Recently, my dad and I had the privilege of attending a figure sculpting class with Phillippe Faraut at The Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota Florida.
From his website bio:
Philippe Faraut received his degree in woodcarving and the construction of French fine furniture from Germain Sommeillier in Annecy, France, his boyhood home. An avid traveler, Philippe's destinations have allowed him the opportunity to study the cultures of many countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, thus influencing his work in portraiture sculpting. After establishing residence in the Chesapeake Bay area of Virginia, he developed an interest in modeling the head in clay. Soon thereafter, he relocated his studio to New York State and began teaching sculpting classes.
The class had 20 or so students who had traveled from all over to attend this class. Some of the students were taking one of Phillippe's classes for the second or third time.
We started by creating clay"sketches". These 10-15 minute sculptures really helped work on gestural poses and anatomical proportions while becoming familiar with the medium.
I was not used to using the water-based clay.
Because of drying issues, I have always used an oil-based clay.
We started our larger piece by sculpting a lone torso.
No arms, legs, or head yet.
Dad is concentrating on his craft.
The second day we were allowed to proceed with the head and neck as well as the legs and the feet. Before starting a new part of the body, Phillippe gave a great demonstration on how to attack each area. I was surprised at how much of the class concentrated on anatomical lessons. Taking several anatomy classes at SCAD, I thought I knew a lot. I was quickly aware of how much I need to learn.
I really enjoyed learning about how to sculpt feet!
Here, Dad is getting some hands-on help.
On the last day, we added the arms and hands. We also learned Phillippe's technique for surface texture as well as how to protect water-based sculptures as they dry.
Because Dad and I elected to fly to and from Sarasota we were not able to bring our pieces home. Dad destroyed his. Always the conservationist, he cut his sculpture into pieces so that the clay could be reused by the next class. Before I could cut my piece up, a fellow student asked if she could have it. I was very happy NOT having to destroy it.