Monday, October 11, 2010

The Great Divid(er)

There are a number of tools that aren't specifically carving tools that have really helped me. Some can be made cheaply or for nothing. Some you might already have, bought for some other purpose. One very useful tool is the drafting divider. If you're a wood turner, you certainly have one or more of these. It's indispensable for transferring and repeating measurements from one thing to another. I like it for transferring proportions form a drawing to the carving blank(photo 1). One problem I still struggle with is getting the eyes right. Especially the locating the painted pupils. Whether you're trying to carve a caricature or an accurate life-like face, uneven or lopsided eyes will ruin an otherwise pleasant carving. One you decide how big the eye will be, use the divider to check that they are both the same. Once carved and ready to paint, use he divider to insure the pupils are both facing the same way and are the same on both eyes. Set the divider so the tips are at the corner of the eye, either right or left side (photo 2). Then use that setting to locate the center of the pupil (photo 3).
They points will indicate pupils at the same place for each eye.

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