(Okay, a lot intimidated.)
Lucky for me, sculpture is one of those disciplines where you really never stop learning.
There are a ton of tools, techniques, types of clay.
There’s so much to learn I wondered if there was a way to get around it. Maybe I didn’t have to sculpt.
With just a small amount of research I’ve found that sculpting is one of, if not THE, most important skill in makeup effects.
From mask making to concept design, you can’t get around the need to sculpt.
Cool, but how in the world am I going to teach myself to get THAT good?
I got my answer.
By getting my hands dirty.
You have to feel the clay. Work with it. Know its properties. Use tools. Make tools. Experiment.
Here’s what you need to get you moving in the right direction.
What is a sculpture?
Whenever you use a material to create a 3D form you are creating a sculpture.
In our world we’d use clay, but in some cases (like when creating an armature), we may use paper and other materials underneath the clay.
The Two Processes
- Additive – the process of adding material (clay) to a form
- Subtractive – the process of removing material (i.e. carving clay away)
Types of Clay
- Oil-based clay
|Never dries out.||Oxidizes over time, becomes hard to work with.|
|Can be melted and poured into a mold.||Some contain sulfur, which is bad for silicone.|
- Water-based clay
|Less expensive than oil based clay.||Dries out if not covered.|
|Easy to manipulate; can be changed by adding water.||Not great for long projects over several days.|
|Easily removed from a cast with just water.||Prone to cracking.|
|Doesn’t need an oven or kiln to cure.||Cannot be used with plastics or epoxies.|
I found this link helpful in describing the different brands of clay used in sculpture.
Here is a list of places you can learn more for free.
Find video tutorials and reference work on these boards.
Here is a playlist for clay sculpting.
Check out this short video with examples of sculpting tools. And definitely check out other tutorials by Joanna Mozdzen.
Got any tips to help learn more about sculpting? Leave a comment!
Sites used to create this post:
Photo courtesy of Arizona.edu