Sculpture Techniques - How to Sculpt Dynamic Characters

Learn speed sculpture techniques for creating dynamic creature maquettes and monster designs in clay


Top creature concept designer, Simon Lee, teaches his speed approach to monster design through maquette sculpting. You'll learn to create dynamic monster, character and scene concepts in clay, from creating flexible armatures & efficient muscle layout, to character posing & the fine art of "suggesting" detail.

To illustrate his speed design sculpture techniques, Simon stages a fight between two beloved Stan Winston Studio creations, Predator and an Alien Drone. For the novice sculptor to the seasoned pro, this sculpture techniques master class, from one of Hollywood's most sought after character concept designers, is not to be missed!


  • Constructing a quick & highly flexible armature
  • Posing the clay characters for maximum visual impact
  • Working with urgency - the speed sculpting approach
  • Understanding the importance of visual "pauses" in your work


Approximate Runtime is: 03:10:00

View by Chapters

  1. Title & Introduction - 00:00:00
  2. Materials - 00:00:49
  3. Constructing an Armature - 00:07:03
  4. Roughing Out Forms: Part 1 The Predator - 00:16:22
  5. Roughing Out Forms: Part 2 The Alien - 00:36:29
  6. Secondary Forms & The Suggestion of Movement - 00:52:46
  7. Posing the Characters - 00:59:52
  8. Using Pose to Refine Form - 01:08:52
  9. Detailing The Predator Head - 01:14:58
  10. Refining The Predator: Part 1 Character Determines Detail - 01:30:27
  11. Refining The Predator: Part 2 Surface Detail and Texture - 01:49:01
  12. Refining The Alien: Part 1 Use of Tools & Skeletal Shapes - 01:56:23
  13. Refining The Alien: Part 2 Layering Anatomy & Carving Surface Detail - 02:23:38
  14. Reviewing Character Composition - 02:31:51
  15. Locking Character Composition & Refining Detail - 02:34:40
  16. Cleaning & Smoothing Out the Sculpture - 02:45:43
  17. Final Details: Weapons, Body Decoration Smoothing, And Corrections - 02:49:18
  18. Polish For Concept Presentation Signature Strokes & Cultural Signifiers - 02:57:44
  19. Wrap Up - 03:08:20


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When working with toxic and/or dangerous materials or tools:

ALWAYS read labels for appropriate use guidelines
ALWAYS wear a high-grade respirator
ALWAYS work in a well-ventilated area
ALWAYS protect your skin
ALWAYS wear eye protection

Artist Information


Simon Lee

Character concept artist, master sculptor & top creature designer - "The Frazetta of Monster Sculpture"

A self-taught sculptor and designer, Simon Lee was born in China and moved to the United States at the age of...

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