I slowly seem to be getting closer to something that looks feminine, and hopefully pretty. I did remove the bulge from the forehead that some noticed and I also narrowed the forehead and cheek area.
The eyes seemed a little flat, so I made them more curved by gouging deeper into the socket on each side of the eye. I shaped the nose a bit more and added nostrils, which helps define the ball of the nose.
She is starting to have a nice look since I have got things a little more symetrical. I messed with the hair quite a bit, trying to get something smooth and wind-swept in appearance. It seems to look better, to me, when it is more stylized and simple, rather than detailed. I have to restrain myself from adding hairs, since I love doing the details on birds and other carvings!
I use a variety of #11s and #9s to shape the hair and then I hand sand it and use little drum sanders to get a smoothe flow to it. I like the effect I can get with the little bristle sanders in softening the carved edges of the hair; it really seems to give a flowing smoothness, a more finished look that I like, especially on realistic faces.
I think I can work on the neck and shoulders a bit more now, if I can avoid the temptation to keep working on the face. I need to look at it a bit more before I start seeing imaginary improvements that I should do. I try to my best on carvings, but I don’t want to agonize obsessively over every detail and never actually finish….theres always another carving just waiting for me to finish this one! Thanks for looking!
-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mikepounders.weebly.com