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I will say this book was initially difficult to rate. The point of this book seems to be to quickly get your hands dirty. It offers a couple of different armatures that are quick and easy to make (especially if you own a bandsaw and tablesaw). His pictures are in color (always better than B&W for instruction) and good for the most part. But based just on the reading of the book, I would have given it 3 Stars. He explains the armatures quickly, flies through the steps of sculpting, and offers absolutely no help in refining and finishing the work.
But I waited to review it until I started actually working through the book. I am glad I did. All of the three things I mentioned above remain true. But they are no longer negatives. Armatures really don't need a lot of explaining. Wires or wood shaped in a very rough version of the finished product and used to support the clay. That's all an armature is and therefore no verbose explaination required.
There are other books out there that break down all of the finite details of sculpting. But for some beginners, it may be too much. Dale Power basically says put a glob of here, here and here and shape into a nose, mouth, chin or brow. Later, when you have some basic techniques, you can plan out your works and details. But today you are a noob, so grab some wire and some clay and start learning some simple techniques before you let your mind get in the way of your fingers. This is the genius of the book. Why be worried about how to remove fingerprints and produce a finished product when for the next several weeks or months your work is going to be recycled back into the clay bucket anyway? Once you progress to that level, then learn those techniques elsewhere.
This book is about getting clay on your hands and creating something recognizable within minutes of opening the cover. And with that as its goal, it accomplishes it perfectly.
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