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Making Heads with Jack Johnston

Free Tutorial on Making "Heads"... 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.

EyesThe second tutorial will be making ProSculpt heads. The supplies you will need to sculpt a head is: pre-made head armature, ProSculpt, glass eyes, 3-1 sculpting tool. Place the eyes in the sockets on the head armature. Make a pancake of clay 1/4 inch thick. Lay the pancake on the back of the head.

Covered-headOnce you have covered the back of the head cure it in the oven at 275 degrees for 15 minutes. Having the back of the head hard, you have something to hold onto while you sculpt the face. I do not like to hold on to the wet clay because it gets too hot and it distorts the head.

PancakeMake another pancake and lay it over the face. Press down over the eyes with your thumbs until the eyes just start to peek through.

Proscuplting-toolUsing your primary sculpting tool open the eyes by pressing the upper lid up and the lower lid down. Don't spend too much time sculpting on the eyes, all you need to know is where they are. We will come back to them later.

Structuring-faceBuild the chin up with additional clay. Apply the nose and make a simple line to define the mouth.

Mouth-shapeShape the mouth by pressing up on the upper lip and down on the lower lip. Shape the lips with your primary tool. In some cases you may have to add a slight amount of clay to puff the lips up. Do not add too much clay, a little goes a long way.

Head-attachedPull the face back on the sides to attach it to the back of the head. Complete the features and cure the head in the oven at 275 degrees for 15 minutes.

NeckAfter the head is cured and cooled you may make the neck out of a piece of clay shaped like to hollow log. Lay the head down over the hole in the neck and sculpt the two together. Once the neck is shaped you may cure the neck to the head at 275 degrees for 15 minutes.

Making-earYou may wish to cure one ear at a time. By curing them separately you won't risk smashing one while you do the second one. Don't worry about curing the clay too much. I cure every head at least five times. ProSculpt will not change color in multiple curing as long as your oven is no hotter that 285 for 10-15 minutes per curing. In my next class I will show you how to put on the paint and the hair. As you can see below, it is simple to put on short hair, eye brows, and a beard.


All of the supplies to make the ProSculpt "head" in this tutorial and the "boots" shown in last week's 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.

I recommend you start by making a head using a pre-made armature. I have the head armatures in three sizes, small head for a 16" character, medium for an 18", and large for a 20-24 inch tall character. The one I made in the tutorial is the medium head for an 18" character doll.

Head-armatureYou may purchase any one of the sizes you like, for the small head. I recommend you use 6mm eyes for the small head, 8mm for the medium and 10mm for the large head.
Click on this link to see the head armatures.

Eyes-armatureThese eyes are designed to fit perfectly in the eye sockets of the head armatures. The advantage of using glass eyes is that they will not melt in the oven and they will hold their color. You may select the eyes in the size and color you like by clicking on this link.

Shoe-armatureLast week I showed how to make "Boots" using pre-made foot armatures. The armatures shown in this image are made specifically for Boots. We also have them made for flat shoes without the high heel. To see the foot armatures
Just click on this link.

Dvd-makingI recommend "Making Artdolls" DVD to begin with. It shows everything you need to know about making the complete doll. You may see the entire collection of DVD's by clicking on this link.

JackRemember you will always receive FREE TECHNICAL ADVICE from one of our MASTER ARTISTS. Just call our toll free number at 800-290-9998 and speak with Mr. Johnston. He is easy to talk to, he is not only a friend to doll makers, but he is a fellow artist.

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