Sunday, February 3, 2013

wood spirit lessons learned

I was reminded that every time you finish a carving either in a class setting or by yourself there should be lessons learned from that time spent. This is true and one of the lessons comes from my wanting to learn how to carve an eye. In my first carvings I used carve a folk stylized eye, where you just make a socket and paint the eye in or leave it without; either seems to work for this style carving. But I wanted more detail in the eye as I felt this would strengthen my carvings. 

As you begin to carve eyes, you first need to break down the parts around the eye. First you see that there are bag lines under most eyes (purple lines on image). There is also a shelf under the eye. The shelf is formed by the bone structure under the eye. Take a moment and try this. Both sides of your eye come together making a small sideways “v” (yellow lines on image). Put your finger right on the outside of your eye on the outside of your face. Now slowly go down in front of your face under the eye and follow the bone structure back up to the other side of the eye right next to the nose (red lines on image). As you move your finger you can feel the bone structure below the eye. That is the shelf that is completely separate from the baggy lines when carving an eye. You can get away with just carving one or the other but when both are included in the carving it gives the carving depth and character. Carving this in proper sequence is to carve the shelf first then carve in the baggy lines of the eye since these are normally higher on the face then the shelf. It is the shelf that helps form the bags, but I am not an anatomist I am a wood carver. It is the additional detail that truly makes a carving stand out and completes the story you are trying to tell. Isn't that the mission, to convey a story.

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