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  • Critique this please.

    I'm working on this piece of oak to learn more about carving faces and in particular eyes. Rather than the regular 'atta boy' responses, I'd like to hear some genuinely constructive criticism.

    What you cannot see is that the profile is not what it should be even though I once went back and cut it much deeper.

    Note that before cutting eyes and nose, this was done primarily with a chainsaw. It's 24" x 12" x 5"

    What can I do to improve what I've got here?


  • #2
    Re: Critique this please.

    hi twoclones, i dont do chainsaw carvings, but i can give some general insight on carving faces, as you asked for...
    first, i like the shape of head, the cheekbones, the mouth and moustache, and i like the way you solved the hair problem. nicely creative, i like the bold strong look ...
    i think two things need improvement on the next carving. the first is proportion, that means for example the eyes are located too high, the mouth is located too low. in a generic face the eyes are about on the horizontal centerline through the head, if you put them about there, your head will immediately look right, nomatter if other things are correct or not. that is, since we all perceive the eyes as the most important part of the head. therefore correct placement of them, makes us feel good when viewing the carving... of course, you always can play with the placement, put them higher or lower for a desired effect. its not a strict rule, but one that makes viewer perceive a head as nice and believable...
    the other i want mention, and since you asked for, is the eyes themselves. i like the way you cut them, but i would try to make them more round in depth. we cant see the sideview, but i guess the eyes look rather flat from side. you need to think of eyes as being spheres (which they are) sitting mostly inside head, and covered by the skin of the eyelids. so what you see from the eye is a strongly curved part of the sphere, and you want put that in your carving to make believable eyes. how to get this ? the way to do is to cut the area where you have carved the corners of the eyes much deeper, so that you get that strongly curved hill where the eyes should go, and then carve on this hill the eyes as you have done. you will see, you did essentially right, only you started on too flat area... whoops got lengthy post, but i hope i did say something what might help you...a good carving already, on a difficult to carve wood (i cant carve oak, i tried) ... keep going :-)

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Critique this please.

      You asked!

      Nose-too flat and long. The proper proportion for the nose is 2 eyewidths long. I have the same problem at times.

      Eyes-look like they might fall off of his head. To me they need to be pushed back into the eye socket and they need more bags below the eye.

      I'll try to post more later. (suggestions, that is)

      Scott

      Comment


      • #4
        Good info

        This is the kind of feedback I was hoping for...
        I knew the nose was too long. My excuse is that I usually carve this face on walking sticks and long looks good on a long stick. Shifting gears isnt' always easy.

        As for the eyes, I've added a profile image here. Should I and can I push that eye back deeper and improve the carving?


        Comment


        • #5
          Oak can be easy

          Originally posted by doris
          hi twoclones, i dont do chainsaw carvings,,,

          ...a good carving already, on a difficult to carve wood (i cant carve oak, i tried) ... keep going :-)
          I think that on a carving of this size, it really makes sense to use a chainsaw to remove unwanted wood. For anyone making larger carvings, learning to use a chainsaw might be a good idea since it can be used for cuts which a bandsaw could never make.

          Oak is pretty easy to carve when wet. This particular piece is offald from a chainsaw carving of a beaver. The tree was 'stumped' a couple of months ago but this piece was removed only about 2 weeks ago. In a few months it will be more like carving stone.

          I hope you'll find a freshly cut piece of oak and give that a try because it's a beautiful wood.

          No photo of the beaver yet but this eagle is of a different oak tree on the same property. Slightly over 2 meters tall.
          http://woodhacker.com/eagle-1.html

          Butch

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Critique this please.

            I know you didn't want to hear it but that's a fine carving. Now, if you wanted to change the style of the carving...here's my feedback from what I've been critiqued on and learned.
            You've got feedback on the nose already.
            I'd consider giving him more forehead next time. If you look in mirror, you'll note where the eyes are in relation to the top of the head.
            In the some general area, you could angle the sides of the head to give him more of a temple. Further down, there should be a slight indent on the outside of the eye area which helps form the cheek bone.
            Speaking of cheek bone, you have them more on the surface and front of the face. Place the cheek bone high and to the outside of the face.
            As for the eyes, your profile shot helps. You have lots of wood to move the eye ball into the socket. From the photo, I would just remove the eye altogether and redo your mound (rounding the wood) again.
            Try using a large gouge on the mustache next time to make some wavy creases, then use your V tool. It gives a more realistic look to the whiskers.
            Hopes this helps.
            Patrick

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Critique this please.

              hey thanks on the encouragement for carving oak, i will some day again try :-) ... as for the eyes, yes your second image shows they are too flat. the corners need go much deeper. maybe patricks idea is best, to remove the eyes you have completely, and the recarve the eye mound, and then put the eyes.....

              Comment


              • #8
                Little off here, little off there...

                Does this feel like remote control carving for anyone yet?
                Trying to take everyone's advice to heart, I made his face nearly 2 inches wider, extended the forehead, removed most of the eyes and formed new ones, split open the mustache and moved the lip back. Also deepened the bridge of nose, moved the cheek bones toward outer edge, extended the cheek downward by removing hair and deepened the separation between certain locks of hair.

                Still seeking constructive criticism Smile



                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Critique this please.

                  Hey Two Clones.... my first comment is to get over your insecurity problem! My vote goes with Patrick except I'd make no comment at all. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Personally I think that the art of the likes of Salvador Dali and Pable Picasso sucks but as we both no there are million of folks are there who would differ with me. I happen to like your spirit and it doesn't matter what we think... it only matters what you think! In this particular case perhaps the eyes could be more bolden but then again perhaps not! Keep up the great work!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Critique this please.

                    Wow. That was cool. I enjoyed seeing the transformation. If it weren't for the hair, I would think that was a different piece of wood.
                    Interesting.
                    I like it very much by the way...and, you're getting some really good advice on how to further challenge yourself.
                    thor
                    Steve

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Critique this please.

                      That's quite a change from your first carving you showed us. He sort of has a Jamican thing going on now with the large dreadlocks. Once you put the eyes in I'd say your pretty well finished. Well done.
                      Patrick

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Critique this please.

                        I like the progress so far with the reshaping of the eyes. There is a picture of a side view of an eye in my tutorial on eyes. I tried to repost it here but alas, the infernal machine won't let me. I can't figure out how to rename it to make it work.

                        Try not to let the bottom eyelid get too low on the eye mound, it will look like he is eternally surprised. I don't know if the ugly guy in the pic will be much help. If you look at the dark circles around my eyes it will give you an idea of how low on the face the eye bags go. The mirror can be your friend.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Critique this please.

                          yes, these eyemounds look fine, i think you maybe could go even more touch deeper at the corners, but cant tell realy from the fotos. they really need look round, not a hint flat... trust your instinct here...then put the eyes. nice going. wonderful change in the carving

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Critique this please.

                            Butch, First of all I think it's a good carving, the only thing I see is if you look at a side view of your first carving where the forehead, nose & eyes are height wise to each other, now go to your second & then study a family member I think you will see your answer. Hope it helps. Have fun! Were all learning. Brian D

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Nearly completed

                              I agree that it's about time to wrap this oak-face up and seal it with something nice. What I immediately noticed in Scott's photo is his eye's iris is coalesced with both the top and bottom lid. I hadn't made note of that before but will from now on.

                              I tried comparing the carving profile with the profile of family members but it wasn't much help since all of my family members are wood carvings. Wink

                              What I see is that next time I need to start by going much deeper when cutting that initial line from the tip to the bridge of the nose. I'm thinking this would help to get other details right on the first try as well. Today I'll carve the eyes, clean up some lines and hollow the back to reduce the weight for hanging on a wall. At the moment, he weighs 25#.

                              Butch
                              Great Heron @ http://www.woodhacker.com/heron-1.html

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