The term has now entered our lexicon to mean: On the verge of defeat or collapse; hopeless or powerless.
And let me tell you, that working on this exercise has me literally and figuratively ON THE ROPES.
In my prior post about this exercise, I showed the copper I was preparing for this exercise.
Now, I am actually chasing the lines of the rope and it is not easy. To steal another boxing term - I want to throw the towel in on this. But I made a promise to myself that I would not only do this exercise but I would try to perfect my ability to do it. I could just walk away and leave that last blog post with no follow up and never ever do a rope border around my work. But noooo, I have challenged myself and I like to win; could I really walk away? [Well I could but that does not make me grow as an artist]
I am finding the first skill to master which is that line, that represents the twist of the rope fibers is *&#@!!! hard. It is not just a straight line at an angle across the (repousse) ridge that is the body of the rope. The start and end point have to be curved slightly to give the proper perspective of that twist.
The next part of the technique is to space them evenly. No, they don't have to be exactly spaced, a wee bit off will not be seen by the eye but if one is just enough too far or too close, your eye will be pulled to it because your brain has had the pattern it is seeing jarred. But wait, there is more. The distance between the twists in the rope should be aesthetically matched to the thickness of the rope.
So, starting at the bottom of the picture which was my attempt; I attempted to do all the technique at the same time: proper angle, distance apart, consistency of line. Go ahead, laugh because, even I admit it, it looks pretty bad. There is even one that I did not finish- oops make that two. The middle rope was even harder because I had a smaller rope body to work on, which forced me to find a smaller tool that would fit. Here you can see that the beginning and ends of the twists are more consistent and wow, my spacing is even better. Then lastly, the top rope! Good beginnings and endings. A few of the lines need some better transitions of the curves from right to left (I can do that when I am done with this post) and my spacing appears pretty even.
Next time, I will work on the rope circles. Stay tuned.