A proportion chart is very much like a map showing you where to go. It really makes your life a lot easier when building the armature and can be a very simple sketch like a basic stick figure. The main thing is that it be fairly accurate when it comes to the head proportions as mentioned previously. By creating this proportion chart you will relieve yourself of many headaches later on during the clay stage where mistakes in proportion caused by the armature become very difficult to fix. Things like the armature poking out of the hip area, or an arm being to short or too long, can all be avoided by laying out the armature over a proportion chart beforehand. Be patient with this step and take your time to get it right or it will make your sculpture a frustrating experience later on!

When you draw your proportion chart make sure you draw it the same size as the figure you intend to make. For example a 12" figure will require a 12" tall chart; an 18" figure will require an 18" tall chart, so on and so forth. You will need to lay down the armature wire over this chart so it is important that the chart be of the correct size.

Follow the chart below [see photo] to help you draw your own. Alternatively you could search the net for a proportion chart with equal results. Then simply scale the chart to the correct size (using photo editing software or a photocopier).

For this example we are going to use a proportion of 8 heads tall. This will keep our figure more realistic but not dumpy or too elongated. If you wanted to create a more heroic figure, like a larger then life super hero, then 9 heads (or more) would be even better.

One last thing to mention is that you should make (or find) a proportion chart for a female figure and one for a male figure, as the body structure between the two genders is not the same. If you were to use a male chart for a female figure often you would find that your girl would look a little on the manly side (having wider shoulders and a narrow hip area) when in fact you would want the opposite (females have wider hips and narrower shoulders then men). It helps if you treat male and female figures as though there were two entirely different creatures to ensure you have men that are manly and women that are feminine and graceful. It is good to have a very different mindset when approaching each individual gender.


-1/8th aluminium armature wire
-1/16th aluminium armature wire
-Small gauge galvanized steel wire (18 gauge or thinner is best)
-Wire cutters
-Apoxie putty (Aves Studio)
-A base made from plywood or similar
-A Marker (Sharpie)

<p>Hi, I was wondering what method you used to attach the finished model to its display base?</p>
So when you're done modeling do you clip the wires off the base to put the fugure in a kiln?
No- I bake it on the base as shown in the pics. I should clarify that super sculpy you use your home oven. It is a polymer clay not a conventional water clay. Most people like to use it for maquette work because after baking it becomes hard and paintable so for a one off you don't need to make a mold and you have something permanent to display. You can't actually use a wire armature if you were to fire water clay as it would make it crack and explode but it is perfectly fine for baking super sculpy which is done at really low heat in your home oven.
<p>Hi I'm doing a 3D comtep craft BA, its infuriating as I'm on a course that allows me to do clay modelling (in Terrotta or White St.Thomas clay) but they do not have anyone to specifically teach modelling. I'm going nuts searching the net, while having to try to work out how to do this myself. So I was interested in how you make an armature but i need to find out how to make an armature that supports water based clays with the end result being kiln fired and how you would remove a figure from an armature before firing ?? And for for a larger more lifesize figure would a large armature be made of jointed gas piping and the figure cut off the armature in sections and hollowed out? Is this something you have done before and if so any tips or advice please? Welcome advce on usefull books ,websites etc really struggling to know best to do this..badly need help... Many Thanks , Sam.</p>
<p>This is great for clay sculptures - but Id imagine Id need a much sturdier armature for a metal / found object type creation right? How would I go about building (or buying) a skeleton to build around for something that heavy? Any help would be appreciated (I also want to be move able/somewhat pose-able as well - and to not be top heavy/etc etc)</p>
<p>this is awesome for the base, what do you to sculpt the figure? i use cold porcelain </p>
<p>Getting a glimpse of this process is fascinating, thank you.</p>
was the Apoxie Sculpt the only clay that you used? Would polymer clay work?
Many figure drawing books have proportion charts and you could probably photocopy one from a library book if you wanted, but the proportions shown in the drawing for this instructable are not realistic. The legs are at least 1/3 too long, but just right for teenage boys who read comics.
could you give me a link where i could download the THE PROPORTION CHART of a woman so i could print it in scale? thanks in advance!!!
I'd like a copy of the Proportion Chart, too!
This one is an obvious alternative. <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/22/Da_Vinci_Vitruve_Luc_Viatour.jpg" rel="nofollow">upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/22/Da_Vinci_Vitruve_Luc_Viatour.jpg</a><br /> <br /> All though I believe that the one he's using is from this book:&nbsp; <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Figure-Drawing-All-Its-Worth/dp/B00005VWK3" rel="nofollow">www.amazon.com/Figure-Drawing-All-Its-Worth/dp/B00005VWK3</a><br />
Can you clarify what gauge wire you are using as the "1/8th aluminum armature wire" and the gauge for the "1/16th aluminum armature wire"? Also is there a downside to using another type of non-rusting metal wire for the armature ie. brass or copper?
I'm not the author, but I'll take a stab at this-<br /> <br /> I'd say don't worry too much about exact gauges. If you can find something that eyeballs at a similar thickness, it'll work just as well.<br /> <br /> In my experiece, copper and brass wires have a springyness that makes them less ideal. When pressure is applied to the clay with a tool, a copper or brass armature tends to give and then spring back instead of holding stiffly in position, making sculpting more difficult. Brass is stronger than copper or aluminum, but in armature terms that just means it will flex further than copper before bending. <br /> <br /> Aluminum by contrast has almost no &quot;spring&quot;, though the trade off is it does actually bend easier (i.e. where copper would flex before bending, aluminum just bends right away), so you sometimes have to use a slightly thicker gauge than you might with copper or brass. <br /> <br /> <br />
This is probably one of the most useful techniques I have learned. The use use of Apoxie is just brilliant! Thanks for sharing.
what is the name of the book in the background?
"Drawing the Marvel Way" reminds me of overly bustful females. Then you use as as a sample? lol! In seriousness though, isn't 8 heads above average height?
Thank you for your tutorial. I have now learnt what's an amarture, how to start, and what to do for my Indian Dancer figurine. You are so much more helpful and informative than my scultpture class instructor!!
amazing musculature. And the face is astounding, for how long have you been doing this?
I would like to see a joker or batman one. I think you'd make it look awesome. :)
You should make a sculpting tutorial, because that one was great!
Thank you! I do have a sculpting tutorial in the works but it will take time to compile.... lots of steps lol!
Good work.
Thanks! :)
awesome where can you find resin?
Nice job
Thank you :)
Thanks!<br/><br/>I use a resin called SC 320 by <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.smooth-on.com">smooth-on</a>. You would have to look on their site for a distributor near you. They have silicones as well as other resins to choose from.<br/>
Excellent instructable, well written and very interesting. You are a great artist.
Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :D
Nice Instructible, and nice "Female Figure". Her boobs are too big to be proportionate, but as a guy I don't mine at all. XD
Thanks for the kind words - I didn't design that sculpture. She is a character by Jim Balent called &quot;Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose&quot;: <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.jimbalent.com">http://www.jimbalent.com</a><br/><br/>I prefer more modest boobs personally...lol! :D<br/><br/>Claudio<br/>
Thank you very much! Your instructional video process made it possible for me to make my first statue. But with this word by word instruction plus other inputs will make my succeeding works to be better and according to the way I want it. Thank you very much for sharing your talent and knowledge.
My pleasure -I'm glad you found it useful! :D Claudio

About This Instructable




Bio: 3D Character/ Concept Artist
More by Setti Fine Art:Making a Female Game Character from Wax CREATING A FIGURE ARMATURE FOR SCULPTURE 
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