I will be starting page 3 as I begin the actual carving of the features.
While there is not much to see at this point, this is actually the most important step in creating a believable caricature. When the roughing is complete, I should be able to place it 12 feet away and have it be recognizable as a hobo sitting with a dog between his legs. That is before any real carving has been done or details applied.
Why is this so important?
If the framework of a carving does not project your original idea to viewers at a distance, the finest eyes, fingers, ears, or even installed nose hairs will not help it. It must be visually pleasing from 6 - 12 feet away before the first detail is added.
Now, where are those doggone elbows?
Added January 29, 2005
I am continuing to rough the carving into a blank that better describes the location of arms, legs, dog, and head. This is a rather slow process for me; my carving time is limited due to work and business demands.
Added February 1, 2005
Continuing to remove excess wood to find the arms and legs.
At this time, I probably have 2 hours of carving into the piece.
Added February 3, 2005
I have everything located except the elbows.
They will be straight down from the shoulders and resting on the legs.
The location of the elbows is controlled by the carvings width.
The wrists have a set location since the hands are holding the stick.
Added February 6, 2005
The elbows continue to elude me; they will turn up eventually.
This is my progress to date, the dark lines are the original markings.
The pencil lines are simply reference at this point; they change often.
Making of a self-made man Page 2
This is where the real carving begins; on the first page I demonstrated
the process from concept to layout for roughing.
I use an Automach reciprocating carver to remove the large amount of waste.
The roughing process took about three minutes to complete.
As you can see, it is important to draw your lines to enclose the pattern.
This allows quick roughing without concern that you might damage the carving.
This preliminary roughing is basically flat or 2D (but not perpendicular) cuts front to back.
[To answer a question that was asked: "Why not just bandsaw the front view"
There are two reasons; first it would require drawing a front view that matched the side view point-for-point. Secondly if you look at the roughing outlines for the front and back views, you will see they are different.
A bandsaw cuts perpendicular to a surface; while I needed to cut at various angles.]
The centerline while important for reference, is normally not used to center the features. This carving is an exception to that rule; normally you would not want the nose on the centerline. In this case both the dog and hobo will be staring directly ahead at the cooking sausage.
Now I refine the roughed out carving to a 3D blank; this involves removing waste to mainly define the hat, arms, legs, and head. This is also the point where I begin rounding the back corners.
Before I make any rounding cuts, I will smooth the sides a little so I can draw in guide lines for the arms and legs. Once a carving is rounded from the original 2D pattern, you lose much of your reference and layout becomes more difficult.
A Few Carving tips relevant to this point in the process
Added January 28, 2005
When creating any human figure carving; especially a complex carving, it is vital that the joints be located early in the process. If you know the location of the hip and ankle joint, the knee is easily located by dividing the total distance between those joints in half. The same holds true for the shoulder and wrist joints when locating the elbow.
Once those joints are identified, a straight line may be drawn between them; representing the bones. From those straight lines, we can draw in the arms and legs.
Feet are fairly simple; what ever the figure height dimension is in inches, divide that by 6 and the result is the length of the foot in inches. I normally increase the length slightly since we are working in caricature. A carving created using actual human dimensions will look out of proportion when carving caricature.
This holds true for other parts of the caricature as well; an anatomically correct head will seem quite small on a caricature. I do not subscribe to the notion that all heads and hands should be carved twice the actual size. A hand should reach from the chin to the hairline on a real person. Many carvers, based on this standard believe the hands need to match the large head. This creates the visual effect of baseball gloves on tiny arms; not a pretty picture.
Front View-centerline is still visible, extra wood is left for the ears. The hat crown determines (somewhat) the size of the head. There is still plenty of "dog"wood.
Back View-original centerline is still in place. I decided to have the rock clearly visible in the side and rear views.
The back is well-rounded and more will be done when I am carving the jacket.
Top View-centerline is still visible.
The hat brim has excess for shaping during the carving process.
Angled View- my attempts at locating the elbow is visible. Also the centerlines or bones of the legs are drawn in.
Side View- shows the material left for the hair and the profile of the rock.
You can probably see the situation with the elbows in these two views.