This project was planned to have multiple images, sort of an eagle collage. Once my primary image is established the next step is to decide on the secondary image or images. In this case I also want to include an eagle in flight to go with the portrait. The large white area of the portrait is a perfect place to add a full image. The black of the eagle’s body will contrast nicely with the white backdrop. Here you can see how the second eagle is placed against the first.
As I work on this, I am reminded of the inherent difficulty of working on whale’s teeth. The curve of the tooth makes large images wrap around the tooth which can create perspective problems. It also makes it impossible to see the entire image as I work. With a little trial and error I was able to wrap the eagle’s wings around the bottom of the tooth without any distortion caused by the curve. This helps to create a more organic feel to the image on the tooth. Whenever possible I try to avoid creating images that look pasted on. I want it to look like it belongs there.
At this point I will continue to work on the two eagle images while trying to decide if the composition needs anything else. This is a good example of my normal process. I rarely start anything with a clear idea of how it’s going to look at the end. I prefer to just let it develop while I work on it.
3 Responses to My Scrimshaw Process Part 2
It's looking great Darrel! When you say "by trial and error, did you sketch the eagle's wings first or did you stipple them and then inspect as you went along?
Also when you've completed your work, would love to see a close-up of the eagle's eye - it's so well done!
Thank you for your comments. By "trial and error" I meant that I sketched the general shape of the wings first. Once I got the general shape in without distortion from the curve of the tooth, I began the stippling process. My usual process is to stipple a little and then inspect it. I know some scrimshanders who will nearly complete a piece before inking, but this doesn't work for me. I like to know what is happening along the way. This does have the issue of polishing some of the work off as you go along. I try and use this polishing effect to my advantage.
are you coming up to the Pasadena Knife show in March? good to see you in Vegas. Hope all went well for you over at the Cabot gun booth.
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