Thursday, 17 April 2008

Distilling dragonfly wings.

I spent a few days this week drawing, and redrawing, countless times, the veins that make up the very characteristic patterns on dragonfly wings. What I was trying to do was create a slightly simplified pattern which still retained enough detail so as to appear natural. So by studying them in such close detail I wanted to understand the logic to their structure. At this point I reckon I could draw convincing wings from memory!

My problem was basically, "how do I engrave this crazy and complex arrangement" and still keep some sort of order without it becoming too contrived. I am rather happy with my "solution" but you'll have to wait until the whole project is done before you get to see the full effect. So will I for that matter...but there are a few hints in the images.


Fred Zweig said...


Thank you for sharing this personal experience with us. It is wonderful to be able to see the thought process and resulting progress.


Ford Hallam said...

Thanks Fred,

I glad you're finding my little expose interesting...despite being a bit drawn out ;-), the next one will be a lot quicker though.

regards, Ford

Anonymous said...

I am very, very curious about the next steps.
No more Mother of Pearl? And what with the very nice chissel marks between the lines, they ad a lot at this stage. But there is sanding to do outside the wing.
And the lines. Wire? Urushi? Enamel? Ah, wires and enamel. Sounds nice but can it be done?
(Enamel doesn't sound like Ford H.)

I'm in the dark (and I like it!)

Greetings, Leon

Ford Hallam said...

Hi Leon,

just me experimenting as I go. The engraving is all gone now as the recesses to take the mother of pearl are being cut.

These wings will be like stained glass windows...I hope;-) with the veins finely engraved and filled with urushi. It's moving along now...I'll post some more images in a day or two.

regards, Ford