DIY Mermaid Art Doll

Mermaid in a shellI found a little mermaid in a sea shell on the beach!  (Ok, not really, but that’d be pretty cool).  If you’d like to try making your own mermaid art doll, but you’re not sure where to start, you really need to watch this tutorial series.  This project is for both beginning and advanced doll making students.  There are a few hacks you can do to make the project easier than it looks, and I go over these hacks in the video.


Supplies:

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These sets are going to last you a long time.  There is just no reason to purchase the larger bottles until you know you like the paint. I purchase OOAK doll supplies from MoreZMore on eBay, and I’m a very satisfied customer.  She is an artist herself and has a fantastic art doll blog with tons of rich info.

MoreZMore offers a trial size of the glazing gel medium, if you prefer a smaller size. A little goes a long way, assuming you can avoid the temptation to dip your brush right into the jar (best practice would be to put a little on a plate so you can keep the jar clean).  Genesis Thinning Medium would also work.

I have not tried this push mold myself.  As mentioned in the video, I much prefer to hand sculpt.  I took some time to look, though, and this one looked nice & had good Amazon reviews.

If you haven’t tried sculpting with a well made polished hardwood tool, you really need to.  I use #263 all the time; I think of it as my essential tool that I couldn’t live without.  I use # 263 the most, and I also like #264.

Ideally you will want large plastic medicine cups, but I found those very difficult to locate. I ended up using the small plastic medicine cups and just mixing up a lot of batches.

DIY Mermaid Art Doll Outline & Time Stamps

Part 1

1:00 This project is for both beginning and advanced sculptors
1:25 Sculpting the Head
1:56 Check every angle
2:09 Poking and prodding
2:27 Bake
2:28 Sand
2:34 Shaping back of the head
2:43 Sculpting the ears, then bake again
2:47 Separate tutorial on painting the face
2:55 How to Use a Push Mold
3:11 First, dust with cornstarch & tap out
3:15 Shape clay with a point for the nose
3:20 Push until clay starts to spill out
3:26 Push molds have a learning curve
3:36 Insert ball of tin foil with layer of baked clay
3:45 Give it personality with sculpting tools
3:58 Sculpting the Hands
4:00 Remember hands are optional for this project
4:16 First step, get into the right mood
4:33 Use a high quality clay brand.
4:40 I use ProSculpt
4:46 Start with a rough shape like this & cut out five fingers
4:58 Gently apply twisting pressure, focus on lower part of fingers
5:18 Use tool to gradually round out area between fingers
5:52 Twilight Zone stage
5:58 Cut fingers down to proper size
6:14 Shape tips of fingers
6:29 Shape lower part of the hand and wrist
6:45 Use tool to define veins and other details
6:52 Chill your doll hand when you take a break
7:07 Next tutorial will cover everything else
7:27 Share with your fishy friends

Part 2:

0:52 Sculpting the Mermaid Body & the Tail
0:54 Mermaid armature
1:18 Adding clay & sculpting body
2:07 Sculpting the chest
2:29 Bake
2:35 Sand
2:40 Blush the body
2:50 Paint the tail
2:52 Bake to set the paint
2:58 Wrap tail in translucent polymer clay
3:14 Add the fluke (fin at the end of the tail)
3:39 Add the scales & texture the fluke
3:53 Attaching the Hands and the Head
3:55 Refrigerate the hands
4:03 Attach the hands, smooth out, & refine
4:32 Attach the head
4:56 Bake
5:02 Sand
5:08 Blush the hands and the neck
5:15 Decorate the Tail
5:21 Paint so darker at end, if desired
5:29 Bake to set paint
5:32 Add Angelina fibers to fluke
5:38 Apply gloss on tail with glitter
5:49 Apply shaved glass glitter
5:58 Hair, Crown, Sea Shell Bra
6:02 Tibetan Lamb Fur & Fabri-fix
6:07 Cut off little plugs of hair & glue straight onto head
6:12 Start at lower part of head & work to top
6:20 Top of head instructions
7:06 Final gluing around hairline
7:13 Detailing the Eyes
7:15 Cut faux eye lashes to various lengths
7:27 Apply each lash, one by one
7:47 Apply gloss to eyes, lips, and finger nails
7:53 Fabri-fix for crown and sea shell bra
8:05 Add the Resin
8:07 Fill holes in shell with polymer clay & bake shell
8:13 Mix resin according to package directions
8:19 Half bury mermaid in mini shells or mix sand & glue mixture
8:35 Fill half way, wait 4 hours, add star fish, fill again
8:57 Acknowledgement

with love, Caroline