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Drawing Sculpture: Sketching & Planning

Drawing Sculpture: Sketching & Planning

Art begins with an idea. From there, a sketch, a draft or a plan. Often many drafts and many sketches, each refining the idea bit by bit. Once the idea is fully formed, then perhaps, work begins on the final piece. This is true of most artistic mediums- and often holds true within sculpture too. Drawing sculpture and sketching ideas is often the first step any sculptor will take before creating a piece. It is, in and of itself- somewhat of an art form.

David Bronze Louvre Study 1502 Drawing SculptureDrawing sculpture and sketching ideas is important for the artist to develop and understand what they want to create. It begins the process of what they want to make, how best to make their idea, and how the final product will be produced. Plans are rarely final and, even in the final stages of a piece, artistic ideas have a habit of developing and evolving.

Often, these plans and sketches of the evolving design will be kept in a sketchbook by the artist. These will be used to chart the development of designs or explore new ideas. For renowned artists such as Da Vinci, Dali, Moore or others -these works often become recognised pieces of art in themselves.  They may explore the origin of famous pieces or give us an insight into the artistic process. Sometimes, they may even tell the stories of works that never made it from the pages of their sketchbook into reality.

Bernini Early Sketch Drawing SculptureEven the most experienced of artists create sketches and plans. There is no amount of experience or knowledge that is a substitute for planning and developing an idea before creating it. There is an exception to this rule however, if the lack of planning is part of the artistic intent of the piece. Typically though, you probably want to have an idea of what you're going to make before you start chipping away at a marble block.

The Thinker Rodin Drawing SculptureInitial drawings allow an artist to get an idea onto paper, explore how it might look in different materials, poses, shapes, sizes or any number of variations. This documentation produced whilst drawing sculpture ideas and designs can help create new ideas or influence future projects. It can also help retrospectively, for either the artist or future researchers, to determine how a piece came to be and the thought that went into the development of the piece.

Drawing sculpture or creating and keeping sketchbooks whilst working is one of the most useful and popular ways to develop ideas and help produce art. They can become valuable items in their own regard, both for an individuals artistic process or for others to look back on. It is a process that helps understand the origins of a piece, context that the work evolved in and how it may have influenced future works. In the context of a famous sculptor, drawings like this or sketchbooks containing preliminary designs can become important and coveted pieces of their body of work. All aspiring or practicing sculptors, from those just starting out to those with a great deal of experience should be drawing sculpture and sketching ideas as a key part of their practice.

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