About the Course and Instructor

Asian Anatomical Ink Drawing

Asian Anatomical Ink Drawing

This course is a mix of art and sciences. It’s a good amount of work, but you’ll end up learning a great deal and you will probably learn a good amount regardless of your background.

About Dr. Ketchum

I teach forensic reconstruction at Penn State University and am a co-founder of the Portrait Sculptors Society of the Americas. I have completed portraits for the International Special Olympics, Yale, Cornell, Penn State University, among other institutions.

My approach to forensic reconstruction and portrait sculpture relies on a combination of artistry and anatomical knowledge.  I draw from the European tradition as well as from the Manchester method of forensic facial reconstruction.

Orientation Readings

  • Wilkinson, Chapter 1 (See supply list for textbook details.)


In your first lesson you will be asked to complete readings and examine and photograph a cast of a human skull. You’ll need a digital camera. A tripod is advised but not required.

  • Forensic Facial Reconstruction by Caroline Wilkinson. Paperback edition is much less money. It is available through online retailers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Sometimes used copies are available for less.
  • Life-size plastic cast of a skull.
  • 12” x 12” x ¾” board. Plywood is good.
  • ¾” pipe flange
  • 12” ¾” pipe, threaded on one or two ends
  • 4 screws, ¾ inch long.
  • Cheap hotmelt glue gun.
  • hotmelt glue sticks
  • exacto knife
  • cm/mm ruler
  • sculpting calipers
  • long pencil eraser refills, about 16 inches will ensure room for mistakes.
  • 3 pounds oil-based clay, a medium flesh tone is best unless you know the race of your skull cast, medium firmness is best.
  • 2 1” spheres, plastic or wood OR 2 plastic eyes 25mm. Paint irises to be 1.1cm in diameter if plain spheres are used.
  • Assorted wood modeling sticks.
  • One modeling rake, try sculpturehouse.com
  • Digital camera
  • Optional- some kind of tripod for photo-documentation.

Course Structure

The there are 3 Units with a total of 14 lessons + this orientation,  The lessons offer stepwise instruction through the reconstruction process. It’s important that you follow the lessons in order. If you are a enrolled in the course option with review of your work, you’ll email your lesson to blake@onlinesculptureclass.com . You will receive feedback via email, usually within 48 hours. When you have successfully completed a lesson, you can move ahead with the clay work. Working ahead on readings and browsing the images will only help you!