Sculpting a big size figure with oil base clay

Hi! 
I want to sculpt a horse reduced model (body dimension -- without the head and tail: about 20 inch x 20 inch ) with oil based clay. It's a first for me, and I wonder how much clay I might need to order (shipping not cheap to where I live). Considering that there will be a structure + core- skeleton out of other material(s), is there a tip how to gauge how much « skin-clay» I might use? Any tutorial suggestion for medium-size to large size oil base sculpture? Any suggestion for the core-structure material/technique to use? I heard that the NSP. Chavant clay Soft is a smart choice for larger sculptures... Any other suggestions? I have small and not very strong hands, and I am looking for a non-drying clay easy to build up and spread, without having to heat it every 10 minutes! (I don't care much about the fact that the clay doesn't take the best details) Thanks for your help!

Best Answer

  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Accepted Answer
    Hi Geneviève,

    It's hard to determine the exact amount you'll need without seeing the volume of the sculpt compared to the armature.  If you are not on a deadline and concerned with wondering too much clay you could work in stages, ordering more as needed.  You could likely do it with around 10-15 pounds depending on armature size, and bulking out/padding of the armature.

    As far as what courses may help, most of our sculpting tutorials would apply here.  One good option would be dinosaur sculpting Chris Darga as it covers the armature as well.

    If you want to use as little clay as possible (to save cost) you can pad out your armature with densely packed aluminum foil. Just be aware that if you bulk things out too much you will not be able to sculpt deep details in those areas, and make sure it is firmly packed and held in place so it does not shift on you.  You can always cut clay away and remove some foil if needed.

    Chavant NSP Soft is a good option as you mentioned.  Another similar clay would be Monster Clay's soft formula.  It's also great for larger sculpts as it is less expensive.  

    Hope that helps!

    /Chris

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