Learning to Sculpt

Learn Sculpting

Sculpting can be a fun and exciting hobby, or you can sculpt professionally and get paid for it if you really love it and like to make art. Making a living as an artist isn’t always easy but it can be done if you are committed and you are a good artist.

Learning to sculpt really begins with learning to draw. Because sculpture is three dimensional you really need to understand form and dimension, especially the form of the body, if you want to be a great sculptor. Even if you don’t want to sculpt people having a solid understanding of form drawing and being able to draw the ideas that you have for sculptures as well as possible will help you conceptualize all the details of the piece that you want to create.

Because drawing is so integral to learning how to sculpt experts say that if you want to learn to sculpt you need to learn how to draw. Start by taking some figure drawing classes or reading some books on figure drawings. It helps if you take figure drawing classes where you can draw figures from a three dimensional model but it’s not always necessary.

Learn how to draw in order to sculpt....

Some of the best sculptors are self-taught and never took a drawing class in their lives. However, if you haven’t had a lot of training in drawing or if you haven’t drawn a whole lot in your life then you definitely need to at least read some books on drawing and put in some serious practice time drawing before you can even think about learning to sculpt.

After you have a good foundation in drawing you need to learn modeling. Modeling is one skill you will use probably more than drawing when it comes to make sculptures. Models are what you will use to judge the form and proportion of your piece, to finalize any details about the shape or the pose, and to bring the image of the sculpture that you have in your mind to life. Usually models are done on a small scale compared to the size of the finished sculpture but not always.

You might be tempted sometimes to skip modeling and go right to casting or carving but that would be a huge mistake. Your model is your guide and your reference point and you will need that in order to create the sculpture that you want to make without wasting a lot of expensive materials. Take the time to learn and practice modeling if you want to be a skilled sculptor.

After modeling you will need to learn actual sculpting techniques. Again, you don’t necessarily need to take a class on these methods but you will need to get some studio time in to practice your technique. And unless you are lucky enough or wealthy enough to have a sculpting studio in your home or garage you will need to visit a working, commercial art studio to get in the practice time you will need.

Some of the start up tips you can find in our subsequent pages are,

  1. Your first and essential sculpting tools.  
  2. What kind of sculpting materials to use?  
  3. Which professional sculpting group you should join? 


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