Well done everyone who entered, congratulations to the fellow winners, and thank you Andrew for the appreciation and comments. I watched a couple of the follow alongs and found the advice to focus on contours really helpful. If anyone is looking for a silver bullet, that made this second sculpture of mine a huge improvement on my first one. Happy sculpting everyone!
Hey everyone, I'm doing the figure sculpting class to hopefully improve my drawing with a better understanding of form. It's a lot of fun so far, even though it feels like I'll have clay under my fingernails for the rest of eternity. I had already bought monster clay before the 5$ challenge was posted, but aside from that I only used aluminum foil and paperclips.
Here is a face that I based, especially in the early stages, on Jesse. I began with the profile, and I tried to really get Jesse's basic profile. After I had that, I tried to work without the photo reference as much, exploring the shape of the face and the features in ways that I thought was interesting. I probably would have learned more by being more faithful to the references the whole time, but I enjoyed working in something of a hybrid way. Is this a bad way to use reference materials, in this sort of hybrid way? I didn't used an armature for this--it is solid clay. I used a cheap clay that comes in multi-colored bars, which I kneaded together. The clay was a little over $2 a pound, but I used less than half of that. (I gave some thoughts on the clay in another post in this thread for a torso I did, so I won't repeat that here.) For tools, I used a paperclip, which I mangled a little bit so that I had loops of slightly different sizes and shapes. I also used a tooth pick. I broke it in half by accident, half way through sculpting, but then realized that the broken off end has its uses as well.
Here is an ear I did from Jesse. I really enjoy sculpting ears. They have a sort of cool, abstract quality. I used Van Aken Plastalina clay. I really expected to like this. Both the color and the branding style made me think that this was a much better clay than the multicolor clay sticks I used for other sculptures this month. I didn't like it much, though. It was too sticky; it was just hard to work with. After I got the basic shape of the ear, I put the sculpture in the fridge to harden it up a bit. This worked, and it got rid of the stickiness--it was fine for a little detail work, but I still wasn't a huge fan. Overall, I was disappointed with this clay, but maybe I just need to learn to use it better. The Plastalina was on sale, and the whole bar cost me a little over $2. I probably used less than a dollar's worth, though. The only tool I used, besides my hands, was this paperclip. I sculpted it on a wood flooring sample that I had laying around the garage, and which I got for free from a flooring store.
So here is my first of three sculptures I did for this challenge, and I figured I would upload all of them, since you said multiple submissions were okay. In any case, this was my first torso sculpture I have done, although I have been practicing sculpting the human head. I found the torso a lot of fun to make. I have only done the front. (Let's pretend it is a very high relief piece that still needs to be attached to a background!) I wanted to really dig into the minimal tools on this one, so I didn't use any at all. Just my fingers. I actually quite like the texture I got by using the back of my fingernail to do the final finishing on it. I began my armature by making a kidney shape out of crumpled newspaper, and then covered this with aluminum foil. For the clay, I used some very cheap and colorful modeling clay that was clearly intended for children. I never would have picked this up, but it seemed similar to what I saw Andrew talking about from the Dollar Store. Although I didn't get mine at a dollar store (I checked; they didn't carry any), it was very cheap. It was on sale for about $2.15 a pound. I liked this clay quite a bit, although there were two things I don't like about it. First, it takes a lot of time to knead all the colors together. Although I like the final color, I don't like taking 30 minutes to knead it together. I wondered if I could melt it together, but I was afraid this might make my house smell. Second, the clay sometimes tears when I push it around--it doesn't have the plasticity that I would like. Overall, though, I was impressed with the clay and would use it again. I used about a pound and a half on the torso.
Hello all Here is ‘Jesse 233’, my second sculpture and my entry for the Proko Cheap Sculpture Challenge. Although I suspect I fell at the ‘cheap’ hurdle, as I bought 2lbs of Chavant Medium for £17.49 (or $24.30 equivalent). Other than that, I already had (from my first sculpture) some aluminum wire, flower wire, pliers, Milliput original, and a wooden block, for making the armature. For reference the set of six miniature pliers was £13.99. For tools, again, I already had a homemade rake (a pedicure baton with a 24-gauge nickel wound guitar string offcut attached), and I supplemented this with a crappy plastic handle, metal end dental tool (although I do have some dental tools bought specifically for sculpture, in the spirit of the challenge, this was just lying around at home.) All in then, the ‘from scratch cost’ is probably around $50. I made the armature using the simple mannikin frame drawings on page 40 of Loomis’ Figure Drawing book if you know it, which gave me an 11cm skeleton, slightly larger than the 75mm I sculpted at before. I made many, many errors (procedural and structural) in my first sculpture (you can see it on my Instagram @fairygrot). Since then I have learnt more about sculpture and I wanted to focus on two of these fundamental learnings, also referenced by Andrew so far on this course. 1. Getting the pelvis and rib cage right. 2. Focusing on contours (as opposed to internal information). Having the rotational pose photos was incredible. I really tried not to get sucked into internal anatomical detail I knew was there but couldn’t see on the contour. I only started adding some internal volume in the last couple of sculpting sessions. I also didn’t get bogged down in refining. I tried. But then I discovered that my tools just dragged the clay where I didn’t want it (very different to the polymer clay I used for my first sculpture). So early on I dropped the tools, and gave myself a goal of only using my fingers (the face of my pinky finger nail ended up making a much better shaping and smoothing tool than the dental tool). I therefore only used my home-made tool in the last session for trying out some raking across the chest, abdomen and thighs. Everything else is with fingers. This was done over five or six sessions, including one for making the armature, of between one and three hours. Ten to fifteen hours all in I think. My girlfriend ‘suggested’ I stop at this stage (i.e. she banned me from continuing), which I think is the right decision. I wanted to do something more gestural and loose and, despite this taking 5x longer than it probably should, I am happy with the outcome. Sorry for the waffle but, given the audience, I hope you found it interesting. Good luck with the challenge, all! Dan
Budget: aluminum foil, packing foam, tape and paperclip .. $0 and last but not least...clay that I have had for several years, I believe it is plastilina clay?? So my goal was just to have fun and not to overthink this piece. I’m planning to work on some more for practice. But definitely a great place to start. Side note: plastilina is super sticky, try something more hearty, but mine was free :) Thank you Andrew for the opportunity to participate in this course.