Critique Request Not quite bulino I think?

Feb 20, 2022
Looks good
Thanks so much Marcus! I’m still struggling with getting a full range of value. I’ve been doing stuff like this for 25 years tattoing so there’s some crossover in making marks and building up values but obviously it’s apples and oranges.

So far as an engraver I’ve been making drawings to transfer that have as much detail as I dare, then starting at the bottom right and moving to the top left so I don’t disturb my transfer. I try hard to hit all my landmarks to nail down the proportions and commit to the darkest areas to establish the darkest values.

No matter how good I think it looks under the scope I’m finding that after cleaning with acetone and sometimes inking or “ink checking” with a sharpie and a quick thumb wipe, that the first pass Is always thin and underdeveloped.

So then I’ll go back in and use my reference drawing really intensely to build up midtones and reinforce dark areas that look weak to the naked eye.

I haven’t really attempted the photo-realistic effect that can be achieved popping out tiny chips to get an airbrush effect ‘one paint mist droplet’ at a time. I’d imagine that to do that I’d establish ‘shot patterns’ of dots representing a range of grays then make a sort of paint by numbers transfer with contour lines?

I’m also really interested in line styles, both tiny crosshatch in the interest of pure value, and what I think of as traditional engraving intaglio styles where contour lines are built up with thickness variation fading to dots- more like Doré or Durer. I’m a big admirer of Marty Rabino’s lined scenes on firearms- he even nails atmospheric perspective with far away figures that are more ghostly but still somehow fully formed.

Anyway, I’m blabbing here. The point is that my bulino is in infant stages and I’m trying to learn as much as possible, practically and conceptually. I’m definitely gonna try some small practice plates to try to learn stuff and not just continue to evolve my technique devaluing more $15,000 shotgun recievers.

I’d love it if anybody wanted to discuss any of this stuff- to critisize my piece and also to talk about your concepts of bulino and your personal evolution of producing game scenes, portraits, figurative work. Right now I’m coming at it like a pen and ink artist that can work under a scope- maybe my whole concept could be re-oriented to an engraving perspective.