How to sculpt your maquettes to scale

How do you build a maquette exactly to the size you want? Here are seven quick tips.

1. First, do a scale drawing of your subject (dinosaur, monster, mech, or building) from at least a side view, but ideally a top and front view, too. 
2. Make a photocopy of the drawing. 
3. Fold it where the feet touch the ground, and position it right behind your armature.
4. Using a red marker, draw where you want the aluminum wire armature to go inside the form.
5. As you build the wire armature, shine a sharp light from far away to cast a shadow on your drawing. The shadow will be like an x-ray of your eventual maquette. You will be able to see exactly where the armature will fit inside the form. 

6. As you build the maquette, make sure it matches the size and pose that you planned in your drawing.

7. You can use a caliper to check actual measurements of the 3D form against the 2D drawing. Here's a cheap caliper that you can get for about 6 bucks.

You can see this tip in action, along with lots of other practical behind-the-scenes insights, in my new instructional art documentary (watch the trailer on YouTube) about the making of the Australian dinosaur stamps. 
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