Thursday, September 29, 2011

More progress

Still working away on this, but I try to go slowly at times to make sure I see things that need to be changed. I sometimes rush through things and don’t always pick up on mistakes until after they are finished and sitting on a shelf. Some people recommend looking at your work in a mirror to help pick up on problem areas, but I often see things in photos of my work that I don’t always see when holding it in my hand. So I am trying to correct a few details. Someone may have mentioned it a previous post, or you may have noticed, that the young lady has no eyebrows! I have lightly drawn them in and want to make sure I have them properly placed and symmetrical. I am still researching eye brows…. who knew that you can buy little templates to assist you in evenly shaping your brows! I may make one to make sure these match, but I’ll try measuring first. I am not sure if it is my camera angle or what, but in some photos, the nose looks really wide and in others, not so much. So I have tried reducing the wings of the nostrils a bit. What do you think?

If you look at the right side of the face in previous blog entries, you may have noticed that her hair appears to be growing directly out from her face, a highly unusual phenomenon. So I have moved the hair back to make the forehead more even on that side and to expose a bit of the ear on that side. This looks a bit more natural for the hair growth. I still need to work some more on the hair under the ear on that side to make sure it looks like it is coming from where it really



And here is the other side with a few changes. It still looks much the same despite all the changes on the other side. Overall, it seems more balanced now, but hopefully with the same feel as before.

I started looking through my wood to try and figure out something for a base. I tried this tall piece of cherry, thinking that the longer shape might add a sense of a tall slender figure. Too tall maybe? (according to my wife) What do you guys think? Thanks for looking!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Behind Blue Eyes progress

I have spent most of the week working on the hair and deciding how I wanted to do the eyes. I had carved in the main shapes of the hair starting with larger #11 u gouges and working down to smaller sizes, with a few v tool and knife cuts thrown in. You want the hair to flow correctly and part of that is remembering where the hair grows on the head. It just doesn’t look right if you show it growing in front of the ears or sideways out from the neck! I like to make hair look softer, by sanding a lot of sharp angles away. It is similar in some ways to the flowing shapes you see in Andy’s boxes.

Some carvers are adamantly opposed to sanding their work, but I like the way certain parts, like faces and hair, look when sanded. Only my tastes and preference though! I used small drum sanders, bristle sanders, cone sanders, and hand sanding to make the hair look less like individual clumps and more of a flowing mass. I may a do a blog entry on the 5 or six different types of sanders I used, if any one is interested. Once I got the hair more like I wanted it, I started cutting in the eyes. I used a compass to measure from the center line of the nose to make sure I had the center of each I exactly the same, then I used the compass to draw the pupil using that center point. This kept the eyes located symmetrically and of equal size, which can be difficult to achieve, at least for me, without measuring.

I normally carve and undercut the entire pupil and then carve a deeper center hole for the iris. This creates good shadows and a dramatic eye, but I wanted to do these a little different. I wanted to make the eyes appear lighter, to give the impression of being blue, and I wanted to try and add highlights to the irises.

There are different methods of doing this, but basically you want to leave a bit of wood that indicates light reflecting off the eye. It is easy for me to mess this up, by cutting off too much, but I gave it a go using this method and it looke pretty good to me! I have more sanding to do and I am now thinking about how to do the bottom of the piece and how to do a base that will complement it. Thanks for looking!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Stout Little Santa

Just got his one finished. He is based on a design by Jim McGuire with some changes of my own. I think he is a happy looking little fellow!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Behind Blue Eyes"

Here is what I started and worked on the past week at War Eagle, in the class taught by Adina Huckins. I think I am making some progress and I am pleased with how this one is turning out. I also did several smaller heads and I think I am finally getting some of the facial planes in properly. I sent photos of this back to my family and several people noticed some resemblance to my daughter, who is a blue-eyed blond. Hence the title ( I’m also a fan of the Who!”. More to come and I plan also to post pictures of others and their work at the seminar. Thanks for looking!