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Free Tutorial – How to Sculpt a Face

Hi all! We will be sharing free tutorials contributed by all members here so everyone can learn from each other. Please contact me if you wish to have your tutorials posted.

I will start with my own “head” tute. I used polymer clay for this tute but it works for resin clay, paper clay and any bake or non-bake clay that starts out mushy! Here are the instructions:

Tutorial by Dust of Enchantment

Before you start, get some good reference pictures of human features and skulls because the only way to make a human face look like what it is is by close observation. No shortcuts!

Things you need: Soft paintbrushes in various sizes (clean them please), a wee bit of baby oil (if you are using polymer clay) OR water (if you are using air-drying clay) for smoothing, clay, white beads for eyeballs (optional), sculpting tools and reference pictures.

How to sculpt a face

1. Take 2 white glass beads or cured clay balls (or plastic beads if you’re using non-bake clay), paint the irides with acrylic paint and seal.

2. Put a ball of clay on a stick or the back of a pencil and roughly shape it into a head.

3. Using a toothpick, gently mark a vertical line down the center and a horizontal line where the eyes will be.

4. Push in the eyeballs and align them like the first picture.

5. Using a reference picture (preferably of a human skull), map out the eye sockets, nose, cheekbones and mouth.

6. Make 4 tiny clay snakes and place them inside the eye sockets to make eyelids. Blend well with a soft paintbrush.

7. Place 2 tiny balls of clay on the cheeks and blend.

8. Define the nose using a needle tool or whatever that works for you.

9. Blend a ball of clay into the chin and define the lips. Again, use a good reference picture please!

10. Smooth out the entire face by gently feathering with a soft paintbrush and redefine the details if necessary.

11. This is perhaps what many amateurs forget to do before setting the clay – Check the SYMMETRY by looking at the face in the mirror or snap some pictures of your sculpt, upload onto the computer and enlarge it! You will discover what funny tricks your eyes can do!

12. Fix any asymmetry, or just try to make it less obvious since no one’s face is perfectly symmetrical.

13. Set your clay and paint.