Q: Is Philippe Faraut Sculpting Atelier a live streaming program?

A: No, PFSA is a prerecorded program designed to be viewed at the student’s convenience at any time of day or night with access for three years from the day of the registration.

Q: Are the video courses downloadable?

A: Our videos are available only for streaming.

Q: What do I get with my purchases?

A: The Portrait Sculpting course includes over 17 hours of instruction consisting of the main program, supplementary instruction videos, examples of exercises to practice, pdfs, Sculpting Expressions, The Aging Process and the joy of listening to Philippe's poorly spoken English with a French accent.

The included Sculpting Expressions course includes over 3 hours of demos and exercises on modeling facial expressions but does not show step-by-step how to sculpt a portrait.

The included Aging Process segment consists of 1.5 hours of the step-by-step modeling of a baby and then aging him to 90-years-old.

Q: Are these courses very different from Philippe's portrait DVDs?

A: Yes, this new program is different from programs we have filmed previously. It is a progressive approach which is increasingly more complex as you go through it. It was designed for someone who wants to learn in the same way that you would as a sculptor’s apprentice or someone who has plateaued and needs guidance to get back on track. It also has more on anatomy, exercises, hair and common mistakes.

Q: What do I need to start the program?

A: You need at least 25 pounds (12kg) of clay (see below), a basic armature, some simple homemade or purchased modeling tools, a peaceful environment and soothing background music. 

Q: Does the price of the course include any tools and materials? 

A: No, but the materials needed can be purchased locally or online. Some tools, books, and plaster casts used in this program can be purchased directly through PCF Studios.

Q: Does the price of the course include feedback or critiques of my progress provided by Philippe Faraut?

A: Philippe loves to see student’s work but due to his workload, he is not able to offer one-on-one critique outside of his in-person workshops. 

Q: Is this program available worldwide?

A: Yes, as long as you have an internet connection that allows you to view videos.

Q: Is this course or portions of this course refundable if I don’t want it anymore.

A: No, due to the nature of the media, all purchases are final.

Q: Does Philippe offer in-person classes?

A: Yes, Philippe offers classes on the portrait, full figure and animal sculpting. Each year’s schedule is generally posted on his site in January. He teaches at his Upstate New York studio, as well as, at private studios and colleges around the US, Canada and in France.

Q: Is this program available in any other language than English?

A: No, at this point only Philippe’s accented English is available for this program.

Q: How long do I have access to courses that I purchase?

A: You have complete access 24/7 to any of the PFSA courses for 3 years from the day of registration, after which your admission expires and has to be renewed by you if desired.

Q: Is my access to the course automatically renewed?

A: No, the 3 year access to the course is a one-time purchase not a subscription. If after 3 years you wish to continue using the program you would need to purchase it again.

Q: Is this program beginner friendly?

A: Yes, it is designed for artists of all skill levels.

Q: Can I really learn sculpting from an online course?

A: Yes, and there are some advantages:

Learn at your own pace.

Watch lessons multiple times.

Learn on a plane, bus or metro.

Study a program that would require weeks or months in the studio with Philippe.

More economical for students who would have to travel to attend in-person classes.

Q: What clay does Philippe use during the program?

A: The specific clay used during the program is an earthenware distributed by Laguna Clay called #10 EM100, but any other water-based clay can be used for the methods demonstrated in this program. Philippe prefers to use a low-fire (fires to cone 06), white earthenware clay without grog. Clays are manufactured locally so one purchased in California will be different from one in New York. Ceramic supply shops are the best source for this type of clay.

Q: Can I use oil-based clay instead of water-based to follow the program?

A: You can use any modeling material and still get full benefit of the program with the exception of the hollowing, drying and firing section that is specific to water-based clays. Many of the techniques (including the steps for building the overall structure and individual features) can be duplicated in other types of clay such as oil-based. However, Philippe prefers water-based clays primarily for their ranges of consistency during the sculpting process. Moist clay straight from the bag can easily be manipulated during the rapid build-up of volumes. As the work progresses and the clay becomes harder, finer details are easier to achieve all the way to the texture when the clay is almost dry. Furthermore, the piece can be sanded to achieve a very slick appearance (a dust mask must be worn when working with dry clay).

Q: Why doesn’t Philippe use oil-based clay?

A: Philippe does model with oil-based clay or wax from time to time for very specific projects but for the portrait he prefers earthenware for the following reasons. It is cheap and available anywhere in the world, it is easier to manipulate than other mediums therefore portraits can be completed much faster, it can be fired at very low cost removing the need for the time-consuming mold making and casting process. It is also ideal for students and artists wanting to buildup a body of work rapidly at low cost.

Q: Can I have a plaster or bronze cast made of a sculpture in water-based clay?

A: Yes, a mold can be made out of a sculpture in water-based clay, then reproduced in any pourable material including bronze, plaster, wax, resin or even concrete. The mold can be made from either raw and still wet or fired clay.

Q: Do I have to follow the sequence of this program or can I skip ahead?

A: You can skip ahead of the main program or jump to the supplementary instruction section at any point. However, you are encouraged to follow the sequence and practice exercises from the main program as it is designed as a comprehensive progression. If you decide to skip ahead of some exercises you should at least view all the episodes in between, as some instruction might not be repeated.


Q: I do not speak English, is it still worth it for me to get this program?

A: This is a highly visual program and even though commentaries are valuable most of the instruction can be understood easily by simply watching as the camera almost never leaves the sculpting project being demonstrated. 

Q: As a teacher can I purchase one program for my entire class?

A: No, these are usually single user purchases but contact us for special situations.

Q: Do you have a Terms of Use and a Privacy Policy?

A: Yes. Links to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy are included in the footer of our site.

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