How to Make Fur Textures in Clay

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Use fur texturing methods to create a wide range of clay animals.
Use fur texturing methods to create a wide range of clay animals. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Carving clay animals requires understanding some basic techniques of working with clay. One of these techniques is creating a fur texture. A fur texture will give your animal a look and feel that is more realistic than if your animal has no texture at all. Carving a fur texture is a relatively simple process that is only complicated by the time it takes to create. It requires making many small cuts into your clay throughout the length of your sculpture.

Things You'll Need

  • Clay
  • Picture of your animal
  • Clay detailing tools
  • Clay baking oven

Sculpt your animal out of your clay. Set it on a table after you are finished to give yourself room to add texture to your animal.

Look at the picture of your animal to decide what type of fur style you want to use for your animal. For example, certain breeds of dogs have short fur while others have long and even curly strands.

Take out a detailing knife and push the tip into your clay wherever you want to start. Choose a starting position that you can work from easily, such as the top of the head. Push it down about 1/16 inch. Hold the knife perpendicular to the sculpture.

Cut your knife through the clay in a straight line. Slightly curve it as you carve to create curlier hair. Only cut about 1/8 to 1/16 inch or so, depending on the length of your animal's fur.

Take your knife out of the clay and move its position over a blade and a half length from your last cut. Make a similar cut in the same direction you made your last cut in.

Carve all the way around your animal in this method. Keep your lines parallel and roughly the same size. Make a few slightly longer or shorter to make it look more realistic.

Change the direction of your fur depending on the position of your body parts. Carve the fur along the length of the body part. Add detailed fur around parts like the legs, ears, nose and eyes.

Continue carving until you reach your original carving line. Take out your carving knife and move its starting position below the original line and carve in the same method. Repeat the process until you have textured the entire animal.

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