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  • Writer's pictureSusan Sowerby

Sculpt a human body with perfect proportions

Updated: Nov 11, 2020

Sculpt a human body with perfect proportions – free tutorial.

To sculpt a human body with good proportions isn’t the mystery it looks to be. Our wonderful bodies are built on the Fibonacci spiral and have clear proportions in relation to themselves. The video below will simply and physically demonstrate this. However, through watching my students struggle with and distort the wet clay proportions, I will offer some extra helpful hints on this page.

I noticed, even if they cut their proportions from the soft clay perfectly, when they try to join arms at elbows, legs at knees etc. the figure can get pulled right out of shape. You will know what I mean after watching the video.

Below, I’ve solved the problem in a simple practical way, which works wonderfully and opens up more possibilities.

I feel it will serve you best if you carefully cut the proportions as shown in the clip and fire them as individual pieces. Make them the size of quite a small figurine. Then you can roll up balls of sticky tack you use to put up wall posters. (I’ve just discovered only the stickier brand, Blu-Tak works, the others don’t.) With a generous lump, each of the body parts at elbows, waist, knees etc. and assembled in any pose you like. They can then be used to copy any position you like to make a larger sculpture. This little interchangeable model will offer you many options, can be used over and I trust, will make your inquiry into the human figure far easier.

I love teaching, but most of the time, I simply watch how the people who come to my studio work, (or should we say, ‘play’) and try to support what they want to create. Because I don’t have a set agenda like Tafe, what they produce I find extraordinarily varied, extremely original and interesting. They make anything from unusual teapots to big earth mother figures, small seeds made large, patterns pressed in the clay to make impressive wall sculptures, beautiful abstract forms and the list goes on.

Have a go! Clay rhymes with play. You’re the magician. It can provide endless fun and take any form you command – with practice.

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