Learn to Easily Sculpt a Hand

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Sculpting clay is a great way to spark your creativity. Although if you're new to the craft and wondering how to make sculptures at home, it can be hard to know where to start.

From choosing the right clay to improving your technique, the following clay sculpting tips for beginners will help you get started.

What clay is used for sculpting?

Before you start your clay sculpture, you need to choose the right clay. There are several types of clay used for sculpting, all of which vary in handling and finish:

Oil-based modeling clay may appear unrefined and may be difficult for detailed work. But it's still fluid and manageable, which makes it good for practice.
Polymerbased modeling clay is just as soft and can be baked in a home oven to set the composition. However, it can be prone to cracking.
Pottery or ‘firing’ clay - A water-based clay that can be shaped and fired at temperatures above 250°F to remain firm. This is the method used to create domestic pottery.

What is the best plasticine to use at home?

Of the above clays, the water-based option is best for home sculpting beginners. Although it is often shaped on a potter's wheel, it is by far the easiest to use for creating figures and shapes using hand building techniques.

How to start sculpting?

Now that you've sorted your water-based clay, it's time to move on to the creative part. Working in three dimensions will take some getting used to.

However, this helpful tips will teach you how to make clay sculptures, from the initial idea to how to improve.

1. Imagine the final idea
It's good to have a clear idea of what you want the final clay sculpture to look like. So before you start, make sketches of various imaginary viewpoints and projections.

Also consider the dimensions of the main shapes and the proportions between the lengths.

Another recommendation, if you are new to creating a 3D sculpture for your home, is to think about which direction it will face most often. So if your attempt isn't perfect from every angle, it will at least look good in position.

You may even consider trying a relief sculpture. Since you're adding shapes to a flat slab of clay, the final product won't be visible from all sides. It also decreases concerns about weight and balance.

2. Test the moisture of the clay
Now that you know what shape your sculpture will take, it's time to collect your clay. Before you start, though, you'll need to check if it's wet enough, as dry clay is difficult to work with.

Fortunately, it's easy to test: take a small piece of the clay you intend to use and roll it in your hand until it forms a cylinder about 1cm in diameter and about 10cm long.

Fold the cylinder in half. If it folds up smoothly, it should be usable; if it cracks, try adding more water.

3. Create forms intelligently
If you're working without a potter's wheel, there are still several easy ways to create shapes. Clay rolling pins are a good way to build up the sides of a hollow shape - the spiral of the clay prevents it from collapsing easily.

Hollows can also be created by pinching the clay, digging with the thumb and forefinger.

In this video, you will be able to find a demonstration of a simple method to build a basic hand from four parts: the wrist, the palm, the fingers, and the thumb.

This, of course, is not the only method of sculpting a hand. Rather it is a systematic approach that works well for beginners.

Sculpting is a lot of fun, is often therapeutic, and allows you to bring your vivid imagination to life. Do not give up if they are not perfect the first time, practicing you will achieve your goal!

Enjoy This Video Tutorial About Sculpture

Source: In The Round

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