What may first appear to be an obvious – or even silly – observation is really quite profound. Rodin, whose genius in this discipline is beyond question, wants students of sculpture to think about shape topographically. In other words, he encourages us to imagine structure as a series of features that bulge and recede to reveal surface qualities of descriptive form. Once students have mastered this concept, sculpture can become quite fun and expressive.
For beginning students of 3-dimensional art, it is best to model uncomplicated figurines that communicate straightforward ideas. Through patient, knowledgeable instruction and continual practice, motor and visual analysis skills develop in children and teens, who then produce technically advanced statues which emanate thoughtful emotion.
At The Art Academy, we have found that creative expression grows increasingly confident as students learn from their mistakes. Because of this, intermediate and advanced pupils are able to craft sculptures which demonstrate superior aesthetic awareness.
As in all of our classes, we like to think long term with our students. Aside from the obvious artistic benefits, research continually shows that participation in the visual arts enriches many aspects of a person’s life. Studies illustrate that there is frequently a boost in communication skills, which spark empathy and understanding. This improvement invariably encourages a very positive, multi-cultural world view which benefits interpersonal relationships.
We have also discovered that our classes provide inventive, personal development experiences which have a profound effect on motor control, concentration and motivation. A Johns Hopkins study entitled “Neuroeducation: Learning, Arts and the Brain,” reinforces our conclusion: When students practice a specific art form with focused attention for extended periods, they raise their efficiency attention in ALL areas of study — resulting in improved IQ scores. Further studies support scientific findings that lasting involvement with continuous art projects rewire brain circuitry in affirmative ways: Sustained arts education, therefore, is an essential part of social and intellectual progress.
Our Sculpture Fundamentals class begins with basic shape exercises. Soon students advance to create a variety of sculpted characters of meaningful, personal value and sophisticated artistic taste.
Shape Awareness: Building a Sense of 3-Dimensional Form
The key to imagine form 3-Dimensionally is to keep in mind the deceptively simple, yet probing, quote of Auguste Rodin, referenced on this page:
“Sculpture is the art of the hole and the lump.”