How to Sculpt Beetles, Bugs and Scarabs Realistically | Stephanie Kilgast | Skillshare

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How to Sculpt Beetles, Bugs and Scarabs Realistically

teacher avatar Stephanie Kilgast, Contemporary artist.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Material & Tools

    • 3. Beetle Studies

    • 4. Sculpting a Ladybug

    • 5. Sculpting a Blue Scarab

    • 6. Blue Fungus Beetle

    • 7. Finishing Touches

    • 8. Conclusion

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About This Class

If you're into bugs and insects, this class is for you!
I am going to guide you through the process of sculpting your very own beetles from scratch.
No prior knowledge needed! However, bring in some patience for better results!
I will explain my process through three examples, the eyed ladybug, a blue scarab and the blue fungus beetle.
I will also show you two different ways to make legs.
In the end I'm also going to share some of my artwork for you to go further.

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Materials and Tools
Beetle Studies 
Sculpting a Ladybug
Sculpting a Scarab (Protaetia Speciosa Cyanochlora)
Sculpting a Blue Fungus Beetle
Finishing Touches

Ressources :

My tools :

Kevin Mac Leod 
Three Chain Links

Meet Your Teacher

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Stephanie Kilgast

Contemporary artist.


Inspired by natural forms, Stéphanie Kilgast’s artwork is an ode to nature and its current biodiversity. Plants, mushrooms, insects and other animals encounter in a vibrant swirl of colors under her brush or sculpting tools.

Since 2017, in her series “Discarded Objects”, she grows colorful organic sculptures on human-made objects, celebrating the beauty of nature in a dialogue with humanity, questioning the lost balance between human activities and nature.
Her work has a cheerful post apocalyptic feel to it, a reassuring reminder that nature has the capacity to grow back, if we only let it.

She built her reputation and her sculpting skills around hyperrealistic miniature food sculptures. Her wo... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello. I am Stephanie and I'm a contemporary artists. Today I'm going to show you how to sculpt these little beetles. This class is going to guide you through all steps off creations from the watercolor studies and studies of Beatles. Until the very end where you have your own beetle sculpture. I'm going to explain you how to study beetles and then hold to sculpt them. I'm also going to show you three different kinds of beetles not only the ladybug, but also blue scarab and a blue fungus beetle. That way I will be able to show you two different techniques with legs and three different ways to texture the body and to sculpt it. So this is an extensive class that I hope will inspire you to make your own insects in sculpture. This class is also full of tips and tricks. And as a professional sculptor, since about 10 years, I'm going to share everything I know with you. And that way I will ensure that you will you get the best advice for you to become a better sculptor. I hope this class got you excited and that you will take it. And don't forget to shade the class project with the class because I love to see what you come up with. If you like my work, you can also follow me on all social media under the moniker at particular. 2. Material & Tools: for this class, we're going to need some problematically. I use female, and soon it's some dry pastels. I use simile and shrinker, but you can use any other good good brands. So Mika powder for the iridescence I used to Alex some varnish. I use very megacity getter from Clue Pod, which is French. I also puts in the description books Balu, a link to other varnishes that more that are available internationally. Some acrylic panes, some blades and an Exacto knife. Some sculpting tools, brushes, pliers, cutting pliers and jewelry, pliers, black colored couple wire. And for the tools. I also put a link in the description bucks to the tools I use the most. 3. Beetle Studies: I am curently doing a daily painting challenge. Why paint insects daily? So I did a lot off beetle watercolor studies. Studying the subject of your sculpture is extremely useful, as you intellectually have to familiarize yourself with the different forms and shapes. You don't have to use watercolor. You can also simply sketch the insects with whatever pencils a pen you like. Best's no need for the sketches to look good, either. The important part off sketching is for you to apprehend how it looks from all sides. The goal is not to make something pretty, but something useful for you as a sculptor. If you really can't be bothered with sketching, well, you can always gather reference pictures. When you sculpt, you will be able to adjust the shape over and over again until you're happy with it. Off course. You can just follow this class without doing any kind of prior research. If you intend to make just one beetle sculpture and never go back to beetle sculpting, that is perfectly fine. But if you want to push your sculpting work to the next level, studies are really crucial 4. Sculpting a Ladybug: We are starting the ladybug sculpture, and for that we're going to use a bowl of red clay. I pushed the clay down on a tile to Forman oval shaped doom. I cut one end on one side, then I draw a line in the middle. I am using an elbow to spatula tool, but you could use a blade or a needle tool. I then draw a triangle that I'm going to push down. I cut the excess clay again. Then I am cutting a tiny black triangle that I am adding to the previously shaped triangular Indians. I placed the ladybug face down on a piece off thin black clay and cut the exact shape. I smoothed the clay down for the head. I am shaping a trapeze ary ralph form that I cut diagonally on both sides with a blade to make them sinner. - I then pushed the shape onto the body, and then I create two Indians. I roll out a ball off black clay that I push on top. I smooth it down to intrude sticks into place and add the two tiny balls off clay for the I . I smooth them down to ensure they stay into place for the antennas. I am using a plastic coated beating wire that I cut to the right side, dip into liquid clay and push into the head. Then I bake. After baking and cooling off. I am adding the legs. For those I am using one millimeter thick, black colored copper wire. I cut out three pieces each for one pair of legs. Using a flat jewelry plier, I bend the legs. According to the Beatles body. Each side will have to Ben's. Be sure that the straight parts, let's call it the coughs are of the same size so that the beetle can stand on all six legs . Once finished, I then bent each pair into a slightly V so it won't move. One speaks. Then cut out the excess wire and repeat for the other pairs of legs we owe you. Add the legs. I am first brushing some liquid polymer clay onto the Lady Books belly. Then I place it on top of a thin layoff. Clay cuts round, smooth it to the body. Then I push each pay off leg into the body, and I cover with another piece of clay. I smooth down again, and then I texture the underside. You might want to sign your pieces well and then bake after baking and cooling off. We're going to paint the ladybugs boots. We are starting to pain them in white for two reasons. I picked the I the ladybug, which does have hollow off yellow round and so starting with white ensures that I am going to get the right coloring. The second reason is because the white acrylic paint is going to act like a primer. Certain acrylic panes bleed into the clay over time, especially cheap ones. A good way to avoid the bleeding is to start with a primer. Beetles usually ask symmetrical, so paint the same shapes and amount of dots on both side we owe. Also paint the black part with some whites. Let's dry at a second slayer off white, onto the head. If needed. It is better to add several thin coatings than one big splotch at the final result will look neater now paints the dots in yellow orange colors, let dry and finally on the black dots, also on black paint on each leg to cover the couple wire 5. Sculpting a Blue Scarab: for the Blue Scarab. We're starting with the bull of blue clay. It does help to have a reference picture. Are watercolor studies next to you working space to shape the body? I start by forming the oval shape of the body with my fingers to avoid fingerprints. I keep brushing over the surface to remove them. Once I am happy with the overall shape, I start to draw the Beatles lines. They're the same on all beetles. Think off a T shaped with a triangle at the junction. Off both lines, scarabs often look a little puffy to achieve that rounded shell. I am using silicone clay shapers to smooth the edges down around the lines. You could use your finger only two round the edges. I often use the natural round of my nails to push the sides into a crew. - Once everything is rounded up, the lines have probably disappeared a little. So redraw them. No, I am going to add some shading with dry pastels. My favorite brands are sh minka and synergy, as they are very pigment rich. But I also used to work with Pharma Castell for a long time. Brush some dark color over the lines and around the body. You can use dark brown, doug blue or black. Whatever. You have to add the hand by shaping a small rectangle and cutting out a triangle. Push on to the body at the eyeballs, making two small bowls off. Black clay smoothed down the clay of the eyes onto the handle to ensure that everything sticks nicely together. Way at the end antenna, using two pieces of black colored wire that you have been in the middle. Now we're going to color and make the beetle shine. I am using mica powder and the Brent I have its publics. Since I got this as a gift, I don't have the exact names, but like any powder, you could get a small set off colors you like and then makes to the right shading. I am brushing blue powder all around the beetle and a green turquoise color around the triangle. If she don't want to buy prolix, you can also shade the body using dry pastels. The only years off for Alexis to add, I rid essence, so if you plan on sculpting a lot off bugs and insects, it is a good investment. But if not dry, pastels are even acrylic panes and a lot off vanish at the end will be justice. Fine, and then I bake. After baking and cooling off, I am adding the legs. The technique is similar to the Lady bird. I brushed some liquid clay onto the scarabs belly. I placed the beetle onto a thin layer off black polymer clay and cut the exact shape. I add the legs I cover with a piece of clay E I smooth down and then texture. Now it's also a good time to sign your piece if you sew, do wish and bake. 6. Blue Fungus Beetle: for the blue fungus, people were starting with a purple colored piece of clay. Push it down onto the tile into an O belong. Do one end. Now add a piece off rectangle a black Klay. Push the sides into a curve, brush with liquid clay and placed the rectangle onto the body and just the shape way. Head with a small ball of clay way. Create the eye sockets with the bull and the tool, and then add the eyes with two small balls of clay using plastic coated beating wire and the antennas after dipping them in liquid. Klay then draw line onto the wings that ends into a triangle at some texture with sandpaper that's using a bull and a tool. If you would like to replicate the blue fungus beetle, no needed to brother about symmetry as they're not in real life. At some shading, using black, dry, pastel or any kind of other dark pastel, simply brush over the lines and on the sides. You can also add some iridescence with some purple prolix after baking and cooling off. Paint the dots with black paints. Father legs. I am going to show you a different technique. It is a lot trickier and longer to make them like this. However, for bigger sculptures, it is much more efficient as simple black colored wire just isn't enough. We are going to cut three pieces off wire. You can use any wire you have at home, but I personally prefer stainless steel wire because it tends to be on the hard side. Wrap them in painters masking tape, then wrap them into thin, layer off black colored clay way, way shape using apply it, which is going to flatten the clay out, so simply reshaped the clay around the legs each time. Alternatively, he could also shape the legs before adding, likely both our little tricky. So it's up to you to see what you like best. I personally think it's easy at you at the clay before bending way to pair off legs in the middle like we did for the legs of the other Beatles. Two. Untrue that they won't move and they stick better and stay in place excess wire. Once the legs are bent, we are going to shape them. The thighs are little thicker, closer to the body, so I am adding a triangle and smoothing it out. I am mostly using silicone clay shapers to shape the legs. The feet are segmented, with a little protuberance at the end that finishes into two very tiny class that I'm not going to sculpt because they're just too tiny. It's best to look at pictures off Rheal insect legs to better grasp their shape. Insect legs are beautiful and well worth sculpting way have now recorded the leg sculpting from different angles. And I really hope that you better understand what I am doing way, way, way. Once you are happy with your three pairs off legs, bake them after baking and cooling off. We are adding the legs to the body like who did with the other Beatles. Brush some liquid clay onto the belly. Onda sin lei off black clay. Push the legs into the clay on another piece of clay on top, smoothed down and texture. Eventually sign and bake 7. Finishing Touches: beetles are usually very shiny, so I've Amish them all. You also need to seal the acrylic paint and pro lex and also the dry pastel, so the very least would needed to be to seal them with liquid polymer clay. I personally use a French Vonage that is quite exceptional, it is called then less. If you get and and the brand is clear pat, however, I am adding a link to politically varnishes that can be used. 8. Conclusion: thank you so much for taking this class. I really hope this class got you inspired and excited to make your own Beatles cultures. If you do, please share your beetles with the class. I love to see what you come up with, and it's also very inspiring to other students who might feel a little bit afraid of trying . Since your human skill share, don't forget to check out my other classes. I have one on musk sculptures and also one about mantises. If you like my work, you can also follow me on old social media under the moniker At particular, I do skill share videos about once a month, sometimes twice have time, so we'll see you in my next one by