So... I've always been pretty abysmal at anatomy.

Let's just say I have a complicated history with art. I'm 20 and in school, and I've been in and out of Art school, cities, experiences, and mental states. Mostly because of art. Art school worked so poorly for me that in the first week after I left art school, I taught myself more than I got in a full semester in the program.

I'm currently studying asian history at a seriously hardcore school while self teaching myself art and taking a few art classes on the side while avoiding the "Art School" paradigm (no mo' that shit). Point being, getting around to anything beyond sketching at night and during particularly boring classes is tough, let alone attending the weekly figure drawing sessions. Mostly I've been working off of other people's sketchbooks, following their preliminary lines to see if I can trick my brain into understanding depth on a 2-D plane. I've always been gifted with sculpture - I can do it with my eyes closed, my fingers seem to do the seeing. That said, I was thinking... perhaps I can use my natural talent in the 3-D to support my 2-D endeavors. My drawing skills leave much to be desired, and perhaps creating 3-D models of my characters or environments would carry me along.

So my question to the community is this: has anyone else experienced this need of using outside techniques to improve your 2D skills? And on a more practical point, anyone who works with small scale sculpting (I'm thinking maybe 6 x 4 x 4 or so), what sort of material should I be on the look out for - something cheap, non-perishable, easy to work with but able to keep its shape and detail, and reusable.

My first inclination is to say plasticine, but I've been so out of sculpting that I'm completely out of the loop.

(self teaching is difficult)