Foal head part 2

Here I will show you everything that happened after the sculpting stage! 

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Airbrushing! I find an airbrush gives much nicer gradients for this type of thing than can regular painting. I went over the whole thing in white (apart from eye and nose) and then sprayed various layers of paint around the eye and nose. 

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Using an awesome glue called fabri-tac I stuck mohair into this Mohawk. Usually I lay it horizontally going backward but I fancied the sort of stick-up mane that foals have for this. 

 

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Now this one is a little complex. I used a weird method called fur transfer. In a nutshell I got mohair fabric, stuck tape on the surface, turned it over and using an electric clipper shaved off the fabric backing. I then coated the back with layers of a glue called Prosaide from an airbrush. When that was dried it formed a new skin and I removed the tape. Prosaide is a contact adhesive so I brushed the neck with it and allowed both to dry fully, then I attached it really carefully.

 

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I did the same for the fluffy cheeks. 

 

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Prosaide is what I used from here on, mohair in the ears. 

 

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I cut short mohair furs and attached them by pressing them in. The entire head is tacky with Prosaide and the fur sticks well with enough layers of it. 

 

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Going down the face I work from back to front as that is how the hair grain is going on this. You need to always follow the grain forward.  For the area around the eyes and muzzle I attach rayon flocking which I pre-dyed to match the fur.

 

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Lashes!! This is a really hard step. I apply Prosaide inside the eye and once dry press in deer hairs using a tool. I then applied optically-clear resin (smooth-on Crystal Clear 200) making sure I go over the base of the hairs. This locks them there for all eternity.

 

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And baby you are done! I know this seemed shorter than the sculpting stage but in reality it is a lot more exacting, and the whole time you are covered in infuriating tacky glue and hairs. I also added a layer of the resin to the horn and nose for shine. 

Foal head process

In this blog post in going to show the process of making a medium sized unicorn foal head. I start with a block of foam, just the type that fills sofa cushions, and begin cutting it with large scissors. 

Here you can see I have the basic form. 

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Here I have further refined it and added eye holes of a sort. At this point I want the foam form to be thinner and smaller all over than the final piece, although the benefit of using this type of foam is that I can build into it later and it will compress.

The next step it fiberglass. This is a great material as it is so strong and hard and doesn't interact with the foam. I'm using AquaResin, a safe non-toxic water-based resin. 

I coated the whole surface in resin before layering strips of fiberglass over it. 

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I smoothed the whole thing down and put a few more layers on. AquaResin is great because it dries so fast too and the strength really is unbelievable.

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I used 22mm blue taxidermy eyes and carefully placed them in the sockets, building clay around them and repositioning them so they were even. I am using Padico Premier, a lightweight, air-dry stoneware clay.

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Here I'm building up the eye area with the same clay, forming eyelids and starting to bulk up the head.

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I've covered most of the form in clay now and am starting to rough in the underlying forms. 

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Once I'm done building up the basic forms I start carving down areas that are too large and this often means attacking the resin. The resin is very hard so unlike the clay it needs to be Dremeled. I use a blade attachment to cut through it and then use pliers to pull out the pieces. As you can see here I've removed the area behind the jaw. For other areas I used a sanding bit. 

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Here I cut out the area around the mouth using a diamond coated cone-shape bit. 

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Once I removed enough material I began building it back up with more of the clay. The clay is very strong when set but also easily workable. 

 

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You can easily see here how the clay and resin both form the surface, both having been worked down. You could probably spend more time on the resin stage getting it more like the form you want but fiberglass is hard to detail with and its just not how I work. 

I use polymer clay to form the area around the eye in more detail, this forms a nicer and more realistic base for the eye. I then do the same for the nose

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And the ears. I sculpt right onto the Premier clay and then put the whole sculpture in the oven so the polymer clay bakes right onto the model, I then sculpt over the polymer clay at the edges with the air-drying clay, which helps seal the polymer clay in place. The sculpting stage is more or less done now. Check back for the next stage! 

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