Clay Figure Painting
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This chapter focuses on the production of semi-three-dimensional ancient-style figures using clay figure painting. Clay figure painting is a semi-three-dimensional work of art, and before making the figures, you need to consider the arrangement and composition within the frame. However, making figures for clay figure painting is slightly simpler than making life-size clay figures. The clay figure painting being made this time is that of an ancient-style beauty, with classic makeup, elegant hairstyle, and a variety of clothing styles.

Materials & Tools

Sculpting Tools

Face molds, large scissors, small scissors, curved scissors, knitting needle, blade, short blade, pleating tool, rolling pin, talcum powder, tweezers, engraving knife, water-based lacquer, eyelid cutting knife, smoothing water, alcohol wipes, pressing plate, scoring knife, 502 quick-drying glue, UV glue, and UV lamp.

Decorative Materials

Caviar beads, bubble beads, metal flakes, picture frames, dry flowers, tree branches, and window sills.

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Coloring Tools

Pigments, brushes, eyeshadow, brushes, pencils, erasers, pointed cotton swabs, and note paper.

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Clay & Color Mixing

Red, yellow, blue, flesh-colored, and black clay, white, black, and silver resin clay.

In addition, prepare white crystal material clay.

Mix red and blue clay to make reddish-brown clay.

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Making the Main Part

Making the Face

1. Take a standard scaled face mold and pinch out pointed corners from the skin clay. Align the pointed corners with the nose and press the clay into the mould.

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2. After pulling it out, trim off excess clay.

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Making Body

1. Mold the skin clay into a long strip, then pinch one end of the strip into a point at the center and roll it into a cylindrical shape for the neck. Hold it in your palm with the front facing up and use the base of your thumb to roll and press out the waistline, adjusting the width of the hips.

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2. Press the shoulder with your index finger and use your thumb against the side to apply pressure upward, lifting and adjusting the height of the shoulder line. Squeeze the shoulder position using the other hand to push from the abdomen to the chest, pinching out the chest shape. Take a stick pin and squeeze it horizontally across the front chest to press out the clavicle shape.

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3. Place the trunk on the frame for comparison of length, adjust it and the trunk will be ready.

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Making Clothes

Making the Lining

1. Mix the black air dry clay and black resin clay in a 1:1 ratio to increase the glossiness of the garment material, roll out thin slices, and cut out the shape of a strapless bodice.

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2. Let it dry until it is half dry before applying it to her body.

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3. Align the thin breastplate to the middle of the two sides of the torso and remove excess clay.

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4. Use the pleating tool to press out the pleats on the bust and take a detail needle to adjust the smocking pleats.

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Related Tip: How to Create Realistic Clothing Folds with Clay – Step-by-Step Tutorial?

Making Robes

1. Make a reddish-brown pleated piece, and align the reddish-brown pleated piece with the black pleated piece and stick it on both sides of the black pleated piece.

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2. Roll the silver resin clay into thin sheets and cut it into long strips. Align the strips along the waistline and stick them to the edge of the red pleated piece. Trim the excess clay.

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3. There are two types of Hanfu collar, namely Duijin (symmetrical) and Jiaojin (crossed). Jiaojin is left-collared, so please be careful not to make it right-collared during production.

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4. Cut the silver plate from earlier into slightly wider strips, starting from the bottom of the chest wrap it around the shoulders and trim off any excess clay.

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5. Roll the red clay into thin slices, cut out a rectangle first, and then use a blade to diagonally cut off one corner.

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6. Align the bottom of the slice with the waistline, with the missing corner parallel to the front of the shirt and wrap it around the shoulder. Apply the thin slice to the body, firmly pinch the shoulders, and cut off excess clay.

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7. Attach the other side of the top using the same fabrication method as steps 4 through 5, taking a detail needle and pressing the folds in the armpits.

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Making Colorblocked collars

1. Return the long, cut yellow thin strip from under the bodice in a circle around the neck to under the bodice on the other side, taking care that the yellow clay thin strip is spaced a distance from the edge of the red top bodice.

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2. Cut a thin slice of blue clay and place it next to the edge of the yellow slice using the same method.

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Making Colorful Belts

1. Cut a triangle-shaped piece of black thin sheet, with the obtuse angle facing downwards, and stick it above the skirt. Then, use a square-shaped black thin sheet to assemble the belt.

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2. Cut a piece of blue rectangular clay and wrap it around the middle of the belt, then cut two thin pieces of yellow clay and attach them to the top and bottom of the blue clay.

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3. Take red clay and shape it into a blunt triangle. Then, use a rolling pin to press a concave mark on one end. Roll out the clay around the concave mark.

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4. Use your fingers to pinch the clay in the middle and gradually mold it into a clay block that is wider at the bottom than at the top.

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5. Using your fingers, push the folded edges of the rolled-out clay towards the center and use a blade to trim the edges for a neat sleeve cuff.

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6. Apply body powder on the inside of the sleeve, then fold the sleeve in half to prevent it from sticking. Use a tool to pick up the sleeve, adjust the distribution of creases and the square droop.

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7. Using a detail needle, press the folds of the elbow to create varied sizes and lengths. Then, neatly trim the edge of the wide sleeves.

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8. Align the finished sleeves with the shoulders and glue them to both sides of the trunk.

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Making a Jade Pendant

1. Take green clay and roll it into a long strip. Wrap the strip around a circular cutting tool to make a clay ring, which can be used as a jade pendant. Cut a thin strip from a thin piece of brick-red clay and fold it in half to make a tassel. Cut a triangle from the brick-red clay and use a knife to create a straight line impression on the surface of the triangle to make a corn tassel.

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2. Align the red silk threads with the green loop on both sides and attach them well. Take a bubble bead and stick it to the lower end of the red thread, then attach a red tassel to the other end of the bubble bead. After the clay is dry, apply a layer of water-based varnish to the green loop.

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Making Hands

1. Roll skin clay into a long strip, then flatten one end to serve as the basic shape of the palm. Adjust the shape of the flattened end according to the length of the fingers. Cut out the fingers on the shape of the palm.

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2. Bend the fingers according to the knuckles, smooth the edges a bit with an tool, and press out the knuckles with detail needle. Make the remaining three fingers in the same way, except for the thumb.

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3. Roll the back of the hand and wrist a bit with detail needle to smooth the back of the hand. Make the other hand in the same way.

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4. Use skin clay to mold into a droplet shape to create the thumb. Stick the molded clay onto the thumb position and then trim it to shape.

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5. Adjust the shape of the thumb using a knitting needle, brush it with flattened water at the seam, wipe it with an alcohol cotton pad, and then press it with a knitting needle to make the seam invisible.

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6. Stick metal flakes on the belt, wear the jade pendant, and it's better to paste the hands onto the cuffs.

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Related Tip: Points for Making The Palm of Standard Scaled Figure

Making Head

Drawing Faces

1. First, use a reddish-brown color to outline the eyeliner, then use a heavier color on the lashes at the outer corner of the eye.

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2. Further outline the eyelashes and double eyelids, use dark gray to draw the eyebrows, and draw the eyebrows with fine lines.

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3. Continue using dark gray to outline the eyeball, and use white to evenly coat the sclera.

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4. Apply a deep gray color on the upper half of the eyeball and a light gray color on the lower half of the eyeball.

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5. Use light gray to draw shadows on the eyes and use black to create pupils.

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6. Use black eyeliner to draw a line on the eyelids and apply mascara on the eyelashes. Place a mole at the corner of the eye.

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7. Apply white highlighter to the eyes to enhance their texture.

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8. Draw lips using a pointed cotton swab dipped in red eyeshadow.

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9. Use a brush or a pen to dip into red eyeshadow and apply it as blush and eyeshadow. A small amount can be applied on the bridge of the nose to achieve a sweeter look.

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10. Apply highlighter to your lips.

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11. Brush a layer of water-based gloss oil onto the eyes.

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12. Apply a layer of water-based shining oil on the eyeliner and eyebrows.

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13. The make-up colors for characters in antique style should be more heavy. Before drawing the facial features, you can refer to more pictures to help with the drawing.

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Making Hair

1. Fill the gap between the face shape and the frame board with black clay, and pay attention to smoothing the clay at the back of the head after filling.

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2. Roll black clay into a long strip and flatten it. Use a texture plate to create hairline grooves on a thin sheet of clay, then cut out hair pieces based on the grooves. Follow the same method to create the hair strands. Roll clay into a thin sheet, create hairline grooves, and use a cutting blade to cut out strands.

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3. Starting from the sideburns, attach the hair pieces by taping them at the root. After they are attached, adjust the direction of the hair pieces and natural hair to ensure they flow seamlessly together.

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4. After attaching the hair pieces, stick some strands of hair in the middle of the pieces. Pay attention to adjust the direction of the strands to make them as consistent as possible with the nearby hair pieces.

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5. Making bangs hair clips, first cut a triangle-shaped piece of clay on a black thin sheet, then make an impression and cut out the grouped hair strands for the bangs hair clip based on the impression.

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6. Between the bangs and the back hair, attach a hairpiece that falls on the shoulder.

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7. Adjust the hairpiece before sticking a few strands of hair, making sure they are loose.

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8. Continue to attach hair strands in the gaps between the bangs and shoulder-length hairpieces, paying attention to the natural curve of the hair resting on the shoulder.

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9. First stick a hairpiece on the frame board at the back of the head, then cover the root of this hairpiece with another hairpiece to cover the back of the head up to the center part line.

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10. Prepare a large clay piece by attaching it from the center parting of the head down behind the shoulders. Cut off the excess clay piece and use an tool to make some hair marks.

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11. Add hair piece from the back of the head to the bangs, and when reaching the bangs, make sure to pinch the hair piece in order to create an arc that falls on the shoulders.

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12. Cut out a thin piece of hair and stick it on the forehead as bangs.

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13. Attach another piece of bangs to the previous bangs clip and use a crimping tool to create an outward curved shape at the root.

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14. Just attach another strand of hair and the girl's hairstyle is complete.

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15. Attach metal flower pieces, bubble beads, and caviar beads as hair accessories on the center of the girl's forehead.

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16. Make a red tassel out of clay with silk on the edges for a better look. Stick the tassel and a metal hair accessory to the hair on one side, and the girl's head will be completed.

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Making Background Decorations

Flowers & Trees

1. Prepare a small floral window, branches, and small red flowers. First, fix the characters in place, then use quick-drying glue 502 to fix the floral window and branches.

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2. Cut out the red little flowers, making sure to leave a bit of stem at the base. Apply UV glue to the end of the stem and stick it onto a tree branch, then use a UV lamp to dry it. Make a bunch of red flowers this way. Afterwards, pull off some petals and stick them onto the girl's body, hair, and picture frame.

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Making Jade Flute

1. Mix a bit of green color into some white resin clay and roll out the colored clay into thin sheets.

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2. Wrap a thin sheet around a thin tube, cut off excess clay, and finally flatten the clay.

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3. Press rounded marks on the jade-coloured long stick with a modeling ball according to the hollow of the flute, and use a sculpting tools to press a circle of marks on the lower end and tie it with a red clay thread.

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4. String the bubble beads together and apply 502 quick-drying glue to the end of the red clay wire to secure the bubble beads.

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5. Create another Chinese knot using red clay, fix it under the bubble bead using quick-drying adhesive 502, and finally attach the bubble bead onto the Chinese knot.

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6. After the resin clay is dry, brush a layer of water-based gloss oil on the surface of the jade flute, frame the clay figure painting, put the flute in the girl's hand, and finally fix the tassel with 502 fast-drying glue.

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