Sculpting Facial Expressions

Explore the vast range of facial expressions with figure sculpture techniques in clay.

banner Figure sculpture plastilene Clay

Learn sculpture techniques for achieving diverse forms and marks in clay while articulating forms in the facial features.

“I felt like this workshop really allowed you to dive in and not be afraid of potentially making ‘bad art.’ I also think that being allowed to use whatever art supplies you got is a big positive.”

Watch a Sample Workshop

Watch a sample workshop: Gestural Portraits

How it Works


banner Figure sculpture plastilene Clay

Before the workshop

  • Students receive access to the workshop channels in our Discord.
  • Hang out in the workshop channels so we can see your artwork and site, and chat about your goals can make the workshop more efficient.
  • Please know that if you have no experience with Discord, it does take some time to get set up and learn how Discord works.
  • Watch this 53 second tour of our Discord for a preview.
  • We highly recommend joining several days before the workshop date so you can learn the ropes, troubleshoot any problems, and get help from us to make the workshop run as smoothly as possible for you.

First 2 hours

  • Students work and take occasional breaks to post their artwork into the Discord text channel.
  • On voice, Prof Lieu continually critiques drawings as they are posted in the Discord text channel.
banner Figure sculpture plastilene Clay

Last hour

After the workshop

Workshop channels access

  • Students will continue to have access to the workshop channels.
  • The week following the workshop, Prof Lieu will provide feedback and follow up resources.
  • After that week, Prof Lieu will answer quick questions, but will not be providing feedback.

Written Feedback

  • Prof Lieu will write a paragraph for each student which reviews the student’s artwork made during the workshop + suggestions for how to move forward, see sample below.
Clara cartoon

I think you made really excellent progress on your drawing in a short period of time! When I look at the progression from the initial line drawing all the way to the final stage, it’s wonderful to see how much more depth you were able to add into the drawing. There is a sensitivity in the line variation that you accomplished that I think was really effective.

Perhaps a next step would be to explore tone, and then to see how you can create drawings by balancing between line and tone. Line and tone aren’t always a 50/50 relationship in a drawing, some drawings can be 90% tone with just a bit of line, so that would be a great thing to explore.

Getting more in depth with tone I think would enrich your drawings and give them even more of a sense of volume.

Prof Lieu
air dry skull sculpture, banner

Student info

  • Limit 12 students
  • Enrollment is first come, first serve
  • All students are required to join our Discord to participate.


  • We will confirm whether the workshop is running by the Wednesday after the Friday registration deadline.
  • If the workshop does not run, you will receive a full refund no later than a week from the Friday registration deadline.
Foot Sculpture in Plastilene, banner


  • All payments are non-refundable if the workshop runs.
  • Students must join our Discord at least 24 hours before the workshop starts. There are no refunds if you do not join within this time frame.
  • There are no refunds if a student is late, does not join Discord, or does not attend the workshop for any reason.
  • We only issue refunds if the workshop does not run due to lack of enrollment.


About our Staff

Prof Lieu has 15 years of teaching studio art at the college level, and was an Adjunct Professor at the Rhode Island School of Design from 2007-2020.

Portrait Sculpture with Air Dry Clay