Students learn to focus at the start of a project on those essential elements that allow then to obtain a likeness in pose and structure of their subject.
Students enrolled in their first trimester of study copy in clay a series of simply shaped objects; objects are assigned in progressive order of complexity and each one presents specific goals for the student to achieve.
Students enrolled in their first trimester of study copy in clay a series of simply shaped objects; objects are assigned in progressive order of complexity and each one presents specific goals for the student to achieve:
- a large bell pepper in clay teaches the student how to set up and compare his work to the subject;
- a cow femur scaled to 1-1/2 times life size in direct plaster (a material that hardens quickly making changes difficult) teaches the student to clarify and organize his observations before setting to work;
- copying the features of Michelangelo’s David (nose, eye, ear, mouth) in clay is the first step to sculpting a portrait; students progress to the copy of a human skull, and then sculpt their first portrait from a model.
During the first trimester, when students work from live models, whether portrait or full figure, they start with a series of short poses lasting 6-8 hours if working from a portrait model, and 15 hours if working from a figure model. For the outcome to be successful, these short poses require the student to develop the understanding of how to structure and prioritize the crucial information of the pose. In this way, the student learns not to get lost in the myriad of information a finished sculpture might contain, and to focus at the start of a project on those essential elements that allow him to obtain a likeness in pose and structure of his subject.
By the middle of the first year, beginning students start to work on lengthier projects: sessions with a portrait model will last 30 hours and figure sessions, 60 to 70 hours, with the precise goal to bring the project to a higher degree of finish. During these exercises, the student is expected to learn how to connect the first two crucial elements of figurative sculpture: how three-dimensional linear qualities relate to internal structure. Once these two qualities are brought to a competent conclusion, the third element of sculpture, modeling forms, begins.
Upon completion of this course the student should be able to:
- properly observe objects in 3-d
- separate linear qualities from form quality
- set up their work by “drawing-in and drawing-on” their projects, quoted from Drawing in Space
- understand the procedure for developing portraiture
- understand the procedure for setting up 1/2 life-size figure sculpture