Thursday, January 9, 2014

Reading Glasses, Collars and Hames

From a web guide to horse-harness parts

It's the Year of the Horse in 2014
and horses are what I've been doodling, and thinking about for a couple of weeks now.
One of my secret dreams would be to farm with draft horses.
So I pulled out my back issues of the "Small Farmers' Journal" for reference photos and drawings.
The one I've chosen for my print is of no particular breed but has the thick neck and blunt nose common in many of the world's working-horse breeds.

I'm making use of a small piece of boxwood I've been itching to try out (see my "woodlust" post from last year) and as it's a smallish piece just 4.5" x 6" in size my print will be be only a little bigger than this.

Small means slow going. I have to carve slowly--with magnification--since the drawing will be essential in the final print; This particular boxwood is softer than I thought it would be but is holding detail pretty well although I'm not cutting the lines as thinly as they're drawn as I haven't been carving in a while and I'm feeling rusty. I've discovered if I use two sets of reading glasses I can bump up the overall magnification and it's working well except for the fact that they keep sliding off my nose.

Two mornings of work and I'm about 1/3 done with the keyblock.
The round pupil has to go however. I added it as I was carving out the iris but it's wrong. Horses have horizontal, elongated pupils and this one makes it look possessed.


  1. Looks very promising Andrew! I'm enjoying watching you develop this. I hate getting the eyes wrong - is so easy to make errors with eyes and eyes are the soul of all beasts! However, I think the eye works on your block.

  2. Thanks, Lisa. The keyblock is 99%? done. I have one more edge to clear and a small repair to re-cut and then I can proof it. I still have only a vague idea of how I want to do the colors so they'll be a bit of a slow down before I ramp up again. I'll try to post a decent photo of the completed keyblock tomorrow.