The Anatomy of Realist Sculpture

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Great realist sculpture begins with a true understanding of the human anatomy. Whilst painters might often work ‘from the eye’, sculptors need to understand how the figure works in the round: Not only what happens on the surface, but what is happening under the skin and how the muscles interact with each other.

Andrew Sinclair is passionate about passing this understanding on to his students. He works closely with the medical profession, running sculpture workshops for medical students and surgeons.

Most anatomical model figures for artists are not necessarily ‘artistic’- usually standing in a very basic ‘anatomical’ pose. Andrew’s idea was to create a figure in a dynamic, active pose that was inspirational, appealing to artists of all genres. Frustrated by so few such resources for sculpture students, Andrew embraced the challenge of creating a fully detailed écorché figure.

An écorché is a figure drawn, painted, or sculpted showing the muscles of the body without skin, normally as a figure study for another work or as an exercise for a student artist. It is a vital resource for any realist figurative artist serious about developing the skills to capture the human form anatomically as well as artistically.

The Écorché Course module is a vital element of the Sculpture School’s One Year Realist Sculpture Course. Understanding the écorché figure’s dynamic pose means that students can study and apply clay muscles both at rest and in action – providing them with a unique opportunity to fully appreciate the subtle difference in the physical appearance of muscles in tension or movement.

The One Year Realist Sculpture course is the only course that takes budding sculptors from amateur beginnings to having all the skills and techniques they need to become professional realist sculptors in just twelve months.

Described by one alumnus as delivering an education like “no other course outside of Florence”, students are taken through a rigorous curriculum that focusses on understanding the design, proportion and anatomy of human and animal figures to create beautifully realistic, professional sculptures.

You can learn more about The Sculpture School’s One Year Realist Sculpture Course HERE