Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 4
Hours: 3 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (72 total per quarter)
Advisory: This course is included in the Figure family of activity courses.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to generate three-dimensional figure sculptural art pieces that use the anatomy.
  • Students will be able to generate figure three-dimensional figure sculptural art pieces that use human proportion.


This beginning life-modeling sculpture course allows students to develop personal and expressive interpretations of the human form. The principles and concepts of human proportion, gesture, additive and subtractive sculpting methods, geometry and balance will be explored from life figure models and historical context.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate skills and the process of sculpting the human form from direct observation from a live figure model
  2. Develop skills and processes using a variety of artistic materials, techniques and tools appropriate to an introductory study in sculpture
  3. Construct the standing figure and portrait head
  4. Sculpt a human form in bas relief
  5. Create a self portrait sculpture from sources
  6. Measure accurate scale and human body proportions and translate this to a sculpture
  7. Plan a sculpture from drawing from a life model
  8. Develop quick sculptures from varied time amounts using different sculpture methods
  9. Assess and critique sculptural works in group, individual, and written contexts using relevant critique formats, concepts and terminology
  10. Create sculptural works that demonstrate understanding of personal, expressive, representational, abstract or conceptual imagery
  11. Examine and describe historical and contemporary developments, trends, materials, and approaches in sculpture

Course Content

  1. Figure sculptures from a live model
    1. Reclining poses
    2. Torso
    3. Heads
    4. Standing full figure
  2. Materials, techniques and tools, which may include, but are not limited to:
    1. Clay: Water based clay, oil non hardening modeling clay, plastilina, or oven baked clay
    2. Wood
    3. Plaster gauze or plaster
    4. Knife for planar studies
    5. Loop, needle tools and wooden modeling ceramic tools
    6. Paper or paper clay
    7. Armature wire
    8. Mixed media
    9. Wax
  3. Sculpture with armature
    1. Wire and wood armatures
    2. Skeleton armatures
    3. Écorche armatures
  4. Bas relief sculptures
    1. Additive methods
    2. Subtractive methods
    3. Variety of sculptural materials
      1. Clay
      2. Cardboard and glue
      3. Paper mache
  5. Head sculpture
    1. From direct observation
    2. Accurate facial proportions
    3. Facial expressions
  6. Figure proportions
    1. Ideal human proportions
    2. Scale
  7. Drawing plan for sculptures
    1. Gesture
    2. Proportion drawing
    3. Scale drawings
    4. Drawings from the anterior, posterior and lateral views
    5. Cross-section drawings
  8. Timed model sessions and methods
    1. Develop quick gesture mock-up sculptures
    2. Block in and subtractive methods
    3. Long pose sculptures
    4. Modeling surface texture
      1. Color and paint
      2. Expressive surface texture
      3. Conceptual surface textures
  9. Engage in critiques
    1. Verbal small group dialogue about progress sculpture work
    2. Finished sculptures portfolio critiques
    3. Self critiques
  10. Interpretations of the human form
    1. Representational
    2. Abstraction
    3. Expressions and emotions in the pose
    4. Personal interpretations of the human form
    5. Historical context
    6. Conceptual

Lab Content

  1. Problem-solving visual exercises that develop three-dimensional awareness and require exploration and manipulation of the basic materials used to create sculpture.
  2. Studio projects that explore the elements and organizing principles of three-dimensional figure sculpture, including but not limited to the use of additive, subtractive, substitution, and clay modeling.
  3. Studio sculpture projects that include, but are not limited to, the use of representational, abstract, expressive, personal, cultural and conceptual imagery.
  4. Development of skills and processes using a variety of artistic materials, techniques and tools appropriate to an introductory study in sculpture, which may include, but are not limited to: water or oil clay, paper mache, wood, plaster gauze, wire, armatures and mixed media.
  5. Building armatures with gauge wire and wooden bases.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. When taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with email software and capabilities; email address; JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software.
2. When taught in the classroom: easels, stools, table space and stools, live models, drapes for the room, a projector and screen, portable lighting equipment, heaters, model props, and a model stand.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Portfolio review: each sculpture will be evaluated for technical ability, craftsmanship and personal creative and conceptual approaches
Oral progress, self and small group critiques
Written or oral participation in lectures of historical and contemporary figure sculptures
Written assignments, which may include quizzes, essays, exams, or reports

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Lecture presentation using the vocabulary of sculpture
Discussion using the language of the bony and muscular anatomy of the human form
Demonstration of a variety of proportion techniques, such as sculpting from observation, sighting and measuring skills and the ideal human proportions
Critique and group presentation of weekly in-progress figure sculpture projects followed by in-class discussion and evaluation

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Williams, Arthur. Sculpture: Technique, Form, Content. 1995.

Lanteri, Eouard. Modeling and Sculpting the Human Figure. 1985.

Russell, Tanya. Modeling and Sculpting the Figure. 2012.

Although one or more text is older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, it remains seminal in this area of study.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Research a figure sculpture and write about the the artist, the style, subject matter, content and context.
  2. Readings on figure modeling, sculpture, context and techniques.