Some thoughts on where I've been, as I contemplate where I'm going.
Deep Carving with Fine Detail
This series, started in December 2002, brought together some lessons learned from earlier Mucha work. The "coloring book" look is almost gone (see below), and the "bleeding" problem has disappeared. Contouring is improving (the arm looks better), but additional work remains in blasting the face (about 3/4 inch square on this version). Designs are improving, with more open space and shading to give the work a better appearance when not lit. I've decided I can't do Mucha's work literally; the glass carving has substantial restraints, but also a few additional tools that could be beneficially applied.
"Pensive Woman" Series
There's a more thorough critique of these pieces on the Texture page.
Inspired by watercolorist Steve Hanks, I've wondered if the gentle moods he uses could also be created in glass, without the benefit of soft colors and warm lighting. This piece will be the focus for first attempts at adding texture on top of deep carving, Initial test pieces look promising. Major rework underway to build textures in jeans and curtains, with realistic hair as a second resist over "cleared" head contour (she's a brunette).
This is the second attempt in the series. The body contours are working, and the sweater top has shading that conforms to the three dimensional shape. Much work remains.
Early Mucha Pieces
Probably the biggest "lessons learned" were a part of this effort. Much of Mucha's art is available without restriction from Dover Press, including the "Mucha Coloring Book" with simplified designs. My first attempt was to scan these images, and have Adobe Streamline convert them to vector format. This proved disastrous, with much more time spent on cleanup that it would have taken to draw/trace from scratch. I ended up redrawing the image in Illustrator. The piece has a lot of the "coloring book" look, with heavy outlines, and less dense "fill". I attempted some contoured fill on the arm, but the blasting strategy for the rest of the piece was incomplete.
Two pieces in glass so far, and many more planned: 1912 Pierce Arrow four cylinder, 1936 Harley Knucklehead. The Harley shows courage in trying to blast a complicated design, but not much thought in carving strategy. The figure should rise three dimensionally off the piece, but it does not. Many of the intersections "bleed", and the spokes show signs of jaggies from the inkjet I was using at the time. Shading on the motorcycle tires is inconsistent with the apparent light source. I'll redo this one, with a better blasting strategy.
Several pieces in glass, many requests for more: 1931 Chrysler Imperial Dual Cowl Phaeton. The Chrysler shown here has some "coloring book" aspects; the top might benefit from a very light texture. The chrome pieces could appear shiny, with application of the correct paint. Just a thought.
These are a kick to do. Especially building the three dimensional contours of the horse itself. One piece in glass, more planned. Next time, better blasting strategy. The deep carved sections need to better represent the actual horse. The tail should and can be more realistic, using a fine line second resist.
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