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Here is a slightly more complex figure, however, all the techniques used have all been already covered in the doggy and sword tutorials

This is therefore really only a new practice exercise and a new figure to add to your 'repertoire'.

Recommendation: After following the tutorial and creating this sculpture two or three times, start over, but this time paying very close attention to those small details that make the whole difference between work that's thorough and work that's shoddy:

  • Are all the bubbles for the frog's eyes round and the same size? Or are they too long, or unequal?
  • Are the bubbles for the front legs well-proportioned and small enough? Or are they too big and difficult to fit into the hind legs, which are now too small because there wasn't really enough length remaining to make them appropriately.
  • Have the segments for the two hind legs been formed into two, long, separate bubbles? Or have they inexplicably been replaced by a single loop? What is the loop even meant to represent? Nobody knows.
  • Have the eyes been drawn widely enough? Or are they just simple black dots, almost impossible to make out?
  • Is the curve of the mouth drawn as a wave that's upturned at each end and takes up most of the available surface? Or is it just some kind of tiny semi-circle? (Tip:  Take a sheet of rough paper, and practice drawing the curve in a single stroke, several dozen times if you have to, before trying it again on the balloon)
  • etc.

Learning balloon modeling, like learning to play an instrument, develops muscle memory and dexterity. If you don't make an effort from the start to pick up the right habits and develop the right movements, you will instead pick up technical weaknesses you will have a very hard time getting rid of later on. There is no point in having hundreds of balloon sculptures in your portfolio if not one of them is carried out properly.

 

Video Tutorial

Video in French, with English subtitles

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Hello, and welcome on Môssieur Ballon's website.

Today, Môssieur Ballon will teach you how to make a frog.

This time I won't be teaching you any new techniques.

What you've learned with the puppy dog, and with the sword, will be enough to make this frog!

So like we did for the dog, we're going to blow up a balloon, and leave about the width... the width of a hand.

We're going to leave about a hand's width which won't be inflated.

We tie our little knot, and we're going to start by making... a bubble... two bubbles... three bubbles...

Remember, there is no need to hold the bubbles in the middle.

You hold the beginning and you hold the end!

One bubble, two bubbles, three bubbles, four bubbles, and you take the knot of the balloon, which you then hook up to the base of the fourth bubble.

So you can see I still have it between my fingers, and I'm just turning... and turning all four bubbles...

And... there, to make sure it's secure, I'm passing the knot in the middle of the four bubbles.

And here's the shape I get, try to get this shape yourself.

Then, we're going to make another shape that we've come across with the sword... a loop, a small loop!

So, to give you an idea of the size of the loop, we'd want it a little bit bigger than the four little bubbles.

So, this time, I'm going to press my balloon to push the air towards the reserve, so that this loop is not too inflated. It actually needs to be... quite soft.

But not too soft!

Try a couple of times until you find the right consistency.

Here's... what I've made!

So, before you tell me this doesn't really look like a frog

Here's what we'll do now.

The two little bubbles on top are going to be wedged inside the loop.

So to do this, I pass both of my forefingers through the loop on the other side.

With my thumbs, i'm going to force these (top) two bubbles into the loop and then, take out my fingers!

And you can see that here, we just have the frog's two eyes!

What do you think?

We're going to keep pressing the balloon so that the lining (of the balloon) isn't too strained.

Another little bubble that you're going to make into a "bean", what's known as a pinch-twist!

What's a pinch-twist? It's simple!

All you have to do is place your finger above (the bubble), to pinch both ends (of the bubble, against each other), to pull (the bubble), and twist it around.

And you can see you have a little "bean", the pinch-wist, wedging the head of the frog horizontally against the rest of its body.

Well this frog is almost finished, you can even see we don't have much air left.

We're going to make two little front legs, it's very important that these legs shouldn't be too big.

We'll twist them at the base of the pinch-twist, and they will come and sit there quite naturally.

Very good! The stomach of the frog will be located a bit further than its legs.

Then, you cut... so to speak... you fold the balloon, at almost half way (of the remaining length).

The end needs to be a little bit longer (so we can make one last bubble).

So, the little stomach... one hind leg... two hind legs... and a little tail... that you attach like this.

Then all you'll need is to wedge the frog's front legs into its back legs!

And here's our little frog!

As we've grown accustomed to doing, I'll make the frog again at my usual speed.

Practise... try to go as fast as me, when you can do that... you'll be a professional ballooner!

The day you can do this... you'll have reached the stage where you could be a professional ballooner!

The finishing touches...

And here... we can really say... that a little touch of marker... brings a balloon sculpture to life!

What have we learned thanks to our little frogs?

Well in fact... we haven't learned anything!

Really! All the techniques used to make the frog, we've learned while making the little dog, and the air sword.

But we've still used an important concept,

What is it?

Practice... practice!

To be a very good ballooner, you need to practise, you need to train, you need to make a balloon... two balloons... a hundred balloons!

So practise! You can now make a little dog, you can make a sword, you can make a frog...

Next time, I'll teach you how to make a little tiger, which doesn't take any particular trick to make, other than the ones I've already taught you... which are:

the little sausage, the little bubble, the Pinch-Twist, air pressure control, and attention to detail!

So... See you soon!

For another lesson with Môssieur Ballon!

 

Step-By-Step Photo Guide

 

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.
2- Starting from the knotted end, make a first, well-rounded bubble, about two fingers wide at most.
3- Make three more bubbles following it, of the same size as the first.
4- Pull the knot of the balloon and hold it to the base of the four bubbles...
5- then twist all four bubbles together several times, while holding the knot to their base, to block the assembly together.
6- The result should look like this.
7- Fold the balloon at a length that's slightly larger than the height of the four bubbles to form a loop.
8- Block the loop at the base of the bubbles.
9- Open the loop wide with your middle fingers and place your thumbs on each of the top bubbles.
10- Press the two top bubbles making a clamp movement towards the inside of the loop, still held firmly with your middle fingers.
11- Push the two top bubbles all the way into the loop, pressing in increments so that the friction on the lining of the balloon isn't too high.
12- Once the two top bubbles come out on the other side of the loop, take hold of them and finish embedding them on the other side of the loop. (Careful: Don't push the bottom bubbles through at the same time!)
13- Then form a little, well-rounded bubble...
14- and make that bubble into a "pinch-twist"
15- The result should look like this (this will be the head, seen from the back).
16- And here is the head, seen from the front.
17- Next, form a bubble about three fingers wide.
18- Form a second bubble making sure it's the same size as the first, and bring them together...
19- press them together at the base, and twist them together several times to block them together.
20- Our frog now has a whole head and two front legs.
21- Make a longer bubble for the body.
22- Then, with the remaining length of balloon, make two big bubbles of the same length (the hind legs), followed by a final, small, round bubble.
23- Press the hind legs together at the base and twist them together several times to block them together.
24- Give a rounded shape to the frog's stomach.
25- Now you need to insert the short front legs between the long hind legs.
26- Widen the gap between the hind legs if need be, but not too much. There still needs to be enough tension to keep the front legs in place.
27- Here is our little frog with no drawing on it.
28- And here it is, drawn on with a black felt-tip marker and a few touches of white.
29- The body can be positioned in several ways. It can be pushed between the two hind legs...
30- or, conversely, left to stick out which gives the frog an arched back. The back can also be shorter, it's at your discretion.
31- And there!

And that was the end of this lesson!

 

Document-pdf Download the PDF guide sheet with detailed photos of each step

 

Basic balloon twisting techniques used in this tutorial:

Reminder: It is essential that you master these basic skills! Please practise these techniques until you do.