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  • #31
    In my opinion, as far as background is concerned, if you get too busy and pronounced it will distract from the focal point, i.e., the portrait itself. I would go for a subtle, random texture that would tend to recede, allowing the principal part to stand out.

    Also, I would shorten the bust so that it did not extend further down than the beard to give the figure more balance (which seems to agree with the original)...as it is, to me, it looks like it's ready to do a face plant.
    Arthur

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    • #32
      I respectfully disagree. I believe that the squiggles are there for a reason - to draw focus away from the portrait. That aides in the trompe d' oy (I can't spell it, sorry) effect that gives the viewer that pleasurable "aha" feeling once they all of a sudden see the portrait. And once you have said "aha" you will always see the portrait anyway. One of Escher's skills is that he knows how to use subtle distraction so I agree they should not be too prominent.

      Food for thought and a not so easy decision as to how to render the desired effect.
      HonketyHank toot toot

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      • #33
        I think the background wants to be subtle and of a nature makes the subject seem to project from the background. probably a dark matt finish.

        Not sure how to achieve that though. Perhaps relatively fine cut scroll pattern that sort of blends into the background rather that becoming a focus point. Just enough to give a bit of texture without being eye catching.

        If you look at the original photo next to the carving the original has an almost 3D quality to it that the background is enhancing. I think it would look good to retain that feature.
        Last edited by Glenn Jennings; 03-08-2021, 04:10 PM.

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        • #34
          I really appreciate the suggestions of WCI friends on this carving. I'm still wrestling with how to do the background. With any carving we have to consider how it will be viewed. Escher designed many of his graphics to catch the attention or curiosity of the viewer. Often they are puzzled about what the image shows. When it finally dawns on them, they are amazed by the illusions. Most of his graphics are seen as illustrations in books, posters, or T-shirts. When we convert these to wall decorations or relief carvings on furniture or boxes, the situation for viewers changes - - a lot. I spend a lot of my time thinking how the piece will be displayed. How close will the viewer be to the carving? Will it be necessary for the viewer to move closer to grasp the meaning of the design?

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          • #35
            You'll notice in the original that the shoulder & coat lapel of the man are dark. I have made those part of the basswood overlay, so now I plan to shave them down and stain them to match the walnut background. I'm beginning to sketch in the details of grooves, swirls, etc. I may even put back some version of the background squiggles.

            P5d.jpg

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            • #36
              I still see the walnut as smooth and reflective, a distraction from the carving.
              I still think that a textured surface (a #5 sweep) would eliminate the distraction
              without losing the dark color contrast.
              Brian T

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              • #37
                I noted that you used a veriety of ways to frame your relief carvings with back boards or by what appeard to a stained borders. The backboard or frame you choose for this will emphasize the swirl and groves or what ever texture you chose and give the visual layers you offer in much of your work.
                We live in the land of the free because of the brave!

                https://www.pinterest.com/carvingbarn0363/

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                • #38
                  Looking good so far Pallin.

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                  • #39
                    I'm currently shaving the shoulder & lapel down to about 1/4" thick - maybe even tapering into the walnut. So, the relief of the body may extend into the walnut and to the lower edge. The texturing of the background would then be the area outside the man's bust. Will the walnut stain blend the shoulder & lapel into the background, or must they be carved off entirely?

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                    • #40
                      Hi Pallin
                      Man you take tricky to a whole new level hehe. I think If you take it down into the walnut and you don't like how it looks then there is a big problem in getting the head to look right. I think it would have the risk of looking a bit unbalanced and it would be a hard fix I think.

                      This might not be the look you are going for, is just a thought.

                      One way to give the piece more perception of depth might be to make a frame where the walnut is level with top edge of the frame with the white wood standing proud of the frame. The frame itself could taper away an inch or so so the whole piece looks raised. If the Panel was cropped so that the shoulder was in the corner of the frame it would look almost like he was coming out of the frame. The 3d effect might be enhanced by cutting down into the walnut a 1/4 inch or so all around the edge of the head maybe even with a slight undercut of the white wood . I think this would give a lot of depth to the head and really make the head stand out from the background. If I've got this entirely wrong don't be afraid to say so, Was just a thought that I got from looking at Joe's pieces. He gets a lot of depth to some of his pieces.

                      Take a look at the attached photo and see what you think. I think the shoulder looks that close you want to reach out and touch it.
                      Attached Files
                      Last edited by Glenn Jennings; 03-19-2021, 04:24 AM.

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                      • #41
                        Thanks Glenn, you have obviously given some thought to the solution. These conversions of Escher woodcuts to relief carvings often present special problems. Escher sometimes left large areas of darkness rather than fill them with detail. It seems the solutions come to me during periods of REM sleep, when they pop up unexpectedly.

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                        • #42
                          As I started defining the curly lines, it became apparent that I needed more variation in the depth and the edges of the head could taper off more to the background.

                          P6a.jpg

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                          • #43
                            Hi Pallin
                            Looks like your getting back intoteh 3D look again. Watching with much interest. good luck!!!!

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                            • #44
                              I'm beginning to carve the grooves in his head, as on his forehead. The basswood is pretty dry, making the fine crossgrain grooves a little delicate. If necessary I shave them off and re-carve them deeper & beefier. The grooves have no relationship to wrinkles or natural patterns in the face or hair.

                              P6a.jpg

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                              • #45
                                Hi Phil, very Precise Cuts and no doubt in my Mind how it will turn out . Still watching an Interesting Project . Merle

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