Thursday, February 12, 2015

Buffalo Skulls

Over the past couple of days I've been working on a larger Buffalo skull to go along with the figure I'm doing.  While using reference photos from the net I finally gave into bringing over the skull I have mounted in the Gallery to work from.  Nothing beats the actual article as a go-by.  ("Go-by"....I hate that word.  Why can't we just say "reference"?  It sounds much more intelligent and professional! )  Anyway, to show the difference from using mostly photos as a reference over the actual article take a close look at the two skulls. .  Notice the placement of the horns and the curvature of the facial plates. Quite a difference.  I still have to make a correction after mounting the horns as while correct in themselves they are just to massive to match the skull.  That should be an easy fix.  Once this is done I should have a fairly correct copy to go along with the figure.  Even though the complete result might be a caricature, the details associated with the figure will make it that much more authentic. and carry the theme I'm trying to express.

So, if I could give anyone some advice it would be to stop and take a moment to find out as much about what you're trying to accomplish as you can.  For myself, I'm always on the lookout for more "reference" matter no matter where I am.  Today, almost all of us have the ability to whip out our cellphones and snap a photo. When in a museum the first question I ask is can I take photos.  If that's not allowed I have a small sketch pad handy to record something of interest.  Unfortunately, too many of us casually "go-by" so many things that could have a direct and positive affect on what we're trying to accomplish.   (There's that word again!  I hereby banish it from this blog!)


  1. I agree about reference, it is critical. It is also fun to learn about your subject, I enjoy that as much as the carving.

  2. I, too, have a deep, philosophical aversion to the use of "that offensive expression" used by fellow carvers and go out of my way not to use it myself.

    However, in your defense, your second reference (the one in quotes) to "that offensive expression", you used it as a normal English expression, as in "to walk past". Although an identical phrase, syntactically, the usage is different and therefore can be excused in this instance.

    So, I only see one reference to "the offensive expression" where you excused yourself for having used it. In my deeply considered opinion, you have suitably atoned for your transgression.

    Consider it banished! :-)

  3. ...and Oh, yes...I got carried away with that last bit. Great job on the skull!

    One of the carvers at the local club did a full-sized carving of a Roadrunner in a diorama where she included a full-sized cattle skull. The skull was so realistic that I couldn't believe it was a carving until I went up and thumped it.

    I'm guessing that yours is much smaller than hers but it looks every bit as real!