Some time ago someone requested a bit more detail when making horns for a trophy, especially big ones that are hard to make. Even though I explained myself as best as I could, I feel like a picture is really worth a thousand words. So I hope you find this post helpful.
To make Ysera’s horns, I was a bit tight on clay. It’s not that I was short on it, I just had enough and had to measure it properly. I also mixed a little bit of leftover glow-in-the-dark Fimo effect clay I had with the Fimo professional doll making clay. I never knew how strong that glow in the dark clay was! It has very little, but still glows quite a lot in the dark. Anyway, to start making the horns, I made some aluminium foil cores first, I measured the clay for each horn and split it into rolls. In the picture below you can see how much clay went into just one horn. When I’m making small horns, it’s easy to make them look nice even if they’re made out of thin layers, but this changed when you’ve got a big horn in your hands. So what I do is draw a line where the “back” of the horn is going to be. This way, I know exactly where to blend the ends together so the line won’t be too visible.
First, I wrap the aluminium foil in a layer and I work it until the surface is smooth (or smooth enough, anyway). For Ysera, I went with a layered clay type of horn. Let me tell you, a pasta roller machine saves you a lot of work here. Not only makes kneading easier on your hands/fingers, but with a bit of practice, you can make the perfect strips with the right thickness for things like this. I used an array of tools to get the horns looking nicely, including some silicon clay shapers to add some realistic ridges and imperfections. I also made the two holes necessary to “hang” the earrings from in the cheek bones. Something that I do that I find helps a lot, and is key to make the horns look natural, is so shape the base to match exactly the surface is going to be resting on. This way, when I add the skin layers, it looks like the bone/horn really is coming from underneath the skin.
I added a picture at the end for you to see the difference between a horn that’s been only baked, and one that’s been “aged” with bitumen of Judea. I really love that finish… don’t you?
An old steel dragon hailing from another plane. She's been living among humans for a while now, learning about them and using her artistic talent to make recreations of relevant draconic figures from her homeland. Her aim is to teach humans about her kin and learn about them in return.
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