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Making Hands with Jack Johnston

Free Tutorial on Making "Hands"... Each week for the next few weeks Jack will show you clips from his full length how-to-films.

The tutorials will give you a brief look at making; Heads, hands, feet, shoes, boots, hair, beards, bodies, costumes, accessories, how to prepare your sculpture to stand without visible stands, etc.

Prosculpt-HandsThe third tutorial in this summer's series of tutorials will be making ProSculpt "hands". The supplies you will need to sculpt hands are: pre-made hand armature, ProSculpt, 3-1 sculpting tool. Knead your clay in to five finger roles, one role shaped wrist and forearm, two small balls for palm and the back of the hand. Shape your remade hand armature and cut the length of the fingers to fit your sculpture.


Bend-fingersBend the fingers to the shape you like. There are two basic poses; passive with hand forward in a relaxed pose and aggressive with hand back in an open position. I recommend you bend the fingers with small needle nose pliers. Remember there is a right hand and a left hand as you bend the armatures. I know this sounds rudimentary, but believe me making two left hands happens in every class I teach.




Prosculpt-tool-endLay one of the roles of clay over the top of the finger, over the end of the finger and down the underside of the finger. Now smooth the finger and seam it together. You may do this with the 3-1 tool primary sculpting end.




Hand-shapedContinue adding the roles of clay until you have covered all five fingers. Thin the tips so the finger is shaped like a carrot, wider at the base and smaller at the tips of the fingers. Make the length of each finger to look like a human hand. Notice the middle finger is the longest and the little finger is the shortest.






Backhand-shapeNow that you have five fingers on the hand, you may flatten the two balls of clay to make a palm and the back of the hand. Place them in their respective areas and move on to the wrist and forearm.



Finished-handCut the forearm in the middle like a hot dog bun and lay the wrist and forearm armature inside the clay bun. Now shape the palm, back of the hand, wrist and forearm to look like a finished hand.




Hand-aramatureI recommend holding the hand armature with a hemostat tool. This will keep you from holding the hand with your non sculpting hand and causing lumps and bumps in the surface of the clay. It will also keep the hand at room temperature. If you hold the clay with your hand as you sculpt it , the hand will eventually come up to your body temperature and make it very difficult to sculpt.







Finger-nailsNow you are ready to put on the fingernails using the other end of your Johnston 3-1 tool. Notice the tool has a concave shape cut into the tool, so as you lay the tool over the finger you can shape the fingernail using the tool as a mold. This is the most important part of making a hand. If the fingernails are beautiful the doll will be beautiful.





Veins-on-handDepending on the age of your doll you may wish to put veins on the back of the hand. If the doll is a young person then this step will not be necessary. If you are putting veins on, make small worms and lay them on the back of the hand. Smooth the edges of the worms to the hand and position them to look like the veins on the back of your husband's hands.







Final-touch-handFinishing touches include; knuckles, fingernails, veins, skin folds, creases, wrinkles, etc. You may paint the hand with china paint powder or a dry wash with acrylic paint just to add shadow, etc.





HandsAll of the supplies to make the ProSculpt "Hands" in this tutorial are available on sale at 20% off...When you check, out just use the discount code "guest20" to lower the prices on everything you purchase.






Heavy-gestureI recommend that you start with simple hands without a heavy gesture. Once you clearly understand the method of making hands you may have the hand hold an object. Notice the Crow Warrior is holding his rifle tightly in his right hand.This pose is difficult because the rifle and the hand had to be sculpted together and then cured in the oven as one.



Sculpting-toolJohnston 3-1 sculpting tool is one of the most important tools you can own. It includes the primary sculpting tool, the ear and the fingernail tool are on the other end. Click on this link to see a full selection of sculpting tools including the Johnston 3-1 tool.





Hand-aramature-presizeHand armatures are pre-made to fit dolls ranging in size from a 16 inch adult to a 24 inch adult dolls. Simply cut the tips and shape the hand to fit your sculpture. Click on this link to see the hand armatures.






Hands-dvdMaking Hands with Jack Johnston DVD. This 1 hour and 15 minute film clearly shows you how to make a hand starting with the pre-made hand armature to finishing the fingernails and painting the hands. Click on this link to see the DVD collection.






Prosculpt-colorsProSculpt clay comes in four colors; Caucasian Flesh, Ethnic Brown, Baby, and Fairy Light. Click on this link to see a full selection of ProSculpt clay.




JackYou will always receive FREE TECHNICAL ADVICE from Master Artist Jack Johnston. Just call our toll free number at 800-290-9998 and speak directly with Jack. He is easy to talk to, he is not only a friend to doll makers, but he is a fellow artist.

Tell your friends about the newest doll making website on the Internet. See it at www.artdolls.com

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