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Attaching Hand To Fiddle

Posted by goregt On June - 14 - 2007

Attaching the Hand to the Fiddle

Hands are tricky so I like to sculpt them individually when possible and add them to the sculpture as a separate piece. In this tutorial I am going to take the hand from the previous lesson and attach it to my already baked fiddle.

I’m approaching this sculpture as if it was a puzzle adding each section together one piece at a time. What is nice about this step is that I am that much closer to adding the fiddle to my Fiddler. The fiddle really brings out the feel of the piece and I am really looking forward to seeing it all put together.

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Sculpting Fiddlers Hand

Posted by goregt On June - 4 - 2007

Sculpting the Fiddler’s Hand

I already have another tutorial about sculpting a hand with polymer clay but the images were taken with my old camera and I felt this was a good opportunity give an older tutorial a fresher look. I’m only going to create a rough hand since I will later attach it to the fiddle. Hands can be a little tricky to sculpt so the key here is to spend as much time as necessary to get the sculpting down correctly.

If sculpting hands come naturally easy to you then a big kudos to you. I myself still find the hands and eyes the most difficult things to sculpt. However, I have improved because I have invested those long hours making sure that I got everything down correctly.

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Hand Tutorial

Posted by goregt On March - 18 - 2007

How To Sculpt Hand With Polymer Clay

Two of the hardest things that I have found to sculpt are the hands and eyes. I don’t know why, they are just shapes like anything else, but for some reason they always present themselves as a challenge for me. I have a little technique that I am about to share with you that I use for most of the hands I sculpt. However, keep in mind that this is not the only method you can use to sculpt hands.

The technique that I use does not require an armature which has its advantages and disadvantages. I’ve have used and armature in the past but the problem I found is when I decided later on in the sculpting to move the fingers. The fingers can still be moved when using an armature but the detail work can sometimes get damaged in the process. The disadvantage of sculpting hands without an armature is that you do not get the additional support that an armature provides. If the hand you are sculpting is just hanging by the side it really is not an issue, however if your character is holding something like a sword it can then be a problem.

Now the hand in this tutorial is going to be more of a sketch to give you the general idea on how to sculpt a hand. This tutorial should give you a good foundation to start building your hands off of.

Hand sculpting tutorial

*I need to upgrade my digital camera and apologize in advance for the quality of the pictures

1. Roll out a ball of clay and slightly flatten it to the size that you want your palm.2. Roll out five little tubes of clay to represent the fingers
3. Strategically place the fingers onto the top of the squished ball of clay (look at your own hand as a reference)4. Using your sculpting tool, one of my dental tools in this example, pull the fingers into the base of the hand
5. Roll out four more little tubes (snakes) to add as the bones in the hands
6. Roll out little balls of clay for the knuckles
7. Add little horizontal indentions or lines for the knuckles (using another one of my dental tools here)8. Sculpt the finger tips
9. Turn over the hand and blend the fingers into the palms of the hand (try to avoid squishing the fingers)
10. Add a little more clay to the palm to thicken it up a bit.
sculpting a hand with clay 11. Add lines to the fingers to match the location on knuckles (on the other side of the hand). I have cut my lines a little deeper then needed since I will bend my fingers.


Posted by goregt On August - 17 - 2011

I sculpted a bust of a Minotaur a few years back and although I still like a good percentage of the design, there are a few areas that really bug me.  Most of the problems that I have with this sculpture are with the hands, Minotaur’s face, the hair along the back and the horns. I rushed completing this piece and as a result the hands and horns ended up not being my best quality of work.  I have also been working hard trying to improve my skills over the years so an older sculpt is always subject to a very critical eye. Read the rest of this entry »

9 the Movie

Posted by goregt On September - 28 - 2009

This past weekend I took my kids to see the movie 9.  For those that are not familiar with the movie it is a post apocalyptic story where the human race has been annihilated by machines.   The basis for the plot has been used over and over again for decades now but the story of 9 separates itself from the predecessors in that in a last effort to save humanity a brilliant scientist has given his own life to bring life to nine different rag dolls.

I personally would rate 9 as one of the best animated movies that I have ever seen.  I loved the way the story unfolded before my eyes and the quality of the animation was nothing less than superb.  The characters and the creatures in the movie were brilliantly designed.  It was no surprise finding out that Tim Burton was one of the producers of this movie and you could feel his presence in both the landscape and character designs.

For those of you that have little ones and are wondering if this movie is appropriate keep in mind that 9 is rated PG-13.  There is a reason for the PG-13 rating and the movie is very intense with some scary action sequences.   This movie was a little more intense than I expected and some of the scenes were pretty scary for my six-year-old (I guess I won’t be winning the “Dad of the Year” award this year).  Don’t get me wrong my son did enjoy the movie but if you also have little ones you may want to screen the movie first a then decide if your own kids are up to it. Read the rest of this entry »

New Torso

Posted by goregt On September - 23 - 2009

Now that the sculpting for the belly button and the stomach are now complete I can move on and start adding back the scars to the front of my torso. Keep in mind that I still need to work on sculpting the back and the sides of the torso but the front part is pretty much complete. Some people may advise that you wait until the entire torso is completed before adding the details like the scars but I like to work a little differently. Adding the scars now helps give me an overall feel for the piece and the patterns that I use for the torso will help me come up with the designs I end up deciding to use o the rest of the body.

Once the scars have been added back I will start working on sculpting the back and then add scars to there as well. From there I’ll move onto finishing the arms and hands. I’ll save the textures for the skin details towards the end since I want it to be consistent over the entire sculpture. Read the rest of this entry »

Changing the design of the breast – 2

Posted by goregt On September - 16 - 2009

My thought process on sculpting any form that I find challenging is to break the design down into simple shapes. Lets take a hand for example, if you break it down into individual shapes the fingers are made up of small cylinders while the palm of the hand is made up of a square. Anyone can sculpt a square and a cylinder so if you think about it anyone can sculpt a very basic design for a hand. If you take it a step further you can also then break your individual parts of the hand into basic shapes. For example, the knuckles are shaped like circles while the fingernails are shaped like small squares. In just a few steps your hand has evolved from a very simplistic design into one that is a little more complex with the addition of the the knuckles and the fingernails. From this point on you just keep refining the individual shapes until you end up with a realistic looking hand. Read the rest of this entry »

Changing the Torso

Posted by goregt On September - 14 - 2009

There is a magic word that applies to a lot of the elite sculptors and one that I personally believe every artist, sculptor or not, should become familiar with. It is one of those words that could undoubtedly help you become a very talented and skilled artist. For those artist out there that are already very skilled in their craft, it will help you improve your skills that much more.

The magic word that I am talking about is persistence. The reason why persistence is important for artist is because those that sincerely choose to be persistent in perfecting their craft really never give up at improving their skills. For example, if you have a hard time sculpting hands the key is to keep working and improving your skills until you can successfully and easily sculpt hands. No matter how many hours it takes and no matter how many times you have to start over you never quit until you can successfully reach your goal.

So where am I going with all of this? Basically the sculpture in this tutorial has been sitting on a shelf unfinished for over two years now. I’m now working on it again however, as one would expect, my skills over the last couple years have grown and I can now see a lot of things that I need to change with this sculpture. One of the main issues that I have with this piece is the shape and the design of the breast. I never really liked my original design for the breast and although I had spent countless hours on this sculpture I always knew it would be something that I would have to revisit at a later date. The problem is that in the original design they look augmented to me, they almost look as if they have no weight to them.

I’ve been working on resculpting the breast and over the next few tutorials I will walk you through how and why I did the design changes. What is not shown in the pictures in the upcoming tutorials is the amount of time I invested in learning how to sculpt just one breast. Now I have sculpted the female form before but as of this writing Indigenous Allure is my only nude. All of my other female sculptures have something covering their breast and although the design was not easy it was more simplified than sculpting a nude form.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve really struggled sculpting the breast on this figure. I’m not sure what the problem is, it is just a design that I have personally found challenging. I spent over two days on just one of the breast alone and through a lot of persistence have gotten the shape down to something that I am comfortable with. The hours that I have invested in sculpting just the first breast has helped me already improve my skills. The second breast, which will be demonstrated in the next tutorial took a fraction of the time to complete.

Don’t get me wrong, it is awkward for me to write an article on my difficulties for sculpting breast. However a few years ago I could have written the same article about my challenges when trying to sculpt hands or even hair. The point is that this is one of my areas of weaknesses today. However I know this is also an area that I can not only learn to master but also use to improve my overall sculpting skills. The key is to keep working at the design until I get it right. Whether it be two days or two months the key is to keep at the design until it clicks and eventually becomes easy for me. As I already stated my second attempt, although still under construction, was much easier than the first. I still have a long ways to go but my sculpting speed has already improved along with the way that I even look at the design. As much as I wanted to quit I stayed focus on my task and in the end I think that I will end up with a sculpture that I am happy with.

I’ve included some before and after shots of my sculpture (the design is still a work-in-progress and completed pics will be included at a later date). The uncensored pics are included in the link at the bottom of this page. Also the scars were removed to resculpt the torso, they are added back in a later tutorial.

Uncensored pics here.

Next lesson – Sculpting the Breast – 1

Previous lesson – Tribal Scars

Back to Indigenous Allure home

Polymer Clay History

Posted by goregt On September - 9 - 2009

What is Polymer Clay

Polymer clay is a material you can sculpt. It is based on polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material. It usually contains no clay minerals and is only called “clay” because its texture and properties resemble mineral clay. Polymer clay is sold in craft, art and hobby stores. It is used by artists, hobbyists and children.

All polymer clay brands include PVC and one or more liquid plastic. Pigments may be added to the base to create colors along with small amounts of kaolin or white china clay. Mica may also be added to make a metallic looking clay.

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Shiflett Brothers

Posted by goregt On September - 7 - 2009

From time to time I plan to write a post highlighting the artists that have had a positive influence on my own artwork. As I have stated many times before I for the most part am a self-taught sculptor. I’ve never taken a formal sculpting class and most of the techniques that I have learned up to now have been through a lot of trial and error (in some cases mostly error) and various forums and tutorials from other websites on the web. I still believe that I have a long ways to go before I become the skilled artist that I want to be, however I have progressed a lot over the past few years. I owe that progress to a lot of tutorials from a handful of sculptors that are out there today.

When I first started sculpting in November of 2003 the only clay that I was familiar with or even knew existed at that time was the water based clays. I had never even heard of polymer clay and naturally when I started my sculpting journey I picked right up from where I left off during my high school art experience. I did a brief two to three week sculpting project back in high school so I was already familiar with some of the basics for sculpting with water based clays (i.e. How to remove the air bubbles, making the sculpture hollow, firing the sculpture in a kiln but nothing on how to sculpt different forms, etc). Read the rest of this entry »


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About Me

Nothing special, just a self-taught sculptor having fun with my art and showing all of you the tips and tricks I use to create my own artwork



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