Introduction to life sculpture

Course Dates: 13/11/23 - 11/12/23
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: Keeley Street
Create a figurative clay sculpture from observing a life model. Learn basic anatomy as well as gaining clay modelling techniques.
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Full fee £419.00 Senior fee £335.00 Concession £272.00

Course Code: VU128

Mon, day, 13 Nov - 11 Dec '23

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This will be an introduction and investigation into the structure and musculature of the human figure using the life model as reference. You will use all this information to create your own sculpture in clay using sculptural modelling techniques. Your clay sculpture will be fired after the course has finished, the department will advise dates for collection.

What will we cover?

- Basic anatomy of the human form.
- How to make observational working drawings of the life-model.
- Introduction to clay modelling expressing the human form.
- How to make an analytical evaluation of your own artwork supported by friendly and supportive feedback.
- A brief introduction to the work of contemporary and historical figurative sculptors.
- An introduction to the safe use of equipment, materials and procedures and practice in the sculpture studio.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Have an understanding of major bones in the skeleton.
- Have a basic understanding of muscle groups in the human form.
- Make preparatory observational drawings ready for sculpture.
- Demonstrate improved clay modelling skills towards finished sculpture.
- Work independently & make aesthetic judgements to develop a self-expressed finished artwork.
- Work safely with the materials, equipment and procedures of the subject.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

All levels welcome. You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and for health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

There will be group demonstrations and plenty of 1:1 help. There will be the opportunity for small group evaluations and discussion.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

All basic materials are provided at no extra cost.

You should bring a sketchbook/notebook, pencil and camera.

You must wear sturdy shoes that cover the whole foot (no open toe). Please also wear old working clothes or bring overalls.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

The City Lit sculpture department offers a wide range of exciting courses that will allow you to progress from beginner to advanced and learn a range of techniques. After this course you may wish to join a similar course to develop your skills further or try something completely different. We offer courses in prop making, metal, clay, wax, carving in stone and wood, mould making and casting in Jesmonite, or pewter and much more! Alternatively, you may wish to progress onto the year-long City Lit Sculpture course VU841, which helps you to build your own individual sculpture practice and culminates with an exhibition in the City Lit gallery.

We are constantly adding new courses. Please ask your tutor for advice or browse the City Lit website for inspiration. It is also possible to contact our visual arts team by emailing, or calling 0203 880 2415 Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm.

Shelley Wilson Tutor Website

Shelley Wilson is a multi award-winning national: international artist, a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors. Trained: Camberwell College of Art BA Hons Ceramics: Post-Graduate Sculpture Sir John Cass School of Art: Anatomy for the Artist at UCL. She has collaborated with the most eminent members of the scientific world to comment on topical science based & ethical issues, her exhibition Body Politic took the socio-political climate surrounding the General Election in 2010 as subject material in a celebration of the experiences of the 150 MP’s who stepped down at that time. Wilson’s inspiration is the human form, she combines the three disciplines of ceramics, sculpture, & photography. She explores expressive forms of visualization, experimentation, & interaction between materials & subject matter, taking inspiration from the physicality & psychology of the human form. Since 1989, Wilson has taught sculpture, ceramics, & drawing, from adult education - undergraduate including special needs. She has been Lead Artist in sculpture workshops at British Museum & National Gallery, awarded artists residencies schools in the UK & Europe.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.