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Balloon modeling is easy!

And the little doggy embodies the very basics of balloon sculpture!

So it made perfect sense for Môssieur Ballon to choose this iconic model for this first video tutorial, to teach you a few basic concepts of balloon twisting!

For example, it's essential to learn how to inflate a balloon properly and control air pressure throughout the making of the balloon sculpture (or else it might burst, or conversely, undo itself).

And of course, you will learn how to make the very first basic shape in balloon modeling: the bubble (and its elongated variant, the "sausage").

Make sure you master all these techniques perfectly. Practice regularly... And who knows, maybe some day your balloon sculptures will end up in an exhibit at the Palace of Versailles?

This tutorial is in two parts, the first one is a detailed video which is followed by a step by step photo guide. Last but not least, a comment section is now available if you need support.

 

Video Tutorial

To start out, a simplified version of the balloon dog will enable you to take your first steps without too much difficulty. Then, after getting the chance to practice alongside Môssieur Ballon (pausing the video if necessary, or studying the step-by-step photo guide), an improved version of the balloon dog will enable you to perfect your new skills.

Video in French, with English subtitles (if captions do not automatically display in your favorite language, you simply need to modify YouTube parameters at the bottom right of the video screen).

Well, a promise made is a promise kept! Môssieur Ballon has decided to share his secrets with you. We will of course start with the basics of balloon modeling, learning how to make a little dog.

So, first things first... we're going to inflate this balloon, but not all the way! You see, I'm leaving about... Say, four fingers in width! Four fingers... ok, I can even deflate it a little and tie my knot.

And... So, don't worry, I'm going to go quite fast... I'm going to go quite fast, but we'll look over all this again from scratch.

(Môssieur Ballon makes the little balloon dog)

And what we have... is the little dog!

So while I'm starting over with the little dog. I'd like to remind you to inflate a balloon, and leave about four fingers deflated!

So, we're going to make one sausage... two sausages... three sausages... while making sure that the last two sausages are the same size. If they're not the same size, at this point it's not too late to start over.

Put them side by side to check, press at their base and twist the last two sausages together several times. And there, you'll see the dog's head and its two ears take shape.

Now, for the neck... it'll be a little bubble, that's it! So, to make our sausages, if you're wondering, all you need to do is press... press the balloon, and twist it at the same time, and that's it!

Now, to make sure that the two legs are the same size, I press and twist them side by side so I'm sure they're the same size.

Moving on! From time to time I press on the balloon, to push air towards the reserve.

A little stomach... one hind leg... two hind legs... straighten all this out... and here's the puppy dog!

How could we improve this little dog? Well first, we could give it slightly more rounded shapes, because it's a balloon after all, but everything is totally stiff! So, look... if I do this little thing (handles the balloon)... I'm going to give a slightly curved shape to my dog's tail!

Next, for the stomach, same thing... all you need to do is press a little like this, and you can see it gives it a cute-looking little tummy!

(Môssieur Ballon is now going to make an alternative head for the dog)

Like we did with the first version of the little dog, you press between the ears, and turn! But here, instead of leaving the ears on top, that's the style... let's say... of a German Shepherd, we're going to make this one Cocker style, with its ears drooping down.

So we're going to use the knot, which we're going to stretch out, and wedge at the base of the ears! Then, we're going to wedge this part by twisting the ears and pulling them apart. Now this makes it a bit more complicated, but you can see it gives us a dog's head that's slightly different. So that we recognize it better, we're going to draw on its nose, its eyes... there!

So, back to work, now I'll make one at my normal speed, and you'll try to make it alongside me. If you can do it... well, that means you're very close to a professional level, and you should maybe consider not just doing this for fun, but making a job of it! Normally, it takes a little under a minute, at most, to make a dog like this, maybe even a few seconds.

So you'll see, as I go along I'm controlling the air that's inside the balloon. And that's really what makes the difference between a beginner and someone who's more used to this: controlling the air pressure in your balloons.

If you don't control it, one of two things can happen... (and here's the doggy)... If you don't control the air in your balloon, one of two things may happen: either the balloon will be too inflated and will burst, or the opposite will happen, it won't stay together and will get undone. There!

What have we learned making the little dog? Well, we've learned several things.

First we've learned that you must never inflate the balloon all the way. You need to always leave a little reserve for the air. As you go along handling the balloon and tying knots, the air will fill the room left for it at the far end of the balloon.

Secondly, we've learned to make balloon "sausages". To make a sausage, all you need to do is press the balloon and twist!

Thirdly, we've learned that you only need to hold the beginning and end of the balloon, and not worry about the middle, which allows you to make a whole string of sausages without it ever getting undone. No need to go this way, or go like that... It's very complicated like this, isn't it? There's no need, you only need to hold the beginning, and the end!

What else have we learned? We've learned to make little bubbles. This is going to be very important for the end. Little bubbles are like sausages, only smaller. Like little cocktail sausages! There!

Then, one last thing, a word of advice, control the air pressure well! The issue beginners come across is that often, the beginning of the balloon will be so inflated it's bursting at the seams, and at the other end, there's still room for air. What you need to do is, as you go along, press the balloon, just like this! See, when I press the balloon, the reserve fills up... Look! So, gradually, you make a sausage, a second sausage, a third sausage... and there, you press the balloon a little, to make sure the pressure is balanced all along the balloon sculpture.

Make sure to practice, and see you soon! For our next lesson... with Môssieur Ballon!

 

Step-By-Step Photo Guide

 

balloon dog twisting step 1
1- Inflate a balloon leaving a margin at the end of about the width of a hand. Then tie a knot without making it too tight.
twisting balloon dog step 2
2- Starting from the knotted end, make a first bubble about three fingers wide at most. This will be the dog's head.
balloon dog twisting step 3
3- Make two more bubbles following it, of the same size as the first. These will be its two ears.
balloon dog twisting step 4
4- Place the ears side by side.
balloon dog twisting step 5
5- Press two fingers at their base to pinch both folds together...
balloon dog twisting step 6
6- and with your other hand, twist both ears ears together around their base several times to keep them in place.
balloon dog twisting step 7
7- Two ears appear, pointing straight up on top of the dog's head. This is the simplest version of the iconic balloon dog.
balloon dog twisting step 8
8- To make a dog with floppy ears, hold the knot with one hand...
balloon dog twisting step 9
9- then, with the other hand, pull on the nozzle while keeping the knot firmly pinched, to free up an extra length of balloon.
balloon dog twisting step 10
10- Pull the nozzle under the fold at the bottom of the ears...
balloon dog twisting step 11
11- take it from the other side of the fold and stretch the length of balloon further.
balloon dog twisting step 12
12- Roll the nozzle around this fold again in the same way at least two or three more times.
balloon dog twisting step 13
13- Next, turn around the dog's head and pull apart the top of the two bubbles forming the ears, to wedge in the top of the head bubble.
balloon dog twisting step 14
14- On the other side of the ears, wedge in the top of the remaining portion of balloon in the same way.
balloon dog twisting step 15
15- Like this, you get the head of a dog with floppy ears.
balloon dog twisting step 16
16- To shape the neck, be sure to make a small bubble. Don't make it too big, this isn't a giraffe!
balloon dog twisting step 17
17- Hold the head well so the neck bubble doesn't escape, and shape the first front leg.
balloon dog twisting step 18
18- Then, shape the second front leg, making sure it's the same size as the first one.
balloon dog twisting step 19
19- Bring the two legs together...
balloon dog twisting step 20
20- then, as for the ears, press the base of both bubbles together, and twist them together several times to block them together.
balloon dog twisting step 21
21- If need be, rearrange each part so that the doggy's head and front legs are facing in the right direction.
balloon dog twisting step 22
22- Make a longer bubble for the stomach.
balloon dog twisting step 23
23- To make the first hind leg, place the remaining portion of balloon parallel to the front legs...
balloon dog twisting step 24
24- so that it's easier to compare their size. Obviously, they need to be roughly the same length.
balloon dog twisting step 25
25- You also need to check that the second hind leg is the same length as the first one.
balloon dog twisting step 26
26- As for the ears and the front legs, bring the hind legs close together...
balloon dog twisting step 27
27- press their base and twist both bubbles together to block the hind legs together.
balloon dog twisting step 28
28- Now this is starting to look like a little dog. Now, we need to improve a few details for our dog to be less stiff and more natural-looking.
balloon dog twisting step 29
29- Hold both ends of the stomach bubble and gently move them back and forth, to rub them gently against each other at the center of the bubble.
balloon dog twisting step 30
30- Next, press the tail bubble between your hands, to form an S shape, and like previously, rub gently at the folds of the S.
balloon dog twisting step 31
31- Now we have a little dog with much more natural and nice-looking curves.
balloon dog twisting step 32
32- Draw a few features on the dog to bring it to life.
balloon dog twisting last step
33- Alternatively, to get a shorter tail, make the legs longer.
the balloon dog all done
And here is your balloon dog... Well done!

 

 

Do you need more help to make this balloon dog?

This tutorial has been updated recently and a comment section has been added. Do not hesitate to use it if you have any reaction or question or if you need any kind of help.
I'm here to help.

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