How to learn to sculpt?

Hello,
I’ve seen tutorials on the tools to sculpt, but the craft itself is rarly discused. I am not new to blender, but I want to get into sculpting. How can I achibe this???
Cheers

I watched many videos about wood sculpting and clay sculpting to start getting the feeling. Otherwise with ZBrush etc sculpting tutorials I could not understand even how to create a cube.

The best technique of all is to have a really good blocked shape, that is well measured and well defined. Then smoothing out the rough edges is piece of cake, I believe that even someone with 0 skill can smooth the rough edges.

But unless the basic block-out is not correct, the entire result will not be in the end.

I agree about watching clay/wood tutorial videos. I’d also suggest buying some polymer clay and making some real sculptures. I tried for years to learn digital sculpting and could never do it–until I started working with real polymer clay. I found that a lot easier to learn, and digital sculpting made a lot more sense afterwards.

The first thing to think about is what you want to sculpt.

To start i guess beginner sculpting tutorials for the basics. Then depending on what you want to sculpt also to the basics.

For example when you want to sculpt faces or characters you start with anatomy and the major forms. The start is demotivated at least it was for me. Its not going to look good but taking a break and observing and comparing it to reference is key to improve your sculpting skills. Its a long journey but will be very rewarding.

Oh it’s simple.

Practice failing at sculpting from reference several hours every day until you stop failing.

I said it was simple, not that it was easy. :upside_down_face:

I’m joking of course. Well. Half-joking. You really do need to practice a lot. It’s important that you don’t just sculpt whatever your brain cooks up (you can do that of course, but it doesn’t count towards practice).

Always find a reference and get your sculpt to have that specific shape, and not merely a shape that pleases you. It’s easy to make a pleasing shape. It’s hard to make a specific one. It doesn’t really matter what or who your reference is as long as you can get a good read on the shape. Beware 2d art as reference! Some of those look good, but on closer inspection, the shape can be nonsensical!

Such as for example you could create in a block of wood, an entire character that is made out of 5-6 rough cuts on the profile.

Then you pick another section and create a more detailed cut with 3-4 of them.

And thus you keep iterating up until you have a good definition of the shape.

But in no way you would jump right ahead and create the entire profile as a smooth curve. Going with the rough cuts is much more predictable, step-by-step process.

I think the best way to learn about sculpting is to step away from the computer completely if possible and do it traditionally in clay wax or plaster. The best if you can access one is going to be a structured class in figurative sculpture with a life model. These are not so common though but life drawing classes are much more common and more easily accessible and also are important for understanding and working with organic shape form and gesture.

It’s going to be difficult finding any drop in classes in these current times of course. But if you can get out to draw from life it would help so much. These creative practices and insights are universal and go back to the oldest cave paintings known and probably further back than even that. It’s only very recently that it’s been possible to work like this digitally. But I think when it comes to the core essence of creative working and understanding the computer can often be a distraction. Especially when starting out.

I started using sculpting just to do some ROCK assets for something I was working on, up till that time I had opened sculpt mode played and gave up…everything was garbage I tried…but rocks just need to be different and a simple thing to work on, it also let me experiment with all the tools and learn the features of sculpt mode. I then dove into small changes in clothing adding wrinkles and such…then facial features and so forth…little by little I learned more each time I tried something. The modeling in clay will help a great deal. Make sure to view all the video tutorials you can and grab info from them.

Someone said “sculpt something every day and don’t worry about what you end up with and just focus on working with the tools, once you can master the tools you will have learned how to sculpt.”