Monday, February 01, 2010

dragon scrimshaw pendant redone

Remember how I said I picked up my Chinese dragon pendant and looked at it under the microscope a couple weeks ago? And how surprised I was by what I saw? The dragon was originally done when I was working in my neighbor's barn, hoofing it across the field every day with a bag full of supplies. I knew that people were using colored drawings inks for color scrim, but I wanted to blaze my own trail and was determined to use etching ink. I'm stubborn like that. It didn't work out as planned. Mind you, it had turned out cool even then, but I didn't have the technique down like I do now, so I didn't get the real saturated color, plus trying to "layer" the etching ink was #$%& hard and I lost a lot of detail in the process.

I've come a long way, baby. ;-)

This is how it looked upon completion in the fall of 2007:


It was kind of a dilemma, figuring out what to do, but unlike some of the early B/W stuff (which is fine) this color piece wasn't up to snuff. If I'd felt anything was unsatisfactory about the composition or design, I would have simply kept it, but that wasn't the problem. So even though it represented my first color piece, I decided to rework it and bring it up to my current standards, therefore keeping it on the market. You know how sometimes you watch old movies that have been "restored to the artist's original vision?" Well that's how this is. This is what I meant for it to look like when I originally scrimmed it, I just didn't know how to do it back then. ;-) Since the original was done with a different type of ink, I ended up really scrimming it quite deeply to remove all the old ink. You'll see...

First I redid all the black areas. Of course this made everything very very dark! That's okay.

Because then I really dug into it and removed all the old red etching ink.

And re-inked it with liquid drawing ink, sealed with microcrystalline wax.

And then I finished up the belly and face and here it is all finished!