Salvaging Burned Polymer Clay Mushroom with Paint

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Polymer clay mushroom painted eyes right sideAlas, burning a polymer clay sculpture is part of life. It’s been a while since I’ve burned a sculpture. In fact, I thought I’d taken every measure to protect my mushroom, but somehow, she still got charred…

Let’s backtrack real quick. If you missed the sculpture process click HERE for photos and details.

I didn’t like the mouth I sculpted last week, so I cut it off. I spent a good hour re-sculpting her mouth while staring at numerous mouth images online.

Then on to baking. I rested her on a bed of fiberfill to protect the back of her head and hat. I bought this brand after reading a similar polymer clay forum discussion on this topic.

I set my usual 2 oven thermometers and let her bake for an hour. I remember checking 30 minutes in and she looked ok…

Polymer clay mushroom fiberfill Polymer clay mushroom resting on fiberfill

I should have checked again…

Polymer clay mushroom burned sculpture

I almost cried when I saw her, half charred in the oven. I had half a mind to toss her. But… mushrooms are natural and therefore will have mixed patterns of dark and light on their bodies.

Painting the Mushroom

I used DecoArt acrylic paint, water, and a variety of really thin nylon paint brushes (click for amazon links)

I’m still learning how to paint eyes. Here is my attempt going from outer to inner colors with fresh layers of paint.

I started with black, then added thin dabs of brown, yellow, and in-between mixtures of brown and yellow.

Polymer clay mushroom painting black eye basePolymer clay mushroom adding brown paint to eyes  Polymer clay mushroom adding layers of acrylic paint to the eyes Polymer clay mushroom adding additional layers of paint to eyes

Once satisfied I added black for the pupils and a dab of white to bring light to her eyes.

Polymer clay mushroom painted eyes right side Polymer clay mushroom painted pupils

While waiting for the layers to dry I gave her red/brown lips. I painted her eyebrows and lashes with the thinnest brush I could find. The lashes and brows are too thick for my liking. Perhaps the brush itself is not thin enough, or the paint too thick. More experimenting needed here.

For her cheeks I mixed red paint with water and rubbed it into her skin with a paper towel. It’s just visible enough to give her a healthy glow.

Lastly I added white spots to her hat to finish the mushroom effect.

Polymer clay mushroom top white spotsPolymer clay mushroom painted face and spots

Next step, the base!

[coming soon…]

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