A beautiful week full of unicorns!
So stoked about this - I heart unicorns! My undergrad thesis project was creating a faux natural history exhibit on unicorns, and I'm still interested in them as fictional creatures whose role in myth and history is very real.
Evidence! from one of my favorite 15th century manuscripts, the Ortus (Hortus) Sanitatis, ca. 1485-1491.
|“Monceron,”Ortus Sanitatis, |
Mainz: Jacob Meydenbach, 23 June 1491Albert E. Lownes Collection of Significant Books in the History of Science,
John Hay Library, Brown University, http://library.brown.edu/create/unicornfound/monoceron-unicornus-and-rinocephalus/
*Fun factoid - okapis have long black tongues. For some reason, I find this very funny - imagining my unicorn with a startling, black tongue.
So early in the week, I focused on carving the head.
|9 x 12," linocut, on gray paper with added white and gold ink|
Holding it up to the maquette of the body...
|This body is too big....|
|This body is too small...|
|And yet the head is just right...|
(Reluctant) conclusion? While I tried to convince myself otherwise ("Oh, but the final version will be much more unified - it will all be one media [polyester lithography plates], and it will all be on the same toned grey paper, and I'll have an additional layer of added black and white paint to help unify it," etc.)
And that's all very logical, and true, but the (art) answer is still no, just no. [sigh. ;)]
...So, I carved a new block for the body
The issue is not only the scale, (which could be manipulated without carving new blocks), but that the the character of the marks doesn't match closely enough - there's not enough detail in the body for it to read as having the same texture at the head. I think the below comparison does a good job showing what I mean - the top image is the shoulder in the blown up version of the first block, the bottom image is the shoulder of the new version I carved this week. The first go round, I was mostly focusing on getting the correct anatomy, the light on the musculature, and the directionality and variation in size of the marks. The second time around, I tried to hold onto all those things and add more detail including the texture of the fur (- I decided that unicorn fur is slightly shaggier than normal horse fur, more like a Shetland pony :)).
In short, I re-carved the body this week: version 2
|9 x 12," linocut|
Then, at long last, I carved the horn, based on a narwhal tusk.
It was very satisfying collaging the horn on.
|the horn and head collaged together for the first time.|
|studio shot, including my small heard of horse models and the grassy carving pillow|
|wall view of the various unicorn parts|
And last, but not least, outside time! Spring is just around the corner.