Sculpting Wolf Link and Midna from TLoZ:TP – Polymer clay tutorial

Sculpting Wolf Link and Midna from TLoZ:TP – Polymer clay tutorial


Hey guys! Welcome to the first project of my channel. Today, I will show you how I I made my Wolf Link and Midna’s sculpture. The first thing I do is sketching the sculpture I want to make, especially the size and the position. I use a lot of references and draw different possibilities in order to choose the best one. I usually sketch by hand, then scan my drawing and redraw it in Clip Studio Paint. This is also the time I put the lines for the armature, in blue and red. This drawing is my reference, I use it to keep everything proportionate. The second step is making the armature of the sculpture. I use some thick steel wire and measure the right length by following the coloured lines on my reference. I cut all the pieces, making sure I take into consideration the length between the shoulders and the hips. After that, I mark where they all meet with a sharpie and use hot glue to fix them together. Finally, I use Apoxie sculpt, a two-parts epoxy putty that I put on the structure to reinforce it. I then continue with the wood base. I mark the position where I want the wooden rod and I drill a hole. I measure the rod, cut it and use epoxy glue to fix the parts together. The next step is building the shape of the characters. I use strips of aluminum foil that I wrap around the wire armature. I do that until I reached a good volume, taking care to leave enough space for the polymer clay. I use aluminum foil to make the sculpture lighter and to use less clay as it is expensive. I also wrap a thin wire around the legs. It helps the clay and the epoxy putty to stay in place. When the base is done, it’s time to bulk the general shape with polymer clay. I either use Sculpey medium or a blend of Super Sculpey and Sculpey Firm. I frequently compare my sculpture with my reference to know where I need to add more clay. I then cut a hole under Wolf Link to be able to put him on the wood rod. Finally, it is time to sculpt! I like to start with the face. I add clay to form the general shape like the forehead and the snout. I then trace the details like the eyes, the mouth and the nose and sculpt them with different tools. I look at a lot of references to make sure everything is right. I make the ears by adding chunks of clay and shaping them. I finish the head with the teeth and the marking on his forehead. And then comes the fur texture. For the long fur, I usually put small blobs of clay to add volume. I use a claw tool to do the fur texture, but you can also use a needle. Fur goes in different directions so for a more natural look, make variations in your lines. For the shorter hair, I just do the texture directly on the body. It is a tedious work and it can take hours to do it. But take your time as the result will be worth the hassle. Once all the fur texture is done, I like to use rubbing alcohol to smooth everything and to take away crumbs of clay that could have stayed. Then I finish with the earrings, I simply put a metal ring into the clay. And then, it’s time for the first bake! The directive on the packaging is to bake at 275 Fahrenheit (130 Celsius) for 15 minutes per ¼ inches (6 mm) but I prefer a lower temperature: 200 f so 95 Celsius. It takes more time to bake but the clay will less likely crack or burn. I lay the sculpture on a bed of polyester stuffing and on a baking tray and put it in my oven for 30 minutes. I bake my sculptures a lot of times to save my progress. After my first bake, I put epoxy clay on the legs and the tail to reinforce the structure. Polymer clay can break easily on weak spots. I also poke some holes on the epoxy putty to helps the polymer clay stick better on it. I decided to go back to the head and make his “mane”. I put long strips of polymer clay, refining the shape before applying the fur texture. And once that stage is done, I put the sculpture back in the oven! I then proceed on making the front and back legs. As always, I block out the general shape and refine it by adding or extracting clay. I then make the the details like the toes, the paw pads and the nails. After another bake, I add clay to the tail and finish it with the fur texture and it returns to the oven. I don’t show how I sculpted his handcuff but I use epoxy clay and embedded the rings. And Wolf link is now finished! I decided to do the base I lay some Bake and Bond on the wood to make the clay stick to it. I put polymer clay in my pasta machine to have uniform sheets of clay. I add them to the base, smoothing everything so it remains flat. I then trace the design I want on and add little strings of clay. Once I’m satisfied with the result, the base goes in the oven. I proceed to sculpt Midna and form her body with polymer clay. I bake the sculpture a first time to save my progress and continue until I’m happy with the result. I continue with her head, forming the general shape and detailing it by adding the eye, nose and mouth. I put a dome of clay on the top of her her head for her hair. I then proceed with the base of her headdress by cutting the form in aluminum mesh. It reinforces the structure for fragile pieces. I then add polymer clay and put the sculpture in the oven. After that, I use my exacto knife to carve the details of the headdress like the cracks and the engraving. I then make the top part of the headdress by cutting another form in aluminum mesh but this time I use epoxy clay to make a strong and durable piece. I use sand paper to smooth everything and put the details like the engraving and the snakes. Once it is done, I fix the two parts of Midna’s headdress with a two-part epoxy glue. I continue with her arms. I sculpt everything with epoxy clay as this part is very fragile. Polymer clay would break in such a thin place. I place the little swirls on her shoulders which I created separately with super glue. I proceed with the feet and hands, both made with epoxy clay for durability. For Midna’s ponytail, I do the same process: a wire for the armature, , epoxy clay for strength, polymer clay for detailing and her hairband. I continue making the rest of her hair. I put the sculpture in the oven one last time. Midna is done! Finally, it’s time for painting. The first thing I do is putting a coat of primer to help the paint adhere to the sculpture. I use Valejo surface primer that I spray with an airbrush. You can also use a brush to apply it. My process of painting is always the same: base coat, shadows and highlights. I proceed to paint the base first. I apply multiple coats of black and white on the forms. After that, I paint them in cyan and add highlights with a lighter turquoise, using the dry brush technique. I put some paint on my brush and wipe it on a paper towel in order to leave a small amount on it. I usually go perpendicular to the direction of the piece. For Midna, I paint some parts of her body with a light blue grey. I delimit her markings with a pencil and paint the rest black. I also brush some highlights on her body. I also put the other markings in cyan, the same colour as the base. I then paint her eye, first with white to help the second coat, yellow, show more. I also paint her hair with that colour. I continue with her eye, using red, black and a white dot for the highlight. I then paint her headdress black and use the dry brush technique with the silver paint. It helps make a more realistic metal look. I finish with the shadows of her hair in orange and the highlights in a bright yellow. Link is easier to paint. I start with the light parts, using a light grey. I then airbrush the dark grey part to have a smooth transition between the two. I clean up a little as airbrush tend to spray little dots of paint everywhere. I also put some brown accents on parts of his body. I then apply the highlights, white for the light parts and a light grey for the darker parts and I finish with the shadows. I paint the paw pads in grey and put white on the eyes, the teeth and the symbols on his forehead. I also put dark grey on his nose and nails. I paint his handcuff the same way as Midna’s headdress. Finally, I finish with Link’s eyes: blue, black and a dot of white. I also paint his earrings blue. I always varnish my sculptures. It helps prevent the paint from flaking and the colour fading. I use two varnishes. The first one is Varathane diamond wood finish gloss (water-based) , it is a floor varnish which becomes extremely strong. I choose the gloss one as it is easier to see the spots I missed. The second varnish is Liquitex professional matte. I usually use a matte varnish as the final coat as I prefer the finish. I then put varnish on some details to accentuate them and and give them a life like look. I use the gloss varnish on the forms on the base, the metal, the eyes, the teeth and the rings. And I use a satin varnish for the nose and the nails. To finish this sculpture, I use some stain for the wood base. . I then varnish it with gloss varnish. I also like to put black felt underneath, it helps to have a more finish look. I use hot glue to put it in place, trim it to size and apply my signature on it. I then assemble every piece with epoxy glue.
And it is finally finished… I hope you enjoyed this video and I will see you for the next project! Bye

2 thoughts on “Sculpting Wolf Link and Midna from TLoZ:TP – Polymer clay tutorial

  1. Quel travail !!! On s'en rend pas compte au départ, félicitations à toi pour l'ensemble, le travail la vidéo les sous titres etc. Bravo

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