My biggest challenge is my most avoided areas when sculpting a head. Namely the ears (as you may have seen by other posts). They almost seem inaccessible so most times I'll hide that by adding hair or just doing a rough 'sketch' and hold the ears till later (if using zbrush insertears tool can be handy too!)
Just like anything else though it is only daunting due to not practising it enough. As the anatomy of the ear is uncommon most first tests go pretty wrong and can end up ruining some perfectly good front face modelling.
I'm currently trying to break this avoidance habit by learning how to do ears. Sculptris, while not ideal for this is a great place to start.
Here are some workflow tips I'm trying to follow myself now in future models/sculpting when it comes to ears:
- Use reference! I'm usually terrible at this but I'm using it more now. Ears are all unique so try and get the same ear but multiple angles. Anatomical drawings are good as well or just get a mirror and use reference.
- Start the ear as soon as possible. It doesn't have to be at full detail immediately but work with it along side the head as a whole. The heads will then feel more as 1 complete model rather than a head with stuck on ears. You also have the benefit of working in symmetry early on in a sculpt (in 3D software like sculptris) so it may save time. The top image shows the ear on 1 side of the face, as I'm not using symmetry I now have to try and replicate another ear in a similar style with no starting base.
- Practice. Avoiding doing something because it is hard is something most of us do. We won't improve if we don't try. Remember you don't need to upload every image to the net if you're not happy with progress. Perhaps make a folder called 'ear tests' and save all your images as earwip_x then see how your own sculpting is improving.
- The ear isn't drawn on the side of the head. What I mean by this is a bad technique I've done myself (and seen others do). Masking off an area on the side of a head (sometimes a C shape), pulling it out = 1 ear. This doesn't produce good results, using references as noted above can really help with this bad habit and will greatly improve your work (it will stop looking as if all your characters have clip on ears!)