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Sculpting Resources

As you read in my bio, I have learned much from my friend and renowned sculptor, Philippe Faraut.  His teaching style and tools have helped me simplify and enhance my sculpting experience, and have made me a better instructor in teaching my workshops. 

There is no better way to learn than in a live hands-on workshop, but Philippe's material is a very close second.  The books are an educational and easy read on sculpting the human form.  The DVDs can be viewed, reviewed and reviewed.  Amazingly enough, as many times as I have read his books or watched his videos, I have often found something I missed due to my experience and understanding at the time... I mean, how did I miss that?


The fascinating part of sculpting the human form is that the learning curve is endless -- bone structure, anatomy, gender, ethnicity, age, portrait, torso, full body, hands, feet, drapery, etc.  Not to mention all the different types of clay, sculpting styles, working with planes and volumes.  I know that sounds like a lot and a bit overwhelming, but it's like a great wine: Just take slow small sips and enjoy the education.  It will last you a lifetime with relatively little expense.


Learning bone structure and anatomy is a commitment and well worth it.  I began sculpting by feel and knowledge of drawing the face -- or at least, I thought I had knowledge.  I did things without really understanding what I was doing or why.  Somehow, it was close (I was so proud), but not correct. Then, I decided to get serious and educate myself about the bone structure and anatomy of our beautiful, interesting, simple and yet complex human form. What a difference it has made knowing what is under the skin, how the face changes with each emotion and even muscle movement itself.  It is all so captivating and unending for me.  Look around -- there are specimens and models everywhere you go! 


As far as tools are concerned, you don't need every tool "they" want to sell you.  I use just a handful when I'm sculpting.  Over the years, I have collected a box full (maybe two), thinking I needed them, but in reality, I use maybe ten or so. In my workshops, we use Philippe's eye tool and wooden sculpting tool, a couple of Kemper wire tool, scraper, clay knife, clay wire, brush, caliper, some short broom bristles tied together and a simple armature (see picture below right).  


For those of you who want to take the next step and be a better sculptor, below are my recommendations of sculpting tools, books, DVDs, websites and apps.  Philippe’s books and DVDs, "Anatomy for Sculptors," "Classic Human Anatomy" and the "Complete Anatomy 3D4Medical" app are my first reference points.

Philippe's Tools

  • 7" Clay Modeling Eye Tool (a must for facial features)

  • 10" Wooden Sculpting Tool

  • 12" Sculpting Armature

  • Sculpting Stand



  • Portrait Sculpting: Anatomy & Expression in Clay by Philippe Faraut

  • Mastering Portraiture: Advanced Analyses of the Face Sculpted in Clay by Philippe Faraut

  • Figure Sculpting: Planes & Construction Techniques in Clay by Philippe Faraut

  • Figure Sculpture: Gesture & Drapery Techniques in Clay by Philippe Faraut

  • Anatomy of Facial Expression by Uldis Zarins

  • Anatomy for Sculptors by Uldis Zarins

  • Anatomy for Sculptors: Head & Neck by Uldis Zarins

  • Classic Human Anatomy by Valerie L. Winslow (this is very helpful with pronunciation of the anatomy)


DVD's by Philippe Faraut

  • The Art of Sculpting Volume 1: Children 

  • The Art of Sculpting Volume 2: Expression & Facial Construction

  • The Art of Sculpting Volume 3: Men 

  • Techniques of Sculpture: Torsos in Clay

  • Techniques of Sculpture: Hands & Feet


App and Websites

  • Complete Anatomy 3D4Medical app

  •  (by Uldis Zarins)

  •  (by Josh Reed)

  •  (Andrew Cawrse)



Water Base Clay

West Coast: Laguna Clay #EM-210

(This is what I use in my workshops)

Alpha Fired Arts in Sacramento

916-484-4424  Call first to check clay supply

PCF Studios 

Philippe Faraut, Sculptor

Anatomy Tools

Andrew Cawrse, Sculptor

Anatomy for Sculptors: Head & Neck 

Sculpting Tools used in my workshops

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