Drawing from the clay sculpture

The reason I want to do these sculptures is to understand how I can better add dimensional shapes into my paintings. So once I finished the clay sculpture I wanted to draw it, to see how it would translate back onto paper – how easily could I translate the clay back into simple lines? This process would give me clues for how to make my next sculpture better.

I began with this pencil drawing, drawing the sculpture looking down on it as delicately and accurately as possible. I wanted to do a drawing like this because that would mean I had translated the drawing onto paper.
I am really happy with the rendering of this drawing, it is rare that I draw so finely and delicately! But it forced me to scrutinise the sculpture and translate it to a 2D image, which helped with the second drawing.

My original plan was to just do a simple pencil sketch on plain paper, like the last drawing. But after starting the sketch on plain paper, I realised the simplified structure is intended to be applied in thin white lights on a darker background, so it made sense to do this drawing in a simple version of that.
So I applied ink to the background. Then I used thin newspaper paper to trace around the detailed drawing and then relay those dimensions onto this new drawing. I did this because I wanted the two drawings to have the same size and dimensions, I wanted them to be as accurate as possible to the sculpture as well. Since I spent so much time carefully plotting the dimensions in the first drawing it made sense to transfer that shape across to the second drawing.
Once I plotted shapes in pencil I went over in white acrylic with a really fine brush.
The aim of this drawing was the shapes to be reduced to lines that represented the structural qualities of the drawing, and any important features that were part of that. I straightened the lines out slightly as well, and generally cleaned the sculpture up.

I wanted to see what this reduced shape would look like on an actual painting. I went outside and painted the colours looking directly up at an opening in a canopy of trees, intending to place the drawing in the centre. I made sure to layer the brushstrokes under and over the drawing as I have done in the past.

The outcome is okay. The simplfied shape does a good job at describing a canopy that is converging in the centre and reaching up. But the problem is the white lines look so flat, even with the layering of the brushes under and over. Perhaps it is the angle I am drawing it from?


I am happy with the process of drawing the shape, then refining the drawing, then applying it to the canvas. It is helping me to improve my sculpture but at the moment it is not producing successful paintings. Where is the great space, height and depth!?

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