Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Symmetry in Carving

When carving "in-the-round" one tries to achieve symmetry.  What this means is that one side of the carving is the same as its opposite side.  Or, simply the right ear should be at the same level as the left ear.  Same goes for the the eyes, and the eye brows, and the sides of the nose.

Most carvers sketch out the parts of the carving on the wood before carving them.

Notice that in this sketch the right side of the face is about the same as the left side.  This is an example of symmetry.  The sketch lines of this Santa represent where Stop Cuts will be made to define the various parts of Santa's face.

To complicate the process of achieving symmetry when carving the Santa face we often times cut off these sketched lines when starting the carving.  When this happens we are usually instructed to redraw the sketch lines.

I have found it more helpful to make my roughing in first cuts on one side of the face first.  When doing this I don't have to redraw the sketch lines they are still there, and in symmetry.
That's why some of my Santa's have one eye higher than the other.

This is what happens when I rough in the complete face (BOTH SIDES AT THE SAME TIME).  I first isolate the hat and create the forehead and eye area.  Next I do the sides of the nose, which is no problem. BUT, I HAVE REMOVED THE IMPORTANT SKETCH LINES.  However, unless I resketch the top of the nose and the top of the eyes in symmetry, I run the risk of making stop cuts that are not the same on each side of the face.  And I ALWAYS think I can do it with out resketching the lines.  I seldom can!

Try roughing in one side first while leaving the sketch lines intact on the opposite side, then do the "other" side.  If you don't, you probably should resketch this other side to match the first side you roughed in.

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