Sheridan Doose is a freelance Canadian Digital and Traditional Sculptor. His ArtStation Pro website using the vertical theme was a great choice to present his range of character sculpting.
Check out Sheridan’s ArtStation-powered website.
In this interview, he shares thoughts on his dearest project, most helpful training techniques and his approach of “recycling with a signature”.
What was the most helpful training/practice that got you to the level you’re at today?
I have a background in traditional sculpting, but nothing formal. I would study a lot of the process work from artists like Martin Canale, Pablo Viggiano, Andy Bergholz, Ray Villafane, all those great collectible sculptors (I’m missing quite a few names here). I also went to school for traditional animation, and most of the principles I learned there cross over into 3D character art as well.
Studying anatomy is a huge factor, and something that I think is essential to success when it comes to modelling characters. Pouring over anatomy tomes for med students and back issues of Flex magazine is all well and good, and something I’ve done religiously – but for me, I think physically exercising has given me an extra boost when it comes to sculpting. Muscles firing, being able to pin point insertions and plot landmarks on your own body, understanding ranges of motion… it’s an invaluable method of studying anatomy in parallel with textbooks and muscle mags (or whatever source of visual reference suits a project) and it makes memorizing musculature and the skeletal system that much easier. Feeling is just as important as seeing and honing that mind-body connection (outside of the usual fine motor skills used to create the actual art) has been a great training tool for me.
Tell us about one of your favorite projects/works.
Hrungnir Hammerheart is a piece that holds a special place to me. I like to think I’ve grown a lot since sculpting him, but it was a milestone for me. He was the character that I played in a brilliant Dungeons and Dragons campaign DMed by my good buddy, great artist and extraordinary mind, Josh Haberman. Sculpting for myself is something that I sometimes neglect for months at a time, but Hrungnir is a sculpt I managed to bring from concept to completion, digital sculpt to physical model kit. It was a great learning experience, molding and casting all these tiny parts, prepping them and packing them, and shipping them out to people around the world. I made so many mistakes along the way, and I learned a ridiculous amount. It was just a really rewarding experience that I want to get back into, getting personal work out there.
What kind of work stands out to you most?
I love really organic works, 2D or 3D, when there seems to be a give and take with the art and the artist.. and where the artist really embraces those happy accidents and the piece looks like it just grew naturally. I like raw, emotion infused art, but I’m also really drawn to work that has it’s materials all sorted out, where everything reads like it should.
What is the best piece of art advice you’ve ever received?
I’ve received a gross amount of fantastic art advice from a massive range of great artists, so it’s hard to hone in on something specific, but I think the piece of advice that I’ve gotten the most out of is also just a solid way of looking at the world: treat everything as reference and add it to your mental library. As artists, we are responsible for taking in the world around us, processing it, and putting it back out. Recycling with a signature. Being thoughtful about our environments, dialing in and out and taking mental snapshots to nuance, compartmentalize and draw from makes for art that is more appealing and more accessible because it’s grounded in our reality. It also makes for more emotional and personal art, because the things that effect us seem to stick.
When you take on the task of character art, you have to also take on the roles of so much more… You have to become an anatomist, a clothing designer, a blacksmith, a psychologist, a historian. Look closely at your facial expressions in the mirror, at the stitching on your coat, at the moldy cantaloupe on your counter top, watch the way people move. Become an observer. Google everything.
Art is expression, the same as having an opinion. I try to ask myself before I speak about something, “am I qualified to have an opinion on this?” It’s the same for character art. It’s all about taking in information, processing it, and only then putting out something new. I think this kind of mindset is the main thing to keep in mind when trying to improve in any artistic field, and it’s advice that has helped me immensely.
See more of Sheridan’s work on his portfolio website. To learn more about ArtStation Pro websites, click here.