Tips on using the 3-d model to help you sculpt

I tend to start my sculptures by making a head first.  I use basic rules of observation and create the head.  I will also be implementing an entire module on faces and expressions.  I hope to be able to do this in 3-d as well, and will keep you informed once it is ready and on the website. 

Once the head is done, I know exactly how big the body must be as the figure will be 8 times the size of it's head.  E.g.  A 1 inch head would mean an 8 inch doll.  

Let us suppose we have sculpted a 1 inch head, I would need to create a doll that is 8 inches tall.  I then print out my 3-d model to the exact size the finished sculpture will be. To do this, all I have to do is ensure that my printed 3-d model also has a 1 inch head.  

Print out several views, by turning the model around.  You will need at least four views taken from different angles.  More views will become necessary for more complex poses.  I then put a few of the printed views under glass and make my armature to exactly match the views.  

Since I am working with a model the exact size of my finished sculpture, I know when to bend the wire and I know how long the wire should be.  I can then make an under armature by putting on a thinner layer of clay.  Once the under armature is baked fully.  I wait for it to cool in the oven.

I like to series bake, as I find the sculpture easier to handle this way.  Let us say we want to work on the torso section first.  Using a few of the views, it is easy to know exactly how much clay we need to put on the model and where.  When in doubt about a certain area, just turn your 3-d model around and print the corresponding view so you can put clay over the armature accurately. Once you have sufficient clay on the armature, start to smooth it out.  Pay attention to the detail on your 3-d model.  See where there are dips and raised sections.  Use the pictures as your guide and try to put in as much detail as possible.

This is the quickest and most accurate way to get well proportioned sculptures that your collectors will be proud to own.


General guidelines

Good luck and happy sculpting.