Suggestions for sculpting and Art (Blender)

Arnav Zek
3 min readDec 29, 2019


Don’t do things just because a professional artist did that, always question and analyze

Always start with base mesh

Give density to base mesh before going to sculpt mode, subdivide it otherwise time is wasted smoothing the surface

Don’t try to remember the structure and anatomy but the function of that structure, what that muscle or design is suppose to do and convey

Always draw your references a few time before sculpting so that you can get the basic memory of the structure. it will in long term save a lot of your time glancing at the references

Take break, not relaxation break do something else that requires focus. it will give you fresh eyes when you comeback to your work

Keep your base mesh in a separate file. sometimes starting from scratch is a time saver especially when you are starting out

Do the things you think you can’t do

look at your work at a distance and try to think how can you make it took more identifying

Isolate parts of sculpt. The more focused you are the faster you can make things. like working on a character isolate the limb, rib & head on sculpt with only one of the visible at a time

use skin modifier for eyebrows and fingers it is the best way

don’t just use still images as reference use sketch fab, It is better to understand 3d structure from 3d itself no brainier it is better than guessing

Use snake hook instead of grab. because of snake hook base mesh can be very minimal. even just skin modifier on vertex arrangement (with skin modifier it is best to make different objects)

never use grab.

Instead of crease a lot of times u can use flatten

At first just focus on the gesture, the silhouette. and slowly climb to the level of details

Focus on one thing at a time if you want to be a good sculptor then don’t try to turn every sculpt into an art piece and rush texturing. just clay render it

make use of mask to make inside of mouth, scales and…

use radial symmetry is also available in blender

In the Properties area, Render tab, Layer group, there’s a setting to override every object’s material. use it to clay render. for clay material add some noise to displacement and basic PBR shader

pinch tool is another really underrated tool, use it to taper ends of cloth, lips, making scars

Get camera in position before you start sculpting, it will help you focus (always have that window visible)

before making cavity for mouth make the crease

snake hook is ideal for making hair, keep hair a separate object

corner of lips are very close to each other, the upper lips is mostly forward than lower lips goes under the upper lips at the corner

cheeks are pushed parallel to the jaw

Anything you are not sure about make it a separate object

use pinch to make corner of eyes really convenient

the u shape smile from 2d art looks but looks creepy in 3d, avoid that. if it is not a subtle smile, gap between lips is necessary to make a smile feel natural in 3d

character’s pose needs to tell a story and if symmetry is what you are going for like character walking up to the camera, you should give difference in interest so that eyes can know in what order it has to look at things (same rule also applies for high detailed character leave a few spaces that are minimal it will give more weight to the details and direct the eyes)

following are few ways

  • Give something to one hand like a weapon and noting in the other
  • A slight tilt style of walking

Pose should give anticipation

Back to Sculpting

For muscles on arm inflate tool is ideal

Try to use grab in the early stages of sculpt and if possible use it on area as a whole. Sharp edges and defined shapes are appeal of sculpting. use grab (snake hook) only for the purpose of defining proportions, for defining shape workflow should be add or remove clay and crease in, out, smooth or flatten

Handy Shortcuts

use ctrl + d to enable dynamic topology

K: snake hook

Shift + C: crease

S: smooth

H: box hide

B: box mask