Monday, April 27, 2009

Fingernail Tutorial

This tutorial will be a step by step guide on how to make a realistic looking fingernail. This technique can be used on any size doll.
The first thing you should do is to gather your supplies. You can use any type of Polymer clay for the actual finger, but I suggest that you use a translucent clay for the actual fingernail.

I use Prosculpt translucent for the nail, and Cernit /Sculpey for the finger.
Matte eyeshadow in shades of mauve for shading and blushing.
An Orange stick for shaping the cuticle.
An Exacto knife, or very sharp clay scissors for shaping the nail.
A large crochet hook size H for life size baby fingers.
For miniature dolls use a knitting needle size 2.
An assortment of miniature brushes, and a small Maxine Mop.

For the next step, I take the large crochet hook and I take a small amount of the Translucent Prosculpt. I then roll the clay into a snake and place it on the crochet hook. Next, I start to flatten and stretch the clay along the hook. Flatten and stretch the clay until your clay is almost see through. Move the clay around the hook until it is almost touching underneath.

Take your crochet hook and place it in the oven at 250 degrees for 10 min. Sometimes I use a heat gun for 5 minutes, making sure to hold the hook with a washcloth so as not to get burned.

Cool the crochet hook completely before you remove the clay. When the hook is cool, gently pry the clay off the hook by lifting at the edges all the way around the clay.
This is what your clay should look like when taken off the crochet hook.

This next step is probably the most important part of the whole process. Either take your Exacto knife or a pair of clay scissors and cut the desired length you want for your nail. Use small snips of the scissors to keep the clay from cracking. Remember to cut the nail long enough for shaping.

After the length of nail has been determined, trim the nail on either side, and round off the corners at the top of the nail. Determine how long you want the sides of the nail to be. When the nail length has been determined gently clip the bottom of the nail into a "V" point. This point needs to be as sharp as possible.

Next, take your Cernit/Sculpey and roll it out to the length size of the finger you want.

Now is the time to sculpt the finger and shape the nail bed with the Orange stick. Make sure the sides are sculpted deep enough to allow the clay to come up and around the sculpted nail.

Now is the fun part!! Take your baked fingernail and with the pointed end, slide it under the nail bed and push down slightly, but not so much that the point comes back out of the clay. Now gently push the sides of the nail down into the soft clay. Now sculpt the sides of the finger to come up over the edge of the sculpted nail.

You may have to re-sculpt the cuticle at this time. Just make sure that the base of the cuticle isn't too puffy at the base.

Now take your miniature brushes and use a small amount of Mauve matte eyeshadow and color the creases of your finger. You can also shade the cuticle and nail base at this time.

Now you can bake your finger. I bake mine @ 250 degrees for 10 minutes. You will have to decide what temp and time you will sculpt your finger because everyone will sculpt differently and sizes may vary.

As soon as your finger comes out of the oven, and as soon as you can handle it, take your darker shade of Mauve eyeshadow and rub a wash of this quite heavily onto your nail. only go 3/4 of the way up the nail and stop. By leaving the wash off the top of the nail, that creates the tip of the nail, and the color will be perfect by using the translucent clay.

The next step is to take a soft cloth or a dry q-tip and gently rub the excess eyeshadow off the
nail. This will leave a very natural color.

When you are making a full hand, do each finger separately and add to the palm, smooth, pose, then shade and bake.

If desired you may apply a light varnish to the nail. When you do this gently tap the brush on the nail so you don't take the color off.

This concludes my fingernail tutorial. I hope this will help in making realistic fingernails.

(copyright 2009-2010) "All rights reserved" 
All texts and images are the sole property of Dessa Rae Original Art Dolls. 
This tutorial is for personal use only, and any reproduction for the sole intent of
sale and distribution is strictly prohibited.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fingernail Tutorial coming soon

Hi everybody,

I have decided to make a fingernail tutorial. I developed my own technique back in 1997.

I am still working on the tutorial and I would like to share it with everyone here on my blog.

The doll pictured is called "Sweetness" and features the fingernail technique. She was featured in both Dolls Magazine
and Doll Crafter Magazine.

The technique is very easy to learn and produces a very lifelike finger and toenail.

It can be adapted to fit any size doll, even miniature dolls.

The next two pictures are close-ups of the finished fingers and toes.
I am going to use a life size baby finger for the tutorial pictures
so the detail will show up better.
I will post the tutorial as soon as it is finished to my liking. This is my first tutorial, so wish me

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In the mood

I thought I would show you where I create my sculpts.

In my old house I used the kitchen table to sculpt and my house was always in a mess. In our new house I have a room dedicated to sculpting.

I have this thing, that before I can sculpt anything, my sculpting room has to be clean and clutter I guess that's a good thing.

I am gearing up to start on a new doll, so I have been in the mood to clean. I guess it's not so difficult if I keep up on it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What's old is New again

During the course of this blog, I will at times show you my sculpts from the past. My style has
changed somewhat over the years, experimenting with new techniques, and mediums.

What hasn't changed is the feeling of my sculpts. I have always wanted my sculpts to have
an ethereal feeling to them.
The vintage laces and fabrics I have
found over the years have helped
me achieve this goal.
All of my dolls seem to be pale
and dreamy eyed, as if they have just
stepped out of a dream.

I seem to be coming back to this precise style and I have so many ideas that I will share with you in the coming weeks.

This sculpt is called "The Golden Child"
and was sculpted in 1998. She is OOAK and sculpted out of Cernit/Sculpey

Having Fun

I am really having fun with this blogging I have been experimenting with backgrounds,
and adding pictures, so you may see several different designs before I am done.
I really like the background that is on my blog right now so it may stay awhile.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hello everyone,

I am very new to blogging and you will have to forgive me if I don't know what I am doing at first.
I am going to try to post everyday and keep you all up to date with what projects I am working on at the moment. So here goes...

This is one of my favorite Fantasy sculpts. She was sculpted in 1995. She is a partial sculpt with a pose able body. She was sculpted for the Dolls Awards of Excellence competition. She didn't win but I didn't care. She is in a private collection now....I wished I would have kept her.

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