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Old 07-21-2008, 03:58 PM
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KatherinePlumer KatherinePlumer is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oak Run, California
Posts: 233
Default Re: Katherine's Contest Submission (Scrimshaw woo hoo!)

And then of course the real question came up, what should I do? :thinking: It's not a commissioned piece, so that left it pretty open ended. I am making this scrim as a submission to an art show, so I needed to stick with the western or wildlife theme (which is good, since that's my kind of art anyway!).

I kicked around a bunch of ideas, talked to a friend who had some great suggestions (this is actually one of them) and worked up a whole page of "long skinny" sketches that would fit on this 1.5 x 4.75" piece of micarta. I won't show you that because I don't want to divulge all of my future projects!

So I settled on bear cubs. Now, lacking bears here in Wilton (that's probably a good thing) I couldn't very well walk outside and shoot my own reference photos (unlike chickens, on the other hand). So I had to do some old fashioned research and look at oodles of pictures on line, read all sorts of information, find out everything I could about their physiology, habitat, etc.

Here's some research and preliminary sketches:

I couldn't quite figure out what technique I wanted to use for this... all stippling (dots) or maybe some lines too? Lines certainly are quicker, but I wasn't sure it would produce the look I was going for. So I did a little practice and made a bear cub pendant, and in the process decided that although this is cute and little incised lines do convey "fuzzy" it was a little wire-haired looking for what I wanted, so for the final piece I'll stick with dots. Good to know!

You'll see in the "research" pic above that I have the two cubs on the tree drawn out on an 8.5x11 sheet of paper. I scanned this, shrunk it down to the actual size of the micarta, and went ahead and "colored it in" with graphite, including a rough background.

This is what I will consider my reference piece, as far as how the shading is going to look. The background, though pretty sketchy here, is based on some photos I took way up in northern CA (yes, bear country) but having spent a bunch of time last month in Idaho/Wyoming/Montana (OMG loved it!!!) I am going to change the mountains a little bit to more resemble that part of the country. And I did see bears while I was there! Saw a bear and two cubs while trail riding in Grand Teton National Park. Cool! My photos came out terrible though, so good thing I wasn't counting on that!