Up until now, I’ve been using a symmetric design for the phoenix, a holdover from the original weaving draft. That had to be symmetric because I had only 24 shafts to play with, and needed the symmetry to make a wider design on a point threading.
But since I’ve shifted to using surface design, symmetry is no longer necessary – and too much symmetry comes across as boring and rigid. So I decided to design an asymmetrical phoenix. Not easy since my drawing skills are rudimentary at best. (Not to mention my 3-D spatial visualization, which is awful.)
However, with patience and pigheaded determination, many things are possible. I started by sketching a few preliminary ideas:
Because of the very long aspect ratio, I thought two birds might fill the space better than one. But after seeing them, I decided I wanted to stick with a single phoenix – the two-ness of the birds bothered me, because now the “story” in the photo was about two birds and their interactions, rather than the single phoenix.
So I decided to work with the single bird. I felt the tail was still a bit boring, so I tried a sketch with two curves in the tail instead of one:
This looked much better, to me at least – it filled the space nicely, gave the impression of a flaming trail, and was more interesting than a single curve.
However, some things still needed tweaking. The tail didn’t feel realistic – parts of it were flat, parts three-dimensional. I wasn’t drawing things with enough three-dimensional awareness. And the body felt too short in comparison to the tail. Back to the drawing board for some minor changes:
This one I liked, so I put it into Photoshop to see how it would work in the simulated version:
This works!! I like it a lot, and will start carving some stencils today.
Compare it with the version I started with:
Not bad for a day’s work!
Meanwhile, feline paws have not been idle. Fritz, for example, has discovered the joy of window screens:
Tigress, on the other hand, seems to be mellowing out from her tear-around-the-house rambunctiousness. Here she is on the bed, showing off her regal beauty.