- Lesson details
Eric Michael Wilson demonstrates how to sculpt a life-size female portrait using common water-based clay. You will learn how to establish good working habits such as: accurately measuring, maintaining symmetry, establishing clear planes, and working from larger to smaller forms.
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a life-size female portrait using common water-based clay. Eric will take you through the entire
sculpting process from the creation of a simple yet flexible armature, to final finishing techniques.
You will learn about how to establish good working habits such as: accurately measuring
with calipers, maintaining symmetry throughout your sculpting process, establishing clay
conceptual planes and working from larger to smaller forms.
We recommend you follow along with Eric developing your own sculpture from each logical stage to the next.
portrait in clay. This particular clay is water-based, and it's
made by a company called Aardvark. I believe the clay is LBM or
white. This particular clay has a little bit of grog in it. It can
have grog, meaning sand. It has some heavy sand content in it.
It can have grog or without grog, it doesn't matter. There's
another popular white clay, it's made by Laguna, and it's called
Wed, W-E-D. The nice thing about grog is that it's self-sustaining
a little bit more, meaning it's not going to collapse, it can
withstand its own weight, and it doesn't crack as fast.
Usually, I sculpt in Roma, which is a wax-based, sulfur-based clay.
It's a plastilina. It just has sulfur in it. That's my clay of
choice, but water-based moves really quickly, it's cheap, it's
readily available to anywhere around the world, which is really
nice if you're just getting going.
I'm going to take you through the whole process, building an
armature from this stand to the hardware, and just a simple idea.
Anything will work. You can just do something very simple with wood
and wire, even pieces of garbage. We'll be using paper. I'll walk
you through every single piece of materials that you're going to
We're going to be providing reference. You can look at the photos
of the model that we will be working from, but I really encourage
you to do this process from life. It doesn't matter who it is. As
long as they can sit still, I recommend sculpting somebody from
The only other tool that you're going to need is a pair of
calipers. I'll be walking you through, step by step, how to use
these off of a live model, and transferring measurements, and so
forth, from the model to your sculpture.
Other than that, it's really a great exercise for beginners to do
something at a very large scale, because you can get your hands in
on it. It's a great scale. If you haven't done any sculpture at
all, I highly recommend that you got back and look at the videos of
the beginning, the geometric shapes that I demonstrated in some
other video lessons.
We go through all the solids. I recommend you go through all of
them. Even if you have some experience, I recommend that you go
through all of it, especially the bell pepper. It's a great lesson,
very, very difficult. If you can't get the bell pepper, you're not
going to be able to get this.
All of the intricacies, all of the complexities that you're going
to find in an organic shape, like a bell pepper, are going to be
found in the face. Actually, I dare to say that it could be even a
little bit more difficult than a face. Go back, do all of the
beginning lessons, all of the geometric solids, bell pepper, then
Let's get started. The first thing we're going to do is set up an
armature. I'm going to show you from scratch, for starting with a
piece of board. It doesn't have to be melamine. It can be any kind
of plywood, or whatever. I like this because it doesn't bow. If you
get a piece of plywood, as it gets wet using water-based clay, what
we're going to be using today, it'll tend to bow.
I recommend something like this. This is a waterproof barrier to
the wood. First we're going to be starting with model, to prep the
armature, to make sure that we get it to the right height. That
way, we're not going to run into mistakes or create things that'll
have to be fixed later on.
The first tool we'll be using, I'm going to introduce you to all
the tools right now, is one-to-one calipers. We take a measurement.
That means it's going to stay the same scale. If I take a
measurement off the model, I come over here, it's going to be the
exact same measurement. We'll use these as we're building the armature
We have a board, a sculpting-modeling stand, clips. These are
really important. You want to make sure the board and the sculpture
don't go flying off as you spin it around. Usually, you can get
these at any hardware store. They'll look something like this. It's
just a hand.
It doesn't even have to be this kind. It can be the little c-
clamps, that have a screw so you can screw it down. It doesn't
matter, any kind of clamp. The c-clamps are a little nicer, because
they don't stick out far like this. They have a nice, clean
This is a floor flange. You can find this at a hardware store, too.
It's going to usually be where the black pipe is, or the gas pipe.
We're just going to mount this in the middle of the board.
Four screws. This is something that's really important. Make sure
that when you put the screws on the board like this...see, I'm
hanging the head of the screw over the edge. Make sure that that is
about as long as the board. When you introduce the flange, the
thickness of the flange, it's going to shorten that a little bit.
You don't want them to short, but you don't want them too long. If
it's the length of the board, then it's perfect. It will be
perfect. Four screws. Here we're using a half inch by four inch.
It's called a nipple. It's just a black pipe that's threaded on
both ends. We're going to screw that into here. We're going to
screw this floor flange in.
These are called channel locks. You can just the mouth of the tool
right here. That's going to be a little too big. Anyway, these or
what people call a monkey wrench or a pipe wrench, are probably
going to be the best tool.
The reason you want to use this is you don't want this to come
loose later on. You can hand-tighten it as much as you can and then
just give it a little bit of a, maybe a full twist, and then that's
good enough for that. The next step is to put aluminum wire in
here. Your armatures don't even need to be this complicated. The
idea is that you can have some flexibility.
We're going to introduce some aluminum wire. We'll put it in the
tube here and we'll make sure that we use the calipers to measure
to get an idea of, from the board being the bottom of the sculpture
to the top of the head. That's roughly what we're measuring. It
doesn't have to be exactly.
I'm going to make the armature maybe an inch, maybe an inch and a
half shorter than the measurement I'm going to take on her. It
doesn't have to be that complicated. Let me show you what I do.
You can buy this armature wire in the rolls like this, or you can
buy it where it's tightly bound, more like, here's a smaller
diameter. But you can get them in little packages in the art store.
It looks a little bit more like this, but I'll show you why to use
a smaller diameter here in a second.
The first thing we're going to do is take a measurement off of the
model. The top of the head is the apex of the curvature of the
skull. Usually it's just above the ears, so right here. I'll show
you where to measure these points later on, but it's a rough
measurement. We're going to go for that.
I can get my wire, take that measurement, see from the bottom of
the piece of wire to up there, and that's where it needs to stop.
I'm going to curve it over. Look how simple this is. I'm just going
to do a little bit of a loop, bring it back down, cut it. Now watch
what I do. I'm going to start this new piece of wire and hold the
old one right there. Then I'm just going to copy it.
Beyond this, what I want to do is take a little bit of time to
straighten these out in the neck area. Just because all of this
wires are going to fit into the tube like that. It's going to be a
little difficult if it's like this. Let's just take a second.
Straighten it out.
When you go to buy your pipe, you want to make sure that four wires
are going to fit in there. It's snug. It's not too loose, but it's
not too tight. This is half-inch, and I think this is 3/16ths
diameter aluminum wire.
We got those in there. This doesn't have to be that complicated or
very precise. But what I'm trying to do is go for like a light bulb
shape, but not too big. You want to underbuild this for sure. I'm
going to put this one on top. There we go. That's the idea.
Now you can make this a little...I sometimes will just put paper
and tape on this like it is right now. You can spend a little bit
more time if you want. It doesn't really matter, but let me show
you how to take this a step further if you'd like to.
This is just aluminum wire, again, smaller diameter. I'm going to
crisscross up here at the top where they meet. Again, this is a
little overkill. It doesn't need to be this complicated.
Again, you could come down here. I normally wouldn't do this, I'm
just showing you how to be a little bit more tidy, if you care to
That just makes the whole thing a little bit more rigid. It still
gives us our flexibility. If we want to pose the neck, or account
for the head being too far back or too far forward, we can do that.
We can bring it forward and then we can tilt the head back up.
That's why I like this setup. It's very simple. You don't have to,
and I recommend, actually, not building a rigid structure for the
neck. Some people will build an armature and because the neck
projects forward, if you look at the model. If she's sitting, do
you mind if I rotate you this way? Thank you.
OK, look at the neck, how it goes this way a little bit. I don't
recommend building a rigid armature that projects forward because
then you're stuck with that. You want options. Thank you.
For now, when we're blocking it in and we're putting paper and
everything on it, we're just going to leave it like this. All
right, for the paper, paper bags are really great. These recycled
ones. It's just a little baggie.
It's got a lot of body even after you crumple it up. It has a lot
of volume to it. Paper towels, something like this, anything work
really well too. But unlike this, it's going to take a lot of those
to fill up the space. Newspapers...
...really great for this.
Now the idea here is to get this really dense. You really want to
pack all that in there. Because after you put the clay on top, and
you start pushing into the clay, it's going to compress the paper
and you don't want that.
You're going to be fighting it, and then you're going to be adding
more clay, adding more clay. Really, what you're doing is you're
compressing the paper and making it more dense. That becomes a
little frustrating when you're trying to sculpt, so do it now. Get
this really dense. One recommendation is to do, instead of grabbing
four sheets, grab one at a time. The tighter you get that ball, the
better. Just take a little time to do this.
Notice how I'm putting the paper on. I leave the tape uncut. It
just makes it easier to keep it tight. I'm pulling the tension
around the tape, right like that.
Really, really compress around the armature.
All we're trying to do is get a little bit of...Think of it like a
matchstick. You're just trying to get a tube and a ball. I'm not
trying to compensate for a chin, or anything like that. I don't
think there's any reason to. It's really easy to overbuild your
paper, part of your armature, and you'll run into it when you're
sculpting. I think it's better to be a little heavy on the clay
rather than on the paper.
That's roughly it. Now what I like to do is put a, just a bag over
this, and then I tape the bag really close to the paper. Because
the paper wants to absorb the moisture from the clay and will dry
your clay out and make it crack. That's what we're going to do
next. We're going to get a plastic bag and put it over the top.
If you get a very simple shopping bag, ordinary shopping bag, this
is great. Because it's going to ensure that you're creating a water
barrier. I know for sure that this is totally sealed off from the
clay. We're going to find our tape again. Same routine.
Now you're probably noticing that it's spinning. It's not very
secure to the board. I like having the flexibility of being able to
turn it, and bend it. I don't like any kind of rigid...I don't like
being stuck into something.
Plus, once you add all this clay here for the shoulders and it's
sticking to the base, this isn't going to spin anymore. I'll show
you later on. When we get there I'll point that out.
We're pretty much ready to start blocking this in, so let's talking
about what to use next. We have this water-based clay.
It's a white clay, and it has grog in it, which means it has a lot of sand,
heavy sand. There are two main companies that make clay in the
United States, anyway.
You have Aardvark and you have Laguna. I think this is Aardvark and
it's LBM. This is how I like to do it. I pull the bag down,
and I get a wire tool. I'm going to cut slices like a loaf of bread here.
Just leave it stacked. Don't take them off. It keeps them from
We'll call that good for now.
We'll just immediately start curling these on.
So this is the front, just to be clear. Top of the head.
You can see why we want to underbuild the armature as we're adding on,
depending on how thick you cut these. These are about three-quarters
of an inch thick.
Pretty quickly we're getting up to the
right volume. You want to be underbuilt, all the time.
Probably you want to build up to about 80 percent, I think in the
beginning. At this stage, it's better to be...You want to be
underbuilt by about that much, all the way around. Meaning if I
take a measure on the head, I want to be a little small. The width
and the depth. Everything, and the neck. Everything needs to be a
I'm measuring with my eye, I'm looking at her and I'm saying, "OK,
she needs to be about this big, I'm going to make her a little bit
smaller." Michelangelo was quoted as saying, "Measure with your eye
first, then the calipers." It's a very good practice, very good
advice. You've got to train your eye for how big things are before
you just go and rely on the calipers.
You can do that, but you should be able to gain that skill where
you can look at something and know, "Oh, that's too big," or,
"That's too small, that's too big, that's too long, that's too
short." That's the front. We're just going to throw some clay down
for the shoulders.
This will keep it from rotating. Here's the back. I'm just trying
to blend everything together here. See these, where these different
pieces came together. Let's just make sure those are sticking to
each other. I'd hate to have her face fall off later. Here in the
shoulders, you need a lot more.
A little more for the jaw. As I block this in, this will make more
sense, what the primitive shapes are supposed to be. What I'm going
for here, but anyway, again, all we're trying to do is get
everything to stick to itself. I'm blending all of this into the
pieces underneath it.
Here's the sternum, the top of the sternum, sternal notch, chin.
I'm guessing where things are. Test yourself. Take this
opportunity, the visual measurements, and test yourself. See how
close you can get it without measuring.
Calipers can be a great teacher, but you need to try. You need to
do the work first, and then the calipers will tell you how far off
So what I'm trying to do
or how close you were. What I'm doing right now is just trying to
make a simple cylinder for the neck, plus I'm blending the clay
together. Those are the two things I'm focused on right now.
We'll get up into the anatomy and all the rest of it later, but
right now it's supposed to be very simple, a simple tube. We'll
start blocking this in. I'm doing this a little out of order, but I
do want to take a second and talk about tools.
The first tool is just a two-by-four, a simple piece of lumber for
construction. Everything after that is a variation of the same
thing. See, this one's getting smaller and I've sanded this and
tapered this piece. I might not even use that.
This is a paddle. A took a piece of wood that was flat and I cut
out this profile. You can see how these are similar. They have
tapered tips. This is an even thinner version of the two-by-four.
You can see that's really getting sharp. This tool's getting really
sharp. Same thing there, just another, smaller version, even
thinner, even smaller.
These two tools are variations of this, and this, they're just
smaller. They're long, you can see they're square on one side, kind
of a tapered square. They're round on the other side, and they're
wedged. It's like the wedges you use to...You can buy them at the
hardware store where they just cut a bunch of wood and they
They're just called wooden wedges. You could probably make a tool
out of those wedges so you don't have to get a table saw and do
anything like that, any kind of crazy sanding and cutting. You
could take one of those wedges and you could just clean it up. You
could cut it this way, cut this profile out, and then you could
sand it down a little bit, and then create this tapered squared
Then we just have our standard rake tools. This one just has a
round handle. It's a big rake tool. Bigger tools are better all the
time. Always go for a bigger tool than you think you need. This is
a standard rake tool. It's got the curved, the concave side that's
Then it's got the convex side that's curved this way. It's convex
all the way around. It curves this way and comes to a point. It's
very standard. It's a very standard shape. Very useful universal
tool. You can use it to do a lot of things. I'll explain later on
when we're actually doing those.
That's a little intro to the tools. Something else that you're
going to need is a spray bottle full of water. I've got a five-
gallon bucket here full of water for washing my hands, and just a
towel to dry your hands off every now and again. You want to stay
clean when you're doing this, and you want to clean up your
workspace, and put that clay...because the little balls will dry
You just want to pick them up every now and again and throw them
back in the bag. Let's get started. Starting with a two-by-four,
the reason I'm doing this is I don't want to use a lot of strength,
and it's fast. You can actually hit it, too, to really pack your
clay on in the beginning. You can flatten out a whole area really
For the neck, look how easy this is. Get that tube really quick.
People are always asking me, "Well, I want to get faster. How do I
do it? How do I get faster?" I'm like, "Well, think more, and touch
your sculpture less."
That's my first piece of advice. Meaning have a plan, think about
what you need to accomplish. If you need to create a tube, think,
"What is the biggest tool I can use?" Versus I'll see people doing
something like this, grabbing their rake tool. This is what a
beginning sculptor might be doing, trying to sculpt this out. Just
imagine it was messy before I passed it over with a two-by-four.
Then I'll try and smooth it, because it's getting rough, and that's
scary when things start to look too rough. That's too high, so
we're going to use the rake tool and carve that down. Avoid these
habits. Put the small tools away, get the big tools. Just think,
think of, "How can I do that quickly? What's the most economical
way of getting that plane, the side of the head? How can I round
the top of the head?"
See how I'm rocking this? I've got a plan, and I've got the biggest
tool possible for the job. The whole back, the front. I don't need
any of this. I'm going to cut it while it's soft. If this was hard,
a little more dry, this would be a real challenge. I want to use
this for sculpting and I like that it's brand new and wet. I'm
going to put it back in the bag.
Now that I've blocked this in and visually measured, we did take a
measurement, remember, to block in the armature. But I want to see
how close I was. You don't have to go this far without measuring if
you're not comfortable, but hopefully I'm off a little bit so we
can correct this.
The first measurement I want to take is this one right here. I want
to know exactly where I'm going to be. I want to know where the
board is from the top of her head. I'm going to take a measurement,
again, from the highest point of her head. This was lower, higher,
higher, higher, highest, and then it starts to curve back and fall
away. I'm going for the apex of her head.
I think we're in that area. Let's see what that is. Here's another
way of doing it. Measure the sculpture. Down to the board. I'm way
down here. I can add to the top of the head of the sculpture if I
want to get that higher. If I want this to be the bottom, does that
If I build from here down, then I have to sculpture down here,
which isn't a bad thing, that's going to make the sculpture taller,
which I like. That's going to make the whole thing lift up in the
air, so that's what I'm going to do. I'm making a decision here.
Again, the question is, "Do I want to start here and sculpt up, or
do I want the sculpture, if I'm going to start here, leave that
height alone, leave it like it is, and then go down?" versus
saying, "I'm going to start here," which means I have to lift the
head up, or I have to build on top of the head, but I'm just going
to leave it like it is. Now what I'm going to do is, I'm going to
measure from the top of the head, same spot, right here, to the
sternal notch. You take the leg, this is called the leg of the
You take the leg of the caliper, and you make a mark. The next
measurement, try and keep the clay off of the calipers when you're
touching the model too. Next measure is from the top of the head to
the bottom. Oops. These get loose, you constantly have to tighten
them. It's a little annoying, but just remember that, it's just
part of it.
You have to hold it at the same angle, so if you take this angle
like this...I'm holding these at an angle. You have to transfer it
at the same angle. Be careful, just keep an eye on that. I can put
a little more chin on there.
That's pretty close.
I'll start using the paddle now, but I'm just going to keep this as
a front plane, and a corner, for the bottom of the jaw. That's a
measurement that we just took. We're measuring from the apex of the
head, remember, to the bottom of the chin, and this is the angle.
Whatever angle you measure at, you have to bring it over from the
model to the sculpture at the same angle.
You got to be really careful with that, because look, if I hold it
like this, the measures going to get shorter. See the vertical
height is going to be higher, and if I come this way it's going to
be lower. You've got to be careful to hold that angle correct. The
next measurement is going to be a width of the...I'm going to do
the zygomatic width, which is right here, which is about an inch in
front of the ears.
See how close I am? I thought I was underbuilt, but look, I'm like
right on. Again, just keeping these clean so you keep clay off of
the model. Then I'm going to go for the width of the skull, which
is the widest point, which is right about here. This corner of the
skull is what we call it.
That's about right. The next measurement we want to get is from the
back of the skull, the part that's going back to the furthest, or
you can just go on a perfect horizontal plane like this, from this
point right here. This is the glabella, so we want to get the
deepest part, right above the nasal bone, bottom of the glabella
where those two bones meet. Hold the calipers like this in case you
slip or whatever, especially when you're close to the model's eyes.
Just be really careful.
Start at the back of the skull, come to there, come up and away.
All right, we're going to transfer that same measurement, but what
I want to do is roughly go about halfway, and just create, even
with your fingers so it's soft, a little bit of an indentation. We
need to add to the back of the skull.
I'm just adding a little marker. I'm not really worried about
making that look good. I'm not trying to make this look smooth or
impressive. Once I have this, that measurement is the most
important thing. I'm going to add clay around it.
I'm leaving this alone.
What I'm thinking about as I'm adding clay, I'm thinking about this
curvature. The curvature this way and this way, it's basically a
big ball. I'm leaving this. See the mark right there from the
caliper, I'm leaving that alone. You can carefully come in here
with something like the paddle, tie it all together, but we're
maintaining that measurement.
What we're trying to do is create a circular shape here for the
skull, we're just generalizing. What I'm going for is a circle, and
the reason I do that is I want the skull to turn in here to the
tube of the neck. We're just creating a tube for the neck, that's
it. But as it comes this way, there's a number of ways of thinking
about the conceptual head, but as I come down into the face, we're
just going to come straight down to the chin, undercut, straight
over to the tube of the neck.
I've already thrown in a jaw plane right here. See, this is the
angle of the mandible, which is usually the same angle as the top
of the rib cage, or where this tube...See this angle here? This is
what I'm talking about. That angle is usually about that angle, the
base of that tube. We're going to go ahead and pull all this away
and down. I'll show you what I mean. Become more clear here in a
Where this tube comes down and meets...Do you mind turning this
way, and facing forward again? You can see it. You can see really
clearly there's a shadow here that meets a highlight. That's the
base of the tube. See, it's doing something like this, and it goes
on the side too, up and around. You can see the traps here that are
catching light here, and you just have a very simple tube.
That's all you need to start with. The clavicles are going to be
here, and the chest, and everything, and this very rounded in here
Just going to throw in a basic angle here for the jaw as well.
We'll get the placement of her ears here a little bit. What we're
going for right now, again, is a round...See look, if we're looking
through this, it's probably a little bit more like an egg, but you
can think of it as just a sphere that's been flattened out on the
sides. Remember, we took the measurement, and her zygomatic was
just about as wide as it should be.
We want it to be a little bit less than, we want to be underbuilt.
You've probably seen these head diagrams from books such as Andrew
Loomis' Figure Drawing. These are really famous books, they've been
around for a very long time, since the '40s I think. But he'll do
this, he'll plane out the side of the head, bring it down here into
the face, and this is curved too.
The face is curved, you've got a bottom for the chin. Oh, and
something else I want to mention is that when you're throwing the
water-based clay on, as you're doing these big movements, it'll
tend to pull. This whole area can squish, it can stretch, so just
keep an eye on it. You might find that this measurement from the
top of the head to the bottom of the chin will elongate, because
this is all sagging from working, especially as I'm doing this kind
Just double check that before you start getting into the face, and
just double check that everything's staying true to your original
measurements. I'm going to pull out this again.
It's a good start. The more simple, the better, especially in the
beginning. All right, so this is a critical stage. If things are
wrong here, they're never going to get better. It doesn't take long
to adjust things. It doesn't take long to measure them, so let's
take a moment, double check that...We're going to double check that
everything's underbuilt, and about the right size.
Again, I'm going to come here and take a measurement on the
zygomatic, right there to there. It's a little underbuilt, it's
pretty close. I'll just remember that. Again, top of the head. Make
sure to push. Hold your fingers right there, you can feel the top
of the head to the chin. Same angle as you come over here, got a
little long, not much, just a little bit.
But keep it simple. Look, I'm just going to push into this. Cut
that little bit of extra clay off. I had a feeling that was
elongating, like I was mentioning second ago. We've got height,
width, we want to get the depth back. Generally I just go a little
bit higher than the midline.
The middle is where the pupils are going to be, is where the eyes
are going to be, so if you find the middle, and you just go a
little bit higher, that's where the glabella and the nasal bone
meet. Push in a little bit there, and that's where we're going to
measure the depth. Let's make sure that's still right, so back of
the head to the nasal bone.
Yeah, and again, it's just the deepest part of the skull, the part
that's coming back the furthest, or you can do this. You can just
keep it on a horizontal plane. The calipers, see, they're not
tilted this way, they're not tilted that way. You can just keep it
on a horizontal plane, but beware, need to sculpt the deepest part
of the skull either way.
You can measure here, but you still need to sculpt the deepest
part. If it's higher or lower than that, so if you do measure from
here to the deepest part of the skull, which is probably what I
recommend, then you need to memorize this angle, be aware of how
you're holding that. If the angle's like this, or if the angle's
like that, you need to bring that over from the model, and transfer
the same angle. All right, next I'm going to measure from...
I want to find this right here, the sternal notch. I can measure
from the chin to here, but if you're not really careful, and if
you're a beginner, it's more than likely you're going to make some
mistakes, and you're going to be off a little bit, so what I
recommend is doing big measurements, long measurements. Meeting,
from this same point, this is like your zero point, your starting
From the same point, I would measure here to there, here to there,
but you've got to be aware that you're measuring from the same
point. Again, I see people think they're measuring from the same
point, but then next time they come back they're here, next time
they come back they're here, they'll start migrating from their
starting point, so be very specific that you're measuring from the
same spot. What I want to do is measure from here to the chin. We
Now I'm going to measure from here to the sternal notch. I'm not
going to go from the chin to here, because if you're off a little
bit, you're going to have a compounding problem. Then you're going
to measure from the sternal notch to the bottom of the...If you're
doing a figure, you're going to start working your way down the
body, and you might get the whole figure too short, or too long.
Any time that you can make a really long measurement, the longer
the better, do it. We're going to go from the top of the head to
All right, I'm just going to remember, it's right there. I'll go
ahead and sculpt that in a little bit by adding some for the
clavicles. It's really the clavicles that are creating that notch.
See, if I had some volume here for the bone, either side, and then
it rolls down, it creates that notch. See how that works? We've got
our rib cage underneath, imagine...See, her clavicle is very clear,
very easy to see on her. Imagine we're moving those, what are you
going to have?
You see the curvature underneath the clavicle? See how deep it gets
right there, and how deep it gets on the other side? That's because
the rib cage is round, it's like an egg. It's an egg coming up this
way towards the neck, and it's meeting the neck. By the time the
rib cage gets up to the neck, it's only that big around.
It's the same diameter as her neck, and all those muscles are going
down to the first rib, some of them are, but just think of it as a
tube. This tube right here, the diameter of that tube is the
diameter of the top of this egg that is the rib cage. It's
important to think this way because you need to construct it, and
make sure that things on a very simple level are working correctly.
Imagine removing the clavicles, and you can see that, "Oh yeah, the
rib cage is curving around, and it does go deep. That's why we're
doing this as were blocking in, we're getting this to be a simple
curve. If you do that, if you build it simply like this, and you
add a clavicle on top, it's starting to look like her.
Very quickly, so understanding the construction is going to help
you speed things up. It's going to keep you from making mistakes
too. We'll get to that later, but important that you start off
right. Next thing I want to do is, we're going to throw in a wedge.
I call it a wedge, but we're going to throw in a little bit of
something for an ear, and were going to resolve this jaw line a
Do you mind rotating that way, facing that way a little bit more?
That's good, right there, thanks. I'm measuring again with my eye.
I'm guessing where this is going to be, and I'm not worried about
hollowing it out right now. The back of the ear, just keep it
solid. I know it's too big, but that's OK. I'll show you why.
This is something I want to remind you of. It looks like we need to
build here so we can get this fullness, but we need to remember, we
took that measurement, we measured the width of the zygomatic arch,
and it was about right, so the last thing we want to do is add to
that. You've got to keep a mental note of what you've measured and
what you haven't.
This is sinking, that means that there's an air pocket in there, so
I'm just going to push a little bit, not too much, it'll start
pushing all the other clay out, so we just want to fill that in a
little bit. Not a big deal. I'm going to build a wedge, and look at
how this is angling out away from the head. We have the face coming
this way, we have this plane, and then that plane picks up and goes
I'm going to throw in a little bit of an ear on this side too.
Visually, I'm just looking. I'm facing squarely, if you notice, my
head is square with this head, and I'm going to make sure that the
lobes are at the same height, and the top's at the same height as
well. That's where those are.
Again, I'm feeling a little bit of an air pocket, so I am taking a
second to address that issue. I'm guesstimating on the angle of the
jaw, and how that comes up to the ear. There's a little bit of a
back angle on her, something like that. Guesstimating, we'll
measure it, we'll refine it later, but you got to have something
there to correct.
Again, it's visual, I'm just looking at it and I'm thinking that's
about where it should be. Same thing here, little bit of a back
angle there. But you notice that the jaw doesn't cut in sharply. On
the side of the face, and then a hard angle for the jaw, it's more
like this, and it just gradually curves to the other side, all the
Normally I'm not really worried about these little holes, but I'm
trying to make it look a little bit more clear, conceptual, so you
get the idea of what I'm thinking about in my head when I'm
blocking this in. I don't usually spend a ton of time to make it
look very geometric like this, but this is what I'm keeping my eye
on. I'm making sure everything's falling within these ideas as I'm
blocking it in.
When I'm sculpting, normally it looks a little bit more like this,
kind of rough, but it doesn't matter. But that's a little hard to
understand and see, so I'm trying to keep this really clean.
What we want to find right now, what we're going to start looking
for...Sorry, can you rotate this way a little bit? There we go,
right there. We're going to look for this little notch right here,
right where you're earphones sit. If you stick your finger in that
notch, you can find it right there. It's not that ear hole itself.
It's the notch right there.
We're going to find that on the sculpture. If we find that point,
we can actually build the profile. Have you ever used a pair of, an
old drafting technique, the compasses that they would use? One side
has a needle. Actually, it looks a lot like this. One side has a
needle, and the other side had a little piece of a pencil lead. I
don't think many people use these anymore.
What you do if you want to draw a circle is you'd put the needle in
the side and you would turn the pencil around this way, so you can
get a perfect arc, or you can get a full diameter circle. We're
going to do the same thing today to find this right here. It's the
What we can do once we find that point, we can start taking
measurements from it, and we can come over here, we find the tip of
the nose, we can find the depth of where the forehead comes down
and meets the top of the nasal bone, or the nose. We're going to be
able to find all of these points, the top of the head, all the way
down, as long as we're on our center line.
If you want to get the center line, make sure that you're facing
the sculpture. You have a really good view of that right now. It's
pretty square to your view.
The first point that I'm going to measure off of is going to be the
bottom corner. I know that the chin is round, so we're going to
imagine that this is a bottom corner right here, somewhere in
between. I'm going to make sure that this leg of the caliper, right
here, this leg of the caliper needs to be on the center line. I
need to get in the front, make sure I'm in the right spot, and then
with the other leg of the caliper, come to that notch.
I'm taking my time. I'm very careful. I'm going to come to the
center line. This is where that drafting technique is going to come
into play. Rest the leg of the caliper on your center line in that
corner and then you're going to draw an arc like this. I'm going to
make it really obvious and go way too far up into the face and come
all the way down. Actually, it would help if you hold that steady,
be a little bit more accurate.
You only have to take the measurement once. Now I'm going to turn
the sculpture this way, do the same thing, center line, arc. Going
to clean these off, get the clay off, don't want to get clay on the
model. Now, I'm going to measure from here to the same point. Very
carefully make sure you're on the center line. These are getting
loose, got to tighten them a little bit, same thing.
Actually, there's one thing I forgot. Before you do that, you have
to go from that point from the chin, you have to go up and decide
exactly where that is.
Now that I have that, we're going to do the...Again, these got
loose. It's just part of the experience with calipers. Now that I
have that point right there, and I have my center line, we're going
to draw another arc, and that marks the spot. You can see my ears
are a little too far back, same thing on this side. Great.
you can see if I go straight down from there, that's kind of what the bottom of the lobe
is straight down, and then it cuts back this way. So visually I'm just going to start building
the ear, so I'm way off here. There you can even draw on what you already have. You can
start drawing the ear. Now, you can go crazy with the calipers. Let me show you what I
mean. You can do it and then check it, or you could just measure immediately from that
same point at the top of the ear, same point top of the ear. OK, now I know where the top
of the ear is, same point to the bottom of the earlobe here to there. That's the bottom
of the earlobe. I could go here at that same angle. That's gonna give me the back of the
ear. Right, you can figure the whole thing out. It becomes very mind-turned-off.
You can just copy the whole thing with calipers. I don't recommend doing that. I think you
need to train your eye. So what I would recommend, visually try and figure it out, both distances.
Try and figure out where everything should be. You know, try and figure out where the
top is. Where's the bottom? What angle is it? These are drafting techniques. When you're
drawing the model you don't pull out calipers and go measure them for the model. You do it visually.
Little more lobe. Okay, do not lose that X. We don't want to do that again.
So maybe something like the tip of a brush would be a good tool to make that very obvious.
OK. Same thing on the other side. Do you mind turning just the opposite, 180 degrees?
Just turning so you face back that way. Keep going that way.
So what I'm going to do is just look at her other side. Keep going so I see this side of your face.
There you go. Try and get that angle of the ear, get it tilt back correctly.
Now the lobe, I already know this is too high.
It comes down this way, and then it turns in this way.
I'm just gonna look at the sculpture and make sure that these are working. Those are the
same height. That comes down. Almost lost that.
Now, something very important about the face, and the reason I said that you need to take a measurement of the zygomatic arch,
the width of it, remember I said about an inch in front of the ear, is because that's
where it sticks out the most. The zygomatic arch actually turns back in towards, right
towards the inside of the skull. It turns back in right before the ear. So the widest
point is here, not here. So what I'm doing, I'm actually turning this in a little bit.
And then the ear needs to wedge off of the face.
Dig out a little clay so it's turning in.
So what I want to do in the beginning, I want to keep everything very soft. OK, so I've
got this point here for the glabella. I know that the eyes are going to be a little lower,
so the pupils are going to be a little lower. This whole area I want to start shaping it
out, but it needs to stay very, very soft, meaning there are no hard edges.
Nothing is really becoming very dark. So as I start I'm thinking about the skull. There's a very bony
area up here. There's a lot of fat and flesh down here. So as I start working into the
skull, I'm thinking about the frontal eminences. There's a full round shape here and on this
side too. On some people it is more separated. You can see two of those. On others you can
see that they merge. You only get a little bit of this at the bottom. On here they're
a bit more separated. So I come down; I can see there's a little bit of a split in her
glabella, very subtle though. Keep it softer than it actually is in the beginning.
This corner that I had from the side of the head to the front, knocking that off a little bit,
taking it down like this. I'm facing the sculpture. I'm square with it.
My shoulders, my body, my head, everything's square to the sculpture, and I'm working in symmetry with both hands.
I can feel if one side, like my left side here is a little further out than the right side. So I'm feeling
my way through at the same time making sure that I'm getting it as symmetrical as possible.
You're probably thinking, well, people aren't symmetrical. Well, that's true, but you know
if you could get it symmetrical doing this, you're a much better sculptor than I am.
It's near impossible to get it perfect. I'm nowhere near that good. Unless it was an accident.
I couldn't get it symmetrical. OK, I'm softening that jaw corner. As I come forward, I'm going
to soften this too. Everything's just rounding out a little bit.
Right now we're trying to set everything up for the smaller forms and the smaller masses that are going to sit on top
of these bigger ones. That's why this measurement, this one, these three had to
be correct, or else nothing else. You know, it doesn't matter how nice you can render
a nose. If the skull is too deep it's gonna look wrong, or if you have the profile angle
of the nose incorrect it won't look like the person. So the more basic, more simple ideas
are much more important than what people like to call detail, which is a smaller form.
OK, I'm gonna go ahead and put something in here for a nose.
People usually, beginners especially, overbuild the nose. They make this wedge way too big.
I'm going to keep this very box like. It's gonna have a front plane.
It's gonna have two tapering planes going back like this
on the sides, and then it's gonna have an under plane. For the mouth, you can see--if
you turn that way a little bit more, keep going, right there--you can see that the mouth,
unlike my sculpture, sticks out further than the glabella. See how we dropped down in the
beginning? We went straight down. This mouth needs to come forward. So look at her. Look
right here on her. Follow down, down, down. Drop a straight line down. You can kind of
see that kinda hits her cheek right here, and then her cheek comes back. Right and then
her mouth is actually out here. OK, so we're gonna add some mass for that.
There's going to be a little extra mass for the chin too. Don't worry about making this pretty. You're
trying to get it out to the right profile. You're just trying to add enough mass, so
you're creating the right profile. It doesn't matter how messy it looks or anything like
that. You can bring it back this way and make sure it's symmetrical from left to right,
but I'm not going to affect this right here cause that's what I was looking at.
So we added to the chin here, but we didn't add to here. This was the corner, right, and we
took our measurements off of that point. We're going to double-check all that stuff. We're
going to check the whole profile. I'm gonna show you how to be really careful and check
your work with the calipers. We're just going to swing the calipers here. We're going to
take a measurement here, here, here. We're just going to go all the way up.
Nose comes out a little more. See that? You want to get that angle right here of the nose correct,
so it comes up this way a little bit more.
It looks like this is falling down too much.
The bottom of the nose is more like that. We'll find tune the angles. We'll fine tune
all that later. Don't worry about that. You just want to have something there that is
close to the right mass, the right volume. Then you can start pushing and pulling it.
So again, I'm keeping it very simple. Even though I'm trying to match the profile better,
I'm keeping this one, two planes. Make sure the other side matches. It's pretty good.
Her nose is going to be a little smaller than that. It's not going to be so wide. I'm going
to cut into there, work on this bottom plane. Now, you'll notice I'm using my thumbs and
my fingers, but look how I'm using them like a tool. I'm making sure that I'm planing things
out just like the tool would.
For the most part, when you're building the mouth you can
just treat it like a sphere going around this way. Think about it as a mass wrapping around
the teeth. So it's not coming all the way out here to the cheek, it's just coming to here and here.
Again, this is just a starting point. Making sure not to really affect that
corner right here. We just added from the corner going up and around for the curvature
of the chin. You can see this underneath under the jaw. Take a look. There's some mass here.
Now, when you're looking at the face from the side, look at the corner of the eye right
here. Look how this curves back. It's better to bring this back further than it really
is than to keep it too flat. So in other words, we don't have that corner that we used to
have, but this is just round. From here to here, it rounds back. Same thing with the
cheek. Make it round more than it actually does. We can build back up anytime. So both
sides working in symmetry. I'm just trying to wrap this back. It doesn't matter what
it looks like. You see how everything is like a ghost image. It's very soft. We're going
to bring everything into focus. Think of a camera as you're manually focusing, and you're
looking at an image that is totally blurry, but you start to turn it towards focus everything
gets sharper and sharper and sharper. We're going to do that, but we have to have everything
very soft and in the right spot. We're gonna build a profile softly. We're gonna build
everything very softly and make sure that the placement's correct, and then we'll start
throwing in the harder planes and, you know, smaller shapes, smaller forms and everything
else will start to bring everything into focus.
OK, now that we have something, we're gonna take that initial point that we created in
the ear. It's called the intertragal notch. Let's just make sure that both of them are
really defined. Good. And they're on the same level.
So we're gonna measure from there the front of this now round chin. We don't have this conceptual corner for her chin anymore.
We actually have some volume. So we're gonna take that measurement and come over here.
Check it. Calipers got a little loose again. We're gonna go--get the clay off.
Very carefully transfer that over.
Again, let's make sure we have a nice center line just for this process.
OK, so I overbuilt it a little bit. Let's take that back. A little bit more. OK, good.
Don't want to alter that point. OK, let's go to the tip of the nose now.
Same thing, make sure to get the clay off.
That one is good. Here to here.
Go in a little bit more.
OK, that's good.
Now, I want to check some of these measurements going up, so I'm going
to take all of them from the base of the chin or right here. I'm gonna measure the base
of the nose. It can go up a little bit maybe to like right there. We'll check. OK, that's
good. While I'm here I want to get the level for the eyes. So she's looking straight ahead.
Go ahead and open your eyes and look straight ahead. I want to get the height for the pupil.
You got to be really careful that you're looking up or looking down. You're eyes need to be
on the same level as her pupil. So you put it at the chin. Find the pupils.
It's right there.
OK and then we're gonna have a line go across. You can go ahead and get the width
of the tear ducts too. I recommend not touching the tear ducts. Go below the tear ducts but
get the width correct. Make sure you're equal on left and right.
I'm just gonna get one more. I'm going to get what's called the wet line. It's where the lips meet.
It's what surgeons call it anyway.
So it doesn't matter when you get these. Sooner the better probably,
but that's what we're looking for. Those are the main considerations to place all of the
features and all of the structures correctly. We want to know where the lips meet, probably
the bottom and the top of the lip after that, but the base of the nose and the placement
for the eyes, where the glabella and the rhinion meet or the nasal bone, right where that meets
that. It's the bottom of that concavity. We can start building into that, but let's do
one more measurement. Let's find the projection of the lower lip.
So we're going to go from here to here. So it's sticking out too far.
The reason we're doing this again is to get the profile correctly. Just getting a little bit more.
OK, I think the rest of it we can do visually. Alright, go ahead and turn back towards me a little bit. That's good.
Now, I don't want to lose this measurement of the width of the tear ducts cause I got that already.
Let's see. This is a wire tool. Don't confuse it with this one. OK, this one is more like
a blade. I recommend not using this because it cuts into the clay unless you're trying
to cut pieces off of your block to use, very sharp. I recommend using this one. It's a
lot softer. So for sculpting and shaping we want to keep everything soft, remember.
I recommend using something like this over a sharp tool. What I want to do is get some
of this depth here. I'll come back and measure that later.
But as we work on the eyes and the area around the eyes, remember that everything is pretty much wrapping around the ball of the eye.
I'm trying to get this depth right here, so from here to here, that's what I'm
looking at. I'm not really concerned about the eyes right now. But look how everything
is just kind of soft and wrapping around the eye. There are a lot of different approaches
to creating the eye. Some people dig out the socket and put the ball in and then wrap--I've
done it this way--and then they wrap the eyelids around the ball. The problem with that is
that it's like a step-by-step. It's like a model you're building. But if you get the
ball incorrect in its projection, or if you get the diameter wrong or whatever; there's
a lot of things that can go wrong. Then you're stuck with it. You're stuck with the ball.
You're building lids on top of it. The ball is already placed in the head. If you have
any one of your axes incorrect, everything else is just gonna, you know, add to the problem.
So I like to build everything at once so it's all balanced.
There's too much clay here, so I gotta pull that off. We measured right here.
Remember the projection of the lips? I'm leaving that alone. I'm gonna leave the nose alone.
I'm going to leave all these points that we have measured alone. I'm not going to add to them or take away.
Add to the tip of the nose. But I measured to the tip right here, so as I curve this
down, see, I didn't affect that to that, but I did round the thing out a little bit more
like what it is. Now the nose, we have the base of the nose, but what actually happens
is a taper this way. See, we're not affecting again the bottom center, and then it tapers
this way on this nostril. Then we're just gonna round everything out.
So a little bit more cheek. I'm just looking starting up here, kind of feeling my way through it.
Obviously, the hair is coming down to here, so we're losing a little bit of the skull, so the forehead
is gonna look too tall, when really what's happening is the hair is covering to about
right there. So what we're gonna take into consideration is starting right here, how
this curves this way on both sides. Let's match that view. OK, she's got a great profile.
You can see all the pieces really nicely. You can see the frontal eminence, how that
has that curvature, and then as you come down here you have a little bit of a hollow, and
that's caused from the base of the frontal of eminence, how that meets the superior orbital
rim, which is right here. So you have a positive and a positive and a negative in between.
This sits at an angle going back like this, kind of at 45 degree angles.
So when you're working, it's a good habit to kind of walk around the model or whatever it is you're sculpting,
right, and try and get a good sense of how the profile changes as you're rolling around
it. Right, so you're doing this. The profile changes like that. So you're going to look
at the model. You're kind of scanning this, and you want to know exactly where this starts
and where it ends. That's what I'm trying to get a good sense of.
OK, now we're gonna match the profile again. I want to show you as we work our way down what are the differences.
Look how flat that is. It comes down here, and there’s really not a whole lot of structure.
Nothing is really like her yet. So we’re going to add to the cheekbone, which was the zygomatic and the inferior orbital rim.
We’re gonna add the pillar of fat in between that and the mouth, which is doing to help that line come down.
But you can see there’s a break.
You’ve got the curvature of the cheek, and then you’ve got the space in
between and see the nasal labial fold right here on her upper lip so this space here and
that, you can see those are two different tones. That’s because the planes are sitting
on two different angles. The one above her lip is facing the light source that way more,
right, or the one on her face is this way so it’s darker. It’s a lot like my hand
right now versus my arm. Change in planes.
Alright, you can see that it’s a littlebit more of a gradual fall off, this curve right here coming down.
Make sure this plane right here is really going back. It disappears in the outside corner of the eye.
This is curving down, which means we need a little bit more of this right here. It’s a pillar of fat.
This is pretty close, the outside corner of the mouth. Then as it comes down
to the chin it’s pretty close too. It seems like it could go in a little bit more.
OK, so this profile is now correct. Now I as I turn it, it’s no longer gonna be correct
over here. So I’m gonna leave this alone where I was working cause I know that that’s
right, and I’ll add to the left and the right of it. Does that make sense?
Whatever profile that you were working on, once you’ve built and it looks correct, leave it alone.
Don’t touch that. If that’s where you were actually working, like right here.
We worked this out. OK, so right here is correct, so we’re going to leave that alone
We're going to work on the other stuff. Go ahead and face me. Thank you.
Alright, so now looking at these other structures. Now remember, we took this width; it’s correct. So this is
flat, but on her it sticks out right here. That means that everything above and below
it is probably too wide. So that means I need to push in here, and I need to push in here.
By doing so that just got more full.
OK, so I’m looking at this profile here, how it comes in, curves up and out, and then it starts to go in again.
Same thing here.
The apex is about right here on her temporalis. It’s real easy to see on her right now.
So this curves down and starts to curve back in at that point right there.
When we block this in we put just a straight, flat plane from the bottom of the jaw. The jaw is actually
curved all the way from this back corner to the front to the chin. It’s all curved.
Probably need to add a little bit there, and then turn it in right before the ear.
So I'm looking at this corner of the jaw right here and thinking about how much further that goes
in. See, it turns in right here by the SCM or the sternocleidomastoid muscle right here,
so I’m gonna push that in. Some say “sternocleedo,” some say “sternoclido,” but we call it SCM for short.
OK, let’s take a look at the profile of her neck. Now, if you look
at her from right there, you can see her trap, and then you can see an angle going this way,
just looking at this outside edge, right? You see it come straight down, and then it
goes over that way and then here. So there, stop here, stop, and then up, stop to the ear,
versus what we have, very different. The reason for that is because the SCM comes
this way on the neck, and then you’re seeing trap in between—this line right here, that’s
the trap, and then the trap comes down this way too. But part of the trap, the front part
of the trap comes down this way, and then the back part of it goes over towards the
acromion process. So first of all, I want to dig this out a little bit. It’s more hollow.
So you can see by digging that out. You still have the tube there, but we now
have the SCM. So we can do it, you know, one of two ways. We can start on the back edge
of the SCM of the front edge. If we’re starting on the front edge, we’re really just trying
to divide this tube from those muscles.
So the line right here, the line goes from the ear where the jaw meets the neck pretty much to the sternal notch.
So draw a straight line down, and the structure in the middle for now is just going to be a simple tube.
So I'm looking at the height of the clavicle, and I’m looking at the profile, we need to add a little bit to her trap.
I’m going to introduce something that’s called pet screen. It’s kind of a heavy knit or heavy weave screen for like screen doors and windows for pets,
and then they coat it in like a rubber or some kind of plastic or something.
It's great for sculpting, and I’ll bring it in and introduce it at this stage where I want
to simplify these shapes that I’ve laid in.
So I’m adding a little bit of this back. In the beginning when you’re working around the eyes, ignore the eyebrows. Imagine those
are gone. Look at what the structure really looks like, and what you have is something
that is more like this. Eyebrows go this way, and the structure because of the glabella,
the fullness of the glabella, and then you see the top edge of the glabella, and then
the superior orbital rim goes this way. It’s more like a sad angle, right, it’s like
this versus the eyebrows that go this way. So I’m building the structure up. Look how
soft it is. Take away the eyebrow. You get a little bit of a peek here for the corner
of the eye, but you want to bring all of this up.
So we’re not worried about the eyelidsor the eye itself. We’re building everything around it. everything
This goes in. Remember, is based around the ball or the sphere or the globe of the eye. This goes in, comes
out towards us in the middle, and then it starts to go back again, that way back.
Same thing down here. This comes out and then goes back and then goes in as it goes towards the tear duct.
Then I’m going to have her turn and face like the sculpture, and then I’ll just check the depth here.
I want to make sure that—I’m going to look at the sculpture like this, and I'm going to look at her.
I’m going to measure the distance between
the nose here and the lower eyelid and make sure that the projection this way is in the
right position. Same thing with the upper eyelid. Now, I haven’t done the upper eyelid,
but the structure just above or the skin above the upper eyelid. Make sure the projection is correct.
So again, what I’m looking for is the distance. When I’m looking at a true profile I’m
looking from here to here and the space in between. How much of the nose can I see from
here right to there? So it’s measuring like this. Here’s the nose and the eye and then
that space in between, the difference in between.
Add some curvature here for the nose.
Let's turn her this way cause the lighting is gonna be better. Here we go.
So I'm trying to match that curvature of the upper lip. Let’s get the depth of where the lips meet.
It's called the wet line.
Now when I do this, the wing of the nostril or the cup of the nostril right here,
I’m going to draw a plumb line from the—well, actually what I’m gonna do
do is I’m gonna draw a line with my, you know, measuring with your eye, so I’m doing
this in my mind. I’m going straight up, and I want to see where that lands.
On her it’s about like that. It’s just barely behind that point that we measure where the
top of the nose meets the glabella. So that’s about right. The corner of her mouth comes
back to like here, just steps behind it a little bit. It all looks pretty good. This comes down.
OK, let’s have you turn and face this way. Sorry. Here we go.
Alright, so I’m going to take a minute and try and match these sides. Get in a little deeper.
That comes out. This needs to round, so I’m gonna add clay to that so it’s round like this one.
Again, I don’t want to make this too wide, so this seems to need to come out.
It seems like it needs to come out this way more, but what actually needs to happen is this
needed to go in, and this needs to go in here too.
I’m going to try and get this shape of the mouth correct. A very particular curvature of the wet line of the mouth where the lips
meet, so there’s a bit of a drawing that needs to occur, and then you can get the depth
and the angles correct after that. Like now I need to dig in.
I want to make sure that it’s dropping at the right angle. So I’m just going to use the rake tool.
It's a universal rake tool, kind of end here, the wooden end of it. Again, it’s flat here
and has a concave curve. This is convex on this side going this way and turning this
way as well. So I’m taking the flat side, with the sharp curve here. It’s a little
knocked off there. It doesn’t matter though. We’re going to go into the deep part of
the mouth and pull out and around, so we’re going to give the lip the curvature that it has.
Because this is a nice sharp edge, we’re starting deep and we’re pulling the tool out and around.
I'm kind of looking down at the lip and making sure that the angle in which it goes back is correct.
It helps to look down at the lips to make sure that you’re
getting the right planes in here. Now remember that the upper lip has three parts: a middle
part, two pieces either side of that. The lower lip has two fullnesses, one here and
one here. We’re going to add this center piece to the upper lip again.
Now I’m gonna take a tool that’s about the size of a nostril, and I’m just going to start, you know,
to the left of the center line there. It’s a little hard to see, but stick it up in there
and push it out to the side, and that’s gonna create the nostril for the most part.
A little hard to see, but see how this is flat on this side. It does not really matter.
You can do it with just about anything but make sure it’s not bigger than the nostril.
You can do it with a round tool. You just have to move that front and back because the
nostril is a little long this way, meaning it’s kind of like a kidney shape like a
kidney bean, so you want it to be deeper than it is wide.
Same thing on this side.
So now we have the center piece. We are going to keep it very plain here at the bottom.
We're going to match—remember, we already took care of the cup of the nostril here.
We're going to do the same thing on this side, gonna add a little bit. But I’m looking down at
the sculpture. I have to look down to make sure that left and right sides are going,
you know, they’re going to be on the same plane in space this way. Same thing with the
ears, the eyes. You always want to look down. Same thing with the lips. You want to look
down or up at your sculpture.
She doesn’t have a very strong greater alar cartilage.
On a lot of people you’ll see a nice full shape going this way, kind of pointed towards
the eye, but it’s very soft on her, very understated.
So the nose has a bottom plane like this around the nostril.
You can see a break between the cup of the nostril coming this way and a plane kind of cutting across it like this a little bit.
Very, very subtle on her, but if I made it more conceptual it would look like that.
So we're going to soften that out a little bit.
We’ll come back to that when we’re refining and resolving the forms.
It looks like the width is getting a little too wide.
That happened when we put the tool up there and we opened up the nostrils, so we have to push that clay back a little bit more.
The more simple you keep it the better. If you just worry about the width
and the planes and worry about that for now. Don’t worry about the smoothness or any of that.
Just keep the planes.
So in the beginning if you stage it carefully by making everything very soft, you don’t have to add that much
clay as you're coming in here and building all these structures.
So there are very small amounts of clay and volume that we’re putting on.
So I’m running over the whole piece looking for opportunities to push and add.
I’m trying to create the same value over the whole piece. I’m trying to get my sculpture
to catch light her face does. So if something isn’t turning into shadow, if I have the
same light source, if something is not turning into shadow like it is on her face, I know
that plane needs to turn away. You can see my hand. You can see how there’s a shadow
here, and there’s a light here. This plane is facing me more. This plane is facing you
more. So I’m always looking for those subtle differences, and if it’s a very soft transition
like right here from her forehead to her temporalis region versus on my sculpture it goes harshly
and quickly into shadow, I know I need to make that transition a little bit more gradual.
OK, so right now I’m fairly confident I can start laying in the eyelids.
So what I'm looking for, and look, this is going to be very simple. I’m looking for measuring from
here to here, so as I turn this in profile. Watch your shoulder real quick. Don’t want
to hit you with the board. So from your point of view, if you’re looking from here to
the eyelid, you’re looking at that space in between, how much of the nose you can actually
see. OK, go ahead and turn that way a little bit more. So I just roll out a little bit
of clay, and then I lay it where it should be this way. But I’m just putting it in
the middle. I don’t even take it all the way to the edge. Same thing on the bottom.
The upper eyelid is going to project from the side view. It’s going to project further
than the lower eyelid. So I’m trying to get a very basic idea of what her eyes are
going to look like with the majority of that mass should sit in space. I’m not resolving.
I’m not detailing it out. I’m not rendering it; that’s the more appropriate word.
I'm not rendering that out. I’m just trying to place it correctly. So if you stood way
back it would look like she has eyes. What I did is rolled out a little bit of this and
put it in the middle. The reason I did that is because if we’re thinking about the globe
of the eye the middle is going to be forward the most. As we wrap around that way or this
way it’s going to go back. Now, the reason why the tear ducts or the canthus of the eye,
the inner canthus, the reason why those are further forward than the lateral or the outside,
right, the lateral canthus or the outside corners of the eye. The reason why these stick
further forward than these ones which go back further is because we’re seeing more of
the globe. Does that make sense? We see more of the eye from the side than we do the inside.
So that’s about where her tear ducts were. So just visually measuring again, approximating
where those should be. Now, these pieces that I added I should start turning in. So we’re
pretending like we’re wrapping them around a ball. You notice how I’m doing just a
couple of movements. I’m curving that this way. I’ll come over here and do the same
thing. Curving that here to here, connecting those. Then I’ll work on the inside.
So what I’m doing—let me explain so you have an idea of what my plan is here. I am trying
to create all the structure around the eye before the eyelids before the eyeball. I’ll
do the eyeball last. It doesn’t matter if there’s anything in there or if it’s dug
out completely like this, you know, let’s just dig it out. Doesn’t matter if it looked
like that, or if it looked more like that. What I’m focused on is creating the eyelid.
So I’m gonna start wrapping the upper eyelid around this imaginary ball. So if I’m doing
that I’m forcing my elbow and my hand to create a nice, even arc.
So we're arcing around, and the lower eyelid is going to tuck underneath the upper eyelid. Just keep that in mind too.
So now I’m bringing in these little pieces to continue that lid.
Then I work on the bottom plane which gives me the shape of the eye. Work on that plane, jump
down to this plane. That plane kind of blends everything together.
Now there's actually more skin here. It’s gonna have that. We’ll redefine it in a minute. No big deal.
We want to make sure we have enough mass here to move around. So we’re not worried if it looks
right, or if that breaks that lineup or anything. We’re worried about getting the right volume
and then coming in and defining it.
Pull that up and away. So this should wrap around here too a little bit.
Everybody's eye is different. Everyone’s shape of everything is different, obviously. But what you need to pay attention
for on the lower eyelid is how much lower eyelid somebody has. Some people it just blends
right in to their cheek cause they have a lot of, it starts with the bone, of course,
but then how much fat they have. So sometimes immediately right after the eye it’ll just
turn into the cheek into this curvature down here. It’s really just a matter of how these
planes change. This one is a downward facing plane. This one is more of an upward and forward
facing plane, and this one right for this section here starts off as forward but more
upward. So it’s a transition of one, two, three. See how the planes turn? That one is
facing down. This one is facing towards me. This one is facing more towards the ceiling.
And so the variation in those three planes between people will give a completely different look.
So the more flat they are the softer the look. In this case the first one is very mild.
It’s just immediately under the eye on her.
We’re going to steal some clay from the inside, pull that down to the lid, so I don’t have to add. I can just steal that.
This will all change based on where somebody’s looking, because there’s an added curvature
to the cornea of the eye, and that pushes out against the lid, and it will change the
curvature or whatever the shape of the lower and upper eyelid is. So wherever they’re
looking, if they’re looking over here to the side you’re going to add more clay to
the upper and the lower eyelid because it’s pushing out a little bit more. So you have
the globe of the eye, and then where the cornea is or where you see the iris, the colored
part of the eye, that has an added dome that pushes out more. So it’s going to change
the structure before we even put in the actual eyeball. But you can save that to the last.
Just have a good idea of where you’re going with it right now. And so what I’m looking
for now is this curvature here. Some people’s eyes from there tear duct outward go down.
Some go up. Some stay pretty horizontal. So you just want to keep that in mind. Start
with the idea of horizontal. If you’re looking at the tear duct, it’s called the inner
canthus. It’s the outer or lateral canthus, is it higher or lower than this one?
If it's higher, the question is, in this case because it is, by how much? What angle? It’s about like that.
I don’t want to get too caught up in refining this right now,
but what I do want to do is make sure we have enough volume added.
So the approach I’m going about this right now is more how I would sculpt it, but it’s going to make sense why
I'm doing it the way I’m doing it now that I explained it.
So you can see this is a little more soft and organic than this over here. This is more harsh. I would avoid working
like this, and I would recommend working like this where you place the masses, and it’s
very soft and they’re not in the exact right spot. But then you come in with a tool, and
you can push everything slowly into place.
Little too much, so I just trimmed that off a little bit.
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