Anatomy Lesson – Watching an Artist at Work

zdOn Friday, November 7, our art students were able to watch a sculptor at work on creating a portrait in clay. Students from ES, MS and HS could watch Boubaker as he created a realistic portrait of his model Virginie.

He started his work during the first period by slabbing the clay and gradually adding it to the armature, building the structure of the head. It was an amazing lesson in understanding the anatomy of the skull.  He frequently pointed out that firstly the basic structure of the human head needs to be in place before the specific details of the particular model can be added. He explained that he uses the nose as a measurement which he uses to get the correct proportions. Of great amusement to the students was his explanation that the “devil is in the details”, because this is where an artist cannot work without highly accurate observation. Watching him build the nose, the eyes, the mouth and ears was truly fascinating, and by the end of the last period, the head was just about “ready.”

According to Boubaker, a work of art such as this is only “completed” when the artist declares it so.  This super opportunity was made possible by the St. John’s Art Support Program: thank you ASP.

By Stephanie Wintjes, MS/HS art teacher