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An Observational Approach to the Portrait in Clay

Join internationally acclaimed artist, David Simon, as he teaches you his approach to modeling a three-quarter life-size portrait in clay. You will learn how to build your armature, take measurements of your model, block-in the facial features, hair, and neck, and how to build relationships between them. David will also cover the materials and tools he uses, and demonstrate his finishing techniques. This course is a comprehensive representation of the sculpting process from a few blocks of clay, a pipe, and a wire, to a finished portrait.

8 Lessons 18h 55m 52s of videos

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

In this lesson, David lays in the shoulders, the collar bones, and the sternum. He also adds mass to the lower part of the sculpture to balance out the upper part. Then David demonstrates how you can adjust the relationships between the right ear, the neck, and the hair by adding or removing volume and refining transitions.  He adjusts the forehead-hairline-temple relationships the same way. Finally, you see how the right side of the portrait gets more and more specified. 

Level 4

In the beginning of this lesson, David refines the left side of the face and lays out the facial symmetry. After that, he cuts the sculpture’s neck through with a wire and changes the pose of the sculpture to give some movement to it. Then David adjusts the neck and the lower part to the new pose and adds more details to the neck connection with the head and the shoulders. You will also learn how to give movement to certain facial features like eyes or lips.