How to Create Scales for a Clay Dragon

by Alyssa Ideboen
Use colored modeling or polymer clay to make a dragon.

Use colored modeling or polymer clay to make a dragon.

Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

There is a certain tactile pleasure when sculpting with clay. For many, the feel of the substance molding beneath their fingers provides infinite satisfaction. Even for young children, making creations out of a simple dough helps them to refine motor skills and to learn how to create recognizable shapes. A dragon provides a dynamic and highly versatile subject, in which both amateurs and professionals can change to suit their imagination. Create scales for your next clay dragon to make it seem more realistic.

Items you will need

  • Plastic pen cap
  • Scissors
  • Rolling pin

Indented Scales

Step 1

Place the sculpted dragon on a flat work surface.

Step 2

Cut off the end of the pointed end of a plastic pen cap that serves as a clip, extending out from the circular opening of the pen. The open end of the cap will help you create the scale shapes.

Step 3

Hold the open end of the pen cap at a 45-degree angle, with one end touching the surface of the clay dragon. Press the end cap in lightly to create a half-circle shape. Push the cap deep enough to make an impression.

Step 4

Repeat the process, pressing another semi-circle shape into the clay, next to the previous shape. Continue across the dragon either horizontally or vertically to create a row of scales. Make another row of scales, pressing the half-circle shapes in between the lines of the first row to create a layered effect.

Surface Scales

Step 1

Place the sculpted dragon on a flat work surface.

Step 2

Roll a sheet of clay 1/8-inch thick with a rolling pin, using the same color clay as your dragon.

Step 3

Cut the pointed clip off a plastic pen cap with a pair of scissors. Trim the closed bottom at the opposite end of the pen cap to create another opening. Discard the tip and the bottom.

Step 4

Use the cut pen cap as a miniature cookie cutter, cutting out small circles from your sheet of clay.

Step 5

Peel the circles away from the sheet and layer them, slightly overlapping each other on the dragon. Press the clay circles into the surface of the dragon to get them to adhere.

Step 6

Continue cutting circles and layering the surface of the dragon with scales until it is completely covered.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the clay circles get stuck inside the pen cap, remove them by gently poking a toothpick through the opposite end.
  • Use larger objects such as a marker cap, spoon tip or socket screwdriver to get different sized scales.

References

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images