With pandemic restrictions requiring us to stay at home our education options are more limited than usual and many of us are likely to be working in fairly small spaces. You can still keep improving your skills however; here’s some advice to help you get the most out of learning under your own steam…
Set yourself up to succeed
To really benefit from doing practical projects at home choose your subject sensibly; a core prosthetics skill that’s easy to work on independently is sculpture. Sculpture skills are used in everything from facial appliances to creatures and will always be in demand in professional FX workshops, so learning and practicing sculpture techniques is a valuable use of your time.
Keep it small
This can mean small flat-mould appliances sculpted in plastiline such as wounds, or small creatures and characters. Small figurative sculpture suits polymer clays like Super Sculpey, Cosclay and Fimo. These are ideal for home use as they can be baked in a home oven* whereas the soft clays typically used for larger sculptures require moulding and then casting in a hard material to create the same kind of permanent piece.
*Always use the manufacturer’s instructions.
Working small might feel like a compromise but it isn’t, here are 4 reasons why…
- Setting yourself achievable goals is key to making progress so keeping home projects small means you’re more likely to finish them, gain confidence and advance your skills
- Scale doesn’t matter so much in a portfolio. Employers are interested in your sculpting and design ability and this can be shown well in small-scale work. It’s also hard to tell scale in portfolio photos of figurative work so they can be just as impressive as larger pieces
- In a professional FX workshop creating small-scale figurative sculptures is actually a job. These are known as maquettes and are used as concept designs for creatures, so developing small-scale sculpture skills will enhance your employability in the film industry
- Smaller projects mean less materials and less expense
Be inspired by industry small-scale sculptors
Take a look at the instagram accounts of Aris Kolokontes and Tomek Radziewicz. These guys are both incredible sculptors who do wonderful small-scale work. They work in different mediums including those mentioned earlier that are ideal for using at home: Super Sculpey, Cosclay and Fimo.
Subscribe to our online courses….of course!
If you like structured, demonstration-based tuition our online courses are the perfect home-learning companion for you.
Learn everything from basic flat mould appliances to multi-piece silicone character makeups with BAFTA-winner Neill’s clear, easy-to-follow videos. These are expertly edited to include every technical detail, but leave out the curing times, making them comprehensive AND concise.
- 70 lessons currently available; new ones added regularly
- Study PROCESSES and follow LEARNING PATHWAYS
- Materials lists provided
- PDF transcripts of voiceovers provided for future reference and translating into different languages
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