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15 Best Book to Learn Sculpture Technique

Marble sculpture

Book to Learn Sculpture Technique

Shaping the World: Sculpture from Prehistory to Now by Antony Gormley and Martin Gayford

Practiced by every culture throughout the history of the world, sculpture is a universal art form that’s deeply rooted in the human psyche and may even predate the advent of language. In this wide-ranging book, internationally renowned sculptor Antony Gormley and distinguished art critic Martin Gayford consider sculpture as an art form related to humanity’s potential for thought and feeling, as well as to our urge to build, make pictures, practice religion, and develop philosophical thought. They take into account materials and techniques and consider overarching themes, such as space, light, and darkness.

Drawing on examples from around the globe―ranging from the standing stones at Stenness, Orkney, dating from around 3100 BCE, and the Terracotta Army in China to Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty and Richard Serra’s steel structures―Shaping the World explores sculpture as a form of physical thought capable of altering the way people feel.

300 color illustrations

Beginner's Guide to Sculpting Characters in Clay by 3dtotal Publishing

Featuring detailed guides to key tools and techniques from talented expert sculptors, the Beginner’s Guide to Sculpting Characters in Clay is vital reading for anyone wanting to explore clay sculpture.

Learn which tools are best suited to your needs and how to use them effectively, explore diverse materials and pick up helpful tips from leading professional sculptors as you start your journey into clay sculpture. With meticulous tutorials, a handy glossary of sculpting terms, and copious amounts of inspiration, the Beginner’s Guide to Sculpting Characters in Clay is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to try their hand at creating incredible 3D characters.

100 Sculptors of Tomorrow by Kurt Beers

Bypassing traditional art world channels, 100 Sculptors of Tomorrow is the culmination of a major, democratic open call for up-and-coming sculptors. From thousands of entries, an internationally renowned jury has identified the most exciting names in sculpture today, all showcased in this beautifully illustrated book. Following the much-respected 100 Painters of Tomorrow, which launched the careers of artists such as Michael Armitage, Yelena Popova, and Heman Chong, 100 Sculptors offers another powerful platform for artists and a fascinating, visually breathtaking experience for readers.

Sculpture is reemerging as a revered medium in today’s artworld. In the age of 3-D modeling software and ever-proliferating materials, the possibilities for contemporary sculpture are truly dazzling, a fact to which the artworks on show in this book can attest.

Anatomy For Sculptors, Understanding the Human Figure by Uldis Zarins and Sandis Kondrats

Visual artists are visual thinkers! So we made human anatomy for artists. They don’t want to read magnificent, but boring anatomy textbooks, stuffed with medical level information. Instead, the author made a book with clear images that contain all the necessary information needed to create a realistic human form.

Content is king!
In addition to the 3D models, there are photos of live models from various angles and body postures, overlaid with color-coded muscle diagrams. The coverage of the book is completely comprehensive, displaying the human body from head to toe. Most pictures in the book are self-explanatory.

Not just for sculptors
The book author is a sculptor with more than 25-year experience and a professor of Anatomy in Arts Academy. However, this book has moved beyond one art style. Digital arts, CGI, Character art, 2D and 3D, traditional sculpting, and many more. All around the art world, artists using it in their daily work.

Michelangelo. The Complete Paintings, Sculptures and Arch. (Bibliotheca Universalis) by Frank Zöllner and Christof Thoenes

Before reaching the tender age of 30, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564) had already sculpted Pietà and David, two of the most famous sculptures in the entire history of art. As a sculptor, painter, draftsman, and architect, the achievements of this Italian master are unique―no artist before or after him has ever produced such a vast, multifaceted, and wide-ranging œuvre.

This fresh TASCHEN edition traces Michelangelo’s ascent to the cultural elite of the Renaissance. Ten richly illustrated chapters cover the artist’s paintings, sculptures, and architecture, including a close analysis of the artist’s tour de force frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.Full-page reproductions and enlarged details allow readers to appreciate the finest details in the artist’s repertoire, while the book’s biographical essay considers Michelangelo’s more personal traits and circumstances, such as his solitary nature, his thirst for money and commissions, his immense wealth, and his skill as a property investor.

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The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt

99% Invisible is a big-ideas podcast about small-seeming things, revealing stories baked into the buildings we inhabit, the streets we drive, and the sidewalks we traverse. The show celebrates design and architecture in all of its functional glory and accidental absurdity, with intriguing tales of both designers and the people impacted by their designs.

Now, in The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to Hidden World of Everyday Design, host Roman Mars and coauthor Kurt Kohlstedt zoom in on the various elements that make our cities work, exploring the origins and other fascinating stories behind everything from power grids and fire escapes to drinking fountains and street signs. With deeply researched entries and beautiful line drawings throughout, The 99% Invisible City will captivate devoted fans of the show and anyone curious about design, urban environments, and the unsung marvels of the world around them.

Modelling and Sculpting the Human Figure (Dover Art Instruction)

Is there art after modernism? Many of today’s art students and professionals are finding the answer — “yes” — lies in the long-neglected field of figurative sculpture, a demanding form of expression that requires extremely rigorous technical training. Most modern schools, however, are simply not equipped to provide the necessary technical background. The republication of this highly valuable text by Edouard Lanteri, renowned teacher, sculptor, and intimate friend of Rodin (Rodin called him “my dear master, my dear friend”), makes it possible for serious students to gain the requisite skills and bridge the gap between artistic concept and figurative realization. Representing at least three thousand years of studio lore, this readily understandable, authoritative guide is a goldmine of technical information, easily comprising a four-year sculpture curriculum unavailable elsewhere.

Ceramic Sculpture: Making Faces: A Guide to Modeling the Head and Face with Clay by Alex Irvine

Sculpting the human face presents a unique artistic challenge—but this richly illustrated guide thoroughly demystifies the process. Instructor Alex Irvine goes step-by-step, explaining everything from creating basic, rough outlines to surface refinements to finely detailed replicas. Photographs of models and sketches appear alongside the actual sculpture, and a gallery of contemporary work inspires.

Picasso Sculpture by Luise Mahler, Virginie Perdrisot

“Published in conjunction with the first large-scale retrospective of Picasso’s sculpture in the US since The Museum of Modern Art’s historic show of 1967, Picasso Sculpture is a sweeping survey of the artist’s profoundly innovative and influential work in three dimensions.
Over the course of his long career, Picasso devoted himself to sculpture wholeheartedly, if episodically, using both traditional and unconventional materials and techniques. Unlike painting, in which he was formally trained and through which he made his living, sculpture occupied a uniquely personal and experimental status in Picasso’s oeuvre. He kept the majority of his sculptures in his private possession during his lifetime, and it was only in the late 1960s that the public became fully aware of this side of his oeuvre.

Make Animal Sculptures with Paper Mache Clay: How to Create Stunning Wildlife Art Using Patterns and My Easy-to-Make, No-Mess Paper Mache Recipe by Jonni Good

This book contains step-by-step instructions and over 250 photos to guide you through the enjoyable process of making animal sculptures with the author’s paper mache clay recipe.

Paper mache clay can be made in just 5 minutes, using inexpensive ingredients – and it air-dries, so you won’t need an oven or a kiln. There’s no mess, no tedious layers of torn paper strips, and it’s easy to add details and textures to your sculpture.

With the patterns included in each chapter, you’ll be sculpting animals that are perfectly proportioned, right from the very start. You’ll also learn to make your own patterns, so you can go on to create original sculptures of your own.

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Practical Pottery: 40 Pottery Projects for Creating and Selling Mugs, Cups, Plates, Bowls, and More (Arts and Crafts, Hobbies, Ceramics, Sculpting Technique) by Jon Schmidt

An introduction to pottery. It’s never too late to pick up a new hobby, especially when you have a guide this simple to get you started. Potter and entrepreneur Jon Schmidt coaxes us into the world of pottery with a promise that we do not have to know everything about the complicated chemistry behind making pottery to enjoy it! By taking us back to the basics, Schmidt offers an introduction to pottery and a guide to creating functional pieces, along with insights into the business side of creating and selling your art.

Focus on functionality. While pottery pieces can be detailed and intricate, Schmidt finds the beauty in more practical pieces. From mugs to bowls, Schmidt shows us a host of functional pieces that we can create using our very own hands. As a coffee shop owner, Schmidt uses handmade items for everything. And, he uses this pottery book to demonstrate how we too can create beautiful pieces for daily use, and potentially profit from them.

Artist Blacksmith Sculpture: The Art of Natural Metalwork by David Freedman

David Freedman has taken the art of blacksmithing in a new direction. His metal work ranges from giant insects in the woods of Scotland to seaweed inspired gates on the Cornish coast, ethereal deer in the ancient forests of England and organic seats in some of the UK’s finest historic gardens.

David’s unique sculptural metalwork is shown here at its best, set within the landscape that inspires its creation.

David has been forging creative metal sculptures, delicate copper water features, decorative wrought ironwork gates and much more for over 20 years from his backyard workshop in the UK.

Rather than a beginner’s guide or a blacksmithing manual, this book is more than a catalogue of David’s work, with stunning photographs, design notes and sketches as well as perspectives from blacksmiths around the world and a look into the forge, past and present, giving a unique window into the ancient yet ever evolving blacksmith’s craft.

The Sculpting Book: A Complete Introduction to Modeling the Human Figure by Élisabeth Bonvalot

This guide shows you step by step how to sculpt realistic figures, from face to feet, through 10 projects. Professional sculptor and instructor Élisabeth Bonvalot provides the guidance and tips needed to—with time and practice!—reach realism with your sculpted figures. Begin with the fundamentals, such as the types and properties of clays, the materials and tools, four base techniques, and topics such as roughing out, adding clay, detailing, engobe, firing, and patinas. The first five lessons teach the elements of figure sculpting, focusing your attention on heads, faces, hands, feet, and the body. The next five projects offer a sequence for effective skills building as you create a bas-relief portrait, an animal, a standing nude, a bust, and a lifesize figure. This comprehensive approach is perfect for people who love clay and have a can-do attitude, even with limited formal art class experience.

Pop Sculpture: How to Create Action Figures and Collectible Statues by Tim Bruckner , Ruben Procopio

Ever since a 12-inch G.I. Joe took toy soldiers to a whole new level by giving them the ability to pose via moveable parts, as well as interchangeable clothing and accessories, the business of creating pop sculpture icons for the mass market was off and running. Superheroes came next, followed by TV show and movie characters, most notably those from Star Wars. Today, action figures exist for sports stars, rock stars, even presidents.
 
With today’s blockbuster success of animated films, action figures and collectibles have become a behemoth industry—with a growing need for skilled artists who can bring these characters to life. So how do you get started?

Everything She Touched: The Life of Ruth Asawa by Marilyn Chase

 In this compelling biography, author Marilyn Chase brings Asawa”s story to vivid life. She draws on Asawa”s extensive archives and weaves together many voices—family, friends, teachers, and critics—to offer a complex and fascinating portrait of the artist.

Born in California in 1926, Ruth Asawa grew from a farmer”s daughter to a celebrated sculptor. She survived adolescence in the World War II Japanese-American internment camps and attended the groundbreaking art school at Black Mountain College. Asawa then went on to develop her signature hanging-wire sculptures, create iconic urban installations, revolutionize arts education in her adopted hometown of San Francisco, fight through lupus, and defy convention to nurture a multiracial family.

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