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Quickie Face Tutorial by No-Sign-of-Sanity Quickie Face Tutorial by No-Sign-of-Sanity
**This is an animated .gif so you must "FULL VIEW" it to see what the hell I'm talking about!!!**

This is just a quick sculpting tutorial I threw together to preach about the wonders of Super Sculpey and heat guns. Super Sculpey is a heat-activated polymer clay that stays soft and workable until you bake it in your home oven. But by using a heat gun you can sculpt features and quickly "flash" bake them on the spot without having to constantly run back and forth to the kitchen.

So when doing really fine detail work, it really helps to be able to quickly bake certain features so you can work right next to them and not have to worry about mushing them on accident. So here I go thru a few stages of blocking in the features of a face and I'm using a heat gun to set those features in between each step to lock in the details.

1.) The basic shape of the eyes is done and the top row of teeth is sculpted. Then I hit it with the heat gun.
2.) The lower row of teeth is sculpted, and then I hit it with the heat gun.
3.) The lower eyelids are sculpted, and then I hit it with the heat gun.
4.) The upper eyelids, the brow structure and the top of the head are all sculpted and detailed, then heat-gunned
5.) The lips are sculpted and the jaw and neck are given some detail and then the whole piece is thrown in the oven for a full bake.

While this isn't the most intricate tutorial ever made, hopefully it'll help pull back the curtain about my process of sculpting details.

Oh by the way, this piece is 1/8th scale so this head is just barely bigger than a quarter coin. I'll share more of this piece as it draws closer to completion.

Hope this helps guys! ;)
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:iconatomoney:
ATOMONEY Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very helpful thanks!!
Reply
:iconjoseflayug:
JosefLayug Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2014
outlast?
Reply
:iconcatcowproduce:
CatCowProduce Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Student General Artist
Where can I get a heat gun? '.' That whole worry of squishing is a huge problem for me :P
Reply
:iconno-sign-of-sanity:
No-Sign-of-Sanity Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012  Professional General Artist
Any hardware store like Lowes, Osh, or Home Depot should sell them (they are generally used for stripping paint or wallpaper) or you can get one online at Amazon.
Reply
:iconcatcowproduce:
CatCowProduce Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012  Student General Artist
Oh cool! Thanks c:
Reply
:iconsupercj:
SuperCJ Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
This is really helpful, I've been planning to grab some Sculpey and try my hand at sculpting for the first time. Thanks! :)
Reply
:iconarchaites:
archaites Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
I am so trying this soon. O.O
Reply
:iconf-inked:
F-inked Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Student Digital Artist
WOW!! this is amazing!!!
Thanks for the tut
does anyone know what type of clay this is? (ikpolymer but like.. anything similar i can buy at a craft store)
Reply
:iconf-inked:
F-inked Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Student Digital Artist
WAIT. i found it. thank you.
Reply
:iconsummersethomes:
Summersethomes Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
YOU'RE A GOD!!!



*of polymer clay*
Reply
:iconglamouringasmortal:
GlamouringAsMortal Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2011   Traditional Artist
So, I watched this tutorial a few times, read the description ... and then I hit it with the heat gun.
Reply
:iconattila518:
Attila518 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2010
locust?
Reply
:iconjustinlover1:
justinlover1 Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2010
that looks like max on resident evil 2
Reply
:iconputra666:
putra666 Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2010  Professional Interface Designer
thanks for tutorial man, it's so helpful for beginner like me :handshake:
Reply
:iconflorp1:
florp1 Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2010
what did u use to make the guy?
Reply
:iconno-sign-of-sanity:
No-Sign-of-Sanity Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2010  Professional General Artist
Super sculpey polymer clay
Reply
:iconmonkeybananafling:
monkeybananafling Featured By Owner May 15, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
FSSSSSSSSSS..... Its scary...
Reply
:iconretax:
retax Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2010
what material you use to sculpt??
[link] forex advisor
Reply
:iconno-sign-of-sanity:
No-Sign-of-Sanity Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2010  Professional General Artist
Super Sculpey polymer clay.
Reply
:iconretax:
retax Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2010
thank you!!!
Reply
:iconaladecuervo:
aladecuervo Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks a lot for share this great info with us. You are a master!! :#1: :hug: :typerhappy:
Reply
:iconcyberarts1st:
cyberarts1st Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
your work is giving me the motivation to sculpt more. I got only one figurine done [link]
And I got some design waiting to be done...I really got to be more serious.

Good job for all your sculptures. They are amazing.:)
Reply
:iconjamesmarsano:
JamesMarsano Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
dang! nice tutorial.. ill probably heat it in oven instead of using heatgun.. my statue is close to finish..
Reply
:iconheart-of-the-sun:
Heart-of-the-Sun Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2009
Awesome advice on the hear gun. Question, you still bake the whole thing later, right? Assuming that you do, the parts that you flash bake don't end up burning?
Reply
:iconno-sign-of-sanity:
No-Sign-of-Sanity Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2009  Professional General Artist
Yes I still fully bake everything in an oven at a later point. You can bake and rebake sculpey several times and so long as you don't bake it for too long at anything over 250 degrees it'll be just fine. I like to do a final bake at 275 degrees for about 30-45 min (depending on the thickness of the sculpture) just to make sure that everything it fully baked and has reached its maximum strength hardness. :D
Reply
:iconheart-of-the-sun:
Heart-of-the-Sun Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2009
I was wondering if you were going to reply. Thanks for the info.

I've been making maquettes for myself lately as reference stuff when drawing, and I expect to be making more, so I wanted to know a bit about how you make such amazingly detailed stuff (though I doubt that I'll make anything nearly so detailed).
Reply
:icongreysummers610:
greysummers610 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
About how long do you keep the heat gun on the sculpture? Thanks a lot for the pointers.
Reply
:icongreysummers610:
greysummers610 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ok nevermind. I just read through all the copmments and found my answer. Plus I picked up a few more things I hadn't even thought to ask yet. Thanks a whole bunch for imparting your considerable wisdom on us.
Reply
:iconartelios:
artelios Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2009
What exactly is a heat gun and where would I be able to find one? Or is it possible to make your own?
Reply
:iconno-sign-of-sanity:
No-Sign-of-Sanity Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2009  Professional General Artist
A heat gun is just like blowdryer on steroids. It's something that is generally used to strip paint from metal surfaces. Most hardware stores carry them and you can even get them from amazon.com

You can use a blowdryer instead but it will probably take a lot longer to get the sculpey up to a temperature where it will actually bake.

Hope that helps!
Reply
:icongreysummers610:
greysummers610 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Is there a particular brand of heat gun that you recommend?
Reply
:iconno-sign-of-sanity:
No-Sign-of-Sanity Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2012  Professional General Artist
Not really they are all pretty much the same. Just make sure you get one with that either has two heat settings, or variable heat settings... although I think they all pretty much have one or the other these days. =D
Reply
:icongreysummers610:
greysummers610 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the response. I wasn't sure you'd answer since I noticed there haven't been any new comments since last year but I'm new to DA so I just discovered your tutorial, which is great by the way.
Reply
:icongreysummers610:
greysummers610 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Found my answer to this too.
Reply
:iconproject-thirteen:
project-thirteen Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2009
Hmm, so that's the secret! Thank you for sharing it.
Reply
:iconfallenangelsrising:
FallenAngelsRising Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2008
a pound of super sculpy...is around 4-6 -10bucks you say

yet a little tiny brick of regular colour sculpy goes for like...3 bucks on its own...
where the fuck are you from man?
lololol
shit i want those deals.
and i go to micheals to...bah!
Reply
:iconno-sign-of-sanity:
No-Sign-of-Sanity Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2008  Professional General Artist
A pound of Super sculpey was that cheap 2 years ago when I wrote that yeah. Oil prices have totally put an end to that though. SS is about 13 bucks here where I live now and after those 40% off coupons from Micheal's it cost about $7.80. Blame high oil prices and the weak dollar.
Reply
:iconfallenangelsrising:
FallenAngelsRising Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2008
aaaah fuck alright thanks man.
Reply
:iconhowiehasaboil:
howiehasaboil Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2008
slick! ive been putting off buying a heat gun. it gets a little tricky working details when everything is soft. ill give this a shot. thanks:)
Reply
:iconairbrushad:
airbrushad Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2008
love it!
Reply
:iconnycterisa:
NycterisA Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm sorry if this was already answered, but about how long do you hit it with the heat gun? ^^;
Reply
:icondamntorren:
DamnTorren Featured By Owner May 3, 2008  Professional Interface Designer
Oh lord, this is magnificent. I've always wondered if there was an alternative to the constant oven sitting, a heat gun is brilliant! Plus this is a lovely sculpture to give us a glimpse into it's making.

Thankyou for this one!
Reply
:icondeadrabbit13:
deadrabbit13 Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Clever. aw, too bad my heat gun exploded.
You are right though, Super Sculpey is incredible. Way more convient than regular clay.
Anyways, singing your praises!
Reply
:iconebolasparklebear:
EbolaSparkleBear Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2008
you rule all!:headbang:
Reply
:iconmach1neman:
mach1neman Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Is a "heat gun" a hair dryer? I use a hair dryer sometimes(but my SSculpey pieces are quite small and thin)? Are the heat guns very expensive? I just don't know what you are talking about. But thanks for the tips and as always, your stuff rocks!
Reply
:iconno-sign-of-sanity:
No-Sign-of-Sanity Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2008  Professional General Artist
A heat gun is kinda like a hair dryer on steroids. They are generally used to strip paint off of walls and can get much hotter than a standard blow dryer reaching temps of over 1000 degrees F. They cost anywhere from $25-$150 depending on how fancy you want to get. You should be fine getting one of the low end guns around $30-$40 if you want to use it only for baking sculpey. Here's a link to a decent heat gun at amazon.com so you can see what I'm talking about. [link]

Hope that helps! =D
Reply
:iconmach1neman:
mach1neman Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconhoboinaschoolbus:
hoboinaschoolbus Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
I didn't realize the heat gun was specific enough to sculpt like this. Looks fantastic, you have some amazing sculptures in your gallery!
Reply
:iconno-sign-of-sanity:
No-Sign-of-Sanity Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2008  Professional General Artist
Thank you very much! Yes heat guns are very useful tools but they have a very steep learning curve. It's all too easy to completely ruin a sculpture if you are careless with the heat gun so if you choose to use one be sure to practice baking small test pieces before you try working on an actual sculpture. ;)
Reply
:iconhoboinaschoolbus:
hoboinaschoolbus Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
I'm living in a dorm and have no access to a stove, so for the past year I really haven't sculpted anything and it's driving me nuts. Maybe a heat gun is the answer, despite the learning curve? (it would also solve a lot of my accidental-smushing problems)

I have a question though, how important is the environment where you are working? I don't want to burn the building down or burn the furniture :(
Reply
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