So, now we have a T-posed armature with a little bit of putty stuck to it. It has fingerprints all over it, which is actually what we want right now, because the added tooth helps when adding putty on top.
If you plan on making several miniatures in a given scale, feel free to pump out a couple of these for whenever the sculpting bug bites you. Sometimes I spend my putty curing time sculpting a different mini.
I have never sculpted a mini sitting down before. This is probably going to lead to some hilarious errors down the line. You have been warned.
First order of business is to bend the skeleton into position. Of the putties I mentioned, it's noteworthy that Green Stuff and Procreate are somewhat flexible. Bending stuff significant amounts or repeated flexing will cause them to crack, but slight adjustments are fine in the early stages. I've noticed she's rather straight-backed, so I've added a bit of the natural recurve of the lower back.
It's not too important to really push the skeleton into the seat just yet, as plenty of flesh will be added on later.
A couple things here. First, a little putty on all those joints I said to leave bare. These lock the skeleton more into position, which makes later sculpting easier. Secondly, a bit more putty on her sides, ribcage, and her crotch. Unlike the limbs, the body is much less cylindrical, and so it's important to build up those areas first. The crotch area needs filling in as well, to break out of the V-shape caused by the armature. Underlying putty influences everything above it, and the sooner you can define forms, the better.
Your fingers are your first and most intuitive sculpting tools, but unfortunately, they're textured (for most of us). After the initial putty on the armature, smoothing starts getting important for anything added. Nothing sucks more than realizing that the silhouette and volume are right... but there's a section of fingerprinted putty because you built up that area too quickly without smoothing it.
So, smoosh a blob of putty into the rough shape needed (conical, in this case), splat it into place, and run it over with a clay shaper until it's nice and smooth. If you're using Green Stuff, there's the so-called coveted "shiny green", which is a sculpt so smooth it literally has a glass-like shine to it. Clay shapers, and a little bit of water on your tools as lubricant, goes a long way. Not too much water though, since that'll interfere with adhesion.
Ideally, what you're going for is a perfectly smooth, anorexic body that you can bulk up as needed.
Yet another fit check. Here I think is a decent enough place to insert my thoughts about T&A and how they apply to sculpting.
No, not thoughts like "it's gratuitous and omnipresent and objectifies women, etc", but actual, practical concerns when it comes to sculpting. Even more than drawing, in sculpting, getting anatomy right is mandatory, because clothes are quite literally built up on top of a nude body. (Seriously, trying to sculpt anything freehanging, like capes, is a pain) So, suppose you've sculpted up this beautiful sculpt of a nude woman (not necessarily a sculpt of a beautiful woman, mind you), and you're ready to add clothes.
Well, the problem is, clothes tend to bind and squish fatty blobs of tissue like T&A, and after adding clothes on top of hard putty breasts, suddenly a previously modestly endowed woman is sporting a pendulous pair of knockers larger than her head. So, erring on the small side for those bits is always a good idea. For, ahem, flatter women, sculpting them as part of the clothing layer is not a bad idea, especially if there is going to be some sort of texture or pattern on top.
So yeah. Her butt is going to need to be squished in, seeing as she's sitting on it.
Oh right, last thing, a small
bead of putty on the head provides a "skull" for the face. Which I'll probably do next installment.