape. This will form the entire top lip section right up to under the nose.

STEP 22: Using your spoon shaped tool, work around the top edge of the clay you just added and blend it into the face. Do not blend the bottom edge, you will use this to form the lip. Blend the clay so that it’s seamless right up under the nose. Also, blend the sides of the “horseshoe” so the lip is more horizontal. Notice how I’ve somewhat trimmed off some of the clay I added. Gently smooth out and slightly flatten the clay. You don’t want the clay around her mouth to protrude too much.

STEP 23: Using your rubber-tipped tool, gently wipe the under-side of the clay you added. Wipe it on a slight upward angle so it creates a flat section mimicking the lips. You are trying to define the line of the top lip without carving into the clay.

STEP 24: This is what you should be left with. This part that requires a lot of patience and practice. No beginner sculptor gets this step right first time around so don’t feel bad if it takes you a couple tries. Just smooth it off with your finger and try again. The trick is to barely touch it. Wipe the clay with the side of the tip, not the point, and touch it very lightly. Use the tool like you’re painting a feather.

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