The word “sculpture” easily brings masterpieces’ names to mind: Michaelangelo’s Pieta and David, the classic Grecian artwork Venus de Milo, and the list goes on. But did you know that you yourself could make your own sculpture art? Of course, you don’t have to aspire to go down in history as one of the best master sculptors who ever lived; the important thing is that you could try out this art form yourself. So if you want to get started with making sculpture art, here are some tips for you to try out:
1. Determine the material you’re going to use. A big part of creating sculpture art has something to do with the material you are going to use. What are some of the most commonly used sculpture material? Some of these include stone, wood, paper, clay, ice, plaster, even butter! If you were just starting out, however, the best material for you would be paper mache.
2. Make paper mache pulp. You can buy paper mache mix in craft shops, or you can make one yourself. Simply tear old newspapers into 1x1 inch squares, then fill a pail with these pieces of paper. In the meantime, create paper mache paste by doing any of these three recipes: one is to thoroughly mix three parts water with one part flour; another way is to mix one part wallpaper paste with three parts water; and a third way is to mix two parts white glue with one part warm water. Mix the pieces of paper and the paper mache paste together until the mixture feels like clay. Once you have this mixture, you’re ready to start your first sculpture art!
3. Determine the figure you are going to make. Apart from the material you’re going to use, another big factor would be the figure you’re going to make. This would largely determine your techniques for making the sculpture. A common technique in sculpting is using solid materials such as wires as base to make the sculpture stronger (and to save on paper mache or clay).
4. Know of other sculpting tips. Sculpting is basically shaping material into a certain figure. With this end in mind, you’d need to do different techniques, such as kneading, pulling, molding, carving, shaping, etc. To do these techniques, you could use your bare hands, although you’d have to make sure that your hands are clean and free from oil and sweat. You could also use simple tools such as popsicle sticks to make sure the texture remains smooth and even.
As mentioned earlier, an option for you would be to start with a solid base that you would just cover with paper mache or clay material. If you wanted to make, say, a sculpture which would double as a vase, an option for you to try is to recycle a used bottle and coat it with paper mache material. Afterwards, you could decorate it with tempera paint.
5. Observe different sculpture pieces. To get a better idea on how sculpture is made, be more observant of existing sculptures and see its fine details. Look at sculpture stone, wood sculpture, abstract sculpture, outdoor sculpture and plaster art, so you could get an idea of broad sculpting techniques and categories. Notice that they aren’t created as if from a single template, and be encouraged by the fact that you too are free to discover your own sculpting methods and techniques.
Apart from these basic sculpting tips, remember, art is all about self-expression, so there really isn’t a single way to do sculptures. You could choose to make it either a realistic form, or abstract and free form. The main point here is for you to have fun, and to even discover more of yourself during the art process. Good luck!