The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Art Department recently held a sculpture workshop led by internationally renowned sculptor, Basil Watson.
Several art students and local artists participated in the two-day workshop to learn the techniques of sculpting busts in clay from a live model. The sculpture students were very engaged in the process and observed Watson complete two full busts. Watson demonstrated his mastery of clay by sculpting a bust of Stephanie Weathers, an art student, and Henri Linton, chairman of the art department.
On the second day, while Watson put the finishing touches on his work, the students were involved in making their own busts from the model.
During the workshop, he stressed the importance of drawing and how drawing is the beginning stage in learning how to see form.
“I want to capture the mood of the figure and what he or she brings to the table,” Watson said. “It is very important to capture the emotion and spirit of the image.”
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Watson studied under the tutelage of his mentors, Alexander Cooper and Christopher Gonzalez. His father, Barry Watson is also an international acclaimed artist and first introduced him to drawing and to the works of French sculptor, Auguste Rodin, who completed the work, “The Thinker” in 1902. Watson has explored the figure and found sculpting to be a fascinating way to capture the human form. He uses a variety of media and techniques that include welding metals, carving wood and stone, modeling clay and drawing with charcoal.