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A Solid Foundation

Portrait Sculpture Courses

Portrait sculpture courses are practical.  The skills taught are perception and anatomy based and designed to get you further towards understanding what you see.

You will be learning the whole time and enjoying becoming more confident in modelling a likeness.

Each studio session is designed to help you uncover and learn sculpture techniques and sculpture skills. Tuition will be both group orientated, but also tailored to your your individual needs.

I hope you will leave brimming with as much knowledge as I can pass on.

My intention is to you the confidence to successfully undertake a portrait commission of your own.

Video #1

Click the arrow opposite to see a short video.

You have as much talent for teaching as you do for sculpture and I’m guessing that’s pretty rare

JC Nottingham

4 Day Portrait Courses 2024

Thursday 11th - Sunday 14th April 2024
Venue: The Mansion House, Calderstones Liverpool  £480
Thursday 2nd - Sunday 5th May 2024
Venue: Art House, South Brent, Devon £525  (Discounts Available)
Thursday 25th - Sunday 28th July 2024
Venue: Art House, South Brent, Devon £525 (Discounts Available)
Thursday 3rd - Sunday 6th October 2024
Venue: Art House, South Brent, Devon £525 (Discounts Available)
Friday - Sunday October 2024 Sculpture for Surgeons
Venue: London - to be confirmed
Booking form
The Mansion House, Calderstones Liverpool

Course Introduction

Portrait Modelling.

Making a good head in sculpture is very satisfying. Each studio session is crafted to help you uncover an understanding of the subtleties of the human form.

This carefully structured 4-day sculpture class builds on your ability and offers you key techniques and protocols that will give you confidence.

The masterclass is limited to 10 participants and suitable for professional as well as novice sculptors, as tuition will be individually tailored to suit your requirements.

Silicon Mould Making & Resin Bronze Casting.

The course is designed to give all the technical info and experience needed to get you confident about making your own silicone rubber moulds.

We will look at the choice and use of materials, deciding on the dividing line, ensuring the mould is keyed and how to deal with undercuts.

5-days is only a start, but you get a solid foundation.  You will work on your own sculpture and see other peoples' moulds develop and the different ways to tackle different problems that present in each individual piece of sculpture.

A sculpture can look fantastic in resin-bronze. But it has to be done well and there are many aspects that cannot easily be learned from books or video. 3-days to mould, and 2 -days to cast and patinate your own piece.

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Portrait Modelling courses are held at Art House, South Brent, Devon and Calderstones in Liverpool.

Mould Making and Casting courses "Venue to be arranged"

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Course objectives

Portrait Modelling

The portrait bust represents one of the most challenging tasks for the sculptor. The aim of the course is to train ways of seeing that develop perception of 3-D form.

Using the portrait bust as the vehicle, you will uncover a complex understanding of the subtleties of the human architecture.

Throughout the course, you will focus on method and procedure in a pragmatic approach that enables each stage of perception to be readily grasped.

Measuring and anatomical proportions
Develop acute observation through stages of perception
Building an armature with different methods of construction
Going beyond knowledge of the human anatomy

Learning to close the gap between what is observed and what can be reproduced
Creating a likeness:
Working to commission
Bringing the clay to life
Knowing when to stop
Rescuing a disaster

Silicon Mould Making 

A practical and technically based course where you learn to make a mould of your own work and explore mould making problems and how to overcome them. Max dimension 30cm x 30cm x 30cm

Resin Bronze Casting

Getting it right. Casting your own work and learning to patinate using the hot flame method.

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Working Procedure

Portrait Modelling

The 4-day course is divided into 8 periods of sustained clay modelling. These are interspersed with relevant lectures and discussions.

The skills used each day will be built upon in following days, so that a protocol is developed that proceeds from the simple to the complex, from the external forms to the subtle details.

Each day will focus on specific aims and objectives in rendering a life-like portrait bust, with demonstrations and lectures covering style in sculpture, sculptural language, and aesthetics.

The course concludes with a critique of the work and an assessment of what has been learned.

The heads are prepared for firing, for later collection.

Silicon Mould Making & Resin Bronze Casting

The 5-day course is structured to both practically make a silicon-mould and to have supportive lectures and demonstrations about problem solving in mould-making.

The 2-day Bronze Resin Casting course gives you time to learn the essential skills of bronze resin-casting to make the work look like bronze. The course concludes with the work being and hot patinatated with acids

Other casting materials are also explored.

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Portrait Modeling

4-day Courses include all materials
clay fired head,
& refreshments.

 Discounts available see below

Apply here
Silicon Mould Making & Bronze Resin Casting

5-day Courses
includes refreshments
Materials are not
included in the price of this course.

Discounts available see below

Apply here


 5% if you bring a friend who books with you at same time

5% discount when booking a 2nd course in same year.

5% Previous Participants. MAS, Devon Guild and WPA Members.

5% Early Bird Bookings 2 months before start date.

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Food & Accommodation

Devonl courses are within a short distance of shops and cafes.

Refreshments are provided throughout the day in Devon.  In Liverpool they can be purchased in the cafe.

Accommodation is not included in the cost of the course. If you would like recommendation with choosing your accommodation in South Devon I will be happy to help and forward you links to accommodation sites. 

Please let me know well in advance, as the best places are in demand in school holidays.
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For detailed information

Please  EMAIL me for 4-pages of detailed information about the Portrait Modelling course.

If you would like further information or to talk about the suitability of the courses for you just contact me.

I am also able to  run courses in your own studio.  Please contact me to discuss. 

I also do 1-1 work the form of personal mentoring.

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