I was a little disappointed once I had finished sanding the carving. Even after vigourous sanding, there were obvious knife marks where I had cut too deeply. I was really upset about how it looked. Then, the yellow coat of paint was applied and it looked at least as bad if not worse.
Then, I added the spots and suddenly, it looks great!
Again, this is not a real cheetah in the picture. It is a real snake so you can imagine a cheetah v python battle if you want.
And two closeups.
There are some glaring problems and errors - well, glaring to me. Two pieces of easily shared advice I learned from carvers are 1) when carving with a blade, you always cut too deeply (the alternative is using a grinding tool) and 2) when showing your work, don't mention the errors or mistakes. If you, the observer, can't see them,I'm not telling you what they are. They stand out to me because I have held, cut, sanded and, yes, caressed, every bit of this carving and know it better than anyone else.
That said, many of the other carvers offered compliments, and advice. One gentleman, as soon as he saw it, said, "It's too yellow!" I was a little pissed off but the man who had lent me the paint accepted the criticism and remarked that that was all the paint we had to use. I saw I was a little too thin skinned on the subject and so learned another lesson.
Well done, Brian. Looks great! And yeah, why focus on the imperfections? Where there was once a simple block of wood, now there is, unmistakeably, a CHEETAH.
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