E: Nosso amigo David me enviou um artigo com técnicas para quem deseja iniciar na escultura de figuras!!!
E: Nuestro amigo David me envio un articulo con técnicas para los que desean empezar en la escultura de figuras!!!!
Some basic tips for beginners at sculpting
1) Basic Armature:
Most sculptors will start with some form of wire armature to capture the basic pose and proportions. Depending on what scale you are working in you can use paperclip wire or thin brass rod for this (or even copper wire but that is more flexible so more chance of bending out of the desired position when you apply putty).
I usually make little pelvis and torso pieces and then use the paperclip wire for the arms and legs and to connect the head to the torso and torso to the pelvis.
Establishing the pose and proportions correctly at this stage is very important. You can make some minor corrections by where you add the putty but not normally enough to correct any major flaws.
When it comes to proportions I would suggest you look on the web as there is plenty of useful info about this. Some sculptors work on the height of the figure (including the head) being equivalent to 8 heads. My personal taste is about 6.5 as I feel the head can look a little small using 8 heads. You can probably use between 6-8 heads without too much worry as this varies in real life. However, other bodily proportions still need to be observed to make that work visually.
Once you’ve established the wire armature, solidify this by building up a thin layer of putty over it. This just forms the foundation for what is to come so whilst you can try and achieve some impression of musculature for later reference this needn’t be done in a really artistic way. Remember also that you should not go too thick at this stage as otherwise the figure can start to look too bulky when you build up the next layers of clothing/equipment. This is a good time to establish where elbows and knees would be.
Having photos taken of yourself in the pose can really help you to understand the proportions and also how the folds/creases naturally form in clothing as a result of that pose.
2) Stopping putty sticking to the tools too much whilst working the putty with them or applying small pieces of putty:
Putty sticking to tools is fairly easy to overcome. Whilst working the putty you can brush some talcum powder over the area concerned which helps a bit (when you’ve finished working the area you can brush the talc away with water. The simplest way to stop the tool sticking seems to be keeping the tip you’re working with slightly moistened. You can achieve this by using some form of oil (baby oil, olive oil, etc) or use saliva by sticking the tip of the tool between your lips (this is what I tend to do since I saw Bill Horan doing it when he was demonstrating). I should warn you to be careful only to do this when the tool is clean (i.e. doesn’t have putty sticking to it) as you don’t really want to be swallowing putty. I did use oil before.
When applying small pieces of putty, mostly you can do the shaping of the putty once it’s applied then just apply a small blob by twisting the tool to get the putty to stay on the figure. Then use appropriate tools to shape the blob to the desired shape. If you need to add a flat part, you can apply the putty then use a rolling pin motion to spread it evenly, then carefully shape edges with a scalpel blade. The surplus can be carefully removed with a sharp tool dipped in water.
3) Applying putty before shaping/sculpting:
For larger areas like arms, legs, torso, etc - I usually apply one or more pieces of putty I’ve flattened with my fingers. E.g. For an arm, let’s say you have the original armature and on top of that you have applied an additional layer to solidify the pose etc - Taking a piece of putty you have flattened with your fingers, wrap this around the arm. Then take a tool which can be used in a backward/forward rolling pin motion over the putty (one of the Royal Sovereign rubber tipped tools works very well for this) and spread the putty over the area to be worked using this motion. This can be rather hit and miss to start with but with a little practice is gets easier to spread it evenly. If the putty is too thick in any areas and the rolling technique can’t solve it then just shave thin amounts off with a sharp scalpel until it looks about right.
4) Adding seams to clothing:
These can just be painted in but sometimes you may want to add a seam line.
After you’ve sculpted the arm you can a seam by using a scalpel blade. I tend to use one with a rounded edge (eg Swan Morton No.10). I usually wait until the putty has cured for at least an hour as there is more resistance to the blade. At this point you can just carefully make an impression with the blade along the seam. Be careful if there are raised folds etc. Sometimes rather than running the blade along the length I use a slight rolling motion with the blade (which I generally just hold in my fingers for this purpose and not on a handle) or even just pushing into the putty with a small part of the blade in difficult area. For tighter folds where the round head blade can’t access so well you can always use a finer tipped blade. Blade type is probably a matter of personal preference anyway. If you concerned the putty will stick to the blade either brush the area with talc or dip the blade in water and wipe each side once on the back of your hand to remove most of the water.
5) Rolling out putty into flat sheets:
If the sheet will be used to cut belts from etc, then use GS on it’s own as it will be flexible after curing and can be bent around the figure etc. For clothing or flags etc where you might need to do some sanding afterwards, I would use the MS/GS mix. .
My method is mix the putty first then make a mental note of the time. Then I spread some talcum powder on my work mat and also cover the surface of the putty with that to stop it sticking to the tool. I then flatten the putty with my fingers, then use the handle of one of my rubber tipped tools as a rolling pin and roll the putty flat. The tool also normally needs to have a dusting of talc. I usually need to brush some more talc over the putty and mat and tool during this process if the putty starts to stick to the mat or tool. Again practice makes this whole process easier to do to get an even thickness and to gauge the thickness. If using duro in isolation, I sometime mix a little talc into the putty to remove some of the inherent stickiness but only after the putty is fully mixed on its own and only a small amount of talc.
After the putty is rolled to the desired thickness I will leave it for about 75 minutes from the initial mixing time as it is easier to work with when it has part cured.
Cutting it to shape and fitting is again something that has to be learnt from trial and error and you will gradually develop a feel for it - I still find it pretty difficult - you might be surprised to hear that the cutting can be done quite nicely with a pair of scissors. If you try and use a scalpel be careful as trying to use a cutting motion can drag/stretch the side of the putty being cut and distort the shape you are trying to achieve and the thickness of the putty along that edge.
6) Straps, belts, rifle slings, etc.
In smaller scales electrical tape can be very useful for these. Just remove the sticky backing from a strip of tape by wiping with some rag or kitchen roll dipped in white spirit or similar. You can then cut belts and straps from that piece and attach using super glue. For thinner or thicker straps/belts you can always roll out some GS into a thin sheet, leave to fully cure then cut from that.