Artists of Any Age Can Make This Cool Art!
A lot of artists have told us they love KAWS, so we decided to teach you how to do a springtime project inspired by his super cool commercial art!
About the Artist: KAWS
KAWS, whose real name is Brian Donnelly, is a super famous artist who you may have seen. He's a very famous street artist and started doing graffiti for a while. He's an American artist who went to college in New York and when he was there, he really wanted to make his art well-known. To make his art seen, he started doing graffiti on the buildings in New York. His graffiti was different than spray painting or tagging - he'd find art or a billboard and would paint his character on top of it. You can recognize his characters easily because they usually have X X eyes, and they have ears that are kind of like cross bones sticking out the sides.
The sculpture we're inspired by today was actually a sculpture KAWS did which was inspired by Bugs Bunny! If you're wondering why he was inspired by Bugs Bunny for his art, it was because before he was known as a contemporary artist, he was a commercial artist. Commercial artists are paid every day to go to work and do art. He had a super cool job doing backgrounds and animations for TV shows! He loved animated characters that you might love too: some of his favorites were Disney characters, Sesame Street characters, the Simpsons, Sonic and Nintendo characters, and others that he drew inspiration from. If you want to learn more about KAWS, you can check out his Instagram @KAWS.
What You'll Need
2 colors of clay (or Model Magic clay), we suggest one color is white
Scissors, to help cut the clay
Toothpick for details
PRO TIP: did you know you can make your Model Magic any color you want? If you buy a packet of white clay, you can color it with any marker you want, knead it, and it will magically turn into the color of your marker! Pretty neat!
Step 1: Organize Your Clay
We're going to organize our main color into 6 even pieces. First, split your clay in half. Then, split your clay into 3 pieces on each side, for a total of 6 even pieces. You can use scissors if it's easier to cut your clay into the squares you'll need.
Once you've got your pieces ready, take each one and roll it into a ball. You can use your hands or the table, but either way you want to make sure your spheres are as smooth as possible.
Step 2: Shape Your Head and Torso
To make the bunny sculpture, we're going to start with making the torso, which is the main center body part. Take one of your spheres and roll it into a cylinder, or a can shape.
OPTIONAL: for an advanced detail, look at KAWS' sculpture. You'll see sometimes the belly is a little bigger, so if you want to do it KAWS style, squeeze the torso a little bit in the middle to make the body more of an hourglass shape with a bigger belly.
Next, take one of your round spheres and we'll use it for the head. Make sure it's extra smooth and, when you're ready, put it right on top of the torso!
PRO TIP: if you have scraps as you go, make sure you save your scrap clay! We might be able to use it later, or if not on this project, use it for another project!
Step 3: Add Legs
Take your third ball of clay and your scissors for this next step. Cut your ball in half, and these will be the legs. First, roll the legs into little logs. They can be as long and skinny or short and fat as you want, but if you want it KAWS style, make your legs as long as your torso. PRO TIP: if you want your figure to be able to stand up, don't make your legs too skinny- they need to be able to hold your sculpture up! Stick your legs on your torso and blend them in a little bit if you want, but make sure not to change the shape of your torso.
Using the leftovers of your legs, make shoes! Cut them to be 2/3 and 1/3. Take the smaller piece and roll a little worm. The bigger 2/3 part will be the shoe. Shape the shoe into an oval. Attach the shoe to the leg and wrap the worm around the bottom of the foot - it looks like his socks. Make sure the shoes are extra stuck to the legs!
Step 4: Add Arms
Take your fourth ball for this step and cut it in half, just like we did in step 3. Set aside one half. Roll your shape into a log and cut that in half. You want your arms to be a little thinner than your legs, so make sure they're a little skinnier but still the same length. Attach your arms to the sides of the torso where arms go. Shape your arms however you want! If your arms are too long, you can cut them, or push them extra hard at the top of the shoulder so they don't come off.
Step 5: Add Bunny Ears
Take the other half of the ball you cut earlier and we'll use this ball to make the ears! Cut this ball in half and roll this into a log to shape your bunny ears. You're going to flatten them out a little, too. The ears are about as long as the head is, so you can measure your ears to the height of the head. If you want to adjust after seeing it on your sculpture, you can do that! If you can, make sure they're pretty straight on top of your sculpture's head.
OPTIONAL: If you want to try an advanced challenge, you can make a "headband" for the ears. Take a worm and flatten it really thin. Cut your flat shape and cut a rainbow on it, wrapping that over the head until it looks like a headband with bunny ears on it!
Step 6: Sculpt the Mouth
Take all of your leftover scraps and roll them into a super smooth small ball. When you have your ball done, roll it into a worm, but make it skinny. We're going to use this shape for the mouth, which kind of looks like a mustache or teeth. Cut your worm to be the length of the torso. Stick it at the bottom of the face and rub it in using your fingernail. As the clay starts to dry, it may spread out a little bit. Then, take your toothpick and press in a little line in the middle of your mouth. Then do another line on the right and the left of it, to make it look like teeth!
Step 7: Sculpt the Ears on the Side of the Face
We've sculpted the bunny ears, but there are cool details on the sides of the face we have to add. This will be the last thing we do with our main color of our clay. Take one of your balls and cut that in half. Taking one half, roll that into a log. Cut that into three even parts, and roll two of the pieces into smooth spheres. With your third piece, cut that in half, and shape those pieces into two smaller spheres. Lay out the big ears on the top of either side, and the small balls under those.
To shape it, take your small ball and press it in with your tooth pick. Pinch the bottom to look like a heart. Stick the pointed bottom of the heart and stick it onto the head! Make sure you do that for each ball and attach them really well to your head.
Step 8: Add Details With Your Second Color of Clay
Now it's time to switch to your second color! You can do white or any other color of clay that you have. Cut that clay into about 1/4 of a ball like what you had before. Roll that into a very skinny worm that's a little skinnier than a pencil, because we're going to use this for all of our details. Measure a little bit for the inside of the ears and flatten it - make sure it still fits inside the ear!
Once your ears are done, let's add the patch of fur on the torso. Take about an inch of the worm you rolled out. Roll it into a ball and flatten it into an oval and stretch it until it's the shape that's going to fit on your character's torso.
Next, roll a super skinny worm that's the thickness of the toothpick. Take some of that worm and go around the neck, and make a bow too for the character's bow necklace.
Now, we're going to do the gloves. These can be tricky, so follow along with Kim's video and pause if you need some extra time. Taking another worm, loop a little bit of a cuff on the ends of the arms - this will be the tops of the gloves. Now, take two circles of clay, and flatten them a bit and shape them into little squares. Make sure they're the same size! Take the worm and cut three fingers and a thumb for each square. Lay them on top of the square in position (with the thumbs on the inside of the hands), and trim and blend the gloves as you need to. Make sure your gloves are stuck onto your arms REALLY well!
Step 9: Add Final Details With Your Toothpick
We're done sculpting, and it's looking great! Now we're going to add some cool details with your toothpick. First, take your toothpick and press in two X shapes on the shoes, to resemble the shoelaces. Then, press in the same X shapes on top of the gloves. Make sure this is on the outsides of both gloves. We're going to do the same thing on the face for the eyes - make two X X shapes on the eyes. You can add two nostrils too!
PRO TIP: try doing this lightly first to make sure you like the shape, and then press in again a little deeper when you're positive you like the shape.
TA DA! If you want your character to stand on its own, make sure you shape it however you want it to be posed when it's a little bit more dry. Then it'll fully dry after a day and be frozen in the pose you chose!