Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Planning an Engraving "As You Go"

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. Posted by Picasa