Sculpting a Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby

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Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby polymer clay on handI am embarking on a journey to create a sleepy fairy baby in honor of Valentine’s Day which is just around the corner. My baby sculpting skills are still amateur at best, so any feedback and critiques left in the comments sections below will be greatly appreciated.

Alas, Dead Camera Battery

Only I can start a major project and have my camera shut down due to a dead battery. Due to lack of starting images, the first few steps will be left up to the imagination.

Before I begin:

  1. When finally charged, the camera was on a poor setting, so I do apologize for blurry photos
  2. The starting procedure is very similar to how I started my Sexy Christmas Elf, read her post to see more in-depth details on the armature and sculpting process.

The Plan

This fairy will be very large compared to my past tiny sculptures. My sketch has the baby sitting at 3.5 inches tall.

Sculpting Tools and Supplies

  • Polymer Clay: Sculpey Living Doll, Original Sculpey, Premo Sculpey
  • 17 Gauge wire for the main armature, thinner wire for the hands
  • Aluminum foil for the armature
  • My favorite sculpting tools
  • An awesome audio book

The fairy baby will be sculpted from a custom blend of polymer clay including Sculpey Living Doll, Original Sculpey, and Premo Polymer Clay, all in light flesh tones. Instead of pre-measuring the amount of clay to use, I simply mixed up about 5-6 ounces to ensure that I don’t run out in the middle. Since the mixture doesn’t follow an exact ‘recipe’ I’d rather have too much clay versus running out in the middle.

Goblin Baby Armature

Since the baby will be seated, her main support comes from the head and torso. I created her armature (internal skeleton) by looping a piece of wire to sit slightly shorter than the sketch. I wrapped the head portion in foil forming an egg shape and covered it with clay.

I sculpted the facial details while my camera battery was charging, and voila, here we are:

Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby head on armature Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby adding pancakes to torso 

Sculpting The Goblin Baby Body

I covered the torso portion of the armature with foil. I kept the torso simple since I hadn’t yet decided if she would be nude or clothed.

Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby right Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby torso left Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby torso 

Sculpting the Goblin Baby Legs

Baby legs are trickier than adult legs due to the greater amount of detail on such a small surface area. I started with a simple log of clay bent at the bottom for the heels. I smoothed the tip to a ‘boot’ shape, and trimmed off the end to allow for attachment of individual toes. This is ‘new’ territory for me so I’m trying the idea of sculpting each toe individually and attaching to the foot.

Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby bent log legs Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby log boot tips

Each toe began as a tiny ball of clay, elongated, shaped, and blended into the foot. I regret that the photos are blurry here because the details are difficult to see. Hopefully the camera settings will be rectified for my next baby sculpture.

Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby cut tips for toes Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby adding toes

With the toes attached, I shaped the arch and added in wrinkles for the skin creases using my needle tool.

Alas when I measured the foot against my sketch it was too large. My sculptures have a tendency to ‘grow’ as I work on them. But hey, it’s a goblin, maybe goblin babies DO have huge toes.

I marked the knee areas, put a slight bend in the legs, shaped the calves, and attached them to the torso at different angles.

Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby measuring legs Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby attacking legs Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby forming buttocks    

Freshly worked clay tends to be soft and easily disfigured. Letting it ‘sit’ for a while ‘sets’ the clay and reduces the risk of accidental destruction. After blending the thighs into the torso and adding clay for the buttocks, I set her to rest while I contemplated her costume.

I attempted a floral skirt, but she looked RIDICULOUS so I’m going with a nude baby.

Adding the ‘Chub’ for a Tubby Goblin Baby

I like sculpting my creatures in the nude. Perhaps it’s because I have no sense of ‘style’ when it comes to clothing, and partly because it gives me a chance to practice sculpting realistic details.

Like humans, goblin babies get chubby from ‘pancakes’. Clay pancakes that is.

A clay pancake is a conditioned and flattened ball of clay that is added and blended into the sculpture to help bulk it out and add padding. I added a large pancake to the belly, and another to her nether-regions. I added a number of smaller pancakes to her inner and outer thighs, and buttocks till she looked sufficiently chubbier.

Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby padding chest Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby added chub Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby with added chub

Adding Anatomical Details

My goblin baby is real to me, and so I chose to make her ‘anatomically correct’. This term is translated differently by every sculptor, but for my creatures this usually refers to genitalia. I also gave her a nice popping belly button and chubby chest.

Sculpting the Goblin Baby Hands

The goblin’s hands, like her legs, started as a thin ‘log’ of clay. I squeezed the ends between my fingertips to create the palm and wrist.

Her fingers, like her toes, were created individually from a tiny ball of clay, then smoothed into the palm. By pushing each fingertip towards the palm, they became just a bit more ‘chubby’

Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby forming hands Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby adding fingers

I added even more chubbiness to the arm with pancakes above the elbow.

Since her arms will be held up in the air, they will require support wire to prevent sagging and breaking off. I positioned the arms to get a feel for the angles then prepared the wire as follows:

Using a very thin but very strong wire, I placed one over each arm to get the angles correct. I looped the tip to give the palm extra support, and to prevent the hand from simply twisting and slipping off a thin straight wire.

After imprinting the wire on the hand I cut into the clay, inserted the wire, and smoothed it over.

Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby placing hands Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby wire hand support Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby positioned wire

Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby hand wire Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby insertng hand wire

Using a strong needle I poked a hole into the shoulder for the wire, inserted the hands, and blended the arm and shoulder clay together. I then added additional pancakes to the shoulder and back to build her posture and secure the hands firmly in place.

Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby attaching hands

Sculpting the Goblin Baby Ears

My poor goblin baby was subjected to dizzying motion throughout the sculpting process. But with all of that out of the way, it was time to add the delicate ears. I shaped a very large teardrop for each ear and attached it to the side of her face. Poor little fairy, she looks more like a pouty troll. But a cute pouty troll in my opinion 🙂

Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby ready to bake Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby left on hand

I debated skipping her wings and simply completing her as is, but was talked out of it. I would normally bake the sculpture at this point, but past failures have taught me to form and position the wings when there is still time to make changes to the sculpture.

Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby in polymer clay left  Sleepy Valentine Goblin Fairy Baby polymer clay on hand

And so she waits in my studio, allowing the clay to set, and allowing me to dream up her wings from a combination of colored wire, Angelina (fusible) film, glitter, and more

Continue to Part 2 – Creating the Wings

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