COMING SOON! Chiaroscuro Cast Drawing with BustEd

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About Course

Create a full-value cast drawing using classical techniques. Students will learn how to sight-measure in order to create an accurate drawing from observation, and will practice their ability to create a range of shades using charcoal.


This course will be taught using the plaster-cast sculpture Margo (she/her). This work is part of the BustEd Sculpture Project by Figure On Diversity in collaboration with sculptor Morgan Yacoe. Following the course, students will be asked to complete a survey of their experience working from this sculpture as a part of a study by DeCarlis and Yacoe.



University students work in a dimly-lit studio. Spotlit on a podium in the center of the image are three plaster-cast sculptures from the project BustEd.
A Brief History of Cast Drawing

Plaster casts of classical Greek and Roman statuary are used in art schools around the world as teaching aids. There have been different reasons for their use over time, however. Historically, instructors valued that their students could have access to copies of masterpieces which ordinarily could only be studied while traveling abroad, like the famous Laocoön marble housed in the Vatican, or The Winged Victory at the Louvre. Some teachers felt that it was important for young artists to cultivate and maintain a strong lineage to the Great Masters of the past.

Today, plaster busts often serve a more humble role as an intermediary step, as students begin to grapple with human anatomy and likeness in their artwork. This happens after students have had experience with the still life, but usually prior to working from the nude model.

About BustEd

The sculptural references used in studio art education today are still based almost exclusively on antique Greco-Roman masterpieces. Not only are the figures seen in these materials exclusively white, but they are also hyper-idealized and overwhelmingly male.

​BustEd is a collaboration between Figure On Diversity and sculptor Morgan Yacoe toward the creation of new 3D references for use in the classroom. With three sculptures now complete, the series is currently being promoted and sold to art organizations and universities.

Learn more about Figure On Diversity here!


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