CleverPatch Crafternoons

CleverPatch Crafternoons – Clay Portraits

Learn how to “paint” with clay as we create bright and colourful self-portraits! Experiment with colour blocking and mixing to make your portrait really POP! You can even try your hand at creating pet portraits.
  • Step 1Print and cut out a black and white photo of yourself (or your pet!) that measures 20 x 20cm. Adult supervision is recommended when using scissors. You can print onto scrap paper as this will just be used as a template. We have manipulated our photo so there are clear areas of shadow and light. It is best to have no more than 3 basic shades in the photo.
  • Step 2Flip your photo over and cover the back in pencil. Turn your photo back over and place over the front of your wooden art panel. Use a pencil to trace over the lines of your photo, pressing firmly as you go to transfer the image onto the wood below. Be sure to trace around the different sections of light and dark.
  • Step 3Remove the printed photo from the wood to reveal your lightly transferred image. Use your pencil to trace over these lines so you can see them better. The image will now be broken up into different sections for adding colour.
  • Step 4Choose your 3 main clay colours. We chose warm, complimentary colours, but you could also work with contrasting colours or even choose black and white! Once you have chosen your colours, start with the darkest first. Pinch a small piece of clay and warm in your hand so it is nice and pliable. Once it’s nice and soft, use your fingers to press the clay into place on the panel. Press and drag your finger, pushing the clay onto the wood - it’s almost like creating brushstrokes!
  • Step 5Refer to your original photo as you go and make sure to cover all the areas of shadow with the darkest colour.
  • Step 6Next, use your mid-toned colour, followed by your lightest colour to finish. If your clay is soft enough, you will even be able to push and blend the colours in sections just like you are painting! Continue to refer to your original photo as you add the colours so you can really achieve a balance between the light and shadow areas.
  • Step 7Build up sections such as the nose, cheeks, and chin to achieve a real 3D look. Use a scratch board tool to add texture for the hair.
  • Step 8Once the portrait is complete, you can either leave the background as the wood panel or choose another colour clay to colour your background.
  • Step 9This technique of “painting” with clay is also great for creating pet portraits! Experiment with subjects, colours, texture and backgrounds to see what you can come up with!

Materials used in this activity

Product Code: 15518
EACH $3.84 (inc GST) $3.49 (ex GST)
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Product Code: 15733
EACH $3.29 (inc GST) $2.99 (ex GST)
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HB Pencils - Pack of 20
Product Code: 16618
EACH $8.79 (inc GST) $7.99 (ex GST)
6 or more $6.59 (inc GST) $5.99 (ex GST)          
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Product Code: 19097
EACH Was: $16.49 Now: $8.25 (inc GST) Was: $14.99 Now: $7.50 (ex GST)
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CleverPatch Modelling Clay - 500g - Set of 14 Colours
Product Code: 19912
EACH $54.01 (inc GST) $49.10 (ex GST)
4 or more $43.01 (inc GST) $39.10 (ex GST)          
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