Thursday, September 24, 2009


This is getting exciting. Seeing her come to life is so satisfying. So far no major goofs, though the head is still a little off and that left hand looks kinda impossible to fix. Nothing is impossible though- so I will do my best to fix it all up.

I have made a lot of refinements this week. The problemmatic left foot is looking much better. Hubby thinks a foot cannot do that move, but mine can, so hers can too.
The left arm is slimmer, and so is her waist. They may have to get slimmer yet to remain in proportion to the left thigh. Gotta watch it or she will look anorexic.

I like the looks of the back. The buttocks are rounded and there is more of a waist now. The grain of the butternut is going to look super when it is sanded and oiled. I can't wait. The right breast has been brought much more to the front as it would be with the turned body.

Left foot has a lot more form to it now, ankle slimmed and foot better defined. Left hand. . . gotta have it curved around the knee- will have to shorten leg in order to find some wood. Right arm also thinner and more graceful. Second photo shows yet another void- this one under her chin. I wasn't sure if I could make a hole there, but it worked out fine. Now I'll be able to refine the areas around there- chin/hand interface. Notice that the face is much different now- much nicer expression. I think the mellow look is better and what I am after.

She is still mighty rough looking, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. It won't be long before I can start to refine muscles and other finer details. Unfortunately the butternut will not tolerate very fine details so the image will have to be slightly blurred. Next time I will use a better wood- like walnut.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Third Void

After prodigious effort and lots of sweat Naiad has another void- this one above her left leg. I was anxious about doing this, but I needed to be able to visualize the top of the leg as well as the location of the breasts. Looking at the photos it looks as though the hole should have been above the breasts, but at this point I don't see the room that would be necessary for that.

Here on the front and front right you can see some progress. Not as much as the hours I've spent would imply- since a terrible lot of time is spent in contemplation- like "duh- what do I do next?" Her right hand has been refined and located so that I could make sure that the cheek of the face ended up resting on the hand- not in mid air or half-way through the hand. I hate it when that happens. There has also been considerable thinning and rounding of the forms.

Pore 'lil thang still looks like a fullback but that is just so I still have enough wood for minor modifications as I go along. She will be thinning down and feminizing a lot real soon.

In the first of these face photos the orientation looks OK- though there was something I didn't like about it- didn't seem just right. I tilted and turned the carving so that I faced it head on and I could see my problems. On the right you can see that the vertical centerline is not bisecting the head- it is lopsided. That happened when I rashly decided to change the angle of the face. So either I need to put the face back to where it was- may not have a nose left if I do that- or recarve the head to match the face. Decisions, decisions.

Here is a close-up of the top of the head- where I spent many hours trying to figure out how to do the hair. I have the same problem with my own hair. Go figure. One thing for sure is that the shape of the skull does not change depending on the angle, so that is what needs to be correct before any more details are finessed. The hand/cheek connection looks good so far- thank goodness for small favors.
Thanks to taking these photos and talking about problems and solutions I think I know what to do next.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I See the Light

Thursday again and this time I'm happy to report holes in my carving. I didn't work on it much at all until today. I was working on the angle of the head and digging out where I was pretty sure there would be no body when I realized that I was going to connect up some of the 'innies' and end up with some voids. This is exciting because it will help me to better visualize the relationship between the limbs.

In this photo you can see light coming in from both under the left leg and under the left wrist. In case you are wondering about having enough wood on that left foot- so am I. I plan to push the ankle back as much as looks good. If all else fails I can point the toes downwards and have them clutching a stone- or something else supportive.

Here is the right side view showing the hole above the right thigh and under the left calf. Both holes end up in her 'lap'. Pore 'lil thang looks kinda like a trucker at this point. She will start to thin down soon though. I just hope I haven't removed too much wood from anyplace vital.

Here you can see that a whole bunch of wood has been removed from the face area so that the nose will stick out from the rest of the face. I learned from working on the self-portrait that a face should be at about 90 degrees working back from the tip of the nose. That is, that if you walk into a corner where 2 walls meet your nose should sit in the corner and your cheekbones touch the walls. Try it- it is true.
I'm enthused now to keep working on Naiad- I can see the light in the holes, and at the end of the tunnel. I have exactly one month to finish. Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Finding the Form

I went crazy the other day and spent almost all day on the carving- 6 hours. I was on a roll and when that happens it is best to just keep at it. Just like if you are messing up it is a good idea to stop and come back to the project later. I like the way the Naiad is starting to look. I can see where each limb needs to start and stop. I'm being careful to keep a dynamic gesture from every angle- no straight lines or 90 degrees. It still needs a lot of work, but at this point I am satisfied- approximately 20 hours into the project.

The red lines are drawn with a soft colored pencil using the photos and plans for guidance. I am trying to mark where I am sure I can remove some wood- then the line is gone too and I can reappraise the situation to see what to do next.

With these two left-side views you can see the difference another few hours made. The figure on the left was after maybe 3 hours of work, and the one on the right after another 3 hours.
I have to restrain myself from putting in details until I have everything where it belongs. I am a detail person and I want to put in toenails and eyelashes asap. Patience!


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