Portrait Sculpture with Air Dry Clay

This video shows how to sculpt a portrait bust using air dry clay and a wire armature. Techniques for how to build a wire armature, and how to block in the largest shapes in the portrait sculpture are explained thoroughly. Sculpting techniques using a range of sculpting tools, and how to sculpt details, and the advantages and disadvantages of using air dry clay are all addressed. Demo led by Art Prof Clara Lieu & Guest Teaching Artist Annelise Yee.

Video Walkthrough

  • Challenges of scupting heads
  • Proportion measurements
  • Armature wire
  • Attaching the armature
  • Armature “butterfly”
  • Styrofoam in the armature
  • Air dry terracotta clay
  • Packing the clay
  • Anatomical structures
  • Sculpting the neck
  • Building the shoulders
  • Nose & Mouth relationship
  • Sculpting hair
  • Wrapping the sculpture
  • Dry time & air dry clay

Reference Photos

Male Face Reference #1

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