Sculpting Creatures and Critters
4.5 (54 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
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Sculpting Creatures and Critters

Bringing Your Ideas to Life in Clay
Best Seller
4.5 (54 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
641 students enrolled
Created by Emily Coleman
Last updated 8/2016
Current price: $10 Original price: $30 Discount: 67% off
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  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 26 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • To learn the basics of form as they pertain to sculpture.
  • To gain the ability to sculpt an original figure from scratch.
  • To obtain the knowledge of materials used in sculpting character maquettes.
  • To create your own ideas inspired by the practice of observation and the use of practical techniques.
View Curriculum
  • Highly Recommended : Basic working knowledge of form, anatomy, and color theory.
  • Helpful : Character design experience, basic drawing skills
  • Sculpting Materials

Have you ever wanted to bring your ideas to life in clay but weren’t sure where to start? This class will give you the skills needed to start creating your own original sculptures using Super Sculpey. We will start from the ground up, beginning with concept creation moving into armatures, building up clay, creating detail and texture, and finally, painting. At the end of the class, you will have a completed sculpture of your own.

Students will need to purchase materials in order to complete this class. Materials list and recommended buying locations will be provided.

Previous sculpting experience is not necessary. However, at least some working knowledge of art basics (form, shape, color theory, etc.) as well as basic drawing skills are highly recommended.

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone interested in learning the process of creating an original sculpture.
  • Beginning sculptors looking to expand their artistic skill set.
  • Recommended for artists age 10 years and up.
  • Character designers with an interest of realizing their creations in three dimensions.
  • Animal and creature enthusiasts with an artistic flair.
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Curriculum For This Course
53 Lectures
Watch: Materials and Inspiration
3 Lectures 11:09

Thank you for joining us! This is a quick introduction to who I am and what this class is all about.

Preview 01:14

Before getting started on your sculpture, we first need to go over the materials that you will need. Most items are readily available at your local art or craft store. If you have trouble finding any of the necessary items, refer to the shop suggestions list to get some help. Download the materials list for a handy reference to take with you while shopping.

Preview 06:07

Where do we get ideas? This video will discuss inspiration, making use of reference materials, and starting out with some basic concept art before moving on to sculpting.

Sources of Inspiration
Sculpt: Time To Get Ready!
2 Lectures 01:04
Gather Your References

Share Your References And Ideas!
Watch: Armatures
6 Lectures 36:13

This video will cover the necessary materials for creating your armature. We will then cover how to create a layout on paper that will help you keep accurate proportions when working with the wire.

Materials and Planning

This is the basic armature creation method. We will implement wire twisting and wrapping, which requires minimal tool use. It is a great method for quick and stable armatures.

Building Your Armature

If you have a larger sculpture that you want to create or one that is dynamically posed, you will want to create a stronger armature using this advanced method. Here, we will make use of heavy gauge armature wire for the main structure.

Advanced Armatures

Dynamic poses make a sculpture interesting to look at. Learn how to get rid of boring poses and add interest through movement.

Preview 03:09

Mass can be added to your armature through the use of aluminum foil. Learn how to use this technique as well as how to reinforce dynamic poses with an amazing clay called Apoxie Sculpt.

Using Foil and Apoxie Sculpt

Wire mesh can be used to create membranes for dragon wings, as will be demonstrated in this video. This technique can be used for other thin materials like capes and flowing fabric.

Wire Mesh for Wings
Sculpt: Build Your Own Armature!
5 Lectures 05:15


Pose and Reinforce!

Add Wings! (Optional)

Share Your Armature!
Watch: Building Form with Clay
5 Lectures 29:09

Let's start putting some clay onto the armature! In this video, we will quickly build up form to get a fully roughed in sculpture that shows basic proportion, anatomy, and posing.

Blocking Out with Clay

This lesson will discuss additive and subtractive methods of sculpting as well as different ways to smooth out your blocked-out sculpture.

Sculpting and Smoothing

With a now smooth sculpture, it's time to start adding anatomical details. This video shows techniques for adding muscle definition and hints of skeletal structure. It also demonstrates how to create basic fingers and toes.

Sculpting Anatomy - Dragon

Some different techniques will be shown here including sculpting paw detail, working with guide lines, and adding major facial features.

Sculpting Anatomy - Gryphon

Before getting into fine detail, we want to add in secondary forms. These are any large or prominent features that weren't included during the blocking out of the sculpture. In this demonstration, that will include the dragon's wing membranes as well as large chest scales.

Secondary Forms
Sculpt: Let's Start Sculpting!
4 Lectures 04:00
Block Out With Clay!

Smoothing and Anatomy!

Add Secondary Features!

Share Your Blocked Out Sculpture!
Watch: Detailing and Texturing
6 Lectures 39:07

Some different techniques will be shown here including sculpting the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Detailing the Face

This video will cover how to create horns by using pre-baked pieces of Sculpey. It will also cover various methods of creating realistic fur textures.

Sculpting Horns and Fur

We will discuss adding pre-baked claws to the hands, adding tendon detail, and adding small accent scales.

Detailing the Hands

We will now define the wing fingers, add some wrinkles to the wing membranes, and sculpt some light tattering along the edges of the wing.

Detailing Dragon Wings

This video tackles the complex bird wing by breaking it down into segments and demonstrating how to sculpt feathers.

Detailing Bird Wings

Adding sculpted elements to the base of your sculpture can help tell a story about your character. In this video, I demonstrate how to quickly sculpt realistic rocks for the base of your sculpture.

Preview 04:32
Sculpt: It's All About The Details!
6 Lectures 05:01
Sculpt The Face!

Detail the Hands and Feet!

Add Texture!

Detail the Wings! (Optional)

Detail the Base! (Optional)

Share Your Detailed Sculpture!
Watch: Smoothing and Finishing
2 Lectures 11:10

This video will cover how to apply rubbing alcohol to your sculpture followed by tips for baking your piece. We will also cover various sanding techniques to get the best surface quality.


This video will discuss primer application as well as what to do in the event of accidental breakage.

Primer and Repairs
Sculpt: Finishing the Sculpture!
4 Lectures 03:04



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About the Instructor
Emily Coleman
4.5 Average rating
54 Reviews
641 Students
1 Course
Professional Sculptor

I have been sculpting animals and creatures since 2001. In my decade-plus of experience, I have worked with a variety of sculpting media including polymer clays, wax, oil based clay, epoxy clays, and foam. I am also well versed in molding and casting.

From 2006-2012, I taught fine art for the 3D animation program at Full Sail University. I specialized in sculpting, but also taught life drawing, color theory, and concept art. I was involved in curriculum development as well as lecturing, class critique, evaluation, and practical lab work.

In 2013, I self published my first book, Creature Sculpt. This is a 200 page fully illustrated book that teaches the beginning and novice sculptor how to get started with their own original clay creations. In September 2014, Creature Sculpt will be republished as Fantasy Creatures in Clay by Impact Books. This newly designed and edited book will be available from major book retailers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.