In the first part of this stage, you’ll see how the armature was made and how the statue looks with just the first few minutes of build-up. In the second set of photos, the figure is more smoothed and finished out, although it’s still very early in the process.
The rough was done quickly with a high degree of spontaneity, which is intentional. You want to get a quick, visceral read on whether the pose is working or not.
In the build-up stage, the key is to keep control of the process and to not let the figure lose the life and energy captured in the rough. I work by adding material all over the figure with an emphasis on the torso. The arms are less important at this stage and on some pieces I would even remove the arms, as they get in the way of the sculpting of the torso.
The build-up is additive, although later the process becomes more additive and reductive as the figure is refined. As you can see on her back, I add the muscle anatomy in rounded sections. Even at this stage, the dynamic quality of the anatomy should be evident. If you have the foundation correct, everything else will fall into place much more easily.
Most of this stage is built up by hand and with a simple flat wooden tool or two. At the beginning of any sculpture, most of the work is done by direct placing of Sculpey to figure. As the figure progresses, tools become more in use and by the end of the sculpting, virtually all work is done using sculpting tools (except general shaping, as on the armor sections which we’ll discuss later).
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