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I was having some trouble finding a monk miniature that I liked for my D&D character, so I decided to learn how to use greenstuff to make my own. I played around with it and looked up different tutorials but so far this is my third sculpt, and my second using an armature. Anywho, enough about all that nonsense. 

 

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There's a lot I have to learn, so any criticism and advice would be very helpful! 

 

Here's a shot with the reference photo in the back.

 post-15198-0-05192800-1474219492_thumb.jpg

 

 

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Dang good, especially for your 3rd!!

 

Thank you, I am an artist so I paint and draw a lot, but never sculpted.  The art training seems to help my sculpting though. 

 

 

  Your knowledge of anatomy and the physics of how objects interact with each other applies equally to both disciplines. Being able to draw an item in a two-dimensional picture requires being able to visualize it in three dimensions, and the majority of miniature sculpting is additive rather than reductive, so in essence you're really just "painting" the putty onto the figure...

 

I find that for most new sculptors, it's the lack of artistic background - and thus the lack of detailed knowledge of anatomy and object physics - that tends to trip them up as proportion and perspective are a lot harder to learn than the basic skills of how to push the putty around...

Outside of a couple of looong, long ago art classes in school, most of my art knowledge comes from my image manipulation work, but what I've learned there helps to inform my mini painting and sculpting, and vise versa...

 

The obligatory standard advice for anyone - work on blending your edges and the crispness of your details...

What sort of tools are you using for your sculpting?

Edited by Mad Jack
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Okay so first off... Thank you all for such a warm reception! I have been working on the mini some more here and there, but my day job really has taken much of my focus. Any time I have to play and sculpt is just that. 
 

Your knowledge of anatomy and the physics of how objects interact with each other applies equally to both disciplines. Being able to draw an item in a two-dimensional picture requires being able to visualize it in three dimensions, and the majority of miniature sculpting is additive rather than reductive, so in essence you're really just "painting" the putty onto the figure...
 
I find that for most new sculptors, it's the lack of artistic background - and thus the lack of detailed knowledge of anatomy and object physics - that tends to trip them up as proportion and perspective are a lot harder to learn than the basic skills of how to push the putty around...
Outside of a couple of looong, long ago art classes in school, most of my art knowledge comes from my image manipulation work, but what I've learned there helps to inform my mini painting and sculpting, and vise versa...
 
The obligatory standard advice for anyone - work on blending your edges and the crispness of your details...
What sort of tools are you using for your sculpting?

 
Mad Jack, I believe you have the right of it.
 
My tools are really simple. 
post-15198-0-46258300-1477112234_thumb.jpg
I use a tool for most of my sculpting that I got out of a travel grooming set. That two ended piece, I think it's called a pusher, works well for adding on and moving the greenstuff around. For finer details, I use a needle stuck into a cork. The rest is fairly straightforward, cork and wire for armatures, scissors for cutting off bits of greenstuff, and I just started using milliput, but haven't really gotten round to using it for miniatures. I don't get much crazier than that. I've been meaning to pick up a set of tools now that I'm getting into it, but until then I use what I can find. I think my maxim has been so far "It's the skill what makes an artist, not his tools." Or maybe that's just me making up for not having decent tools. 
 
So here's an update. 
 
I made a lot of progress, and like what has come so far. I brought the top part down into a Monkish type garment that I saw frequently on my reference hunts. I neglected to take pictures each step, but I also put together a base out of cork and greenstuff. I also started roughly painting and I think I might have jumped the gun on that, because I added some extra greenstuff after. like bringing the garment down, and adding a leather pouch to his belt. 

 

post-15198-0-69992200-1477111581_thumb.jpg

For the base, I took a large piece of cork and broke it up. I got this from various youtube and pinterest tutorials when I was researching. I wanted to evoke the whole idea of training on/by a river. Seems to be a classic image. I painted the cork black but didn't like how rough it was, so i added some greenstuff to smooth it out. 

 

 I wish I had taken the time to really document each step like I intended to.
 
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I added the pouch on because I thought his back looked a bit plain. I was going to maybe add nunchucks or something else, but I am happy with the small accent of the pouch. 
Okay, I have to admit, I really like how the pouch turned out. It's probably my favorite part. 

 

 

post-15198-0-64353100-1477114251_thumb.jpg

So this is where I'm at. 

 

Also, apologies for the crappy photos. I really need to purchase a decent camera and stop using my iphone. 

Edited by ScruffyPidgeon
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 A set of sculpting tools isn't particularly expensive, and if you do some research you can often find them someplace for a fair bit cheaper than usual. Google "wax carvers" and "color shapers". Also, you can go to your local supermarket and pick up a dental pick in the toothpaste aisle, which is one of the tools included in the set of sculpting tools. Most of the professionals use a mix of store-bought sculpting tools, a hobby knife and their own home-made tools constructed from flattened steel wire.

For years I worked with nothing but a hobby knife and a needle, before I picked up my own set of sculpting tools - and then a couple of years ago I needed more specific tools for a project and built two different sets of consecutively smaller tools. (My smallest are made from the same pins I use to pin the hands onto my minis, lol.) I actually have something similar to the cuticle pusher you have there in my collection of random "tools" that I keep around for specific purposes, as well as the tips of a couple of mechanical pencils, a nut pick, and a stitch ripper.

 

From what's in your picture of your tools, I'd suggest just adding a hobby knife (the different sizes and shapes of of X-acto blades are useful for different aspects, but a regular $2 Testors blade will work just as well), a dental pick, and at least one color shaper to help you blend your edges.

 

One issue that you may or may not have run into yet is that the handles of your tools are fairly wide and short, and completely straight rather than angled, which somewhat limits your ability to see your work and to push the putty in specific ways in tighter areas... You also don't have a tool with a tip size inbetween the nail shaper and the needle.

The hobby knife has a tapered blade so the various parts of it can be used for different applications (flat side as well as the blade and the point), and the dental pick is hooked which allows you to manipulate the putty from different angles. The color shaper/clay shapers come in several different shapes and degrees of firmness, but a cup round is probably the most useful for blending.

 

  If you have a Dremel tool or other thing with a grinding bit on it, you can (very carefully) manufacture your own tools from stiff wire by grinding and filing it into various shapes, or hammering it out mostly flat and then grinding it. handles can be made from everything from pencils to chopsticks to wooden dowels or stick you found outside. This is a pic of the tools I made - the first is just a copy of the metal one above it, while the second has a pointed pin on one end while the other is flattened and rounded like a popsicle stick. I've heard that Andy Pieper (Talespinner on the forum) uses a tool that looks like one half of a spade, or the letter P but tapering to a point on the top.

Edited by Mad Jack

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The pose is great! And I don't really see anything wrong with the anatomy -- that looks great, too.

 

I think the biggest suggestion I have is to echo Mad Jack's suggestion about clay shapers. They're amazing, and they'll let you do smooth cloth folds like nobody's business. The small firm (black color) shapers are like having tiny fingers, and they're great on Green Stuff, Beesputty, Apoxie -- everything -- as long as they're lubed up.

 

You can get clay shapers at most art shops, but I've only been able to find the size 0 ones at Hangar 18.

 

If you're not interested in getting a whole set, I'd suggest at least getting the round, and the flat chisel shapes. I rarely use the other shapes, but I use my round and flat chisel ones enough that I've had to replace them.

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Guest Lumi

Another advocate for adding clay shapers to your tool selection. Yor form looks well balanced and dynamic and your anatomy seems to be well formed.

 

Remember to work in small portions with the green stuff, never underestimate the power of licking your tools (or using petroleum jelly) to smooth things out. Working on edge control would be my number one critique.

 

As far as tools go- grab a cheap pack of those wooden handles tools from hobby lobby, stiff piano wire, needles, or those metal skewers for cooking and just play with making different shapes and edges. Use a drunken tool and a hammer and just experiment. The more you sculpt the more you'll know what shapes work best for what and what you're missing from your toolbox.

 

Keep at it, this looks great!

Edited by Lumi

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The pose is great, as is anatomy basics.

 

You may want to study clothing folds. Did you work from a sketch or picture?

 

My sculpting kit may be a tad large, but I use them depending on what effect I want:

 

 

 

sculptingtools.jpg

 

 

 

Having enough tools gives you options.

Edited by Kheprera
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