In part one I looked at the construction of the armature. Now I am ready to start some of the actual sculpting work.
After filling out the armature with a hard epoxy putty (Sylmasta A+B), I also used a little ProCreate to bulk out the feet. Once this was set I moved on to the polymer clay. I have never used polymer clay for a professional sculpt before, but I am aware that it is used by a growing number of European sculptors, and looking at their work it is hard not to be impressed...
I have used polymer clay once or twice for simple crafty projects, for example, the year before last I made this Santa for my sons school project out of Fimo...
I had had this Fimo lying around in the workshop for at least 20 years, and I was surprised that it was still relatively workable! However, for this new project I wanted the best quality materials, so I decided to look at some alternatives. Around a year ago I was given a block of Super Sculpey to try out and this seems like a good place to start. I also ordered up a couple of packs of Bees Putty, as it seems to be getting good results too.
Having done a little reading I understand that there can be issues with getting the polymer clay to stick to the armature. I left the epoxy putty I had underneath fairly rough and this seemed to work well.
I like to build up my figures with basic anatomy before I move on to clothing them. This is a good practice as it helps to ensure that the proportions come out OK. I found working with the polymer clay to be very enjoyable, slowly adding more clay and working my way up the legs and lower torso. Having an unlimited time to work the sculpt, rather than being restricted to an hour and a half as the putty sets, certainly is a refreshing feeling and removes a lot of the stress of the sculpting process. As it turned out, the removal of the time restriction, didn't actually lengthen the time spent on each area, but it doest make for a very different approach over all.
Once I was happy with the basic shape of the legs I started to add the drape of the fabric of the trousers. Now, obviously, as the clay does not set, it is very important not to touch or damage finished parts before baking them. For this reason I decided to finish the legs, and bake it, before moving on to the upper torso.
Some of the drapery and folds on the figure look a little odd at the moment, as there are, for want of a better word, "armour plates" to go down the left side of the figure, as well as various other bits of detail that will push the fabric around (his boots for a start).
Next post will see slow but steady progress up the torso!