Art: Where can I learn to sculpt people and realistic fantasy creatures better?
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    Where can I learn to sculpt people and realistic fantasy creatures better?

    Sculpture class I've seen in every college teaches surreal sculpting, not to mention expensive as all end and I'm pretty broke. I want to be able to sculpt humanity and fantasy beasts so real you ponder on if it truly is. I know I can can learn at home to some extent, teach my self. I've tried, and have taken myself as far as I can. I love to work with my hands, and when I'm sculpting it's up there with the happiest I've ever been. It's gotten very, very frustrating seeing something is off, something's wrong with each of my statues and not knowing how to fix them. I learn best where I can observe and inquire upon how exactly something is done. I need a teacher or a school and cannot afford either... What would you suggest I do?

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    Last edited by Ineffable; December 9th, 2009 at 07:21 PM.
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    There are a lot of seminars on the subject of figure modeling and character design, but those are pricey (Google search for conferences). The next best thing is conceptart.org - POST YOUR WORK - we will critique it and suggest ways to fix problem spots. The DVD Modeling Set from John Brown is a great resource http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/dvds/scu_ble.html if you have $400.00 to invest. Hope that helps.

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    Oh Yeh, "I want to be able to sculpt humanity and fantasy beasts so real you ponder on if it truly is." It can't be taught - this is the line between skill and talent. Practice makes perfect, so sculpt and sculpt and sculpt some more.

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    Practice, practice, practice. Your own self is the best teacher. You learn by doing and observing....teachers can only show you what materials you can use or how to use them, but it is entirely up to you to develop your skills.

    -Mike Cross


    Sculpting Thread|My Website| DeviantArt |My Blog
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    Gotta agree with eb and Mad cross, but conceptart really does help improve you. I mostly lurk but anytime I've asked a question or posted some work I've been swamped with helpful and honest opinions suggestions and advice. You are already one step closer to realizing your goal just by being a member of this forum.
    Just stick with it practice and post what you've done, this forum has helped me no end, it's sometimes like an education in itself.
    Oh and good luck.

    Someday I wanna be as good as Andy Bergholtz.
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    Classes can help - you just have to use their language: You can buck the trend and do all sorts fun stuff if you use words like "dream-imagery" and "really-hyper-realistic" then throw in an "incredibly-personal" for good measure. It's bollocks, but it works.

    To be honest though - the people above are right CA.org is a beast of a resource to have at your disposal. Post some work and see where you go

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    "I want to be able to sculpt humanity and fantasy beasts so real you ponder on if it truly is."

    This thought made me think of a story by H.P Lovecraft called Pickmans model, about a sculptor who draws and sculpts monsters and horific visions. The catch is that he has rather unique source material to give him the edge in terms of realism. You should check it out, I think you would enjoy it.

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    my current attempt at sculpting, it will be a seraphim













    Last edited by Ineffable; August 10th, 2009 at 04:31 PM.
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    or and here are some others





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    Quote Originally Posted by TitusCrow View Post
    "I want to be able to sculpt humanity and fantasy beasts so real you ponder on if it truly is."

    This thought made me think of a story by H.P Lovecraft called Pickmans model, about a sculptor who draws and sculpts monsters and horific visions. The catch is that he has rather unique source material to give him the edge in terms of realism. You should check it out, I think you would enjoy it.
    Funny you should mention Lovecraft, I've been inspired by cthulhu already and hope to do a better full body statue as soon as I feel I am better able to

    Last edited by Ineffable; August 7th, 2009 at 09:51 PM.
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    Yes, I agree that the best thing you can do is just keep sculpting. You also need to always be brutally honest with yourself about your own work and what you need to work on improving. Otherwise, you will not improve.

    If you want to create lifelike figure works then one of the most important things you need to study is anatomy. I cannot stress this enough. And you never stop learning either. After 40 years (I started with anatomy books as a small kid...) I still need lots of reference around me when doing a figure or portrait. The study of drapery also goes along with anatomy to a certain degree and a good knowledge of both goes a long way. Your local library should have a few books to help you with these.

    One thing I will give a dissenting opinion on is that a teacher can only help you learn to use the materials. This is not completely true in my experience. A good teacher can, and should, teach you much more, such as how to view things in a way that you will begin to see things in a truthful manner. How to see inside yourself. And even more specific things such as anatomy , design, style, etc. However, not all teachers can be in person I know. That leaves books, DVDs and forums like this and others.

    Ultimately, one of the most useful things you can do is train your eyes to SEE. It won't happen overnight, but you will get better at it. How? As stated above, practice.

    Good luck!

    MVT

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    Buy the two classic books on sculpture by Lanteri:

    http://www.amazon.com/Modelling-Scul...dp/0486250067/
    http://www.amazon.com/Modelling-Scul...dp/0486250075/

    You also need to learn more anatomy. See the list of resources David Briggs compiled:
    http://djcbriggs.googlepages.com/artisticanatomy
    http://djcbriggs.googlepages.com/medicalanatomy
    http://djcbriggs.googlepages.com/animalanatomy

    I'd also suggest some visits to a natural history museum and a zoo would be time well-spent, as well as life-drawing classes - in all of these, go draw - it will help you learn the anatomy.


    Dave

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  21. #13
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    I took off the wing and did that one all over as well as adding some more wings, all six of them








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    Short answer, come to this forum ;0)

    Slightly longer, get some good books that show proportions and sculpting techniques.

    This one's good and this one is brilliant. Alot of fantasy sculpture is based on the real world so learning to sculpt the human form is essential. Reference books on animals are also extremely useful.

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    These are some things I've been working on recently
    My three piece fawn band members








    A larger scale, Pan. I only have his legs started yet...and a doodle sculpture my niece asked for.








    Another random doodle sculpture





    So what do you think and what can I improve upon? Give details please

    Last edited by Ineffable; December 9th, 2009 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Pictures didn't show
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    Hi, I think you are getting some really good advice from these guys. My 2 cents worth; Trust yourself, when you sculpt, you are the creator, and you should follow your own feelings. From what I am seeing of your work, you are on a good path. It's true, the more you sculpt, the better you become. There is not one artist out there that doesn't see flaws in his own work. Something he could have done better, or just differently. Trust your own eye. It will not lie to you, and remember, there really is no "right or wrong", just what looks good.
    The comment about references is soooo true. I keep a scrape book of just images that I see in magazines. Tear out the page and save it for later. Take lots of pictures also of anything you see that catches your eye.
    You'll be just fine. We all have doubts, welcome to sculpture, don't let them hold you back.

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    Study-- Sculpt--study---sculpt---study--sculpt..

    Rinse and repeat. The best thing you can dofor yourself, without attending a school or classes, is to study the world around you. Study anatomy, both real figures and reference books. See if there is a local drawing group or something similar that does (on the odd occasion) modeling, either nude or clothed. I can't stress enough studying. I didn't at first thinking i knew what I was doing, and I found myself to be quite wrong. I grabbed a few books on anatomy and then did studies with the nude model and my skills jumped a heck of a bunch.

    And as everyone said. Post your work. Even if its on random other art sites, you are going to get feedback. Its a professional tool that helps you become a better artist.

    Best of luck!
    -Ave

    I LOVE CRITIQUES

    KAH-BOOOOOM!!!
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    There's no replacement for good old fashoined practice. Don't be afraid to mess up, but more importantly, if you mess up and are unhappy with something, don't be afraid to tear it down and start again.

    I hear you about being broke--classes and books and DVDs are great, but can be expensive. Definitely pursue them if you have the money, but there's also lots of free websites out there with good information (not always as good as what you'd get on a DVD by a professional, but that's where the experimentation and self-teaching comes in...)
    Good anatomy reference is vital for realism, getting all the muscles and everything in the right place makes all the difference. And also the final surface/skin texture. This site is extremely useful: http://www.posemaniacs.com/ and this thread also has a lot of useful references, I particularly like the link to the site with animal muscle diagrams: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=130472

    And, as others have mentioned, this very website is a whole pile of resources. If you post your work and ask for critique, you'll get useful advice. If you haven't checked out the "Smellybug Maquette Tutorial" in the sticky section of this forum, you definitely should, it is immensely helpful with every step of the sculpting process, from the armature stand to the final paint job.

    For example, I noticed on the wings of your seraphim figure, they look awful anime-like, with the exaggaratted spiky feathers. I'd recommend looking up photos and diagrams of bird's wings, they're actually structured somewhat like human arms and the feathers follow a specific pattern.
    This as opposed to this:

    Depending on what kinds of creatures you're making, and the body structure and skin/accessories they have, whether it be leathery, fur, feathers, whatever, search the crap out of Google, or magazines, or books at the library for photos of real animals or other things that have those qualities, and learn to translate it to your sculpt.

    Oh, and also--having a good set of tools can also make all the difference.

    And hallelujah--other people who know about H.P. Lovecraft!

    Last edited by SavageGoldfish; December 10th, 2009 at 03:37 PM.
    Critters! Dinosaurs! Lovecraftian horrors! ~~~~~> My creature sculpting thread!
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