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I figured this would be a very good one to focus on early on as it's one that tends to get ignored/abused more than others. What you have here is the basics, I will move on to more of the anatomical aspects in a future article and do my best to demonstrate where the line between accuracy and misogyny lies. 

Sculpting femme fatales.


Before I leap headlong into the nitty-gritty, I'd like to make it very clear that these are a set of standards that I personally follow as they make sense to me. Other people will their own, this however is not an attack or criticism against them. Some people sculpt in a particular way because that's what they're good at and what they're PAID to do (if you're paid to do it, you enjoy it and you do it well, then you would be a fool to stop), other's however might well follow a different set of standards because they don't know any better...

What goes through my head when I sculpt female characters

When the hamster in my head gets tired of running on his wheel, I tend to think long and hard about the look I want to achieve, the character, the situations and scenarios you'd find them in and what they'd need.
:bulletblue: More than anything else, I aim for realism, that's it, that's the limit of my own self imposed briefs when starting a sculpt.

:bulletblue: What exactly do I mean by realism? Well, just that, something that's realistic, something that doesn't fall into the category to "Billy no-mate's, wet dream girlfriend". Some people roll their eyes (myself included) if a female character (in this instance let's say a fantasy barbarian like Red Sonja) is sculpted in a raunchy pose (not including pin-up or bombshell), it cheapens the piece and here's why.

:bulletgreen: Duckface and "Here are my boobs" poses.
It's unrealistic, on the battle field any self respecting fighter isn't going to pause in the melee to perform a bend and snap pose and/or duckface, doing so would provide your opponent a wonderful opportunity to put a sword or axe through your head. 

:bulletgreen:I'll be going into greater detail and showing some examples of exactly what I'm getting at here, for the Banshee/Wych tutorial I'll be doing later on.

:bulletgreen: A blend of the subtle with the obvious.
This is not to say that you cannot use some form of provocation in your piece, if anything, I'd encourage it, it's a bugger to get right, but if you do, then it will look awesome. Something as simple as a beckoning gesture with a finger is both manipulative and a mocking challenge.

This figure is quite old but a wonderful example:
Darkelf by Backsackandjack

:bulletgreen: What is this "armour" you speak of?
So you have decided to go the Starwars Golden bikini route, just how well do you think that's going to work in a combat situation, especially if your enemy has shooting capabilities (arrows or otherwise)? This video and image sum up my thoughts rather well. This is one I've ironically seen more when sculpting the chaos sister of battle I did a while back; I had some people tell me they thought I'd given her "too much armour".

Startingtoquestion by Backsackandjack

My response to the above is no, forever no, at best it cheapens the sculpt and what I'm trying to do, and at worst makes me look like pale skinned, clammy handed, attic crawler, who buys boxes of kleenex by the truck load. I'm not speaking out of frustration or anger here, but as far as I'm concerned, such an approach is just as offensive, shallow, unrealistic and misogynistic as boobs that are so large they would interfere with the character's hearing.

Don't do it.... :icondeathstareplz:

Admittedly, if you're careful and good at what you do, you CAN do sculpts of combat characters with little or no clothing and armour, (especially if you're sculpting berserkers or war dancers) the key here is to avoid the other pit falls (especially as far as poses go).

Anatomy basics.

Now that I have outlined my points about avoiding sexual stereotypes and pitfalls, I'm now going to backtrack on them...

There are differences in the skeletal structures between men and women, although there is always an element diversity and exceptions, as nothing is ever black and white, or written in stone. Below I've included a picture from Andrew Loomis's work, although it's obvious he has his own preferences with scales (definitely an 8 heads man) he was good at outlining standard proportions and differences between the two and it's from the skeletal structure up, that it's worth taking note of.

ScreenShot2013-10-06at124832 zps14bc31f8 by Backsackandjack

Immediately there are obvious differences, the pelvis size and shapes being the big one, areas like the clavicle, the rib cage shape and even the overall taper of the femur down to the knees, immediately stand out. On top of this I've marked out the upside down V shape from the sternum, which for sculpture purposes tends to be 90 Degrees on men and 60 on women.

"B" and "S" shapes 
Something that helped me a huge amount came from Jes Goodwin at the last gamesday I went to; aside from long history of some awesome concept artwork, he's a very talented sculptor too and has tons of experience and advice that he's happy to share with anyone who asks him for it.

A big one he mentioned was the use of B and S shapes when sculpting female characters, something that becomes very important with miniatures as the proportions are scaled down to such an extent that some things need to be over-exaggerated to be noticeable. At the time, this was the current shape of a piece I'm still working on (much more of her to come later in her own tutorials and in a tutorial for putties too). 

:bulletred:On the Left you have the Bs
:bulletgreen:On the right you have the Ss

ScreenShot2013-10-06at123836 zps97596c1d by BacksackandjackScreenShot2013-10-06at123823 zpsba3bda51 by Backsackandjack

:bulletblue: I will be posting these photos again, but the next time it will be alongside the alterations I made, as I made quite a few in the end and I haven't even mentioned the changes I've made to her torso (which follow similar rules and guides).

If you look back at the skeletons above you'll notice these curves are more prominent on the female skeleton than they are on a male, combine this with the fact that a much higher testosterone level means that men store and build muscle with greater ease (which further blurs and alters these shapes, especially around areas like the knees, mid thigh and chest) and these shapes are much more readily associated with the female form.

- Again, this is not a sexist opinion, these are anatomical variations.

PART 2 coming soon
The reason I'm cutting this short here is two fold.
1. I'm still sculpting and taking photos for the next section, this includes the work I'm doing for the collaboration with :iconvanagandr:
2. It's probably too much to throw out all at once as the whole thing would end up being very long.

Life or an accidental mini sculptor, new name? 

27 deviants said Life of an accidental mini sculptor is fine.
3 deviants said Mini adventure
3 deviants said Buildy stuff (ok so I'm running out of ideas here)
1 deviant said Something else (comment)


Mr Build of buildiness and stuff...
Artist | Hobbyist | Traditional Art
A tinkerer of all things great and small, in a nut shell I'm eccentric, caffeine addicted, introverted, perverted, insane and utterly loveable.

I'm also incredibly modest. <:

Kind of like a ferret on speed.

Sculpture stuff.

Hi there!

I'm your not so local, questionably sane CV for sculpture.

My job here is primarily to annoy people with gifs of ferrets, cats and anything amusing I can find on google when I should be doing things other than procrastinate.

Aside from that my role is to feature DDs, shed some light on sculpture in the trad gallery and hopefully give the gallery much more attention, interest and attract and encourage more people into giving sculpture a try.

I take DD suggestions too, just drop me a note with a thumbnail image of what you want to suggest and I will get back to you. A few things worth bearing in mind though are:

- I'm here to help Traditional art sculpture, not artisan crafts sculpture, so it's always worth checking you're sending your suggestions to the right person (but I am happy to help if you're unsure or stuck).

- I can't give features to pieces where the artist has had a DD in the last 6 months, as above, if you're unsure, just ask me and I will be able to check.

- DDs are not awards, they are features, my role is to try and give some exposure to a variety of different artists and in particular artists with very little exposure in their gallery.

- While I'm sure I'll be adding/editing this section at some point (probably within the next few days or week) I'm open to suggestions and ideas, as well as journal features, tutorial creation and interviews, but if you have any ideas give me a shout and I will do what I can to help you. :)

Tutorials and sculpture projects/lessons

I've also got an ever growing list of sculpture tutorials and articles going, you can find the contents and various sections in the Journal below.

:bulletblue: Mini Adventures contents page



Add a Comment:
GabrielSiegl Featured By Owner 14 hours ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hi there

Thank you so much for the DailyDeviation.
I really appreciate it :)
Best regards
FixMeKnow Featured By Owner 5 days ago
You're new icon/wallpaper!
Backsackandjack Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Definitely not a happy cat, but I was thinking of this.…
FixMeKnow Featured By Owner 4 days ago
Well now. That is ... oddly mesmerizing. :o
Backsackandjack Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have been updating my gif folder.
(1 Reply)
NoahW Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for the watch dude, Your sculptures are freaking brilliant. :headbang:
Backsackandjack Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Not a problem mate, your work is awesome!
NoahW Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Professional Traditional Artist
Tiwyll Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you kindly for watching! You've got a lot of cool stuff in your gallery! :) Cheers!
Backsackandjack Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No worries mate, love your animations and some very nice prop work.
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