Monday, September 5, 2011

Comic Book Art to Simplify Carving Humans

If you carve any kind of human form, whether it be realistic, semi-realistic or caricature you will eventually have to carve hands and , assuming your figure is clothed, cloth folds and wrinkles. I mention these two things specifically because they are the two things I have fold most challenging. Not so much with regard to being able to actually carve these things, but to be able to visualize them.  Both hands and fabric folds change drastically with even the slightest change in body position and gesture, so there is no way to just memorize a few techniques like you can with ears or noses. Even if you use the simplest couple of v-cuts to indicate folds, you still need to know where to put them and which direction they go. If you carve mostly Santas, you can actually get away with all your hands being mittens. But eventually, you need to learn about how to make fingers. The only way to learn to carve any part of a human is to study it and use some reference photos or drawings. I have found that all but the most realistic carvings are more like simple comic book art that photos. Check out these two videos by comic book artist Mark Crilley: How to Draw Clothing Wrinkles and Folds and How to Draw Hands, Two Ways. They are very simple and clear tutorials that might help us to better sketch and then carve hands and fabric folds. There are other videos and art blogs that show similar techniques and can further help us to understand how to visualize details we need for better carvings. I hope they are as useful to you as they are to me.

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