Maria Lengauer's Art Room

Figure in Motion - Abstract Sculpture

Submitted by: Maria Lengauer
3-D Design and Sculpture Teacher
Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts.


This lesson was a collaborative effort with Maria and her student teacher, Christina Despinis. Motivation for this project was sculpture by Brancussi, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.


The Idea process: Examine a figure in motion, define line of gesture, zoom in on specific area of figure, generalize or simplify forms. Make clay maquette for model to follow.


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8       9



Flat head screwdrivers for chiseling (from dollar store!)
as make shift chisels, plaster rasps, Riffler Rasps., sandpaper, solid plaster blocks (Plaster of Paris poured into empty cartons and plastic containers)

Finish: Metallic Spray Paint., Shoe Polish., clear gloss



  • Book: Celebrating Moore: Works from the Collection of the Henry Moore Foundation. - The core of the book consists of a selection of 278 works from the Foundation's Collection, illustrated in colour and with full catalogue information.

  • Book: Constantin Brancusi. - This book is divided into categories, following the chronological development and illustrating his analysis with his own photographs of the sculptures.

  • Book: Barbara Hepworth: The Plasters. - Celebrating the generous gift of Barbara Hepworth's plasters to The Hepworth Wakefield by the Hepworth Estate, this groundbreaking publication combines a fully illustrated catalogue of the sculptor's surviving prototypes in plaster.


Subtractive method, chiseling


In progress photographs


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Left: Blocking out sculpture with screwdriver "chisel"
Center: Using Riffler Rasp. to to shape
Right: Using Plaster rasp to smooth (Click images for larger views)

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Left: Subtractive sculpture with clay maquette
Right: Applying shoe polish patina - see finished sculpture below

Finished Sculpture (multiple views)


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Click images to see larger views


See detailed Lesson Plan for this unit



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