Tips for Sculpting using Clay

Sculpting is one of the most interesting forms of art. To make the most of this art, here are some of the best tips for sculpting using clay.


Set up a working space

Working from a clean, organized and comfortable setup makes it easier for you to concentrate. Ensure you have all the tools and materials that you need before you start working. If possible, have a comfortable chair and table to enable you to stand for long hours without straining. Some people love working in a quiet environment while some prefer to work with some music. Understand what works for you, and create that environment.


Begin with an armature


Basically, this is a blueprint of the sculpture. When you start with an armature, you will save time on clay. The armature is a metal frame which helps in holding the objects together. The best way to make an armature is to have a printed template or a drawing on paper. This ensures that the object you are sculpturing is confined within the framework.


Keep some reference


The reference which can be in form of a doll, skeleton or muscle acts as a visual representation of the object to be sculptured. Having a visual representation helps you to paint your sculpture as close to reality as possible. Further, the reference like the body muscles enables you to understand your subject as much as possible. With a clear understanding of the subject and a visual representation, it becomes easier to focus on issues like the length, the shape, the ratios, any protrusions and other aspects that will affect the final piece.


Work in stages


Remember to build your sculpture in stages starting with the large parts first, and working to the small details. This way, you will ensure all the pieces fit in perfectly. Further, working in stages prevents your sculpture from collapsing while reducing the number of protrusions. When you gradually add small pieces of clay to your sculpture, you can easily shape, add more characters and improve the design to match your reference. This is important to keep in mind if you plan on doing this as part of spring crafts for adults to make


Have a mirror


The mirror is one of the most important tools that most sculptures tend to ignore. Having a mirror ensures that you can watch out for any irregularities in your piece and correct them as you move along. As an artist, the love for your work can keep you from seeing those little mistakes, thus having a mirror is important.




The old saying that practice makes perfect is true for sculptures. Invest your time in perfecting your art. Break down your work into small attainable activities and invest your time in perfecting them. Whenever you feel tired, or when you start making repeat mistakes, take a break and relax. Keeping a Pinterest sculpture, or a photo of the final product can enable you to get motivated when you feel exhausted.


Lower expectations


Remember, you may not get the first piece right. However, don’t kill yourself over it. Be patient and keep on improving and eventually you will get the perfect sculpture.