While ago, someone was asking me about clay models. Here are a couple I'm painting from. A bigger version of "Beginner's mind...conventional wisdom", and it's coming out well.
Painting from clay models is very similar to painting from a still life setup, and it adds an extra dimension of reality to imaginative art.
The two birds are of unfired stoneware clay. The little house in the left background is mine, and so is the pig at the right-- they're also in the painting. They're some of my old porcelain sculptures. I've kept a small collection of them and they make great painting models, too. Oh, and the wings on the bottle are made of plastiline clay, which never dries out and can be reused or rearranged.