Free Lesson Plan: Sculpture and Human Anatomy

Human Anatomy Sculpture

Level: Middle School

Duration: Six 45-minute class periods

Historical Overview: August Rodin and France

Goals and Objectives: To introduce sculpting techniques

Vocabulary: Positive and negative space, carving additive and subtractive methods, proportion, scale

Materials: Clay, wire, wood, nails, armature, carving tools, wire and washer clay cutting tool, sponges, water containers, tooth brushes, spray bottle


Day 1

  1. Anticipatory Set: Show posters and books of images of different prints by artist Rodin.
  2. Slide lecture on history of figure modeling (Romans, Greeks, Etruscan).
  3. Class discussion on artists shown.
  4. Wedge clay.
  5. Make wire and washer clay cutting tool.
  6. Review proportions.
  7. Review vocabulary.

Day 2

  1. Have students rotate around model to find their favorite view.
  2. Set up armatures posing wire to suit gesture of model.
  3. Make preliminary foundation of clay for figure.
  4. Make tape marks for model marking hand, feet, and body placement (note eye direction for better future head positioning).

Day 3

  1. Realign clay to match pose.
  2. Review variety of methods for adding clay (i.e. brush, scoring with wood tool etc.).
  3. Demo techniques
  4. Explore variety of textures.

Day 4

  1. Continue additive method.
  2. Demonstrate subtractive method and found tools.

Day 5

  1. Students continue work, making sure to spray clay and wrap well.

Day 6

  1. Students complete projects.
  2. Students critique sculptures.

Book List: Human Anatomy

A Method to Learn to Design the PassionsCharles Lebrun, Augustan Reprint Society, 1980

Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist – Stephen Rogers Peck, Oxford University Press, 1970

Dynamic Anatomy and Physiology – Leroy Lester Langley, McGraw-Hill Inc., 1974

Dynamic Anatomy – Burne Hogart, Watson Guptill Publications, 1958

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