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Hey all! This thread will be about my sculpting journey. I hope that by showing the time and effort it takes it pursue an art, others would be excited about trying it without getting discouraged by the climb up. I plan on posting daily here - I might as well continue my daily art streak!


Some days might have some cool stuff, but many will probably be like, "Oh man. I sculpted a lot of fur today. A. Lot."

Anyways. Hopefully y'all will get some enjoyment out of it. ^_^ Here's to day 1 (tomorrow)!


Comments and praise are appreciated, but please give critiques too!


Links to Sculpting Posts:

Anatomy Practice Skeleton:

06/19/17     06/20/17     06/21/17    06/22/17     06/23/17     06/24/17     06/25/17 RIP in pieces


First and Second Miniatures:

06/26/17     06/27/17     06/28/17     06/29/17     06/30/17     07/01/17     07/02/17     

Week 2. Nearly nonexistent. OUCH. I snuck in a little art doodle time to not break my streak!   

07/10/17    07/12/17      07/13/17     07/18/17


Anatomy and Drapery Studies:

Hogarth Mini 2 - legs and feet

Pelvis Day


Sculpting a Bust (Nerali Fendyn, Dunmer inspired):

Collect references and sketches!


Practice with Fimo

And we're practicing....

I ran out time to practice! Here's the body.

The Face: Part 1, Part 2

Kill it all, restart a million times over a week.

The Hair: Part 1, Part 2




Sculpting a 72mm Figure (Sora Swifthistle, Sylvari):

Collect references and sketches!

The Armature: Part 1, Part 2 
Legs: Part 1, Part 2


54mm Skeleton

The armature and hips        Legs

Tiny watering can                Arms



03844: Damaris (Maeryn/Maria Rumbeard) Different thread.

Edited by Morihalda
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Let's go BIG for the first day, shall we? 


Back in February, I tried clawing out a few hours a week for sculpting. It was difficult!  But it's okay to just have a few minutes of art every day - it's better than none at all! Anyways, I got about 20 hours in to making this "écorché," which is this fun word for a figure that shows where the muscles are on the body! I wanted to have a good reference for when I was drawing and sculpting, so instead of spending a ton of money on one, I thought I would make one. It will also stick to my brain a bit better. I found a lesson plan by Rey Bustos (who is AMAZING <3) on New Masters Academy and completed the first few episodes, though I will be continuing this with books instead of resubscribing to the website.


Step 1: Gather your references!

Books used:

Classic Human Anatomy by Valerie L. Winslow

Anatomy for Sculptors by Uldis Zarins and Sandis Kondrats


Step 2: Learn Anatomy!

I've learned that it's incredibly important to make sure that the anatomy is correct before adding more layers.

If the base is wrong, everything else will look off too.

I don't expect it to be absolutely perfect - rather, I want to just show the main muscles groups and bones that would affect one's drawing or sculpting. 


After starting the spine and skull base, I decided to go ahead and bake - a lot of the parts I had done 4(!) months ago, like the feet, were crumbling and fragile. If it's not going to bake correctly from 4 months of exposure to air, I'd rather find out now! 

Good luck, big guy.... 




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I've found that a *very small* amount of mineral oil can help reconstitute old polyclay, but it involves a lot of kneading.  Decent Ziploc bags mean that you won't have to.  I've gotta cover anything I'm working on anyway because cat hair.  You can also refrigerate it (in an airtight container if it's near food - Hi, Pingo!), which keeps unused clay fresh, and works in progress will stiffen up a bit and be less prone to damage when you're adding layers.  What kind of clay are you using?

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15 hours ago, kitchen_wolf said:

I've found that a *very small* amount of mineral oil can help reconstitute old polyclay, but it involves a lot of kneading.  Decent Ziploc bags mean that you won't have to.  I've gotta cover anything I'm working on anyway because cat hair.  You can also refrigerate it (in an airtight container if it's near food - Hi, Pingo!), which keeps unused clay fresh, and works in progress will stiffen up a bit and be less prone to damage when you're adding layers.  What kind of clay are you using?


Yep, same thing for me haha! I keep polymer clay in ziploc baggies and I cover my work using one of those big foil serving trays to keep most of the cat hair out. ::): Epoxies go in the freezer, and I keep a little bit in tiny containers for immediate use.


This is polymer clay, original Sculpey. I like Premo sculpey more, so I'm trying to get through this box of original sculpey that I already have. It is waaay too soft, so after conditioning it, I set it between some paper towels to soak some of the junk to make it more stiff.


I may not have been clear on my words last post - the unused clay is fine, since I kept it stored properly, though the reconditioning info is good, thank you! It's the pieces that were sitting out for months on the figure itself, and I couldn't recondition it when it was already on the piece. One really thin part cracked, but everything else is fine! ::D: 

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It's a great start. I've been following on fb. Large projects like this are great for using up your stash of clay you bought before you knew what you were doing ( I still have like 4 boxes of original Sculpey, myself :( ). No sense using all your good stuff on a 2" femur. :)

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6/20 and 6/21
More progress on the skeleton! The base is cracking from the baking heat. Not much I can do about that..... If it breaks, I'll chip out the wire frame and plug into something else.


I used simple cylinders to represent the vertebrae. I decided that sculpting each individual vertebra was not worth it for general anatomy. They are spiky and cool but it's going to take me longer to make those than the rest of the skeleton! I did find it good to note that the little ribs connect on the high part of each vertebra, and each little protrusion that sticks out from the vertebrae (called processes) are angled downward. These processes are where your ligaments and muscles connect to support your spine!


To make the scapula, I used thin wire to create a triangle. I wrapped the triangle in foil, and then covered it with clay. The scapula is pretty cool - it looks like a flat triangle, but it's got these little hooks that connect your collarbone and muscles to it, and a little depression called a "fossa" where your upper arm connects to it! So when you raise your shoulder, your collarbone and scapula move too! I'll add those tonight after he comes back out of the oven.


I've also learned that with sculpting, I need to have more than one project going - whether it's waiting for epoxy to cure or clay to cool, I need to do something with that time! I've downloaded a miniature sculpting tutorial to work on while the polymer clay bakes.


I hope to work on the arms and cervical vertebrae tonight and the hands and skull tomorrow!






Parts that need improvement:
- Figure out how to smooth out flat sections like those ribs....
- Pay attention!! Double check armature/get thicker wire before adding clay!
  - He's leaning back too far [fixed]
  - Left foot should be moved forward [can't fix now]
  - Spine should be curved slightly side to side since I made the shoulders and hip tilt [kind of fixed]
  - Ribcage should be slightly wider from the sternum to the spine [can't fix on this model, again, just need to pay attention to detail]
  - Ribs should angle downwards in the front [can't fix here.... but where they connect on the sternum should be lower than where they connect on the spine]

Parts I like:
- Little toe bones ::D: 
- The part where the femur and pelvis connect. They actually look like 2 separate pieces!

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6 hours ago, Speak_Centurion said:

Hi Mori. Great stuff!

Did you say you were using Sculpey? I can't remember if Sculpey is sandable, but if it is, you could use sandpaper (wrap it or glue it to an old plastic card or something) to sand the ribs to the shape you want.


Oooh, I just tested it - it does sand! Thanks! I don't think I'll be successful with the ribs on sanding, since they are so small and the base is getting fragile, but I'm definitely adding it to my notes. Thank you! ^_^ 

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References used:

Classic Human Anatomy by Valerie L. Winslow

Anatomy for Sculptors by Uldis Zarins and Sandis Kondrats

Personal sketches from following along Rey's Anatomy class by Rey Bustos.

Wellden Medical Anatomical Human Skull Model, Classic, 3-part, Life Size


Moooooar skeleton.

I spent forever a few hours on the skull. Skulls are complicated!! I simplified it by smushing two oval shapes perpendicular to the other: one for the base of the skull and one for the actual face part. From there, I cut a very faint grid on the skull, and I added or took away layers.


On the left photo, you can see the finished lower leg muscles. On the upper leg muscles, you can see how I lightly smush on the muscle groups before refining.



I'm very grateful for the time I have this week to work on this! I'm hoping to finish this by next Monday, so I can then start practice miniature sculpting, which is probably way more interesting to y'all. ^_^ 

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References are the same.

I didn't do too much on him today - he's been cracking a lot and it's not in places I can fix. He's probably not going to be a permanent piece, but I'll be happy if I get to complete the muscle groups on him! I'm almost finished with the leg and I bulked in the rib cage and abdomen with foil and clay.



Parts that need improvement:
- The spine doesn't actually connect to the sternum! I should have made space for that in the armature. I'm not sure how I would have, though.
- The femur connects wider/farther(?) away from the pelvis and then slopes in towards the knee. More like a triangle than a straight line.
- Work on evenly spaced and evenly deep lines
- How to get rid of little extra bits that stick everywhere?


I also cut and wrapped enough wire for 35 mini armatures. Practice, practice, practice!

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Hoo boy. Today was seeing a lot of mistakes that I can't fix without starting over. I'd rather start fresh than remake all of this, but I don't have enough clay. So I'm writing down my mistakes to use for the next sculpture and trucking on.


It's okay to make mistakes though. Right? It's okay? Probably?


Practice, practice........

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