Painting a Fantasy Creature Head

๐Œ๐ž๐ž๐ญ ๐š ๐ƒ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ค๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐  | ๐‚๐ซ๐š๐Ÿ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š ๐ƒ๐š๐ซ๐ค ๐…๐š๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ž ๐‚๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐๐จ๐ฅ๐ฒ๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ ๐‚๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ ๐…๐š๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ฌ๐ฒ ๐€๐ซ๐ญ ๐ƒ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ

Meet the latest addition to the world Iโ€™m building, a dharkling. These dark faerie creatures are more your spooky fae spirits of old, along the lines of being strictly on the malicious side. Their wicked blades stab at dreams and theyโ€™ve certainly been known to carry out the abduction or two. But we shouldnโ€™t hold it against them too much, itโ€™s in their nature.

Watch the Crafting a Dark Faerie Creature with Polymer Clay

I played around with the design for this fantasy art doll in my sketchbook and I imagine them as a sort of race of dark faerie creatures. They might vary a bit and height and proportions, but they all have a similar look about them and even wear the same drab clothes. The dark upper part of the head was inspired by one of my favorite fantasy artists growing-up, Brom, though I hope I added enough of a twist with giving it a sort of dripping look. I also enjoyed this idea of the hair being these wispy tendrils that constantly languidly drift behind them. I imagine them having this unchanging neutral expression on their faces and they may not even speak at all. One element that Iโ€™m thrilled about is his dagger. I often end-up with a sharps container that little by little gets full of X-acto blades that Iโ€™ll have to eventually have to dispose ofโ€ฆ but I figured I could make them the blades of tiny daggers, so now I can upcycle them into mini weaponry!

crafting a dark faerie creature with polymer clay fantasy art doll

Darklings are said to be comprised of malignant shadows and spiteful dust. They are the Sleeping Emperorโ€™s knives of the eventide. Though others might speculate that their under the sway of the nefarious and secretive Dream Syndicate. With their hateful blades they come and cut away at your dreams if they live you living at all. They come stepping out of shadows and are gone in a whisper. Their faces the most unnerving of all as they gaze at you with a soulless, remorseless visage. Be wary traveler of the shadow that looks as though it is following you!

Shadows Wake

Shadows bide and shadows lied

Shadows lurk and shadows slink

Shadows stride and shadows hide

Shadows trick and shadows prick

Shadows take and shadows wake

-Efraen Childrenโ€™s Rhyme

Prints of โ€œDharklingโ€ are available here:

Open edition print (available until December 29, 2019)

Thanks for joining me so far and hereโ€™s to the adventures we have in future! To be the first to know when I launch new polymer clay art videos, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and hit the bell icon. Catch all of my videos here: You can also find many of the supplies I use in crafting here: And sign-up for my newsletter (in the sidebar) to get the latest studio goings-on! Thanks so much for joining me on this journey and until next time: Make. Believe!

Painting the Brambling | Painting a Fantasy Creature Head

Now that the brambling's head is sculpted to my liking, it's time to lay down some paint! When painting a fantasy creature head, it's actually kind of important to ground yourself in realism because bramblings are elusive in the wild! I had to do the next best thing and bring a couple of tree branches into the studio. Who'd have thought realism's the best strategy when painting a fantasy creature head? By looking at this tree branch I could observe that it was largely a warm grey tone with moments of green and brown on it rather than that iconic brown Crayola crayon that we might all instantly imagine.


Watch the Brambling Head Be Painted with Acrylics Here


I used a range of earth-tones in painting the fey creature's head- siennas, umbers, ochers, and greens with touches of grey tones to dull-down the pigments. I also painted the head generally lighter than I would have naturally due to the fact that I was about to embark on trying my hand with an ink wash technique...



In painting this head, I tried a technique that was new to me: using an acrylic ink wash with dark toned ink. I had carved a lot of bark texture all over the brambling and I wanted a way to darken the recessed areas that didn't involve my painstakingly painting in dark tones and then carefully trying not to undo this work as I painted-in lighter tones. Before I used the technique on the actual fantasy art doll head, I tested on scrap sculpted piece I had (who'd have thought I was doing myself a favor when I accidentally sculpted two right hands for this art doll?!). Admittedly, I still feel like I can do a better job at highlighting sculpted details with this technique, but overall, I'm happy with the outcome.


If you would like a print of the Brambling final image, you can purchase it HERE.


I hope you enjoyed exploring this magical fey creature as much as I have! To be the first to know when I launch new polymer clay art videos, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and hit the bell icon (but because YouTube's wonky, you can also join the newsletter). Catch all of my videos here: You can also find many of the supplies I use in crafting here: Until next time, make believe!