Modeling the Portrait in Clay Part 7: Changing the Pose

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    New Masters AcademyNew Masters Academy
    No badges. No points.

    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. 

    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. 

    Zelda Stroud
    No points.

    Portrait of Ponki Makinita 1

    Zelda Stroud
    No points.

    This is my most recent portrait bust, before your course.

    My website is

    I have been aware for a while that my work, whilst accurate, is overworked and static, and therefore fairly lifeless. I have been sculpting portraits since 2012 and although I studied sculpture in the mid-eighties, anatomy was not part of our studies. The looseness and grace that come with the confidence of knowing what is under the skin has therefore been elusive.

    I initially subscribed to NMA to do the ecorche course, which was wonderful, but this portraiture course with you has been a total revelation. I cannot wait to start applying some of the knowledge I have gleaned from watching you sculpt Paul. Your gifts and intellectual generosity have been amazing.

    Many, many thanks David!!!

    I have only one question – how do you go about attaching the support that makes the bust free-standing so that it is lifted and there is no need to permanently mount it onto a stand/base? I would love some urgent feedback if possible

    My annual subscription ends in 2 days and I cannot continue the subscription as the US dollar – ZAR exchange rate is shocking, even with Black Friday approaching (I live in South Africa), but I am eternally grateful to you and to NMA for everything I have learnt this year.

    Best wishes for the future

    Kindest regards

    Zelda Stroud

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