Wow, working in clay again... its been a long time.
I have finished Simon Lees introduction to concept sculpting core class. Working in chavant and monster clay, picking up loads of techniques and tips. Asides from his day job developing creature concepts for film Simon also runs an introductory on-line core course, as well as advanced courses on site on creature sculpting, using the human body as base - you can find out more about here on his website here:
I finished the course about 3 weeks ago. It was a steep learning curve, with some of the the key points (Simon's key techniques and workflows aside) being: have fun with it, love it and practice, practice, practice (and repeat) - also don't be afraid to mess up - always keep learning and if you don't love what you are doing then you probably shouldn't do it.
Interestingly Simon uses a lot of musical terms to describe his workflow and mind set, when concept sculpting, (hopefully he gives himself time to learn a musical instrument at some point, as it seems to be a passion of his), he talks about the rhythm and flow of a piece and during live reviews would show examples of his own pieces to illustrate key points to students on their work.
I still have lot to work on with regards to both my physical (clay) sculpting and my digital works - Simon picked up on the key areas that I need to work on- posing, anatomy (can always be improved on), lines of action and body language. All of which you can see in the early initial block out of a sculpt. As far as Simon was concerned, detailing techniques can easily be learned, getting the core of the sculpt working is a far more important step to get right. So the core class course wasn't about getting a finished sculpt out in the six weeks, but more about absorbing knowledge through practice under his tutelage, practicing and practicing (repeat to infinity) building on ones confidence to be able to quickly and comfortably build readable forms... gaining control of the clay... so on that I had better get sculpting - to rest is to rust.
VFX artist and sometimes animator, this is my blog.