Hello wild people!
I am here today to tell you about a class I attended at the beginning of March in Milan. It was a sculpting workshop by the french sculptor Romain Van Den Bogaert and the theme was “Female beauty”. If you still don’t know Romain, I highly recommend you check his works on his website, he’s been a professional scuptor for 2 years, sculpting and painting minis for many years. He’s working with many miniature companies (you can check my review about Black Crow Miniatures “Morrigan” for example) and has his own production line of artistic sculpts in limited editions.
The workshop was organized by Margherita Premuroso, a traditional artist, and held in her studio, a very nice place with easy access in Milan.
Romain sculptures are really different from the classic miniature sculptures, as they’re little masterpieces of art that don’t need any paint to have their soul, but, despite this, you can add your painting interpretation, and I think this gives the feeling of a “team work”, as the work of every actor is well defined and co-participates to the result.
That’s the most important reason that made me decide to attend the workshop, despite never sculpting anything before (except the filling of the little gaps or little missing parts in the joints of the models or due to bad casting), I knew he was the right teacher to get me introduced to scratch sculpting, as you can clearly feel in his works an accurate knowledge of anatomy and sculpture art.
We asked Romain why did he choose the female subject for this workshop. His answer was that, as it’s one of the most difficult subjects to represent. He wanted to share his knowledge about what he learnt since today, it’s one of the domains he’s been studing during the last period in his career and he told us that by teaching and confronting with students he still learns new things.
Romain prepared for each one of us a very simple stucture made of a big aluminium wire, shaped as a cross on a wooden block, with a little hook on the top to support the head.
First he explained the different tools and their use in sculpting.
The material we used was NSP Chavant Medium, a clay who must be warmed up a bit to be shaped easily and it never gets totally dry. So when sculpting with this material it will be necessary to do a mold if we wish to paint the sculpture. Pro is you can use the clay over and over.
Romain began explaining to us the anatomy of the skull, and the schematisation of it in geometrical forms, useful to reproduce it not only in sculpting but also in art in general. We then proceeded to build little by little this first structure following the anatomical references he prepared for us, both on photos and boards, but also with 3D material.
At every step he showed us what to do and which tools were the best to achieve the result.
Proportions between every part of the face, where to sculpt the eyes, the mouth, the nose,… all the lines to follow to give the right placing and dimension to each feature.
Romain also explained to us the main differences between male and female skulls and features, which is very important to have a convincing sculpture.
What I really found interesting is how the volumes and lines in the sculpture must “catch the light” as we then usually reproduce with painting, and this is a noticeable concept when buying a miniature to paint. And most of all it’s important to have sculptors working with this concept to enhance the result of both sculptor and painter.
What else could I say. I was very satisfied by the results I could achieve during this 2-days workshop, not beautiful and totally distant from perfection but hey, I never sculpted before and I’m amazed to have been able to do what I did!
I absolutely recommend a workshop with Romain at any level you are, he’s a nice and humble guy and a very good teacher.
Last but not least I also want to thank all my collegues, some were already friends of mine which I had the pleasure to meet again, many of them I didn’t know, all very nice and funny people that contributed to having a nice atmosphere during the workshop!