1st likeness sculpt and clay/sculpting questions. Regan

syborwolf

Well-Known Member
I'm sculpting this out of Prima clay that I had bought years ago when I had planned to start sculpting...but never did. The blocks were as hard as a brick. I put them in a crock pot and they softened up nice.....but now that I'm sculpting with it I have a lot of lighter colored bits in the clay that are very hard and impossible to smooth out.
Anyone have this happen before?
Anything I can do to fix the remainder of my clay?
It looks as though the outer shell of the clay was harder than the rest and now is broken up and mixed in with the softer clay....kind of like sculpting with chunky peanut butter!


Now once I get the likeness and shape down, do I smooth it out before I add all the scars? Or smooth it out and add pores and skin texture later?
Also, I plan on sculpting her hair on this bust, should I sculpt on the ears or leave them off since they will be covered by hair anyway?
The sculpt is around 1:2 scale, I would think.
Thank you,
Joe
 

syborwolf

Well-Known Member
Also...
On a approximate 1:2 scale bust like this would sculpted hair or a wig/real hair added to the finished painted bust be the best bet??

Thanks,
Joe
 

Alaneye

Well-Known Member
Hi, I think you've just about nailed the likeness, there is no mistaking this is the young Linda Blair. Personally I would get the face close to finished, then add the cuts and scars. If you can't see the ears at all I would not bother sculpting them, or you could just lay in the general ear shapes if you feel they might help with the fall of the sculpted hair. I prefare sculpted hair at this scale myself, but real hair could work if you can get the right scaled strands and have the skill to style it. It looks really great at this stage and I look forward to seeing your progress.
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
For a first likeness sculpt I think you've nailed it pretty convincingly. There's no mistaking who this is supposed to be. It's looking really cool as it is now - so much character and emotion in the piece. Would almost be a shame to scar it up.
 

syborwolf

Well-Known Member
Thank you for the info and comments guys!! I will finish off the face then add the scars. Probably will add the ears to help the sculpted hair sit right, like you suggested. I will update this thread with more progress pics as I go.
I really enjoy the sculpting process, as I felt I would. It is amazing how much I am learning about it as I go and how much there is to learn.

Joe
 

toothboy

Active Member
Simply awesome. Likeness sculpts are so hard to pull off but you are nailing it!! Keep the updates coming.
 

syborwolf

Well-Known Member
Update:
An artist on another board pointed out some symmetry issues with my sculpt.
I tried to fix what I could without totally resculpting everything. In the process I lost the likeness and had a heck of a time recapturing it! After much work, I feel I have corrected the symmetrical discrepancies and have gotten her likeness back....I hope!
Here is where she sits today.


Joe
 

Alaneye

Well-Known Member
She looks so creepy already, especially with that bald head. Glad you sorted out the 'issues' though to be honest, I don't really know what they were. I have a bit of an issue with the notion of symmetry myself... if you look at someone other than yourself in the mirror you will often see that one eye looks higher or lower than the other, or one cheek looks different. I've looked at my own sculptures through the mirror and sometimes found similar 'issues' but if it looks fine when not looking in the mirror I figure, if it's good enough for Mother Nature, it's good enough for me. On the other hand, if you are seeing something wrong that you can't quite figure out, then looking at it in the mirror is often a good way to pick it up.

If I were you doing the night dress, I'd sculpt the actual grament first (assuming that there are at least a few folds in the cloth), before sculpting the trimmings. I'm also not sure you have the details of the 'ruffles' correct, if that matters to you. I Googled some images but none of them seem to show it clearly. I have the movie on bluray, I could possibly grab a few frames for you if you need it?

Al
 
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Alaneye

Well-Known Member
Been looking a her a bit more and I think she looks younger than she is in the film, and I think the reason might be that her shoulders are a little too narrow, making her head look bigger on her shoulders as is so with younger children. Just a thought.

Al
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
If the other artist pointed out symmetry issues as seen on the actress herself, then by all means take the advice, but if it is just general symmetry issues and not checking with the likeness, then it is bad advice.

Always when holding up the sculpt in the mirror, do the same with the likeness you are trying to achieve - in this case the actress.

Personally I like the previous look better. There's now something strange about that curved upper lip and the jaw.
 

syborwolf

Well-Known Member
Thank you for the replies and nice comments guys!
Al you and TMG are helping me a great deal, and I really appreciate it! I am learning so much!
I tried to fix the narrow shoulders of the body by extending them more. I would of liked to just cut them shorter and do the sculpt without the shoulders, but I have a plaster form inside it with shoulders. I may extend them a bit more and bring the torso down some too.
I too have the bluray, and I watched it today and took some screengrabs of her nightgown in this scene. It is still very hard to figure out just where all that lace and frills come from and go. This is what I came up with so far. I tried to sculpt the majority of the night shirt with wrinkles first (very hard to do) for me at least. I still need to fix the wrinkles and try to make them look right...plus a ton of cleanup. Then back to the head for cleanup and scars. Don't know if I'm cut out for this lol...it's fun but frustrating and may take more skill and patience than I possess! No pun intended..

Joe
 

Alaneye

Well-Known Member
When I sculpt I try to get the forms right, then refine and refine, then detail (and usually refine some more :) )... I enjoy the detailing stage more than the blocking stage as the former is about getting the likeness... if the forms aren't right then it ain't going to look like them no matter how much detail you layer on later. I think you have the forms right for the likeness.

I usually cut the shoulders about where the seam of the sleeve would be, if you wanted to do it like that I'm sure you could use a junior hacksaw or something to cut through the plaster former. Cutting them off lets us know that they extend further and the mind can fill in the rest.

I think the frustration stems from lack of good reference, like her night dress, for example. If I can see the forms that I can usually recreate them in clay. It can also be useful to get someone to wear something similar, take photos and use that for folds reference. Unless you are really experienced you really can't make up the way folds look, and if it isn't right then the eye picks it up and I feel it can detract from the piece.

Don't forget to check out the extras on the Exorcist disk, you never know, there might be something clearer in the behind the scenes footage. She wore a few different night dresses in the movie, but I guess it's the blue one from the end you are doing.
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
The extensions to the shoulders and how they taper off is just perfect now in my opinion.

It is said that the last 10% of the sculpt - which is the detailing and perfecting things and tweaking and finishing - takes just as long as the first 90% - which is getting the likeness and overall shapes right.

From what I'm seeing, you are cut out for this. You achieved the likeness very early on in the sculpt and it is just a matter of enhancing it through the refinement process and making sure you don't lose it. The key thing to remember about any constructive criticism is whether you agree with it and whether it is right for the character and the piece you want to sculpt. The critique could be good standard advice, but if it isn't valid for the piece or works against the character you are trying to sculpt, then it isn't good advice for the particular sculpt. Don't just implement any and all critique without question - always check and double check and make up your own mind as it is your creation and you know what's best for what you want to achieve.

The expression on the face looked feral before... it's just too bland, like a lifeless mask now, in comparison, which I find to be a real shame. It was the wonkiness that created that life and character. If you could bring that back in, then that would really show your skill.
 

Alaneye

Well-Known Member
Great advice, Too Much. People offer opinions all the time, but in the end they are only opinions. If you don't agree with the opinion then don't impement it... it's your vision of the character in the end.

Al
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
These following comments are purely regarding the look and expression - I did not check it with the actor in a similar expression, so my comments are not based on reference of the actor, but rather a comparison between what worked at the previous stage and how it is now.

Made this comparison with line art illustrating what I'm talking about.


What worked for the initial piece was the tucked down head, where it was almost leering out at you and was slightly tilted to give that cooky taunting glare. In the refined look the shoulders were pulled down, raising the head and removing the tilt, basically removing that creepy, playful feel to the original.

The brow area just above the eyes were softened and pulled up, taking away that angry feral look that she had, as well as the cheek grooves being softened, with her left side forming the "smile" expression rather than the skewed growl expression. It was the push of the surface out towards the ears giving that expression - if that surface is slowly pulled back towards the mouth a bit more, it will eradicate the conflicting emotional expression of the cheeks forming a smile.

I know that a lot of work has been put into the shoulders and nightgown at this stage, but here is a approximation of how it would look if you pull the head down and slightly forward - I would also tilt it back a bit, but couldn't do that with the picture used. Hope it makes sense what I did.

 

Leigh

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
You've definitely got what it takes, its a very good likeness!! (y)thumbsup(y)thumbsup:thumbsup
 

syborwolf

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys!!
Too much, I agree with everything you said about the changes in my sculpt and I am not finished tweaking the folds along the mouth or the brow. I did also prefer the former "meaner" snarl that she had earlier. As far as the lower position of the head, I also agree that the former had a leering look to her, but her look in the particular scene that I am going for is of the head spinning dummy they used in the filming. I admit I have brought the head down a bit lower than the actual prop, but I felt that gave her a more realistic natural look to her than the prop. After all, I don't want this sculpt to be of the prop but of the actual Reagan in those scenes.....if that makes any sense?!?

Joe
 
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