Sculpting Proportions

Information on sculpting proportions, so you can build one of a kind santa crafts and other dolls.

To make a santa, I usually use a soft body and use sculpey or fimo for the face and hands. The boots are made of the polymer clay or sometimes leather scraps.

Eyes are balls of the sculpey that are rolled, baked slightly and painted, then put in before the rest of the face is baked.

Roll tin foil into about a 2 inch ball. Make indentations for the eyes. Run sculpey through a polymer clay pasta machine. Put the thinned out sculpey over the tin foil ball. Smooth it down. Now start building out the features, sculpting the proportions from the guidelines below.

Adult Body Proportions:

Head: For the head, start with an oval shape and divide in half both directions. The middle of the eyes sit on the middle line, one eye length apart.

The bottom of the nose should be halfway between the eyebrow line and the chin.

The bottom lip should be halfway between the chin and the nose.

Corners of mouth line up with the center of the eyes.

The horizontal length of the head should be close to the up and down length.

The front of the ear should be about one third of the way forward from the back of the head. It should also be angled back slightly and a bit higher than the top of the eyelid. It should be in line with the inside of the eyebrow. The bottom of the ear should line up with the tip of the nose.

If you are sculpting a face and something doesn't look quite right, hold it up to the mirror and look at it. This gives a totally different perspective. Suddenly you will be able to see what you couldn't before. For example, the cheek that was sticking out more on one side than the other, that you didn't notice before, will now be apparent.

Height: An adult body should be around 7 to 8 heads tall. The
shoulder width, 3 heads wide.

Arm length: Elbows should come to the waist. The elbow to fingertip should be 2 head lengths. The wrist to the top of the leg and fingers,
a third of the way down the length of the leg.

Hand: The palm of the hand is about the same length as the middle finger. The thumb is to about the middle knuckle of the first finger. The length of the hand from the bottom of the palm to the top of middle finger should be the same as the length of a face from the chin to just above the eyebrow. The width of the hand should be half the width of the head.

Legs: The height from hips to toes is around 4 head lengths. Pelvis, one head length.

Remember for your sculpting proportions, you don't have to be too particular. Male versus female, age and even race can influence these measurements.

The sculpting proportions are a guideline, but especially for Santa, you can stray quite a bit from these. The biggest issue is getting his head in proportion with his body. His head should actually start out slightly smaller than suggested by the sculpting proportions. Once you get his beard and hair on, they tend to make his head appear quite a bit larger. Then again, it will also depend on how roly poly he is. If he is going to be really chubby, make sure his head isn't going to look too small.

If you are still unsure about sculpting proportions correctly, you can use a mold for the face of your santa and use a premade doll body. This way you can still create your own, but with a little help.

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