Chapter 3: Massing the Body
Sculpey massage — As it turns out, you must knead the stuff a lot. I'd sort of known that from working with ordinary Sculpey. But mixing the Sculpey with the Super Sculpey… that took a long time. So I got a Pasta Machine. Now this seems like an extravagance, but it really does an efficient job and quicker than your fingers. This also will help revive a bit of old Sculpey if and when you want to work with some.
Yes, its a pasta maker that is made for use with polymer clays, so don't use it for food. Also in this pic is a block of mixed Sculpey and some thinning oil packaged by Sculpey. Whatever the gunk is that Sculpey uses to hold its polymer clay together does evaporate over time. This stuff can be added—a few drops—to restore some old stuff in a few passes through the pasta machine.
In this picture you can see a box of flesh-colored Sculpey and a small block of black-ish Super-Sculpey. You mix these about three blocks (out of four in a pack) to one layer of the fleshy Sculpey. You get the dark gray stuff on the sheet of styrene or in the plastic bag. This is the gray stuff. And it is so easy with the pasta machine.
There isn't much to say about this process. One has to lump on strips and balls and tiny space fillers. Pretty much blocking in the shape. I feel it is easier to take away than try to add later, though that can be done. I also feel that as much shaping that you can do at this point will save some shaping later—maybe.
Heres the back view. A little chunky here and there, but at this stage, the Sculpey is completely workable. I'm exaggerating here and there, because I am feeling my way through this body. It is the first figure I've sculpted. I am also mindful of clothes and boots. Still not sure about what to do with the sword-holding arm.
I thought I would add the arm as a completely separate piece. Then I thought perhaps just from the elbow down. There might be a tough seam to control—one would have to work under the armpit. I had to think of the end-user and I wanted to make the job as simple as possible. So eventually, I came to including half the arm with the body. Then doing the forearm separately.
Ah! On to the breasts!
At this point, Shaundra got a little tougher. Her shirt was to conceal her bosom, except for some cleavage. But then what about the head? If I kept the chest in one piece, there would be another hard to get at seam at the neck. Then it hit me—do the whole head down to her cleavage as one piece. It could socket into the body.
I must point out that some time around this point, I stayed away from the sculpt for about a week. When I came back to it, I realized I didn't like the shape of the breasts. Mindful of the shirt—which would probably have been a fairly tight thing in real life, I tore off the above—you can do that to Sculpey and rebuilt them. I made them rounder and tried to make them seem more confined by the shirt.
The aesthetics of breast shape is very personal and hard to describe without many, many pictures. Even though I searched for and found many, many pictures, I will let you do your own searching! Whatever you sculpt will have to please you, after all!
In this close-up you can see I've worked on the bosom shape a little and scribed out the area of the cleavage that would form the bottom to the neck and head. This line will be where the shirt lays. The plan is for the cleavage to appear right there.
And here you see where I carved in to make the receptacle for the head and chest. In this close up, you can see I added a little muscle to Shaundra as well some broad shoulders. I figure the gal swings a sword for half the day, shes got some powerful arms. I was also mindful of an encounter with a Norwegian publisher I met professionally once, who had a striking and very unusual figure. Wide, almost blocky, but with womanly hips and almost too-wide shoulders. She had an unusual figure, but it was real and served as the basis for Shaundra. (It must be noted that she had a modest bosom. Definitely there, but not huge.) Too often, there is a mix of figure types that verge on the inhuman. Say, narrow hips but broad shoulders, or an extremely thin frame with very large breasts. In the comic book world, all these odd mixes are made into extremes, but (!) as anyone who has studied a Victorias Secret catalog knows (only serious artists, please) there are unusual figures out there, who seem indifferent to what the rest of the world thinks. Its easy to say, “Oh pshaw! Those are merely Photoshop tricks!” But my ‘professional meeting of that publisher-ess was at Penthouse Magazine, where the real thing walks around every day!