Critique Request Finished Spyderco Bulino style shading

Mar 9, 2023
San Francisco Bay Area, California
Not great photos but wanted to share the finished product.
I’m feeling like I’m starting to get ahold of “Bulino” shading. While I think I’m still stippling rather than actually removing the metal from the dots like true bulino style I think it’s quite effective in achieving smooth transitions and getting a somewhat realistic feel.
Any advice or constructive criticism is always welcome, thanks for looking.


  • D639BA92-7F59-44CA-8F08-75BD49CF1382.jpeg
    191.5 KB · Views: 172
  • 58C7BA38-92E4-422D-8A94-72C2A998C8F3.jpeg
    207.3 KB · Views: 175
  • 956F246A-F3FD-4FF0-81B5-205F6A78D8D4.jpeg
    222.8 KB · Views: 169
Feb 20, 2022
It’d be easy to say amazing or great job- it’s a gorgeous piece. I am not yet capable of this level of work in metal!

I’d like to offer constructive criticism as someone willing to share what I see, not to cut you down or take away from your talent or hard work.

Scattered thoughts: The most successful part of the bulino work to me is your ability to capture the textures of the fur. The overall composition is nice. The scroll work at the top is not as well composed or interesting as in the middle and bottom. The overall theme is nice, expressed well, and begins to tell a story which is awesome. It’s also interesting that the juxtaposed images have to relate without being in the same scene which can let the viewer bring their own story to the work- courage and warlike fierceness, or perhaps a biblical overtone.

I think if there’s one thing that could push you to the next level it would be to try to use the full range of value a little more. You can see this in the eyes- the blackest blacks are right next to the intensity of the smooth inlays, bringing incredible drama to them. I think pushing the soft grays a touch darker and using the darker values a little more around the face could give the whole piece more depth, without taking from the piercing eyes or depths of the maw you already have going.

I’ve only attempted one bulino scene so far and I can say that I’d be pretty darn happy if my next one came anywhere close to this one!