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Current Rants and Recent Rambles

Forensics and Sculpting


Last Friday's Demo was on Sculpting Faces. This
Friday's demo will focus on hands and feet since we
all need practice on that.

Let's talk about Facial Reconstruction as in Forensics

I went to this page and visited a boatload of Forensic
Artist's Websites. I was on the hunt for skulls of
different races, gender and ages.

I did find both male and female for
Native American

as well as child skulls

The thrust of the Demo on sculpting faces was to start
with the skull. I used a ceramic skull ashtray. It's
pretty realistic because I bought it from a Museum

I put foil over the skull. Burnishing the foil on the
ceramic skull is key to getting detail. I put one
layer of silver clay over the foil just because silver
was handy, color doesn't matter with this layer of
clay over the foil, burnishing the foil matters more.

I cured first layer of clay over foil with the ceramic
skull underneath.

Took the foil and one layer of clay off of the ceramic
skull and filled the skull space with scrap clay
warmed up with a go around in the food processor.

The detail you picked up from the aluminum foil will
determine how much detail this scrap clay will have
after curing. 

The one layer of clay is just a disposable support to
the aluminum foil. It will be discarded along with the

Cure the scrap clay on the foil with the one layer of

After cooling, toss the foil and one layer of clay and
you should have a good skull to work with.

The scrap clay noogies made little pock marks so I
covered the scrap clay skull with some green clay that
was pressed and smooth.

Now that's my skull form that I can start to do facial
reconstruction with.

Check the TISSUE DEPTH pictures on these facial
reconstruction pages at the forensic artist's
websites. Very educational. So there's more skin on
the lower part of the skull than the top. Hmmmm,

So Asians, Africans and Europeans have different skull
shapes, Gosh! Who'd a thunk?

In order to sculpt faces that look real, I do
recommend starting with a SHAPE that resembles a human
skull. Just seems Mr. Spok logical is all.

If you want to sculpt an Asian then check out how the
skull differs from an European. Mix skull
characteristics from the Asian and European you'll get
my skull, for Mom is from Japan and Daddy was from
Scott/Irish stock.

Your sculpting will be more realistic if you start
from a realistic skull.

When I want to sculpt Lion Faced Men, I make a skull
that will support those face muscles.

It really is easier that way. Honest.

So I'm glad we're on this discussion. I really do want
the budding Sculptors to also become amateur forensic
anthropologists. I want you to be able to view a
skeleton and recognize what are female or male

I know we can learn this. For those who are new
there's the ANATOMY section of the sculpting archive

and there's a review of sculpting faces and figures

and as a last thought

Sculpt what you love

That should keep folks busy for a minute,





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