Sculpting the Portrait in Clay

Create a life-like portrait from start to finish.

  Enroll in Course

Over 3 months, you learn how to create a portrait in clay from start to finish.

This course is a step-by-step guide to the entire process that you have access to at all times while working.

NEXT COURSE DATES: Sept 17 - Dec 17, 2018

What you will learn:

- how to create a good working environment at home, even if you don't have alot of space
- what tools and supplies you need and where to buy them
- how to construct an armature support easily and with basic household tools
- how to work with the clay for a strong and stable form
- how to set up your references photos for good working methods

- how the basic shapes of the skull impact the portrait
- how to create an accurate profile likeness of your model
- what to look for in each view of the model, including above and below
- in-depth anatomy for each elements of the face (hair, nose, eyes, mouth, neck etc)

- special chapter on techniques to train your eye to see more accurately and effectively

- what to think about for your final surface texture
- how light and shadow effect the form
- how to prepare your sculpture for kiln firing
- how to do a faux finish on your piece to resemble a bronze

How you will learn it:

- each section has HD video lectures (3-15 mins in length) showing both how to look at and see your model, and then how to shape it in clay.

Example: Ear Lesson

- you will be provided with professional photo reference imagery (over 40 angles, including above and below) as well as measurements of the model
- there is also an online 360 degree image of the model that is rotatable

Example Reference Image:


- downloadable PDF's of key information will give you valuable reference to print out and keep in your workspace to refer to

Example PDF:

- video lessons on how to fix common student problems using real student examples are included along the course for a deeper learning experience

Example Before and After (all edits shown on video)

- there are 3 Checkpoints at key moments in the process where you will be submitting images of your work to Melanie for review and personalized video feedback.

- you will also be joining a valuable community of sculptors who can offer their support and encouragement

Benefits of Online Learning

There are many benefits that online learning provides over in-person learning:

-Work at your own pace to suit your schedule
-Ability to pause, repeat, and review any of the lessons
-Visual diagrams can be drawn over the model for precise explanations
-Experience the clay demonstration from the teachers exact viewpoint (not from the back of the class)
-Reinforce what you have learnt in-person and directly apply it independantly
-No parking ;)

How to start!

1) Enroll using the buttons below.
You will be taken to a checkout page where you make your account with Teachable (the online learning platform that is hosting the course).

2) Select your payment option
You will be given the option of a one-time payment, or a monthly payment plan. Tax is included in all prices. If you have a coupon or referral code you can enter it during the checkout to receive the discount.

3) Wait eagerly for the release this September
The course will begin September 17th, and run over 3 months. After the course is complete, you have access to it for your own use.

Get started now!

Your Instructor

Melanie Furtado
Melanie Furtado

Melanie Furtado is a contemporary realist Canadian sculptor and educator. She works with clay to create life-like figures and portraits that celebrate the unique beauty of individuals.

She loves to share her passion for sculpture with students of all ages and abilities. Online classes are the new frontier in art education- you can learn traditional sculpture techniques from the comfort of your own home or studio.

Class Curriculum

  Final Checkpoint
Available in days
days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course begins September 17th, 2018 and runs until December 17th, 2018 (3 months). You will have access to the course after it ends so you can keep working if you need more time, or if you want to review it for further projects.
What if I want to access the full course right away?
I recommend following along the weekly schedule if possible to achieve the best results. However, if time constraints dictate otherwise, you can email me to have full access to the course right away. Note: The feedback sessions are only on set dates, additional/alternate dates can be purchased if required. After full access is granted, the course is non-refundable.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as it remains available- across any and all devices you own.
What materials do I need?
All the supplies and materials are covered in the first Module of the course in detail! You will be able to find the items you need at an art/pottery store and the hardware store.
What if I am not great with computers?
If you can do email, you can do this course! Once you've made an account, the course itself is very simply laid out so you can understand it with ease. (It has been tested by several self proclaimed "non-computer people" already.) The best part is that I will have instructional videos showing you exactly how to login and navigate through the course. I'm here to help :)
What model will we be sculpting?
We will be all be working from photo reference of the model shown above. This includes many angles as well as a unique 360 degree online viewer.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
I would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact me in the first 2 weeks of your purchase and I will give you a full refund, no questions asked.

Note From Melanie

Hello students,

I am so excited to offer this unique way of facilitating sculpture. Online sculpting has a lot to offer for your learning journey, and I know you will have many ah-ha moments throughout the course.

Space is limited to ensure quality feedback for all students. It will fill up quick so register now to claim your spot for September!

I look forward to sculpting together online :)


If you have a referral coupon code, please enter it during the online checkout to receive your discount.

Get started now!