Loch Arkaig Animal Sculptures part 3: Wild Boar and Capercaillie

Sculptures 3 and 4 for the Loch Arkaig project are a wild boar and a capercaillie. The Wild Boar can be quite a sizeable beast and a solid frame was created from locally sourced driftwood. As soon as the delivery of driftwood and assorted pieces from Loch Arkaig arrived, I started adding these to the structure.

The wild boar has a very rugged look to it and I’m hoping to reflect this in the work as it develops. There were some excellent pieces among those sent down for me to work from, one of which I immediately used for part of the face and eye.

As the layers build up, I can begin on the more detailed work on the limbs and head of the animal. The head of the wild boar is quite distinctive and I intend to give this special attention later in the project but the animal is already starting to take shape.

The capercaillie was always going to be the most difficult of the four sculptures and needed some careful planning. I found this large gnarled root on the shore and could see enough it to use as a starting point. Roots obviously tend to go out in all directions so (with a bit of imagination!) I began cutting and shaping it to suggest the unusual shape of the capercaillie in full display.

The photographs illustrate how the bare root was used to support the frame for the tail features. Part of the Loch Arkaig delivery was several large lengths of splintered pine. I decided that I could cut these into suitable lengths and create the tail feathers display.

I’m still debating whether the finished capercaillie will need to be painted rather than just stained or darkened. For the time being I decided that it would benefit from a darkening of the tail feathers. This will also serve to remove any flaking pieces and begin the wood treatment.

For my next blog post I will be showing the development of one of the sculptures as I start on the more detailed work.

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