Almost all of my engravings are carefully planned. The most complex have detailed drawings, normally twice as large as the final image. I refer to these as I engrave and find them invaluable. On the wood, I translate the textures of the drawing - usually in ink - into the marks made by my gravers.
Sometimes, I like to make things up as I go along. Some time ago, I engraverd a tawny owl on a small piece of lemonwood. It has sat there, forlorn and unfinished. Recently, I have not been in the studio much to work. I went in to tidy it and then started to insulate the walls as it gets rather cold in there in winter. I think that I benefit from this break as now I am refreshed and keen to get on with work. I thought I would get back to the owl.
I had the idea when I engraved it that a moon would be a good addition. A few nights ago, the moon was shining through broken clouds with a halo around it. This has stuck in my mind and I will try to recreate it. The foreground will be simple, with the owl perched on a post or stump.
I scanned the block last night so that I can post it. The block is not much more than an inch across - its quite detailed work. You can see the ink sketch I drew on the block. Click on the image to enlarge it.
I will keep you posted with progress reports.