Saturday, February 16, 2013

I decided to go to the master, Leonardo da Vinci, and get some TIPS from the great man!

Issue 40 Holiday 01

Proportion tricks

by Lets Talk Carving with Susan Alexander

No matter what you carve – proportions count. When a carving is unsuccessful, we know that something is wrong, but often have a difficult time deciding what is wrong. I’ve always marveled at how a great instructor or educator can quickly pinpoint exactly what needs to be corrected in a carving. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a caricature, stylistic, or realistic carving a good carver understands proportions.
I’m often asked by civilians (non-carvers), “You carve? …wood? … really? Uh … why?” Translation: “Why would you want to play with wood, sharp knives, band saws, sharpening systems, air filters, drill presses and sanders?”
I used to respond by saying, “Because I want to.” But, this last year, I took their question seriously and asked myself why I was carving – did I have a goal beyond the simple joy it brought me?
I discovered what I truly desired was to be able to successfully carve any subject that thrilled me (no matter how many years it might take.) I love wood and I love the challenge.
Issue 40 Holiday 01I bring this up, in conjunction with proportions, because since realizing my goal I found that I’m reading books in a different manner than I had previously read them.
I thought the carvings and sculptures in these books were so far beyond me that they had nothing to do with my carving efforts. That isn’t true. We can learn from everyone, especially those great artists who left us their notes.
Leonardo da Vinci left notes, diaries, and drawings. Let’s discover how we can use them.