Sculpting with polymer clay provides a versatility in timing and workability that is prized by many artists. In this tutorial we will go over the steps for creating a wolf head. Be sure to stay tuned. This wolf head is the first step in crating an OOAK steampunk werewolf art doll. What will make this sculpt unique is that he will have interchangeable heads: human and wolf.
When approaching any project, be sure to have a strong sense of direction of how you want the piece to go. I used photo references to base the wolf head off of. Take note of all of the subtle ridges and structures on the wolfs head. It is these small details that will bring your pieces to life!
Googling “wolf head” images will provide a treasure trove of photo references at many different angles.
Now on to the sculpture!
I started with a ball of clay on a wooden skewer and pulled out a snout. The skewer allows you to easily work around your sculpt in progress.
Next, I made an oblong piece of clay for the lower jaw. I like to use separate clay for the upper and lower sections of the snout in order to best achieve the overhang of the jowls.
The third image shows two areas — the bridge of the snout and the mouth — where more clay was added for additional height. Use the ball tool to smooth these additions into place.
The fourth image has the eye sockets set in place. A larger ball tool is perfect for this application.
Now make two equal sized balls of clay to fit in the sockets.
Make a long rope of clay and cut equal pieces for the upper and lower eye lids on both eyes. Blend in with your small ball tool.
At this stage I like to make grooves in the head to set up where the ears should be placed. Don’t fret about this impacting the final product as more clay will be added to these areas.
Now it is time to add the ears. This is where he starts looking like a wolf! Make two equal triangles and place them on your sculpt. Have the tops of the ears be somewhat rounded.
At this point the basic structure has been laid out. The neck is the next building stage. Add more clay and blend into the head and add a tiny bit inside of his ears. Use your ball tools as well as hands to smooth.
Now, you will want to add additional clay under the eye. Every werewolf should have fabulous bone structure. Blend in with your ball tool.
The next phase is the foundation of his wild hair. To achieve this look you will need to make what is essentially a bunch of hot dog shaped sections of clay and put them around his head. Blend the base of your hot dog sections with your small ball tool.
Now it’s time to stretch the base of the neck out a tad and breathe. Your wolf is almost ready to howl at the moon!
Here comes the most essential part of the sculpt: the details. Grab your needle tool and start adding in all of his glorious hair. The trick to it is that you need to watch the amount of pressure you apply. Don’t go too deep but do make sure your lines are defined.
Clean him up a bit with some rubbing alcohol and a paint brush. This will smooth out any rough areas.
He is now ready to be baked. For my art dolls, I like to bake my Super Sculpty at 250°F for 25 minutes. Use an oven-safe tray and place his head on some napkins on the tray. They will not burn at 250°F for 25 minutes. Just be sure that you do not exceed the time.
Once his is baked, let him rest for an hour before handling him to avoid cracking.
The next phase will be building his armature and human head. I do hope you join me on this project and we can create an army of steampunk werewolves!