Saturday, February 21, 2009


I took Loki out for some new pictures this afternoon and thought I would share a couple. The other pictures didn't do her justice.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Painting the Little Griffling

Wanted to update how to finish the little griffling. Unfortunately I'm having tech problems again! This time with my wonderful, clear my throat, 17 year old son. He took the memory card out of my camera, wiped it, put it in his camera and I now have tons of skate videos and pics. As great as they are they aren't going to help anyone finish a griffin!! So, here goes the short and sweet of it with no pictures. Hey, your all creative people I know you will get how to do it. Paint him with washes just like the dragon. Dry brush two to three colors working from darkest to light. On browns I normally dry brush with a cream or white last. Apply sealer. You can use marabou feathers if you didn't make clay feathers. That is what I did with little Stormy. I will try to get a couple pictures of him posted soon. Right now I'm fighting a nasty cold/sinus infection so pictures may wait a couple days. Excuse me...can't stop sneezing!!! Enjoy your new griffling.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Paint and Finishing

Tomorrow I will post the last part of the tutorial all about painting and finishing him up. Right now my fingers are tired of typing! Enjoy!

This is the end...

The tool that I am using in the first picture is made by Makin's Clay. It is a wire brush attachment. If you don't have one of these, you can easily make a fur tool. I also use the ones I have made. These are made by cutting lengths of wire and inserting them into a clay handle, bake tool and use! Brush your fur tool over the body to create a fur like texture. Don't brush his front legs or head. Take a good look at him and make sure he is to your liking. Don't worry about little clay tufts or rough spots. these can be lightly sanded off after baking. If so he is ready for the sauna! Bake him at the correct temperature and time for your clay. I bake t 275 degrees for about an hour. Th e wings only bake for about 20 minutes. Oh, a note on the wings...if you are using clay feathers don't forget to add some to the wings!! Off to the sauna...

I'll Fly Away...and steal your cookies!!

Roll out a sheet of clay on the pasta machines thickest setting. Double the clay over lightly and cut out a wing shape. Smooth the edges and slightly roll over the top edges to add some interest and curve. Cut two pieces of wire about 1", I believe mine is 20 gauge. Fold the wire over in half and pinch the ends together with some needle nose pliers. Put a dot of TLS on the inner edge of the wing and lightly mash the wire into the TLS. Take a small dot of clay and cover the ends of the wire. Smooth clay in seamlessly. Repeat for other wing. Now poke holes in the the griffins back and test how the wings will sit. If they need to be trimmed or repositioned now is the time to do it.


Stormy isn't going to be covered with clay feathers. If you would prefer to cover your guy with clay here is how to do it. Roll out a sheet of clay on the pasta machines thickest setting. Cut little squares 1/2" long by 1/4" wide or somewhere around there. Doesn't need to be exact! Now form into a little feather shape and use the needle tool to apply the line work. Use a bit of TLS and apply the feather in rows starting at the lowest point and working up. Even though you are working in rows try not to make it look like ROWS. You do want a bit of a random look to it not a pattern.

Another Test

Lay the front leg against the body and cut off at the proper length. Round off the end of the leg and create a tapered slope where it will attach to the body. Use the small needle tool to add texture to the foot and leg. Put a dab of TLS on the top back of the leg before attaching. Now lightly press onto body and smooth top. Pose his legs into a pleasing position. Stormy is going to have his foot propped on something.

More Toes

Cut the front section of the foot into three sections. Roll each of the toes out into nice long toes. Now cut them off! No, not the whole thing but trim down so they are proportionate to the foot. Round the ends off and smoosh them back a bit to plump them up.

Chicken Feet

Let's get technical...smoosh the clay down on your work surface and start forming a triangular shape at the end of the foot. Oooo, triangles! Finally got away from those teardrops!

Chicken Legs...mmmm

Logs, logs, logs. I'm starting to think my method should be called the Log, Pinch and Roll Method! So with that said make another log, long and thin this time. You want the log to be a little thinner than your thumb. Now cut it into two sections about 3" long.

Attaching Those Legs

This is what the finished legs look like. Don't forget those important tabs on the bottom of the thigh. They really do help secure the joining of the limbs. Brush a little TLS on the inside of the thighs and then press on to the body. Flip him over and smooth the tabs into the underside. If you would like paw pads on the bottoms of his feet you can add those to.

This Little Piggy...oh yeah...griffling

To form the foot cut off the excess clay and round off the end of the foot. Use the small needle tool and mark in three toe lines. That will make four toes. Smooth the toes out to make them rounded like cute little piggies should be. To finish the toes/foot off use the larger needle tool to create an indention behind to the toes. This makes the toes stand out a bit and adds some plumpness to the foot. Remember, he's a baby plump is cute!

He's Got Legs...well he will

Logs, teardrops and pinching again. The first picture shows the shape we are looking for in a leg log. It is not quite as long as the brush and flattened some with an oval shape at the end. This will make the thighs. Cut the log in half. Use the picture of the leg against the body as a guide for how to shape his back leg. It is done the same as the basic dragons legs.


A nice detail is to create a little indention between the eyes to create a more defined brow line and add expression.

Do Your Ears Hang Low?

Ears are cut with a cutter by Makin's clay. I use this cutter quite a bit. It is suppose to be a leaf but I use the smooth side for ears. If you don't have one, free hand a couple teardrop shaped pieces in a size you like. The clay used was rolled out on a 1 setting on the pasta machine. (the thickest setting) Gently roll the outer edges in towards the center of the ear. Mark 2 or 3 crease lines from the inner ear towards the outer ear. Flatten the inner edge and attach to the back of his head. It looks nice if you have a line...nostril, eye, ear. The ears can be put in many positions to change his expression. This little guy is going with the up ears. As soon as I turned them up I thought he looked wind Stormy!

Blink, blink

The eye lids re cut out with a small oval cutter made by Makin's clay. If you don't have one of those The oval is about 1/4" wide and 1/2" long. Shape the oval into a half moon shape with the pointer end towards the beak. Position the little moons over the eye beads. Use the end of your brush and gently roll it. Starting from the inner lid, roll towards the outside. The clay should be seamlessly joined. Go back and roll the brush again above where the lid joined the face to create a brow line. This adds expression to his face.

I Can See Clearly Now...

Here come some beady black eyes...The back end of the needle tool was pushed into the head softly to create eye sockets. Then the 6mm hematite beads are wired to secure them in his head. Once the beads are wired figure your placement, roughly even with the nostrils, and insert them. Yeah! Now he can speak, breathe and see!

I can breathe!

Roll out a small snake that will become his nostrils. Make sure it is tapered at both ends. Attach the snake on the back of the upper beak. Use the little needle tool and create notrils. I insert and pull down to create a teardrop shape.

Say Aaaa!

Use the back end of a brush or tool of you choice and roll under the lower beak. This will create a lower jaw line. Use your x-acto and slice his little beak open. Squawk! Feed me! OK, back to business. Smooth the edges of the upper and lower beak. Pinch the end of the upper beak in both directions again giving it a refined look like a Close his mouth and use the larger needle tool to make a dot finishing the ends of the beak.


Tweak, tweak! Time for a beak! I rounded his head a bit more with the crook between my thumb and index finger. He is starting to have a bird head. Grab a hold of some clay on the front of the head and give a pinch. You will want to pinch in both directions: up and down (shown) and across.

Wag That Tail

All that clay hanging off his now refined back side needs a bit of a nip and tuck. Roll it out and create the tickness and length you think is appropriate for his tail. Now a nip and roll will do it. Roll the end to make it smooth and we have a tail!

Basic shapes...or back to the chunky log

Just like in the making of Flynn, Mr. Dragon, we are going to start with a chunky log. Pinch one end and begin forming a ball shape. This will become his head. Roll the clay below the ball to form a neck. Lift this section up so he can look around, we know he can't see yet but we can pretend. For the other end; pull and roll to start forming a tail. For now it will be rough and to big but that is OK. See his big ole butt sticking up? In order for him to get that way take a finger or tool of your choice and rock it back and forth between the shoulder and hip area. Soften the curves out and shape his front and back to make them round and smooth.

How to Hatch a Griffling

Back again with a new critter for everyone to make and play with. Up front I'm going to tell you the finished fellow in this tutorial is going to be different than the two supervisors up above. We are going for a mixed media sculpt, if you so choose. The clay pictured is the same old stuff I always use, Good Old Sculpey. It takes most of two sheets to form the head, body and tail. Tools are the same too. Needle tools in two sizes, X-acto, old paintbrush and a bit of Translucent Liquid Sculpey for joining limbs. Let's go!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tutorials, dragons and grifflings! Oh, my!

Due to some technical difficults...Ok the cat ran across the key board while I was downloading pictures and I lost them all. Don't know where they went or if they will return home. The camera hit the floor and well it isn't pretty. The tutorial I was working on just flew away. So due to some popular demand, ummm Tracey, the next one will be for a baby griffling. I hope to have the entire thing posted by Wednesday. Got the battery charging for my other camera as we speak. You won't believe how easy he is. The feathers take forever but easy, easy!