I had so much fun sculpting the micro-miniature Mother’s Day fairy, I couldn’t resist doing another teeny tiny sculpture. This time I chose to sculpt a baby mermaid.
Want to Follow Along?
Here is what you will need to sculpt your very own micro-miniature mermaid baby. Pick up at your local craft store or purchase on amazon using my affiliate links below:
- Thin wire for armature guide
- Sculpey Polymer Clay – or other polymer clay of your choice
- Tiny sculpting tools including a tapestry needle and sewing needle
- Genesis Heat Set Oil Paints – for painting tail and facial features
- Glitter or Pearl-ex pigments for decorating the tail
- Blue Mohair – in place of the feathers I used (feathers = troublesome)
- Oven for curing your sculpture. I use and recommend the Deni Table-top convection oven
Sculpting a Tiny Merboy
Merfolk body proportions are not unlike human proportions, where the length of the legs are similar to the length of a mermaid tail. I used a series of baby ‘model’ photos shrunk to 1.5 inches as a guide for my little boy’s features.
I started by sculpting the face and facial features using Sculpey Living Doll Polymer Clay, then measured the legs to match his curled tail. I do not know where little merboys keep their ‘boy parts’ and so I left him rather neutral.
I added a ball of clay to the end of his tail to prevent the wire scratching my glass work surface.
Once satisfied with the placement of his tail I added final details such as tiny hands with individually sculpted fingers, and a set of pointy elfish ears. Mermaids are magical fairies of the water and so I believe fairy ears are in order. If you come across a mermaid with non-pointy ears please take a photo and send my way.
Dark clay colors will find a way to ‘stain’ lighter colors. It’s Murphy’s Law. I was afraid to use multiple clay colors when sculpting such a tiny creature lest they stain the baby’s skin and get all over.
Instead I baked the completed sculpture and then added color detail using Genesis Heat Set Oil Paints.
I gave his tail a dark coat and baked to set. I then added blushing and facial details, also with Genesis Heat Set Oil Paints.
Accessorizing the Merbaby
The merboy’s tail was finished using another layer of paint/TLS mixture (TLS = Translucent Liquid Sculpey) and sprinkled with Pearl-ex glitter.
His hair, made from very fine blue feathers was added one by one to a coat of liquid clay on his scalp. Alas the feathers preferred to stick to my fingers instead of the head, but I did out in the end.
The feathers were an experiment that I will hesitate to use again. I use a Deni Table-top convection oven. The convection mechanism has a fan blow the hot air around. This is great for even heating but unfortunately bent some of the feathers.
One final trip to the oven and my tiny merbaby is complete!
I really enjoyed sculpting this tiny creature. The combined challenge of learning to sculpt, and fitting all the details into a sculpture smaller than my finger was exhilarating. That being said, I’m always looking to grow and improve. Please leave your critiques and constructive criticism in the comment section below.