Basic Human Head sculpting tutorial?

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Egon Spengler

Master Member
I'd REALLY love to learn to sculpt busts of characters from movies and games and just people in general but I have no idea where to start. Now I don't mean 'What sites can I buy clay at?' or ' Where can I buy a book on sculpting?" or even "I want to buy a sculpting video, where can I get one?"

I'm posting this knowing that quite a few people on this forum are extremely skilled in this craft and that many people here would be interested in a topic such as this, including myself.

While I don't know where to begin honestly I am hoping some of the forums more famous sculpting professionals might chime in and give us all a look into what it truely takes to sculpt a bust of someone, from start to finish. Type of clay. Different types of bases and forms to sculpt onto. Building up the basic shape of the head, proportions, adding the basic features, aligning everything properly, etc.

I know it's quite a bit to ask but this would be one heck of a fantastic topic if it got off the ground. Hopefully one day it will be archived and be a great resource to those asking similar questions in the future :)

I'm not trying to cut on this forum by saying this so please keep in mind no disrespect is meant, but I remember when this forum was a place that shared plenty of 'how to' info. It still is and to be honest I have had many help me with questions and see this forum as a great resource but I haven't seen something like a thread of this type for a very long time.

So what do you sculpting masters say? Give us a hand? We'll appreciate it :)

Thank you for sharing your amazing works with us on this forum and thank you ahead of time for participating in this topic, if you choose to :)

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Sr Member
This step-by-step DVD is great for beginners:

It's a steal for $19.95.

Although it's Sculpting Creatures and Monsters the principal is the same,
blocking out a shape, refining it, and finishing it.

For Sculpting Humans you need Human Anatomy reference,
there are Hundreds of Art Anatomy books to chose from.


Sr Member
while im not a sculpting master, i have learned a few tricks and picked the brains of some top talent :)

1: use oil based clay. wont dry out, less of a pain to sculpt, and keeps the final product from cracking.

2: cheat. if you can use styrofoam to mock up the base form of a head, be it a round ball or just a few floral foam blocks, go for it, no need to make the ENTIRE head out of clay.

3: be patient, and they dont sell little "eyes" to place in as placeholders for sculpts. most people use resin casts of artificial eyes or acrylic eyes to bookmark the face.

4: the human eye is about the size of a quarter, going out from that its a little easier to figure out how big a nose should be, etc.

5: ears are a bitch and a half to do. i never mastered it, and from the people i have talked to, they are one of the hardest parts to get "right". the next feature after that is the nose/lip area. eyes are simple compared to those parts.

6: great anatomical book at barnes and noble for 29.99, "Anatomica". i almost bought a copy today, but thats mainly because i have some weird fascination with how the body works moreso than needing it for art related purposes. the book has some great detailed drawings for various parts of the face, head, etc.

7: there are quite a few "help" sites on the net with pre sculpted things made in hydrostone. 4 diff types of ears, eyes, mouth, nose, etc. they help out a ton as on hand reference in case you dont have a lifecast of your own head to see if the stuff looks right.

hope these tips help out. the biggest and last piece i can give is take your time and be patient. it literally takes years and years to perfect this talent. dont expect miracles on the first try.


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