Sculpting hair the PRELUDE
As our collaboration with figurines.mag continues we are proud to present here in English for the first time a short tutorial that Greg did for a recent issue. We hope you find it useful either as a full sculpting project or just as a exercise in conversion or adding extra details to a stock miniature. So here we are:
Hair, beards and furs are not to be neglected on a figurine, as this can generate a lot of movement (visual) even on a “rigid” and static figure. I always model my furs and beards on a separate piece, so as not to damage the already completed work on the face or on the clothes that will receive the hairy part, with a clumsy stroke of our sculpting tool. To your tools!
Example 1 – Beard
Here is the creation of a beard for a fantastic bust. I used bees putty, but the fimo or supersculpey would also have been ideal material. Initially, I place here and there “clumps” of different sizes and lengths. With these pieces of “dough”, I try to simulate the movement and the direction of the “hairs”.
Then using a tool, similar to a painter’s palette knife, I make here and there “commas” of direction but still in a basic manner, creating general shapes.
For novices, I advise that to create good models/figures to use image references of beards or hair, as visual support. It is vital to use reference in this kind of exercise to obtain a realistic and satisfactory result, do not improvise. With experience you will be able to improve step by step, little by little.
Then, using a needle and an eraser brush, I refine my layout in order to give a sharper appearance to the beard.
Finally, using the brush soaked with turpentine, I smooth all the beard and hair.
Once I am satisfied with the exercise of sculpting I must wait to 2-3 hours for the gasoline to vaporise or for it be absorbed into the mix with the dough, before I can cook the beard.
Example 2: Hair and finer fur
This is not the only technique I use.
I regularly use greenstuff, for it’s very elastic properties, but I proceed in the same way as the one explained above, namely: the laying of “clumps”, then modeling of these with different tools. In contrast to example 1, to smooth this paste, I use some petroleum jelly.
In order to simulate a fairly fine fur, I will not make it “clump by clump”, but I will affix a layer of fairly thin greenstuff and then work it with fine needles of different diameters.
Example 3 – Thicker Fur
On the other hand, to create a thicker fur, I will proceed with the same technique as the hair, described first.
Sculpting hair can be rewarding and there are a host of different styles and types depending on the subject matter. To simulate very curly hair or a fur with a shaggy appearance, I place here and there conical beads of greenstuff (thin tips towards the outside) that I stretch with small tweezers, then I smooth them.
Finally to simulate a short hair, I apply pieces of paste, but this time “flat” with different sizes and shapes, then using a brush eraser I begin to draw “commas”.
Below you can see a short gallery of further examples of this type of work, this was not intended as an exhaustive account but just a short write up accompanied with some images to lay bare some basic techniques. I hope you may find it a little interesting and maybe useful for your own works. Thank you for reading and thank you to figurementors.com and figurines.mag!