Here I will be sculpting the basic anatomy for the Linna Babe™ for Bombshell Miniatures.
Ordinarily I use the same method for each figure I sculpt. They may be shaped differently but it is essentially the same process.
I start by making an armature if I don't already have one handy. Usually when I have several assignments I make up a whole batch of armatures at the same time. These are usually posed, attached to corks and sit on the top shelf of my workbench as I work through the batch.
To learn more about how I make armatures, see that section on the site - Armatures
This is what I refer to as a "blocked out" armature. I sculpt the faces separately on a wire and then cut them off to attach them to the armature neck wire which gives me more opportunity to pose the head so that it's positioned naturally. This is the stage where I will photograph the piece to send to clients to approve the pose before moving forward to the next stage.
Unfortunately I didn't snap pics of sculpting the face for this one, but I may make a separate guide for faces in the future.
I pretty much sculpt with ProCreate exclusively as my preferred material of choice. It handles much better for me than the traditional "greenstuff", although all of the methods I will be showing here are applicable to sculpting with greenstuff.
The ProCreate is mixed with only a tiny amount more of the white part than the hardener. This gives the final material a firmer cure. Throughout the process of blocking out the anatomy, these are the two tools I use the most. This is a #64 Scraper and a #0 firm chisel tipped clay shaper.
At times, like when sculpting anatomy or even drapery, I will add a tiny amount of Fimo to the mix of the putty. Usually it is only 10% or less. This does two important things. The first is, it reduces the "memory" of the putty and makes the material less elastic, so you can blend seams easily. Second, it extends the cure time by around an hour or so, giving you more time to finesse the sculpt before it cures.
Wedges are cut from the blob of mixed putty for the feet, calves and thighs. I usually work on large sections of a model at a time. If you are a beginning sculptor, you may only want to work on smaller sections, and thus smaller mixes of putty, at a time. For example, you may only want to mix up enough to work on just the feet and the lower leg and allow that to cure before moving on to another section.
I like to work on a sculpt from the feet up. So starting with the first wedge, I divide that to make equal amounts of putty for the feet.
All of the wedges are positioned on the armature simulating muscle groups they are to represent. It helps to know your subject and the internet is the best resource you have for reference material. It is always more convincing to work from something that the object actually looks like rather than what you may think it looks like.
The masses are formed around the armature and the seams are blended together using the clay shaper. You may find it easier to work with a different tool to do this and it is recommend you experiment to find what works best for you.
After the legs are generally blended I add more material for the hips and pelvis working further up the figure.
Sometime I have to move the arms out of the way to work. I this case I eventually broke both arms off the armature repositioning them. No worries as they can be puttied back on with no problem.
The mass for the glutes are added and also blended in.
Continuing on, I add a mass to the front of the torso.
Another mass is added to the back of the torso.
This is all blended and shaped to resemble a leather breastplate, so I left a little ridge along the waist.
The back is also smoothed out. Continue to turn your model around as you work on it and check the contours to make sure the shapes are all cohesive.
Once all of the surface is smoothed out, I begin on the boots by cutting the edge of the boot soles with the scraper tool. Here I am using the smooth edge of the Spoon Shaped Putty Knife to add folds and creases to the boots. You can also use a large needle tool or some other tool with a smooth rounded form.
After cutting the straps into the leather breastplate, this is as far as the first anatomy session will go. By this time the putty I have mixed is now very firm allowing for the seams, folds and other details to be cleanly worked into the areas where they are needed.
I have reattached the arm and this is now ready to go into the "putty oven". To read more about the various sculpting materials, their properties and cure times, see the section on Sculpting Putty.
You can discuss the process or ask questions in the Workbench Forums here.
For the next session see Sculpting Linna - Drapery