10 Best Clay Sculpting Courses and Certifications Online

"This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on them and make a purchase, I may receive a small fee at no extra cost to you."

Close up iPhone showing Udemy application and laptop with notebookClay sculpting is a popular art form that has been practiced for centuries. With the advancements in technology and the internet, it has become easier to learn this craft from the comfort of your own home. Online courses have become a popular choice for those who want to learn clay sculpting, offering a flexible and accessible way to acquire the necessary skills. In this article, we will explore some of the best online clay sculpting courses available, examining their features and benefits to help you find the right fit for your needs.

Here’s a look at the Best Clay Sculpting Courses and Certifications Online and what they have to offer for you!

10 Best Clay Sculpting Courses and Certifications Online

1. Sculpting Creatures and Critters by Neal Deschain (Udemy) (Our Best Pick)

This course, titled “Sculpting Creatures and Critters,” is taught by Neal Deschain and is designed to help students bring their ideas to life in clay. The course will cover all aspects of sculpture creation, from concept creation to painting. Students will use Super Sculpey to create their own unique sculptures.

The course requires students to purchase materials in order to participate, and a list of recommended buying locations will be provided. No previous sculpting experience is necessary, but some knowledge of art basics, such as form, shape, and color theory, as well as basic drawing skills are recommended.

The course is divided into ten sections, starting with an introduction to materials and inspiration. The first half of the course covers the basics of creating an armature, building up clay, and adding detail and texture. The second half focuses on smoothing and finishing the sculpture and then moving into the painting stage.

At the end of the course, students will have completed their own unique sculpture. This course is ideal for those who have an interest in sculpting but are not sure where to start, as well as those who have some experience and would like to improve their skills.

2. Learn sculpture by Francesca Dalla Benetta (Udemy)

The course “Learn Sculpture” is an instructional program taught by Francesca Dalla Benetta. The course aims to teach students the process of creating a three-dimensional piece using traditional plasticine, or oil clay.

With over 700 students enrolled in the Spanish version, the course provides a step-by-step guide on how to create structures, volumes, and surface details of the sculpture. The course is suitable for students who are new to sculpture or who want to improve their sculptural technique and knowledge of materials.

The video tutorial covers the entire process of creating a sculpture, from the initial light structure to the final touches. Each method and material is clearly explained for the students’ benefit. The course also includes advice and techniques from a professional instructor.

The course is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. The content is divided into five sections: Introduction, First Steps, Textures, General Volumes, and Sculpting the Details.

3. Learn fiberglass-silicon molds and sculpture by Francesca Dalla Benetta (Udemy)

The “Learn Fiberglass-Silicon Molds and Sculpture” course, taught by Francesca Dalla Benetta, teaches students how to create perfect copies of their original molds using traditional techniques. The course includes a step-by-step process of creating a mold made of silicone rubber with a resin shell and glass fiber, followed by a “hollowing” process using resin with fiberglass. This technique allows for the creation of multiple identical pieces from the original object, and is suitable for use in traditional sculpture, lost wax in bronze, and the art toy industry.

The course emphasizes the use of a mold that is not commonly used in the United States, as it allows for the saving of expensive silicone materials. The technique taught in the course is suitable for creating medium to large-sized pieces, and is complementary to the “Learn the Secrets of Sculpture and Professional Modeling” and “Learn to Sculpt the Male Body” courses available on Udemy.

The course includes sections on preparation and theory, preparation of the piece, the first and second half of the mold, before casting, hands and body, and finishes. It also includes a bonus section on painting techniques from the “Learn to Sculpt with Epoxy Putty” course. The course comes with a 30-day guarantee, and is suitable for those interested in traditional sculpture and mold-making techniques.

4. Sculpture: How to Sculpt a Human Head by VivaArte Estúdio (Udemy)

Course Title: Sculpture: How to Sculpt a Human Head

Course Instructors: VivaArte Estúdio

Course Short Description: This course provides a comprehensive method for sculpting a realistic human head from start to finish.

Course Long Description: The Sculpture: How to Sculpt a Human Head course is designed for both beginners and advanced sculptors. The course is instructed by world-renowned artist, Alex Oliver. Participants will learn the techniques to create a solid base for their sculpture using a wooden base, iron bar, polyurethane foam, and aluminum foil. The course covers primary and secondary forms, detailing, and finishing techniques.

The course materials include references used during the course and how-to guides for sculpting the ears, mouth, nose, eyes, and the structure of the head.

Course Content and Sections:
1. Introduction
2. Starting Your Sculpture
3. Primary Forms
4. Secondary Forms
5. Details
6. Finalizing

The course is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in learning how to sculpt a realistic human head.

5. Learn the art of clay sculpting: Make a Ganapati idol by Mandar Marathe (Udemy)

This course, titled “Learn the Art of Clay Sculpting: Make a Ganapati Idol,” is taught by Mandar Marathe and focuses on teaching students how to create an eco-friendly Ganapati idol out of wet clay without the use of molds. Over 300 students have taken the course and successfully created their own idol.
The course is divided into 4 sections, each focusing on different aspects of the sculpting process such as creating the basic structure, modeling the hands and face, and adding details and ornaments. The course consists primarily of video lectures with some presentation slides used for material explanations, FAQs, and summaries. The cumulative run time of the videos is approximately 3.25 hours.
This course is suitable for those who enjoy learning new things, playing with clay, have an interest in sculpture, or want to make their own Ganapati idol. If students have any questions, they can post them in the questions section or email the instructor directly. By the end of the course, students will have mastered clay modeling techniques that can be applied to creating other objects or animals. The course also includes a bonus section.

6. How to sculpt the human head (male and female) by Francesca Dalla Benetta (Udemy)

The course titled “How to Sculpt the Human Head” is aimed at individuals who are interested in learning how to make a head and face sculpture of a man or woman in clay. The course is instructed by an Italian professional sculptor named Francesca Dalla Benetta.

The course focuses on modeling a human head while considering the differences between traits of a man and a woman. Participants will learn how to make a simple and effective structure, outline the main volumes, carefully create all facial features and model the hair. Francesca guides participants step-by-step with examples and clear demonstrations.

Throughout the course, Francesca explains everything she does and why, putting emphasis on all the stages that allow carrying out a sculptural project, the use of tools and different materials available. It begins with the use of appropriate photographic references, to then make a structure that governs the entire piece, to build the general volumes with lightweight and resistant materials.

The course is divided into different sections, including Introduction, Structure, General Volumes, Female Head, Male Head, and Conclusions. Participants are encouraged to be creative and take advantage of the 30-day guarantee.

7. Learn to sculpt with epoxy putty by Francesca Dalla Benetta (Udemy)

The course “Learn to Sculpt with Epoxy Putty” is taught by Francesca Dalla Benetta and aims to teach students how to use epoxy putty for sculpture, crafts, costume jewelry, bas-reliefs, and other creations. Epoxy putty is a two-component product that hardens in the air and allows for the creation of infinite types of three-dimensional modeling, even complex ones, in small or medium sizes without requiring knowledge of sculpture or molds. It can be sanded, milled, drilled and finished, and is allowed to work with spatulas and tips of metal, plastic, wood, etc. The course covers the creation of pieces from simple wire structures, to the final texture finishes, and also includes a section on how to paint the pieces for a great finish.

The course covers various demonstrations of different possibilities of the material, which include a rabbit, a bird with fantastic finishes, a little head, decorations for a birdcage, a pendant or necklace, and decorations for pencils. The demonstrations aim to give students ideas and inspiration for creating their own objects and sculptures. The course is divided into six sections: introduction, bird, rabbit, small human head, decorations, and how to paint.

8. How to sculpt the female body by Francesca Dalla Benetta (Udemy)

This course titled “How to Sculpt the Female Body” is instructed by Francesca Dalla Benetta. The course teaches students how to make a sculpture of a female body using traditional oil based clay. The course guides students step by step in the creation of structures, volumes and surfaces of the piece, up to the final finishes. Students will learn how to make a wire structure with the correct proportions, based on real photographic references for greater fidelity, the structure of the body in its anatomical details, and how to make general volumes of the body and its finest details. By the end of the course, students will know how to make a female figure in the position they prefer. The course is suitable for those curious about sculpting, students of plastic arts, or individuals wanting to perfect their sculptural technique and learn more about materials.

Francesca, an Italian professional sculptor, is the instructor for the course. She performs in front of the camera a sculpture inspired by Michelangelo’s David, explaining in detail everything she does and why, putting emphasis on all the stages that allow to carry out a sculptural project, the use of tools and the different materials available. The course includes downloadable reference pictures. In a few hours, the video guides students from the realization of an easy and light structure, the creation of volumes, to the final finishes. Each method and each material is explained clearly so students can use it in the best way.

The course includes eleven sections: HOW TO SCULPT THE FEMALE BODY: Introduction, Structure, Volumes, Tools, More Detailed Volumes, Arms, Modelling the Body: More Details, Handmade Hard Clay, Feet, Hands, Head and Face, Final Details. Students will learn how to create hands, faces, and bodies with correct proportions.

The course is suitable for those who want to learn the secrets of making light structures, modeling volumes, and giving finishes like a professional sculptor.

9. Polymer Doll Making, Craft and Sculpting Character Art Doll. by Pornwan Wongpakdee (Udemy)

The Polymer Doll Making course is designed to teach learners how to create their own dolls using polymer clay. The course instructor, Pornwan Wongpakdee, will be speaking in Thai but each lecture will have Closed Captions in English for better understanding.

The course covers fundamental techniques and principles of polymer doll making, including shaping the doll step-by-step, creating doll parts, and techniques to make beautiful dolls. The lectures also go beyond basic YouTube tutorials by explaining how to keep polymer clay in good condition, knead clay, create new colors, make decorations, and customize dolls.

The course is suitable for anyone who wants to make dolls as a career, for gifts, or for extra income. Additionally, learners will be taught how to safely pack dolls for transportation. Overall, the course is a comprehensive guide that takes only a few hours to complete and enables learners to create beautiful and cute dolls with confidence.

Course content is organized into different sections including an Introduction, Overview of Sculpting Techniques and Kneading Polymer Clay, Creating the Doll, Making a Base for Standing Doll, Baking the Doll, and Other Techniques. By breaking down the course into these sections, learners can easily follow along and practice each technique before moving on to the next.

10. Sculpture for Everyone: How to Model an Eagle in Clay by Leonardo Pereznieto (Udemy)

The course entitled “Sculpture for Everyone: How to Model an Eagle in Clay” is taught by instructor Leonardo Pereznieto. The aim of the course is to teach students the basics of sculpture by modeling an eagle in clay. The course includes a step-by-step process that allows students to learn and master sculpting a realistic bird of prey. Students will be guided through the creation of a base, the rough sketch, and the details that make up the eagle.

The course begins with the tools and supplies required to get started in clay modeling. Students will then be taught how to make study pencil sketches of the eagle subject. After the sketches have been made, students will quickly build a rough sketch in clay. Once the rough sketch is complete, students will create a base on which the clay model will stand.

The next step is to shape the eagle so it looks like an eagle. Students will then work on each detail of the clay eagle, such as eyes, beak, and claws. Realistic textures will be added to each surface, such as feathers, skin, and rock.

The course is designed for beginners, but can also be taken by advanced students or professional sculptors who want to learn how to model an eagle. No prior experience is required. Students will need some basic modeling tools and clay, which will be described in the first section of the course.

The course is divided into three sections: Introduction, Materials and Tools; Sketch Up Your Sculpture; and Doing the Detail. The course will be taught through short videos that show and explain each step in the process. This is a simple and workable approach to modeling an eagle that comes from many years of experience by an artist who was also a falconer.