How to best bend a snake sculpt?

I’m thinking of sculpting a decently high-detail snake (for a still image), and could use some tips on the “bendy” bits before I start. So I reckon I start off sculpting the snake in a straight line, and then bend it to the desired curvy shape when the sculpt is finished. However I’m not sure what gives least deformation (and is least painful): using the curve modifier or rigging the whole thing. Or should I sculpt it in the desired shape right off the bat?

Or perhaps there is some other way I’m not thinking of. Any tip or insight is helpful, thanks.

spline IK?

well since it’s a still image, there’s nothing preventing you from just posing it in edit mode.