Why are dragons easier to make than humans?
I’ve made tons of dragons and mythical creatures such as these over the past two years.
But, I have never tried proper realistic sculpting. I wanted to try working in proportions and follow proper sculpting techniques so that the model looks like a real human.
I made Maleficent because of 3 reasons-
- She has horns, so, I wouldn’t have to make the hair.
- She doesn’t wear very complicated gowns or anything so the clothes would be easy to make.
- She is pretty cool.
She didn’t turn out that great. But, from a learning aspect, it was a very useful experience. Here is a description of my sculpting process. Not a tutorial; just an account of the experience.
I used Creating Lifelike Figures in Polymer Clay by Katherine Dewey as a guide. It is a great book. It gives a detailed description of everything you need to know for creating lifelike figures. From clay to tools to amount to templates, everything is there.
I started with a foil base and added layers of clay to it. Initially, it was going quite well. I made the base of the skull and defined the jaw. This is how it looked like when I started to work on the details of the face. One of the major difficulties I faced was trying to keep my clay clean.
I had already been working on the face for more than 5 hours. Everything was happening so slowly. The face did not seem to be resembling Maleficent and it looked quite scary.
At this point, I had given up. But, my mom urged me to continue. And I did.
After this, I refined the forehead and moved to the lips. I messed up the lips. I worked on them for a long time before I went on the easy route and shaped some red clay into thin logs and stuck them on the face.
I made the eyelids, eyebrows, and the horns.
I moved on to the torso next. Made a foil base and covered it with clay. This is the part that I found the easiest.
I put the sculpture in for baking.
I cut two pieces of wire and added the hands to it. I baked this separately.
After positioning the hands as I wanted them, I draped roughly cut fabric over the wire-arms. Then I cut out a circle with a hole in the center and glued it on the foil as the skirt.
In the end, I made a staff with a piece of wood and an amethyst crystal.
I felt quite accomplished after making this. For a first-timer, I did an okay job. I picked up many new techniques and have a newfound appreciation for realism sculptors. I will surely try more realistic sculpting in the future.