Maquette

 

Maquette

"a small model, used by a sculptor, before beginning the real work of art"

(Cambridge Dictionary)

In my case, as the human form is so complicated, I often make a clay miniature so as to view the finished form from all angles, and compare these to the piece in progress.

Working from photographs is limiting, and working from the live model would simply take too long (especially in some of the poses I sculpt!), so a maquette is ideal, cheap and adaptable.