Concept Art – Sculpting a Head

To cement our knowledge of how the human head is constructed, Tony had one last exercise for us. We would be putting down the pencils and wacom tablets in favour of a huge chuck of plasticine, we’d all be sculpting heads using all the reference gathered to date.

The whole process was rather relaxing, I must admit. To kick the process off I balled up all of my material and then tried to squeeze a neck out of it, then slowly taking small pieces of plasticine, moulded these into features and then smoothed them onto the existing surface. I cut away excess material where required (I brought some of my own tools used for miniatures) and slowly I began to shape up a face.


I didn’t attempt anything hyper realistic because that is adding levels of difficulty I wasn’t prepared to tackle in two hours, so I kept the proportions a little silly and cartoony. I almost feel like I made a small Easter Island head.


The hardest part was the eyes, I had started thinking more of the skull structure and therefore scooped out a lot and made deep sockets. Returning later and attempting to fill them in with eyes was a little difficult. The end result still looks rather sunken with a puffy eye in the middle, next time I need to remove less plasticine from the area and think about the muscle and flesh layers rather than the socket of the skull.


The jawline and overall neck shape I was rather pleased with. They all fit together quite well, flowing into each other without any obvious topology issues, even the ears worked despite their lack of detail. However from the side profile its obvious that the chin needed to be lower and a little less pronounced. I was going to discuss shaving down the size of the nose but y’know what, he may just have a big nose!



This exercise will be very valuable to us shortly when we start doing the same kinds of things in Mudbox, the theory is no different. The only bonus will be Mudbox won’t require me to go running around the college looking for soap!



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