Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How to Draw a Plaster Cast: Getting a Cast

Plaster Cast Drawing Class

Recently, I and five other students started a plaster cast drawing class with Carl Samson. He took this shot and posted it on his Facebook wall. One of the comments under it was from a mutual friend and read:

"For all the wonderful things Australia has to offer it is also very limited in many areas...no workshops or gatherings of creative minds...and the only life drawing class/session I could find in my area was listed under 'Hens Night Out' where the bride-to-be and her drunk and giggling friends can sketch a nude male figure :( very disappointed......"

That was so sad, I've decided to try and do a series of posts on plaster cast drawing just for April - and anyone else who is interested. I'm just sharing as a fellow student, but will do the best I can.

Step 1: Getting a Cast

The first step is to get a cast. I have been most fortunate to have kind, generous artist friends who actually own casts and will let me borrow them. But that may not be your case. As I see it, you have several options:

  1. Purchase a cast. There are sites online from which you may acquire casts. Just Google something like "plaster cast" and maybe "artist" and see what you come up with. Here are a few sites to get you started:


    Also, there is no reason why you couldn't go to a garden or furniture store, and buy a better looking garden statue and spray paint it (with a matte finish) white or cream.

    Auctions, estate and garage sales, Goodwill or cruising good neighborhoods on garbage nights might just yield what you're looking for as well.

    Another one of my clever artist friends bought a whole big box of slightly damaged plaster casts and then fixed them up with - plaster. They look as good as new!

  2. I have considered old graveyard statues briefly...

  3. Art museums will often have plaster casts or white statues on display if you don't mind going often and drawing in public.

  4. One other option that I have thought about occasionally is to make your own cast. If you have a willing victim - I mean - subject - like your child or husband or even your own foot, you could try making a life cast. After all, this was done Back in the Day with famous or notorious individuals. There is actually an Association of Lifecasters and lessons in lifecasting on YouTube!

Disclaimer: I have never, ever actually made a lifecast, and so refuse to be responsible for anyone who tries this and gets stuck in the goop.

Next: The Set Up


  1. Linda

    Great article, and thanks for mentioning us! Keep up the good work on the blog :)

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