Originally, I was going to show two swifts in the foreground as this rough sketch shows.
At this point, I decided to use a naturally round piece of boxwood and shaded the sketch in pencil to explore this idea:
Here is the block, darkened with diluted pen ink and ready to start to mark up the design in reverse:
I decided to make a record of the engraving of this block and so can show how it developed from the first ink drawing to the point that I could pull the first proof in the press:
I felt that the second swift was pulling the image apart and so replaced it with three smaller swifts in the distance, flying in the opposite direction:
I proofed the block in the smaller 1865 Albion handpress:
I was very pleased with the first proof (State I) and went about making small adjustments and taking further proofs. Here I am checking State III and making the final changes
I was very pleased with State IV and decided that nothing else needed to be done.
Here is the finished engraving which will be published in an edition of 125, printed from the original block. It is available HERE. During the month of October 2012, it will be offered for a special price.