Thursday, July 26, 2012

Portrait sculpting demo - Daughter

I started a life-sized portrait bust of my daughter this week. Below you will see the progression of where I started and up to this point.

First, I began by by crumpling some newspaper into a ball shape and taping it over a post. Next I added a generous amount of CT3 waterbased clay to form a general starting head shape. Then I made some lines to dived the head into proportion.

After that I began to carve out the eye sockets and refine the head shape and then began blocking the forms of the features.

Once I got that far, I added shapes and continued to refine the shapes. Up until this point I wasn't too concerned with getting a likeness - it was all about forms, shapes and proportions.

Now that I've gotten this far, I will let the clay rest a bit, allowing it to firm up. Then I will go back and begin to seriously define the forms, correct any proportion errors that I find and begin honing the likeness.  This portrait is just of 1/2 completed and has used nearly 1 full bag (25lbs) of clay. I will probably need another 1/3 to 1/2 bag of clay to complete the bust.


  1. Thanks, David. Getting really heavy now so time to let it set up a bit before the drudgery of cutting up and hollowing out.

  2. Lori, you are an amazing sculptor. Your daughter must be beautiful, what a glorious sculpture of her you have created. I have been sculpting dolls out of Creative Paper Clay and also began with Super Sculpy, never dreaming I could sculpt anything, mind you, that is when I joined Jane Des Rosier's Cloth and Clay doll ning site in the fall of 2008, and I had never seen anything like what she had been creating in the way of dolls. I seriously think I could sculpt in clay, as working in the 3-d realm is so much more fascinating to me than on a flat surface drawing a person. My younger brother, Troy Howell is an artist/illustrator and got his degree at Los Angles Art Center College of Design. Anyway, I have enjoyed the kindred spirit link to many other professional doll artists, and I am also in the MAIDA doll ning with Dixie Redmond as the host. I take my hat off to these wonderful ladies who have done hours, months and a few years of research in the realm of making doll sculptures to pass on their wonderful talents to fledgling doll artists like myself. I enjoy viewing Art Doll Quarterly and PRIMS published by I appreciate the support and encouragement those two magazines have impacted on the handmade art doll platform.
    My thoughts and prayers have been with Colorado these past two months with the fires and the sad shootings. You all have had more than you share of tragedies.
    Blessings to you
    Teresa in California

    1. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers - it, indeed, has been a difficult year for some of us here. I'm glad that you have found support and inspiration from various places on the internet - I find a lot myself!

      Happy Sculpting!