Next I cut the shapes out of the paper and place back onto the clay - this gives me paper to trace around.
I'm using a simple wooden skewer to do the tracing and drawing but you could use a stylus, knitting needle or sharpened pencil to get the same results.
Once the outline of the figures is traced onto the clay, I set the board up on an easel on my table. When sculpting a bas relief it is important to work as vertically as possible. Laying the board flat and trying to work on it will give you a distorted view as the perspective will change the look. Sculpt the work in the same position as
At this stage it is rather heavy - I'd estimate that the board and clay combined is about 35-40 lbs.
I also like to tack up my drawings nearby as I'll be referring to them frequently as I work.
Next I take a loop tool and begin to dig down the background by about 1/4" inch all the way around. This separates the figures from the background a bit.
Finally, I grid off both my sketch and the clay - using the grid to help me locate proper placement, I begin roughly sketching in the drawing of the figures using the skewer. At this stage it will be very rough, which is fine, as it is only a starting place for me to gauge where I will be building up the forms and the 'drawing' on the clay will be
With the drawing in place I am ready to begin adding clay to the forms.