In this fully narrated Blender tutorial, I’ll show you exactly how to sculpt a dragon head from scratch to use in your 2D concept artwork.
Let’s go through the main steps of the process here:
This is where we “sketch” out the main form of the head. I try to do as much of the design as possible in the modeling phase before I re-mesh and move into sculpting (I’ll get to that in a minute).
This is because it’s easier to make big edits to the design by manipulating the object in edit mode, rather than trying to move or stretch things in the sculpt.
First, we start with a cube.
Then, we cut it in half, set up a Mirror Modifier, and start making edits in Object Edit Mode (I’ll show you exactly how in the video).
I try to keep the shapes simple and try not to subdivide too much at this point. Pro tip: Try to avoid creating N-gons (planes with more than four sides) or objects with holes in them at this point!
Once we have our overall design where we want it, it’s time to merge everything together and Re-mesh the object. This will divide the large polygons into much smaller shapes, so we can sculpt it like clay. We can do this with a modifier or just go straight to our Sculpting tab and re-mesh there.
Once we’ve increased the polygon resolution, it’s time for the fun part! We can use all kinds of different brushes in Blender to sculpt out our object to create eyes, jawline, muscles, skin, and more.
Hint: You can turn on mirror mode here as well, so all the changes affect both sides of the head!
Next, we can use some custom brushes to create scales and more interesting textures. I usually increase the mesh resolution a bit first, then import the texture file into my brush.
You can easily create these textures yourself, or just download them from a free site like Blendswap.com.
3. Final polish and render
Now it’s time to set up some lighting and make our sculpt look really nice. In this case, I was going to use this render in a client’s artwork, and I already had this sketch that I wanted to use it in:
So I set up the lighting and changed the view mode to Render in Cycles. I set up some planes to create bounce light that closely matched the lighting in my sketch.
Finally, it’s time to pick a camera angle and render it out!
Now I can just paste this into my sketch, paint over it and…voila!
So these are the main steps, but the best way to learn how to do this is to watch it unfold in real time. That’s why I created this narrated Blender tutorial video to walk you through it.
So check out the video , and give it a try yourself!