Yessica's Journey Blog

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Making the Sculpture Test of ‘Yessica’s Journey’ Head out of Plastalina

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After completing many tests (see previous blog) I decided to use a polystyrene ball as the core for the head making it lighter. I sculpted it roughly to cut out the eye sockets and change the shape slightly.

Using sculpted polystyrene ball as the core for the head as it is light.

I used a hot wire tool to cut into the material, see image below.

Using a hot wire tool to cut into the polystyrene

I covered the polystyrene head roughly in a thin layer of Van Aaken Plastalina. I got this from the USA. It is softer than the one used in the UK and also you can melt it as well if you want to. It is also acid free which is good for mouldmaking and casting. Newplast Plasticine is much harder and is great to sculpt with but I wanted to try a new product to see the difference. If you were using Plasticine characters to animate you would use this one as it is less likely to melt under the lights.

Sculpting the Clay over the polystyrene. Rough Sculpt.

It takes a lot of time to sculpt and build it up. I intend putting a lot more detail in the finished one. I mainly use my hands and use some sculpting tools.

Using Wooden Beads to shape the socket for the eyes

Gradually she is taking shape. I inserted wooden beads in her eye sockets to get the right size for her eyes which will be animated.

Finishing off, constant smoothing using linseed oil. Sculpture can be frozen to smooth out fine detail if clay becomes too soft.

Constant smoothing with your hands and sculpture tools is required. I used Linseed Oil to smooth the clay which seemed to work. You can also freeze the clay and then work on it to smooth even more.

Finished Sculpture with mouth taken away as the puppet will have stick on mouth pieces for lip sync.

Rough finished sculpture with metal rod inserted so I can suspend the head upside down when I make a mould and cast. Removed her mouth as she will have stick on mouths. This is a test head and not the finished look of Yessica.


Author: Anastacia

I am a freelance Animator and Illustrator. I am a Director/Producer and Animator of the Yessica's Journey Animation Project

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