- Getting Started:
Start with clean hands, unwrap and knead clay until soft and smooth, or condition by running clay though a Pasta Machine. We recommend using a designated machine for clay purposes only. When working with multiple colors, clean hands with soap and water or baby wipes (we have found that baby wipes work best) before switching colors. Shape clay, pressing pieces firmly together. Wash hands after use.
Preparing the Clay: Prepare your Sculpey III Polymer Clay by kneading together some Granny Smith Green clay and some White clay until it is soft and pliable – let rest for 10-20 minutes. TIP: If your hands get messy while mixing clay, take a break to wash them. You can also keep Hand Wipes handy or use a chunk of White clay to roll on your hands to collect any dust, dirt, or excess clay!
Dragon Head: Once the clay has rested, it is time to make all the body parts of the Dragon! Start with the Head by rolling the clay in the palms of your hands to create an oval/oblong shape. Then while holding the clay in one hand, use the side of your palm on the other hand to press into the oblong shape and then push back and forth to form a shape similar to the one that is pictured. TIP: Keep in mind this might take a few attempts to get exactly right; don’t give up!
Dragon Body Parts: Next take more Green clay and create the body parts – Body, Arms, Legs, Feet, and Ears. Each is made by taking clay and rolling it in your hands to form the shape! The body starts as a circle then you use the sides of your palms to form a teardrop shape. The Arms are similar to that, but you use less clay and you expand the tear drop to form a much longer and thinner shape. Curve the Arms up or down, depending on what position you want your Dragon to be in. The legs are similar to the body shape, just use less clay and make them much smaller. The feet start as small circles, using your fingers, flatten and shape them into very small triangles. Lastly, the ears – create a teardrop shape then flatten and shape into triangles with your hands.
Create Horns and Tail: To make the tail take the Green clay and make a shape similar to the Arms you sculpted earlier, then make it ending with a curve like in the photo. Take some Purple clay and mix with White to create a lighter shade of Purple. With that make small circles and attach them to the center of the Tail. Cut the base of the Tail with the Exacto Knife then cut some Wire to push into the end of the Tail which gives the Tail more support when attaching it to the body. Next take some Hot Pink clay to form the Horns – make teardrop shapes, then using your fingers make the tip sharp and pointy. Cut the bases of each then add Wire. Set aside Horns and Tail. TIP: Remember Sculpey offers a wide variety of Polymer Clay colors, so you can use any of them or mix colors to create your Dragon – make it dark or very colorful; it’s your choice!
Create the Wings Part I: Grab some of the Green clay and form two shapes similar to the Arms. Once those are formed, curve them into a Wing shape similar to what is pictured. Then make two smaller teardrops which will be the Points of the Wings. Next take some Purple and mix with Translucent clay, this will be the interior part of the Wings – the more Translucent clay you use, the more transparent your clay will be after baking. Using your Rolling Pin, flatten the Purple Translucent clay and let sit for a few minutes to firm up.
Create the Wings Part II: Once firm, place the Green Wing structures and the Points onto the strip of Purple Translucent clay. Using an Exacto Knife cut the clay in a semi-circle pattern to make it look like Wings. Remove excess clay, cut base of wings and then add Wire which gives the Wings more support when attaching it to the Body. Set aside Wings. TIP: Once you are done with the Tail, Horns, and Wings bake them for 15 minutes at 275°F / 130°C, then let cool – this makes them firm enough to work with, so when you are attaching them to the Body you do not distort the shape.
Dragon Eyes: Take the Head of the Dragon, then using a Medium Ball Tool, press firmly into the clay to form two sockets/indents for the Eyes. Place one 5-6mm Black Bead into each of the holes.
Dragon Nostrils: Next take some Black and White clay to mix and form a Light Gray color. Make two small circles, flatten them with your fingertips then press each into the Head where the Nostrils would be. Using a Small Ball Tool, push into each circle to make the Nostril – you can leave the Nostril empty or add another small ball of Green clay into the center.
Before Assembling: Before you assemble, place Wire in the top of the Body, this helps when attaching the Body to the Head!
Assembling Part I: Take the Head and the Body, apply a small bit of Sculpey Bake and Bond* onto the base of the Wire where it meets the Body, then slide the head onto the Body, pressing firmly to attach. *Sculpey Bake and Bond is a bakeable adhesive that forms an incredibly strong bond between two pieces of polymer clay. Next take some of the Gray clay you created earlier and make a small, oblong shape then flatten it. Press it firmly onto the Belly of the Dragon, then make the line details using an Exacto Knife.
Assembling Part II: Take your Body + Head and apply the Legs, Feet, Ears, Arms, Tail, Horns and Wings. To attach all of these parts, use a small amount of Bake and Bond on each - press gently, but with some pressure. When attaching the Ears, make sure to cut the base of each to make it straight and even on the Head. After you attach the Horns add a thin/small coil of Green clay around the base of each Horn and cut at the back to fit.
Dragon Eyebrows: Take more Green clay to make Eyebrows – form two coils with your palms and continue to form pointy ends, then curl the clay on top of itself to create a spiral. Then curve the end of the Eyebrow shape to fit the Head – add Bake and Bond and press above the Dragon Eyes.
Bake and Paint: Once you are done and happy with your unbaked Dragon, bake it according to the instructions in Step 1. Remove from oven and let cool completely! Once cool, take your Pink Acrylic Paint out and with a Toothpick or Small Ball Tool dab into the Pink paint and make a small dot for the Cheeks of the Dragon. Let dry and you are done! TIP: If you are not comfortable with paint, you can always make this detail in clay instead!