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Sculpting hair

Posted by goregt On March - 24 - 2007

The following tutorial outlines the process that I use for sculpting hair on some of my polymer clay sculptures.  This is not the only method that you can use to sculpt hair however the tutorial should give you you a good idea on how to create a realistic design.  Now keep in mind that the example in this tutorial is a really a simple design, more complex designs can use the same process but require some additional planning to make everything flow correctly (we can cover that at a later time in another tutorial).

I did not completely finish off the detailing of the hair in this tutorial and I will explain why at the bottom of the page.

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Sculpting Tribal Scars

Posted by goregt On September - 4 - 2009

There are several different ways that I could approach sculpting the scars on my sculpture and no one way is really better than the other. Since I’m working with polymer clay, Super Sculpey to be specific, the easiest approach in my opinion is to roll out snakes of clay and remove the unwanted pieces. If I was working with wax I may take a different approach such as adding small balls of wax one at a time but I would have to experiment first before confirming.

* Note: I’ve blocked out parts of the sculpture in case anyone is sensitive to nudity. Once I’m finished I’ll add a link to an uncensored picture of the sculpture for anyone that wants to see the complete design. This will be done at the end of the tutorial and for now I’ll just censor the pics as needed. Read the rest of this entry »

Tribal Hair

Posted by goregt On September - 3 - 2009

If you have followed any of my other projects then you have most likely noticed that I like to jump around a lot when I sculpt. For me this keeps things fresh and also keeps me from hyper focusing on just one area (the Fiddler sculpting series is a great example this).

In the last lesson I covered how I sculpted the skirt for my African woman, in this lesson I will go into how I created the details for the hair. The hair is actually pretty simple for this piece but once done has a really nice effect. Since I’m adding a scarf around her head I only need to focus sculpting the hair for a small portion of the head, the rest will be covered by the scarf. Read the rest of this entry »

Adding Hair to the Elbow

Posted by goregt On August - 12 - 2009

Sculpting Hair Onto the Elbow

I wanted to add a little pizzazz to my arm so I decided to add some hair flowing from the elbow. Since the arm is already detached the best and easiest approach from this point is to sculpt the hair before reattaching the arm to the Fiddler’s shoulder. The pictures below will take you step by step through the process. In the third and fourth picture I used 90% alcohol to smooth out the sculpture.

* Keep in mind that Vaseline is required when adding new clay to baked clay (If you have no idea what I’m talking about start at the begging of this tutorial and work your way back here 😉 ).

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Fiddler Sculpting Series

Posted by goregt On August - 9 - 2009

The Fiddler

sculpture of a fiddler

Ever hear Charlie Daniels “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” song? Well if you have a pulse and are over the age of twelve then you probably have. To make a long story short I thought I would do a sculpture based off of that song. Not that it is my favorite song in the world or that I’m Charlie Daniels number one fan (although I do think it is a pretty cool song), I just thought it would make an interesting sculpture.

I’m going to put together a series of tutorials for this sculpture where you can see step by step how the sculpture is created. Now keep in mind that at first the sculpture is not going to look like much but over time, as the series progresses, you should be able to see how I turn a block of clay into a unique piece of art. I think this will be a fun lesson for everyone and a great way to see how a sculpture comes to life. I will add links to the different lessons below so bookmark this site and come back frequently to see the latest lessons. It takes me over 100 hours to complete a sculpture so don’t expect this thing to be completed over night ;-)

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Sculpting with Wax vs Polymer Clay

Posted by goregt On July - 31 - 2008

Stop the press, isn’t this site suppose to be about polymer clay sculpting, after all the name of the site is Polymer Clay Fan! Yes you have read the title to this post correctly, I’ve started playing with wax lately and although I’m still wet behind the ears I thought why not put together a little post to compare the two mediums. I’m sure a few diehard polymer clay artists may snub their nose at this post but I recommend reading through the entire article before jumping to a conclusion. This isn’t an article about discrediting wax or even polymer clay, it is just my observation of the positives and negatives the two different mediums have to offer.

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Sculpting Eyes

Posted by goregt On March - 25 - 2007

Sculpting the eyes

There are a variety of different ways to sculpt eyes and the technique that should be used really depends on the type of eyes you are looking to create. I’ll probably paint this piece with a bronze like finish so I want a more classic feel to my eyes. For these types of pieces I like to sculpt a hole where the pupil and iris are located. The hole creates a neat illusion and is a really nice way to sculpt the eyes. Now if you wanted to paint your eyes then you will probably not want to sculpt a hole for the pupil (and or iris).

For me personally the eyes and the hands are the hardest things to sculpt. The eyes tell so much of the story in your sculpture so if they are off it can really mess up the entire piece. These steps may seem pretty simple but they can be a real challenge. I probably sculpted the eyes on this piece 4 or 5 times until I got it close to what I am looking for. Don’t get discouraged if you also struggle with the eyes, just keep practicing until you get it right.

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Sculpting Lips

Posted by goregt On March - 24 - 2007

Sculpting the lips – time to fix some errors!

Well, I have some good news and I have some bad news. The bad news is that I checked the proportions of my sculpture in the mirror and a lot of the facial features were off. The eyes, nose, cheeks and mouth just need a lot of work. This is a good example of why you should consistently check your sculpture in the mirror when you are sculpting. I started out by checking the symmetry in the mirror but I failed to continue to do so in the later stages. If you have no idea what I am talking about then read the “Why use a mirror when sculpting” lesson first.

The good news for you is that I have to sculpt the eyes and mouth all over again. So, this is a good opportunity to show you the individual stages of sculpting the different facial features. I’ll break the sculpture features up into different lessons.

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Skirt Details

Posted by goregt On September - 2 - 2009

In this tutorial I will go into more detail on how I created the textures on the skirt. Keep in mind that I got the idea for the design of the skirt from looking at various pictures of African women on the web. Most of my research was from images that the search results produced from the keyword “African scarification”. During my research I found several images where the skirt just seemed to overlap itself in various places around the woman’s legs. The design appealed to me, in some respects it was very simplistic but the design in the images still seemed to draw me to the beauty of the woman in the photograph. I really liked this design and wanted to incorporate it into this piece.

The skirt’s shape is really simple, just roll out sheets of clay in the pasta machine and wrap then along the legs of the sculpture in various stages. Once that is achieved I used my wire brush to scrape lines into the dress. I applied various pressure using the wire sculpting tool so that some of the lines were deeper while others were kind of shallow.

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African Scarification

Posted by goregt On August - 5 - 2009
African Scarification Scupture

African scarification sculpture

Scarification is the act of creating shallow cuts in the skin to form designs and patterns. What happens is that the cuts would scar up forming bumps in the skin. The many bumps together form a pattern on the body in result creating a form of tribal art. Although scarification is not anything that I would want to do to my body, I have to admit that many of the designs are beautiful to look at. I’ve been wanting to sculpt a nude for some time because I knew it would be a great challenge for me.

Most of my figurative sculptures are of very muscular males and sculpting a woman, especially a nude, is not something that I have a lot of experience with. When it comes to my art I like to do things that are a little different then the norm. I love African art and a lot of the African culture so from the beginning I wanted to sculpt an African tribal woman. However, I wanted to do something different than the everyday sculptures that you see for this type of art.

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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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