LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Starting out

Several people made some nice comments about some ornaments I posted and there seemed to be a little interest in a mini-tutorial on how to carve them. Santas are pretty easy to carve, since everyone has some familiarity with the subject and Santa is easy to recognize with just a few key features. This style is particularly easy to make since the eyes are covered. A carver named Don Worley may have invented this style, called "no-see-ums", but I just make them up without following a particular pattern or anything.

The main two requirements are a piece of wood and something sharp! This is a piece of basswood 3/4"x3/4" by about 3 1/4" long. The knife I'm using is a fixed blade utility knife. Why? Well, it's cheap, it's razor sharp, and you just replace the blade to make it sharp again! Actually I strop it like any other knife and seldom swap blades. But it is comfortable in the hand and the thin flexible blade is great for carving. Use only the kind with the fixed blade… no retractable, lock-back, or snap-off blades! Feel free to substitute your own weapon of choice. I also highly recommend that you use a carving glove and a thumb protector, since you'll be holding this tiny piece of wood in your hand and hacking away at it with a razor sharp blade. This particular glove is made of kevlar ($10) and has little rubber dots, the better to grip the wood. Note that this primarily provides protection from slashing cuts and that most sharp pointy things will stab between the mesh! So it is not wise to make cuts that involve pushing sharp pointy things toward the glove. Try to think about where the blade will be moving when you make cuts and don't force things! You can purchase thumb guards or you can make one by cutting fingers off old leather gloves and wrapping them with safety tape (Bantex $2 per roll). The tape protects the thumb guard (and your thumb) from being cut to pieces. Duct tape or electrical tape could be used, but is a little more difficult to replace.

Textile Headgear Glove Electric blue Pattern


So now you need to draw a little Santa face on your wood. Use one of the corners as the center-line for the nose and the face. Carving on the corner like this helps you get the nose to easily stand out from the face. Try to maintain the symmetry on the nose, cheeks, and beard…sometimes it helps to turn it upside down and get a different perspective. Draw the band of the hat on all four sides of the block. I exaggerate the size of the nose to give it a bit of character and I turn the corners of the mustache up and draw in a big cheesy smile…Santa always looks better when he's happy.

Textile Wood Finger Creative arts Art


Start by making a stop cut straight in, under the nose, under the brim of the hat and on top of the hat. Then remove a wedge up to the stop cut as shown. Make as many cuts ass needed; it doesn't have to be done with only one cut and smaller cuts can be safer. I start shaping the ball of the nose by cutting off the point that I drew, but still letting it overlap the top of the mustache. Be careful cutting the wedge underneath the nose….it is easy to pop the tip of the nose off if you get too aggressive. The grain should be running up and down the piece and it will be very short on the tip of the nose, so a sharp knife and small cuts are important.

Wood Creative arts Flooring Tints and shades Art


Now we should flatten the front of the hat band by carefully carving out that section. The forehead is basically flat, so the band covering it is somewhat flat. Removing it also gives us some room to maneuver the knife in cutting around the nose. So re-draw the lines for the nose that we carved away.

Blue Textile Creative arts Wood Pattern


Now we will be defining the nose and part of the cheeks. On each side of the cheek, at the top of the nose, you will see two little triangle shaped areas. I make a chip cut that will be deepest at the top, beside the nose and then tapers out to the top of the wing of the nose and to underneath the hat band. This forms the curve of the cheek bone/eye socket, that curves around inside the nose. Try to make the depth even on each side of the nose. This almost gives a hint of the eyes being right under the brim of the hat.

Blue Textile Headgear Creative arts Electric blue


Now I make a short stop cut, angling downward a bit, to define the top of the wing of the nose. Remove a small triangle back toward the nose and the wings now stand out better. Carefully round over the bridge of the nose and the tops of the wings.

Blue Textile Sleeve Hat Collar


Outline the wings of the nose, angling the tip of the blade out slightly. Then cut back to that line to remove the chip. Round over the wings and the ball of the nose. Remove a small arc under the wings almost to the bottom of the ball of the nose, to indicate nostrils. You might draw these in first to make sure you have them placed correctly and evenly. Outline the mustache with a straight in stop cut and then remove a slight wedge along the top to indicate the bottom of the cheek and the top of the mustache. We are just outlining the bottom at this point, since we are about to remove a lot of wood under there.

Blue Textile Creative arts Rectangle Wood


Now we are going to remove that corner sticking out under the nose. We will eventually be carving off all of the corners, so that it doesn't look like it was carved out of a square block of wood! You want it to be slightly rounded, to indicate the mouth mound. In realistic carvings, this mound does protrude out from the cheeks and is not in the same plane, but we are mainly concerned here that it doesn't stick out as much as the nose, even with a mustache. Re-draw the mustache lines or make shallow cuts to outline it and help you remember where it is.

Blue Textile Sleeve Wood Creative arts


Make some deeper cuts around the bottom of the mustache and then cut up to them and relieve the background to make the mustache stand out. Then round over the edges of the mustache top and bottom to make it appear thick and flowing back towards the face. Remove more of the mouth mound underneath the mustache….the upper lip will be over-hanging the lower lip and teeth. Outline the mouth with shallow knife cuts or re-draw it as needed.

Blue Textile Creative arts Artifact Art


Shape and round over the bottom lip. I then cut the teeth in from that. Carefully make sure the teeth go straight up and down and don't bulge in the middle. I also cut them a little flat on the sides, giving them more of a horseshoe shape, rather than a semi-circle. I'll do the actual details on the teeth later.

Glasses Blue Wood Art Electric blue


So here we are. Next we'll be roughing out the hat and beard and then finish up with the details. Thanks for looking and I hope this is not too confusing. I'll try to do better!
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Starting out

Several people made some nice comments about some ornaments I posted and there seemed to be a little interest in a mini-tutorial on how to carve them. Santas are pretty easy to carve, since everyone has some familiarity with the subject and Santa is easy to recognize with just a few key features. This style is particularly easy to make since the eyes are covered. A carver named Don Worley may have invented this style, called "no-see-ums", but I just make them up without following a particular pattern or anything.

The main two requirements are a piece of wood and something sharp! This is a piece of basswood 3/4"x3/4" by about 3 1/4" long. The knife I'm using is a fixed blade utility knife. Why? Well, it's cheap, it's razor sharp, and you just replace the blade to make it sharp again! Actually I strop it like any other knife and seldom swap blades. But it is comfortable in the hand and the thin flexible blade is great for carving. Use only the kind with the fixed blade… no retractable, lock-back, or snap-off blades! Feel free to substitute your own weapon of choice. I also highly recommend that you use a carving glove and a thumb protector, since you'll be holding this tiny piece of wood in your hand and hacking away at it with a razor sharp blade. This particular glove is made of kevlar ($10) and has little rubber dots, the better to grip the wood. Note that this primarily provides protection from slashing cuts and that most sharp pointy things will stab between the mesh! So it is not wise to make cuts that involve pushing sharp pointy things toward the glove. Try to think about where the blade will be moving when you make cuts and don't force things! You can purchase thumb guards or you can make one by cutting fingers off old leather gloves and wrapping them with safety tape (Bantex $2 per roll). The tape protects the thumb guard (and your thumb) from being cut to pieces. Duct tape or electrical tape could be used, but is a little more difficult to replace.

Textile Headgear Glove Electric blue Pattern


So now you need to draw a little Santa face on your wood. Use one of the corners as the center-line for the nose and the face. Carving on the corner like this helps you get the nose to easily stand out from the face. Try to maintain the symmetry on the nose, cheeks, and beard…sometimes it helps to turn it upside down and get a different perspective. Draw the band of the hat on all four sides of the block. I exaggerate the size of the nose to give it a bit of character and I turn the corners of the mustache up and draw in a big cheesy smile…Santa always looks better when he's happy.

Textile Wood Finger Creative arts Art


Start by making a stop cut straight in, under the nose, under the brim of the hat and on top of the hat. Then remove a wedge up to the stop cut as shown. Make as many cuts ass needed; it doesn't have to be done with only one cut and smaller cuts can be safer. I start shaping the ball of the nose by cutting off the point that I drew, but still letting it overlap the top of the mustache. Be careful cutting the wedge underneath the nose….it is easy to pop the tip of the nose off if you get too aggressive. The grain should be running up and down the piece and it will be very short on the tip of the nose, so a sharp knife and small cuts are important.

Wood Creative arts Flooring Tints and shades Art


Now we should flatten the front of the hat band by carefully carving out that section. The forehead is basically flat, so the band covering it is somewhat flat. Removing it also gives us some room to maneuver the knife in cutting around the nose. So re-draw the lines for the nose that we carved away.

Blue Textile Creative arts Wood Pattern


Now we will be defining the nose and part of the cheeks. On each side of the cheek, at the top of the nose, you will see two little triangle shaped areas. I make a chip cut that will be deepest at the top, beside the nose and then tapers out to the top of the wing of the nose and to underneath the hat band. This forms the curve of the cheek bone/eye socket, that curves around inside the nose. Try to make the depth even on each side of the nose. This almost gives a hint of the eyes being right under the brim of the hat.

Blue Textile Headgear Creative arts Electric blue


Now I make a short stop cut, angling downward a bit, to define the top of the wing of the nose. Remove a small triangle back toward the nose and the wings now stand out better. Carefully round over the bridge of the nose and the tops of the wings.

Blue Textile Sleeve Hat Collar


Outline the wings of the nose, angling the tip of the blade out slightly. Then cut back to that line to remove the chip. Round over the wings and the ball of the nose. Remove a small arc under the wings almost to the bottom of the ball of the nose, to indicate nostrils. You might draw these in first to make sure you have them placed correctly and evenly. Outline the mustache with a straight in stop cut and then remove a slight wedge along the top to indicate the bottom of the cheek and the top of the mustache. We are just outlining the bottom at this point, since we are about to remove a lot of wood under there.

Blue Textile Creative arts Rectangle Wood


Now we are going to remove that corner sticking out under the nose. We will eventually be carving off all of the corners, so that it doesn't look like it was carved out of a square block of wood! You want it to be slightly rounded, to indicate the mouth mound. In realistic carvings, this mound does protrude out from the cheeks and is not in the same plane, but we are mainly concerned here that it doesn't stick out as much as the nose, even with a mustache. Re-draw the mustache lines or make shallow cuts to outline it and help you remember where it is.

Blue Textile Sleeve Wood Creative arts


Make some deeper cuts around the bottom of the mustache and then cut up to them and relieve the background to make the mustache stand out. Then round over the edges of the mustache top and bottom to make it appear thick and flowing back towards the face. Remove more of the mouth mound underneath the mustache….the upper lip will be over-hanging the lower lip and teeth. Outline the mouth with shallow knife cuts or re-draw it as needed.

Blue Textile Creative arts Artifact Art


Shape and round over the bottom lip. I then cut the teeth in from that. Carefully make sure the teeth go straight up and down and don't bulge in the middle. I also cut them a little flat on the sides, giving them more of a horseshoe shape, rather than a semi-circle. I'll do the actual details on the teeth later.

Glasses Blue Wood Art Electric blue


So here we are. Next we'll be roughing out the hat and beard and then finish up with the details. Thanks for looking and I hope this is not too confusing. I'll try to do better!
I am just catching this project. This will be a great way to kick off the season. Since I'm new to carving by hand this is perfect.
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
5,826 Posts
Starting out

Several people made some nice comments about some ornaments I posted and there seemed to be a little interest in a mini-tutorial on how to carve them. Santas are pretty easy to carve, since everyone has some familiarity with the subject and Santa is easy to recognize with just a few key features. This style is particularly easy to make since the eyes are covered. A carver named Don Worley may have invented this style, called "no-see-ums", but I just make them up without following a particular pattern or anything.

The main two requirements are a piece of wood and something sharp! This is a piece of basswood 3/4"x3/4" by about 3 1/4" long. The knife I'm using is a fixed blade utility knife. Why? Well, it's cheap, it's razor sharp, and you just replace the blade to make it sharp again! Actually I strop it like any other knife and seldom swap blades. But it is comfortable in the hand and the thin flexible blade is great for carving. Use only the kind with the fixed blade… no retractable, lock-back, or snap-off blades! Feel free to substitute your own weapon of choice. I also highly recommend that you use a carving glove and a thumb protector, since you'll be holding this tiny piece of wood in your hand and hacking away at it with a razor sharp blade. This particular glove is made of kevlar ($10) and has little rubber dots, the better to grip the wood. Note that this primarily provides protection from slashing cuts and that most sharp pointy things will stab between the mesh! So it is not wise to make cuts that involve pushing sharp pointy things toward the glove. Try to think about where the blade will be moving when you make cuts and don't force things! You can purchase thumb guards or you can make one by cutting fingers off old leather gloves and wrapping them with safety tape (Bantex $2 per roll). The tape protects the thumb guard (and your thumb) from being cut to pieces. Duct tape or electrical tape could be used, but is a little more difficult to replace.

Textile Headgear Glove Electric blue Pattern


So now you need to draw a little Santa face on your wood. Use one of the corners as the center-line for the nose and the face. Carving on the corner like this helps you get the nose to easily stand out from the face. Try to maintain the symmetry on the nose, cheeks, and beard…sometimes it helps to turn it upside down and get a different perspective. Draw the band of the hat on all four sides of the block. I exaggerate the size of the nose to give it a bit of character and I turn the corners of the mustache up and draw in a big cheesy smile…Santa always looks better when he's happy.

Textile Wood Finger Creative arts Art


Start by making a stop cut straight in, under the nose, under the brim of the hat and on top of the hat. Then remove a wedge up to the stop cut as shown. Make as many cuts ass needed; it doesn't have to be done with only one cut and smaller cuts can be safer. I start shaping the ball of the nose by cutting off the point that I drew, but still letting it overlap the top of the mustache. Be careful cutting the wedge underneath the nose….it is easy to pop the tip of the nose off if you get too aggressive. The grain should be running up and down the piece and it will be very short on the tip of the nose, so a sharp knife and small cuts are important.

Wood Creative arts Flooring Tints and shades Art


Now we should flatten the front of the hat band by carefully carving out that section. The forehead is basically flat, so the band covering it is somewhat flat. Removing it also gives us some room to maneuver the knife in cutting around the nose. So re-draw the lines for the nose that we carved away.

Blue Textile Creative arts Wood Pattern


Now we will be defining the nose and part of the cheeks. On each side of the cheek, at the top of the nose, you will see two little triangle shaped areas. I make a chip cut that will be deepest at the top, beside the nose and then tapers out to the top of the wing of the nose and to underneath the hat band. This forms the curve of the cheek bone/eye socket, that curves around inside the nose. Try to make the depth even on each side of the nose. This almost gives a hint of the eyes being right under the brim of the hat.

Blue Textile Headgear Creative arts Electric blue


Now I make a short stop cut, angling downward a bit, to define the top of the wing of the nose. Remove a small triangle back toward the nose and the wings now stand out better. Carefully round over the bridge of the nose and the tops of the wings.

Blue Textile Sleeve Hat Collar


Outline the wings of the nose, angling the tip of the blade out slightly. Then cut back to that line to remove the chip. Round over the wings and the ball of the nose. Remove a small arc under the wings almost to the bottom of the ball of the nose, to indicate nostrils. You might draw these in first to make sure you have them placed correctly and evenly. Outline the mustache with a straight in stop cut and then remove a slight wedge along the top to indicate the bottom of the cheek and the top of the mustache. We are just outlining the bottom at this point, since we are about to remove a lot of wood under there.

Blue Textile Creative arts Rectangle Wood


Now we are going to remove that corner sticking out under the nose. We will eventually be carving off all of the corners, so that it doesn't look like it was carved out of a square block of wood! You want it to be slightly rounded, to indicate the mouth mound. In realistic carvings, this mound does protrude out from the cheeks and is not in the same plane, but we are mainly concerned here that it doesn't stick out as much as the nose, even with a mustache. Re-draw the mustache lines or make shallow cuts to outline it and help you remember where it is.

Blue Textile Sleeve Wood Creative arts


Make some deeper cuts around the bottom of the mustache and then cut up to them and relieve the background to make the mustache stand out. Then round over the edges of the mustache top and bottom to make it appear thick and flowing back towards the face. Remove more of the mouth mound underneath the mustache….the upper lip will be over-hanging the lower lip and teeth. Outline the mouth with shallow knife cuts or re-draw it as needed.

Blue Textile Creative arts Artifact Art


Shape and round over the bottom lip. I then cut the teeth in from that. Carefully make sure the teeth go straight up and down and don't bulge in the middle. I also cut them a little flat on the sides, giving them more of a horseshoe shape, rather than a semi-circle. I'll do the actual details on the teeth later.

Glasses Blue Wood Art Electric blue


So here we are. Next we'll be roughing out the hat and beard and then finish up with the details. Thanks for looking and I hope this is not too confusing. I'll try to do better!
Mike, this looks like a wonderful tutorial blog and you are presenting it quite nicely.
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
Starting out

Several people made some nice comments about some ornaments I posted and there seemed to be a little interest in a mini-tutorial on how to carve them. Santas are pretty easy to carve, since everyone has some familiarity with the subject and Santa is easy to recognize with just a few key features. This style is particularly easy to make since the eyes are covered. A carver named Don Worley may have invented this style, called "no-see-ums", but I just make them up without following a particular pattern or anything.

The main two requirements are a piece of wood and something sharp! This is a piece of basswood 3/4"x3/4" by about 3 1/4" long. The knife I'm using is a fixed blade utility knife. Why? Well, it's cheap, it's razor sharp, and you just replace the blade to make it sharp again! Actually I strop it like any other knife and seldom swap blades. But it is comfortable in the hand and the thin flexible blade is great for carving. Use only the kind with the fixed blade… no retractable, lock-back, or snap-off blades! Feel free to substitute your own weapon of choice. I also highly recommend that you use a carving glove and a thumb protector, since you'll be holding this tiny piece of wood in your hand and hacking away at it with a razor sharp blade. This particular glove is made of kevlar ($10) and has little rubber dots, the better to grip the wood. Note that this primarily provides protection from slashing cuts and that most sharp pointy things will stab between the mesh! So it is not wise to make cuts that involve pushing sharp pointy things toward the glove. Try to think about where the blade will be moving when you make cuts and don't force things! You can purchase thumb guards or you can make one by cutting fingers off old leather gloves and wrapping them with safety tape (Bantex $2 per roll). The tape protects the thumb guard (and your thumb) from being cut to pieces. Duct tape or electrical tape could be used, but is a little more difficult to replace.

Textile Headgear Glove Electric blue Pattern


So now you need to draw a little Santa face on your wood. Use one of the corners as the center-line for the nose and the face. Carving on the corner like this helps you get the nose to easily stand out from the face. Try to maintain the symmetry on the nose, cheeks, and beard…sometimes it helps to turn it upside down and get a different perspective. Draw the band of the hat on all four sides of the block. I exaggerate the size of the nose to give it a bit of character and I turn the corners of the mustache up and draw in a big cheesy smile…Santa always looks better when he's happy.

Textile Wood Finger Creative arts Art


Start by making a stop cut straight in, under the nose, under the brim of the hat and on top of the hat. Then remove a wedge up to the stop cut as shown. Make as many cuts ass needed; it doesn't have to be done with only one cut and smaller cuts can be safer. I start shaping the ball of the nose by cutting off the point that I drew, but still letting it overlap the top of the mustache. Be careful cutting the wedge underneath the nose….it is easy to pop the tip of the nose off if you get too aggressive. The grain should be running up and down the piece and it will be very short on the tip of the nose, so a sharp knife and small cuts are important.

Wood Creative arts Flooring Tints and shades Art


Now we should flatten the front of the hat band by carefully carving out that section. The forehead is basically flat, so the band covering it is somewhat flat. Removing it also gives us some room to maneuver the knife in cutting around the nose. So re-draw the lines for the nose that we carved away.

Blue Textile Creative arts Wood Pattern


Now we will be defining the nose and part of the cheeks. On each side of the cheek, at the top of the nose, you will see two little triangle shaped areas. I make a chip cut that will be deepest at the top, beside the nose and then tapers out to the top of the wing of the nose and to underneath the hat band. This forms the curve of the cheek bone/eye socket, that curves around inside the nose. Try to make the depth even on each side of the nose. This almost gives a hint of the eyes being right under the brim of the hat.

Blue Textile Headgear Creative arts Electric blue


Now I make a short stop cut, angling downward a bit, to define the top of the wing of the nose. Remove a small triangle back toward the nose and the wings now stand out better. Carefully round over the bridge of the nose and the tops of the wings.

Blue Textile Sleeve Hat Collar


Outline the wings of the nose, angling the tip of the blade out slightly. Then cut back to that line to remove the chip. Round over the wings and the ball of the nose. Remove a small arc under the wings almost to the bottom of the ball of the nose, to indicate nostrils. You might draw these in first to make sure you have them placed correctly and evenly. Outline the mustache with a straight in stop cut and then remove a slight wedge along the top to indicate the bottom of the cheek and the top of the mustache. We are just outlining the bottom at this point, since we are about to remove a lot of wood under there.

Blue Textile Creative arts Rectangle Wood


Now we are going to remove that corner sticking out under the nose. We will eventually be carving off all of the corners, so that it doesn't look like it was carved out of a square block of wood! You want it to be slightly rounded, to indicate the mouth mound. In realistic carvings, this mound does protrude out from the cheeks and is not in the same plane, but we are mainly concerned here that it doesn't stick out as much as the nose, even with a mustache. Re-draw the mustache lines or make shallow cuts to outline it and help you remember where it is.

Blue Textile Sleeve Wood Creative arts


Make some deeper cuts around the bottom of the mustache and then cut up to them and relieve the background to make the mustache stand out. Then round over the edges of the mustache top and bottom to make it appear thick and flowing back towards the face. Remove more of the mouth mound underneath the mustache….the upper lip will be over-hanging the lower lip and teeth. Outline the mouth with shallow knife cuts or re-draw it as needed.

Blue Textile Creative arts Artifact Art


Shape and round over the bottom lip. I then cut the teeth in from that. Carefully make sure the teeth go straight up and down and don't bulge in the middle. I also cut them a little flat on the sides, giving them more of a horseshoe shape, rather than a semi-circle. I'll do the actual details on the teeth later.

Glasses Blue Wood Art Electric blue


So here we are. Next we'll be roughing out the hat and beard and then finish up with the details. Thanks for looking and I hope this is not too confusing. I'll try to do better!
Mike, thanks a HUGE smount for posting this. Always wanted to try and now I will. Thanks again.
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
1,815 Posts
Starting out

Several people made some nice comments about some ornaments I posted and there seemed to be a little interest in a mini-tutorial on how to carve them. Santas are pretty easy to carve, since everyone has some familiarity with the subject and Santa is easy to recognize with just a few key features. This style is particularly easy to make since the eyes are covered. A carver named Don Worley may have invented this style, called "no-see-ums", but I just make them up without following a particular pattern or anything.

The main two requirements are a piece of wood and something sharp! This is a piece of basswood 3/4"x3/4" by about 3 1/4" long. The knife I'm using is a fixed blade utility knife. Why? Well, it's cheap, it's razor sharp, and you just replace the blade to make it sharp again! Actually I strop it like any other knife and seldom swap blades. But it is comfortable in the hand and the thin flexible blade is great for carving. Use only the kind with the fixed blade… no retractable, lock-back, or snap-off blades! Feel free to substitute your own weapon of choice. I also highly recommend that you use a carving glove and a thumb protector, since you'll be holding this tiny piece of wood in your hand and hacking away at it with a razor sharp blade. This particular glove is made of kevlar ($10) and has little rubber dots, the better to grip the wood. Note that this primarily provides protection from slashing cuts and that most sharp pointy things will stab between the mesh! So it is not wise to make cuts that involve pushing sharp pointy things toward the glove. Try to think about where the blade will be moving when you make cuts and don't force things! You can purchase thumb guards or you can make one by cutting fingers off old leather gloves and wrapping them with safety tape (Bantex $2 per roll). The tape protects the thumb guard (and your thumb) from being cut to pieces. Duct tape or electrical tape could be used, but is a little more difficult to replace.

Textile Headgear Glove Electric blue Pattern


So now you need to draw a little Santa face on your wood. Use one of the corners as the center-line for the nose and the face. Carving on the corner like this helps you get the nose to easily stand out from the face. Try to maintain the symmetry on the nose, cheeks, and beard…sometimes it helps to turn it upside down and get a different perspective. Draw the band of the hat on all four sides of the block. I exaggerate the size of the nose to give it a bit of character and I turn the corners of the mustache up and draw in a big cheesy smile…Santa always looks better when he's happy.

Textile Wood Finger Creative arts Art


Start by making a stop cut straight in, under the nose, under the brim of the hat and on top of the hat. Then remove a wedge up to the stop cut as shown. Make as many cuts ass needed; it doesn't have to be done with only one cut and smaller cuts can be safer. I start shaping the ball of the nose by cutting off the point that I drew, but still letting it overlap the top of the mustache. Be careful cutting the wedge underneath the nose….it is easy to pop the tip of the nose off if you get too aggressive. The grain should be running up and down the piece and it will be very short on the tip of the nose, so a sharp knife and small cuts are important.

Wood Creative arts Flooring Tints and shades Art


Now we should flatten the front of the hat band by carefully carving out that section. The forehead is basically flat, so the band covering it is somewhat flat. Removing it also gives us some room to maneuver the knife in cutting around the nose. So re-draw the lines for the nose that we carved away.

Blue Textile Creative arts Wood Pattern


Now we will be defining the nose and part of the cheeks. On each side of the cheek, at the top of the nose, you will see two little triangle shaped areas. I make a chip cut that will be deepest at the top, beside the nose and then tapers out to the top of the wing of the nose and to underneath the hat band. This forms the curve of the cheek bone/eye socket, that curves around inside the nose. Try to make the depth even on each side of the nose. This almost gives a hint of the eyes being right under the brim of the hat.

Blue Textile Headgear Creative arts Electric blue


Now I make a short stop cut, angling downward a bit, to define the top of the wing of the nose. Remove a small triangle back toward the nose and the wings now stand out better. Carefully round over the bridge of the nose and the tops of the wings.

Blue Textile Sleeve Hat Collar


Outline the wings of the nose, angling the tip of the blade out slightly. Then cut back to that line to remove the chip. Round over the wings and the ball of the nose. Remove a small arc under the wings almost to the bottom of the ball of the nose, to indicate nostrils. You might draw these in first to make sure you have them placed correctly and evenly. Outline the mustache with a straight in stop cut and then remove a slight wedge along the top to indicate the bottom of the cheek and the top of the mustache. We are just outlining the bottom at this point, since we are about to remove a lot of wood under there.

Blue Textile Creative arts Rectangle Wood


Now we are going to remove that corner sticking out under the nose. We will eventually be carving off all of the corners, so that it doesn't look like it was carved out of a square block of wood! You want it to be slightly rounded, to indicate the mouth mound. In realistic carvings, this mound does protrude out from the cheeks and is not in the same plane, but we are mainly concerned here that it doesn't stick out as much as the nose, even with a mustache. Re-draw the mustache lines or make shallow cuts to outline it and help you remember where it is.

Blue Textile Sleeve Wood Creative arts


Make some deeper cuts around the bottom of the mustache and then cut up to them and relieve the background to make the mustache stand out. Then round over the edges of the mustache top and bottom to make it appear thick and flowing back towards the face. Remove more of the mouth mound underneath the mustache….the upper lip will be over-hanging the lower lip and teeth. Outline the mouth with shallow knife cuts or re-draw it as needed.

Blue Textile Creative arts Artifact Art


Shape and round over the bottom lip. I then cut the teeth in from that. Carefully make sure the teeth go straight up and down and don't bulge in the middle. I also cut them a little flat on the sides, giving them more of a horseshoe shape, rather than a semi-circle. I'll do the actual details on the teeth later.

Glasses Blue Wood Art Electric blue


So here we are. Next we'll be roughing out the hat and beard and then finish up with the details. Thanks for looking and I hope this is not too confusing. I'll try to do better!
i am going to follow this one
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Starting out

Several people made some nice comments about some ornaments I posted and there seemed to be a little interest in a mini-tutorial on how to carve them. Santas are pretty easy to carve, since everyone has some familiarity with the subject and Santa is easy to recognize with just a few key features. This style is particularly easy to make since the eyes are covered. A carver named Don Worley may have invented this style, called "no-see-ums", but I just make them up without following a particular pattern or anything.

The main two requirements are a piece of wood and something sharp! This is a piece of basswood 3/4"x3/4" by about 3 1/4" long. The knife I'm using is a fixed blade utility knife. Why? Well, it's cheap, it's razor sharp, and you just replace the blade to make it sharp again! Actually I strop it like any other knife and seldom swap blades. But it is comfortable in the hand and the thin flexible blade is great for carving. Use only the kind with the fixed blade… no retractable, lock-back, or snap-off blades! Feel free to substitute your own weapon of choice. I also highly recommend that you use a carving glove and a thumb protector, since you'll be holding this tiny piece of wood in your hand and hacking away at it with a razor sharp blade. This particular glove is made of kevlar ($10) and has little rubber dots, the better to grip the wood. Note that this primarily provides protection from slashing cuts and that most sharp pointy things will stab between the mesh! So it is not wise to make cuts that involve pushing sharp pointy things toward the glove. Try to think about where the blade will be moving when you make cuts and don't force things! You can purchase thumb guards or you can make one by cutting fingers off old leather gloves and wrapping them with safety tape (Bantex $2 per roll). The tape protects the thumb guard (and your thumb) from being cut to pieces. Duct tape or electrical tape could be used, but is a little more difficult to replace.



So now you need to draw a little Santa face on your wood. Use one of the corners as the center-line for the nose and the face. Carving on the corner like this helps you get the nose to easily stand out from the face. Try to maintain the symmetry on the nose, cheeks, and beard…sometimes it helps to turn it upside down and get a different perspective. Draw the band of the hat on all four sides of the block. I exaggerate the size of the nose to give it a bit of character and I turn the corners of the mustache up and draw in a big cheesy smile…Santa always looks better when he's happy.



Start by making a stop cut straight in, under the nose, under the brim of the hat and on top of the hat. Then remove a wedge up to the stop cut as shown. Make as many cuts ass needed; it doesn't have to be done with only one cut and smaller cuts can be safer. I start shaping the ball of the nose by cutting off the point that I drew, but still letting it overlap the top of the mustache. Be careful cutting the wedge underneath the nose….it is easy to pop the tip of the nose off if you get too aggressive. The grain should be running up and down the piece and it will be very short on the tip of the nose, so a sharp knife and small cuts are important.



Now we should flatten the front of the hat band by carefully carving out that section. The forehead is basically flat, so the band covering it is somewhat flat. Removing it also gives us some room to maneuver the knife in cutting around the nose. So re-draw the lines for the nose that we carved away.



Now we will be defining the nose and part of the cheeks. On each side of the cheek, at the top of the nose, you will see two little triangle shaped areas. I make a chip cut that will be deepest at the top, beside the nose and then tapers out to the top of the wing of the nose and to underneath the hat band. This forms the curve of the cheek bone/eye socket, that curves around inside the nose. Try to make the depth even on each side of the nose. This almost gives a hint of the eyes being right under the brim of the hat.



Now I make a short stop cut, angling downward a bit, to define the top of the wing of the nose. Remove a small triangle back toward the nose and the wings now stand out better. Carefully round over the bridge of the nose and the tops of the wings.



Outline the wings of the nose, angling the tip of the blade out slightly. Then cut back to that line to remove the chip. Round over the wings and the ball of the nose. Remove a small arc under the wings almost to the bottom of the ball of the nose, to indicate nostrils. You might draw these in first to make sure you have them placed correctly and evenly. Outline the mustache with a straight in stop cut and then remove a slight wedge along the top to indicate the bottom of the cheek and the top of the mustache. We are just outlining the bottom at this point, since we are about to remove a lot of wood under there.



Now we are going to remove that corner sticking out under the nose. We will eventually be carving off all of the corners, so that it doesn't look like it was carved out of a square block of wood! You want it to be slightly rounded, to indicate the mouth mound. In realistic carvings, this mound does protrude out from the cheeks and is not in the same plane, but we are mainly concerned here that it doesn't stick out as much as the nose, even with a mustache. Re-draw the mustache lines or make shallow cuts to outline it and help you remember where it is.



Make some deeper cuts around the bottom of the mustache and then cut up to them and relieve the background to make the mustache stand out. Then round over the edges of the mustache top and bottom to make it appear thick and flowing back towards the face. Remove more of the mouth mound underneath the mustache….the upper lip will be over-hanging the lower lip and teeth. Outline the mouth with shallow knife cuts or re-draw it as needed.



Shape and round over the bottom lip. I then cut the teeth in from that. Carefully make sure the teeth go straight up and down and don't bulge in the middle. I also cut them a little flat on the sides, giving them more of a horseshoe shape, rather than a semi-circle. I'll do the actual details on the teeth later.



So here we are. Next we'll be roughing out the hat and beard and then finish up with the details. Thanks for looking and I hope this is not too confusing. I'll try to do better!
I love this project.
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Beard and Hat

So we left off after we carved the mouth and teeth in the first blog and it looked something like this.

Glasses Blue Wood Art Electric blue


It will really start taking shape quickly now, when we start removing massive quantities of wood. First we do the stop cuts on the corners under the brim of the hat and then remove those chips, to make the hair go under the hat. Remove that same chip in the back also, I shape the beard so that it curves to a bit of a curl at the front, and round over any edges. I'm trying to use my knife on any area that was cut mechanically, to round it over and make it not so flat in appearance. Don't get too detailed at this point…we're still just blocking things out. Make the stop cuts and remove the chips all the way around the top of the hat band and also the bottom of the ball as shown.

Insect Creative arts Art Wood Wing


Next, we start cutting off more of the corners, on the band and the hat, in order to give it a more rounded appearance. I've completed the right side and left the other un-completed so that you can see more of a contrast. I've also started reducing the size of the ball on top of the hat and tapering the hat from the band up to be more narrow at the top.

Art Creative arts Glove Electric blue Artifact


And here is the completed roughed-in piece. I gave the hat a little curve at the top. You could make the ball smaller, or even carve it from a separate piece and attach it, or make a fold or two in the hat. This basic face shape is very flexible, in that you can just make a few changes and have a completely different character. Leave the hat off and it's a wood spirit. Leave the ball off the hat and it's a wizard. Put sunglasses on it and change the hat and it's a biker (maybe add some bugs to the teeth?). Different hat and buck-teeth and it could be Uncle Jed!

Hand Wood Gesture Finger Thumb


Hand Plant Insect Wood Glove


Plant Wood Gesture Finger Thumb


I like to leave a little flat place on the back where I can sign and date it. The next blog will talk about some different detailing things that can be done. Thanks for looking!
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
5,826 Posts
Beard and Hat

So we left off after we carved the mouth and teeth in the first blog and it looked something like this.

Glasses Blue Wood Art Electric blue


It will really start taking shape quickly now, when we start removing massive quantities of wood. First we do the stop cuts on the corners under the brim of the hat and then remove those chips, to make the hair go under the hat. Remove that same chip in the back also, I shape the beard so that it curves to a bit of a curl at the front, and round over any edges. I'm trying to use my knife on any area that was cut mechanically, to round it over and make it not so flat in appearance. Don't get too detailed at this point…we're still just blocking things out. Make the stop cuts and remove the chips all the way around the top of the hat band and also the bottom of the ball as shown.

Insect Creative arts Art Wood Wing


Next, we start cutting off more of the corners, on the band and the hat, in order to give it a more rounded appearance. I've completed the right side and left the other un-completed so that you can see more of a contrast. I've also started reducing the size of the ball on top of the hat and tapering the hat from the band up to be more narrow at the top.

Art Creative arts Glove Electric blue Artifact


And here is the completed roughed-in piece. I gave the hat a little curve at the top. You could make the ball smaller, or even carve it from a separate piece and attach it, or make a fold or two in the hat. This basic face shape is very flexible, in that you can just make a few changes and have a completely different character. Leave the hat off and it's a wood spirit. Leave the ball off the hat and it's a wizard. Put sunglasses on it and change the hat and it's a biker (maybe add some bugs to the teeth?). Different hat and buck-teeth and it could be Uncle Jed!

Hand Wood Gesture Finger Thumb


Hand Plant Insect Wood Glove


Plant Wood Gesture Finger Thumb


I like to leave a little flat place on the back where I can sign and date it. The next blog will talk about some different detailing things that can be done. Thanks for looking!
Mike, I will definitely follow along. Christmas is almost here and there's so much to do and so little time to do it in. Thanks for this tutorial.
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Beard and Hat

So we left off after we carved the mouth and teeth in the first blog and it looked something like this.

Glasses Blue Wood Art Electric blue


It will really start taking shape quickly now, when we start removing massive quantities of wood. First we do the stop cuts on the corners under the brim of the hat and then remove those chips, to make the hair go under the hat. Remove that same chip in the back also, I shape the beard so that it curves to a bit of a curl at the front, and round over any edges. I'm trying to use my knife on any area that was cut mechanically, to round it over and make it not so flat in appearance. Don't get too detailed at this point…we're still just blocking things out. Make the stop cuts and remove the chips all the way around the top of the hat band and also the bottom of the ball as shown.

Insect Creative arts Art Wood Wing


Next, we start cutting off more of the corners, on the band and the hat, in order to give it a more rounded appearance. I've completed the right side and left the other un-completed so that you can see more of a contrast. I've also started reducing the size of the ball on top of the hat and tapering the hat from the band up to be more narrow at the top.

Art Creative arts Glove Electric blue Artifact


And here is the completed roughed-in piece. I gave the hat a little curve at the top. You could make the ball smaller, or even carve it from a separate piece and attach it, or make a fold or two in the hat. This basic face shape is very flexible, in that you can just make a few changes and have a completely different character. Leave the hat off and it's a wood spirit. Leave the ball off the hat and it's a wizard. Put sunglasses on it and change the hat and it's a biker (maybe add some bugs to the teeth?). Different hat and buck-teeth and it could be Uncle Jed!

Hand Wood Gesture Finger Thumb


Hand Plant Insect Wood Glove


Plant Wood Gesture Finger Thumb


I like to leave a little flat place on the back where I can sign and date it. The next blog will talk about some different detailing things that can be done. Thanks for looking!
I'm following along,tried carving a couple of wood spirits 2 weeks ago.This will make it easier for me.Can you show us how to do eyes?Thanks for the lessons.
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Beard and Hat

So we left off after we carved the mouth and teeth in the first blog and it looked something like this.

Glasses Blue Wood Art Electric blue


It will really start taking shape quickly now, when we start removing massive quantities of wood. First we do the stop cuts on the corners under the brim of the hat and then remove those chips, to make the hair go under the hat. Remove that same chip in the back also, I shape the beard so that it curves to a bit of a curl at the front, and round over any edges. I'm trying to use my knife on any area that was cut mechanically, to round it over and make it not so flat in appearance. Don't get too detailed at this point…we're still just blocking things out. Make the stop cuts and remove the chips all the way around the top of the hat band and also the bottom of the ball as shown.

Insect Creative arts Art Wood Wing


Next, we start cutting off more of the corners, on the band and the hat, in order to give it a more rounded appearance. I've completed the right side and left the other un-completed so that you can see more of a contrast. I've also started reducing the size of the ball on top of the hat and tapering the hat from the band up to be more narrow at the top.

Art Creative arts Glove Electric blue Artifact


And here is the completed roughed-in piece. I gave the hat a little curve at the top. You could make the ball smaller, or even carve it from a separate piece and attach it, or make a fold or two in the hat. This basic face shape is very flexible, in that you can just make a few changes and have a completely different character. Leave the hat off and it's a wood spirit. Leave the ball off the hat and it's a wizard. Put sunglasses on it and change the hat and it's a biker (maybe add some bugs to the teeth?). Different hat and buck-teeth and it could be Uncle Jed!

Hand Wood Gesture Finger Thumb


Hand Plant Insect Wood Glove


Plant Wood Gesture Finger Thumb


I like to leave a little flat place on the back where I can sign and date it. The next blog will talk about some different detailing things that can be done. Thanks for looking!
This is an awsome blog. About 25 years ago PBS use to have a show called Wood Craving with Rick Buttz. I loved watching it and learning to carve and then just as I finished my first or second carving, the show was cancelled in my area and I have never really learned anything about carving since then. Keep the lessons coming, I love the opportunity to learn this skill. Thanls for putting this lesson together
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
Beard and Hat

So we left off after we carved the mouth and teeth in the first blog and it looked something like this.

Glasses Blue Wood Art Electric blue


It will really start taking shape quickly now, when we start removing massive quantities of wood. First we do the stop cuts on the corners under the brim of the hat and then remove those chips, to make the hair go under the hat. Remove that same chip in the back also, I shape the beard so that it curves to a bit of a curl at the front, and round over any edges. I'm trying to use my knife on any area that was cut mechanically, to round it over and make it not so flat in appearance. Don't get too detailed at this point…we're still just blocking things out. Make the stop cuts and remove the chips all the way around the top of the hat band and also the bottom of the ball as shown.

Insect Creative arts Art Wood Wing


Next, we start cutting off more of the corners, on the band and the hat, in order to give it a more rounded appearance. I've completed the right side and left the other un-completed so that you can see more of a contrast. I've also started reducing the size of the ball on top of the hat and tapering the hat from the band up to be more narrow at the top.

Art Creative arts Glove Electric blue Artifact


And here is the completed roughed-in piece. I gave the hat a little curve at the top. You could make the ball smaller, or even carve it from a separate piece and attach it, or make a fold or two in the hat. This basic face shape is very flexible, in that you can just make a few changes and have a completely different character. Leave the hat off and it's a wood spirit. Leave the ball off the hat and it's a wizard. Put sunglasses on it and change the hat and it's a biker (maybe add some bugs to the teeth?). Different hat and buck-teeth and it could be Uncle Jed!

Hand Wood Gesture Finger Thumb


Hand Plant Insect Wood Glove


Plant Wood Gesture Finger Thumb


I like to leave a little flat place on the back where I can sign and date it. The next blog will talk about some different detailing things that can be done. Thanks for looking!
I have just started carving myself, I will try catch up. Will you have another after this?
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Beard and Hat

So we left off after we carved the mouth and teeth in the first blog and it looked something like this.

Glasses Blue Wood Art Electric blue


It will really start taking shape quickly now, when we start removing massive quantities of wood. First we do the stop cuts on the corners under the brim of the hat and then remove those chips, to make the hair go under the hat. Remove that same chip in the back also, I shape the beard so that it curves to a bit of a curl at the front, and round over any edges. I'm trying to use my knife on any area that was cut mechanically, to round it over and make it not so flat in appearance. Don't get too detailed at this point…we're still just blocking things out. Make the stop cuts and remove the chips all the way around the top of the hat band and also the bottom of the ball as shown.

Insect Creative arts Art Wood Wing


Next, we start cutting off more of the corners, on the band and the hat, in order to give it a more rounded appearance. I've completed the right side and left the other un-completed so that you can see more of a contrast. I've also started reducing the size of the ball on top of the hat and tapering the hat from the band up to be more narrow at the top.

Art Creative arts Glove Electric blue Artifact


And here is the completed roughed-in piece. I gave the hat a little curve at the top. You could make the ball smaller, or even carve it from a separate piece and attach it, or make a fold or two in the hat. This basic face shape is very flexible, in that you can just make a few changes and have a completely different character. Leave the hat off and it's a wood spirit. Leave the ball off the hat and it's a wizard. Put sunglasses on it and change the hat and it's a biker (maybe add some bugs to the teeth?). Different hat and buck-teeth and it could be Uncle Jed!

Hand Wood Gesture Finger Thumb


Hand Plant Insect Wood Glove


Plant Wood Gesture Finger Thumb


I like to leave a little flat place on the back where I can sign and date it. The next blog will talk about some different detailing things that can be done. Thanks for looking!
Great write up! Will be watching this one!
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Beard and Hat

So we left off after we carved the mouth and teeth in the first blog and it looked something like this.

Glasses Blue Wood Art Electric blue


It will really start taking shape quickly now, when we start removing massive quantities of wood. First we do the stop cuts on the corners under the brim of the hat and then remove those chips, to make the hair go under the hat. Remove that same chip in the back also, I shape the beard so that it curves to a bit of a curl at the front, and round over any edges. I'm trying to use my knife on any area that was cut mechanically, to round it over and make it not so flat in appearance. Don't get too detailed at this point…we're still just blocking things out. Make the stop cuts and remove the chips all the way around the top of the hat band and also the bottom of the ball as shown.

Insect Creative arts Art Wood Wing


Next, we start cutting off more of the corners, on the band and the hat, in order to give it a more rounded appearance. I've completed the right side and left the other un-completed so that you can see more of a contrast. I've also started reducing the size of the ball on top of the hat and tapering the hat from the band up to be more narrow at the top.

Art Creative arts Glove Electric blue Artifact


And here is the completed roughed-in piece. I gave the hat a little curve at the top. You could make the ball smaller, or even carve it from a separate piece and attach it, or make a fold or two in the hat. This basic face shape is very flexible, in that you can just make a few changes and have a completely different character. Leave the hat off and it's a wood spirit. Leave the ball off the hat and it's a wizard. Put sunglasses on it and change the hat and it's a biker (maybe add some bugs to the teeth?). Different hat and buck-teeth and it could be Uncle Jed!

Hand Wood Gesture Finger Thumb


Hand Plant Insect Wood Glove


Plant Wood Gesture Finger Thumb


I like to leave a little flat place on the back where I can sign and date it. The next blog will talk about some different detailing things that can be done. Thanks for looking!
Thanks all! Bill and Chuck, I will do one on eyes and something else after this one is completed, so keep checking mu stuff. It may take a few days, but I'll get something going! I'll try and post the finish to this one today.
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Finishing up & Painting

Today we'll finish this little guy up. As I've carved ornaments, I've gotten faster at doing them and I can complete one in an hour or two, depending on how complex it is. I have started saving them up and painting 4-5 at a time, so that I don't waste as much paint, and that seems to help also.

So after we get him all carved, I spend a little bit of time going back over the whole piece and cleaning up the cuts a bit. I try to get all the little fuzzy pieces in the crevices and any little chips or raggedness removed. I go a further step and lightly sand most of my pieces, just to get some roundness and softness to the beard and face, not trying to remove all the knife marks. Some carvers like the look of all the marks and that is fine….. I just like a slightly more finished look.

Finger Gesture Creative arts Thumb Art


Now that I have the underlying shapes of the beard and mustache established, I'll use some gouges to add some texture. You can texture the beard in a lot of ways, with strictly knife cuts, v-tools, and gouges, even stones and burs in a Dremel. I sometimes use all of those, but in smaller carvings, attempting to put in every single hair can really over-power the carving because it ends up not really being to scale. On this one, I 'll use about a 3/8" #11 or #9 gouge for the hair and a smaller 2mm #11 for the hat.

Textile Bottle Wood Market Retail


I just carve very shallow elongated S shapes from the cheeks down to the bottom of the beard. Try to avoid straight lines or simple arcs. You will probably be able to cut one side by going down and will then have to turn it upside down and make the cuts in the other direction on the other side…..this is because of changes in grain direction! You'll find you need to do this quite a bit to avoid chipping out. I just do a few simple gouge cuts on the mustache also, to indicate the sweep of the hair. When I got my first little v-gouge (that was actually sharp), I went crazy with it and made all these little grooves all over my beards! I still use them some to add minimal extra details, but I primarily use #11s and other gouges to create more realistic looks. On bigger pieces, I start with bigger gouges to establish waves and then work my way down through successively smaller gouges to add textures and shapes. You may notice that most of my chisels have a thumbnail grind, which allows me to carve up and underneath things like the mustache and the hat. I use the small #11 to take little divots from different angles out of the band of the hat and the ball, to create the look of fur or wool. I like to go over these areas with a bristle sander after I carve them, to really soften out the edges and give it a soft furry look.

Head Hand Gesture Sculpture Finger


The next step is optional, depending on whether you have a wood burning pen or not. I use a Colwood Detailer and pen with a small skew tip to lightly burn around areas that I want to highlight and areas that will be painted different colors. I use the pen like a hot knife, in that it makes delicate fine cuts as much as it lightly browns the wood. I am not going for a deep, charred black, just a slight brown shadow. This also helps prevent different colors of paint from bleeding into each other later on. You can use a burning pen to add very realistic details to animal and bird carvings, such as fur, hair, feather, and scales. You can achieve a similar look by washing burnt umber paint into the crevices and cuts, but it is not required.

Wood Finger Thumb Electrical wiring Engineering


You can see how I highlighted a few things like the splits on the bottom of the mustache. These can be painted in after you have completed the rest, if you don't have a burner.

Hand Plant Wood Finger Gesture


Now we can get to the painting. I use watered down acrylic paints and a method that gives a washed out antique look. I have already inserted the eye hook in the top of the ornament to give me a little extra place to hold it or to hang it while it drys. You may have noticed that I haven't carved or burnt any teeth in? Burning the lines is too much contrast, so I cut them in, after I paint. I dip the ornament in water, getting it completely damp, which helps blend the paint and also gives an idea what it will look like when a finish is applied (a finish will usually darken the wood to some degree). Dipping it in water also has the added bonus of magically healing many unintentional cuts or slices you might have accidentally made! If you made a slicing cut to show the teeth, the cuts will all disappear when you get the wood wet and paint them! You can see the two brushes that I use and I only need white, red, and a little yellow to paint this guy. I use a piece of glass as a pallette, to make mixing and cleanup easy. I mix a little bit of white, red, and yellow to get a watery pink look and apply it to the face and lips.

Wood Art Recreation Flooring Indoor games and sports


Gesture Wood Headgear Artifact Finger


You can add a slight touch of red to the cheeks and tip of the nose, for the frost-bitten look, and blend it in with plain water on the brush. Carefully clean your brush and use a fresh spot of white paint for the hair and trim on the hat. You don't want any pink in it! Apply as much as you like to get the desired whiteness, but you don't want it so thick that it obscures the wood…..it will show more white and more of a contrast when you put the final finish on. Lock your elbows into your sides and steady your brush by placing your pinky finger to the carving as a steady rest. And finally, clean the brush again and paint the red on the hat. Keep the paint a little thicker near the white portions of the hat and it will help prevent it from bleeding over.

Hand Finger Natural material Gesture Thumb


Now it needs to dry. If you get to impatient, you can hurry it up a bit with a hair dryer! It will have a chalky, flat appearance when it is dry. When it is dry, use your knife and cut in the lines for the teeth in the mouth. Try not to make them too uniform.

I use Minwax Satin Polyrethane to finish most of my carvings. You want to get the smallest can, because you want the fresh, thin stuff, not the stuff that has sat around and yellowed and thickened up. The new stuff will soak easily into the wood, which is what we want. Get several plain paper towels and have them handy. Brush the polyurethane on, getting all the cracks and crevices. Then immediately start wiping it off with the paper towels, getting all the little corners and places where it might have puddled. You will notice that the colors now pop and you have a flat matte finish that shows off the wood and the details of the carving. You don't want a heavy coating that might make it look too plastic. This finish will protect the piece and the colors for carving that will be a treasured gift for someone!

Wood Artifact Art Ingredient Sculpture


So here he is! Have fun doing some of your own and if you mess up, cut you off another piece and try it again! It takes a little practice, but if you're having fun you already know the most important thing about carving!

Thanks to all for looking and I'll try to get some other brief tutorials up soon.
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
5,826 Posts
Finishing up & Painting

Today we'll finish this little guy up. As I've carved ornaments, I've gotten faster at doing them and I can complete one in an hour or two, depending on how complex it is. I have started saving them up and painting 4-5 at a time, so that I don't waste as much paint, and that seems to help also.

So after we get him all carved, I spend a little bit of time going back over the whole piece and cleaning up the cuts a bit. I try to get all the little fuzzy pieces in the crevices and any little chips or raggedness removed. I go a further step and lightly sand most of my pieces, just to get some roundness and softness to the beard and face, not trying to remove all the knife marks. Some carvers like the look of all the marks and that is fine….. I just like a slightly more finished look.

Finger Gesture Creative arts Thumb Art


Now that I have the underlying shapes of the beard and mustache established, I'll use some gouges to add some texture. You can texture the beard in a lot of ways, with strictly knife cuts, v-tools, and gouges, even stones and burs in a Dremel. I sometimes use all of those, but in smaller carvings, attempting to put in every single hair can really over-power the carving because it ends up not really being to scale. On this one, I 'll use about a 3/8" #11 or #9 gouge for the hair and a smaller 2mm #11 for the hat.

Textile Bottle Wood Market Retail


I just carve very shallow elongated S shapes from the cheeks down to the bottom of the beard. Try to avoid straight lines or simple arcs. You will probably be able to cut one side by going down and will then have to turn it upside down and make the cuts in the other direction on the other side…..this is because of changes in grain direction! You'll find you need to do this quite a bit to avoid chipping out. I just do a few simple gouge cuts on the mustache also, to indicate the sweep of the hair. When I got my first little v-gouge (that was actually sharp), I went crazy with it and made all these little grooves all over my beards! I still use them some to add minimal extra details, but I primarily use #11s and other gouges to create more realistic looks. On bigger pieces, I start with bigger gouges to establish waves and then work my way down through successively smaller gouges to add textures and shapes. You may notice that most of my chisels have a thumbnail grind, which allows me to carve up and underneath things like the mustache and the hat. I use the small #11 to take little divots from different angles out of the band of the hat and the ball, to create the look of fur or wool. I like to go over these areas with a bristle sander after I carve them, to really soften out the edges and give it a soft furry look.

Head Hand Gesture Sculpture Finger


The next step is optional, depending on whether you have a wood burning pen or not. I use a Colwood Detailer and pen with a small skew tip to lightly burn around areas that I want to highlight and areas that will be painted different colors. I use the pen like a hot knife, in that it makes delicate fine cuts as much as it lightly browns the wood. I am not going for a deep, charred black, just a slight brown shadow. This also helps prevent different colors of paint from bleeding into each other later on. You can use a burning pen to add very realistic details to animal and bird carvings, such as fur, hair, feather, and scales. You can achieve a similar look by washing burnt umber paint into the crevices and cuts, but it is not required.

Wood Finger Thumb Electrical wiring Engineering


You can see how I highlighted a few things like the splits on the bottom of the mustache. These can be painted in after you have completed the rest, if you don't have a burner.

Hand Plant Wood Finger Gesture


Now we can get to the painting. I use watered down acrylic paints and a method that gives a washed out antique look. I have already inserted the eye hook in the top of the ornament to give me a little extra place to hold it or to hang it while it drys. You may have noticed that I haven't carved or burnt any teeth in? Burning the lines is too much contrast, so I cut them in, after I paint. I dip the ornament in water, getting it completely damp, which helps blend the paint and also gives an idea what it will look like when a finish is applied (a finish will usually darken the wood to some degree). Dipping it in water also has the added bonus of magically healing many unintentional cuts or slices you might have accidentally made! If you made a slicing cut to show the teeth, the cuts will all disappear when you get the wood wet and paint them! You can see the two brushes that I use and I only need white, red, and a little yellow to paint this guy. I use a piece of glass as a pallette, to make mixing and cleanup easy. I mix a little bit of white, red, and yellow to get a watery pink look and apply it to the face and lips.

Wood Art Recreation Flooring Indoor games and sports


Gesture Wood Headgear Artifact Finger


You can add a slight touch of red to the cheeks and tip of the nose, for the frost-bitten look, and blend it in with plain water on the brush. Carefully clean your brush and use a fresh spot of white paint for the hair and trim on the hat. You don't want any pink in it! Apply as much as you like to get the desired whiteness, but you don't want it so thick that it obscures the wood…..it will show more white and more of a contrast when you put the final finish on. Lock your elbows into your sides and steady your brush by placing your pinky finger to the carving as a steady rest. And finally, clean the brush again and paint the red on the hat. Keep the paint a little thicker near the white portions of the hat and it will help prevent it from bleeding over.

Hand Finger Natural material Gesture Thumb


Now it needs to dry. If you get to impatient, you can hurry it up a bit with a hair dryer! It will have a chalky, flat appearance when it is dry. When it is dry, use your knife and cut in the lines for the teeth in the mouth. Try not to make them too uniform.

I use Minwax Satin Polyrethane to finish most of my carvings. You want to get the smallest can, because you want the fresh, thin stuff, not the stuff that has sat around and yellowed and thickened up. The new stuff will soak easily into the wood, which is what we want. Get several plain paper towels and have them handy. Brush the polyurethane on, getting all the cracks and crevices. Then immediately start wiping it off with the paper towels, getting all the little corners and places where it might have puddled. You will notice that the colors now pop and you have a flat matte finish that shows off the wood and the details of the carving. You don't want a heavy coating that might make it look too plastic. This finish will protect the piece and the colors for carving that will be a treasured gift for someone!

Wood Artifact Art Ingredient Sculpture


So here he is! Have fun doing some of your own and if you mess up, cut you off another piece and try it again! It takes a little practice, but if you're having fun you already know the most important thing about carving!

Thanks to all for looking and I'll try to get some other brief tutorials up soon.
He looks great, Mike. It is a fine tutorial and I'm not the greatest at this type of carving but I'll give it a try.
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Finishing up & Painting

Today we'll finish this little guy up. As I've carved ornaments, I've gotten faster at doing them and I can complete one in an hour or two, depending on how complex it is. I have started saving them up and painting 4-5 at a time, so that I don't waste as much paint, and that seems to help also.

So after we get him all carved, I spend a little bit of time going back over the whole piece and cleaning up the cuts a bit. I try to get all the little fuzzy pieces in the crevices and any little chips or raggedness removed. I go a further step and lightly sand most of my pieces, just to get some roundness and softness to the beard and face, not trying to remove all the knife marks. Some carvers like the look of all the marks and that is fine….. I just like a slightly more finished look.

Finger Gesture Creative arts Thumb Art


Now that I have the underlying shapes of the beard and mustache established, I'll use some gouges to add some texture. You can texture the beard in a lot of ways, with strictly knife cuts, v-tools, and gouges, even stones and burs in a Dremel. I sometimes use all of those, but in smaller carvings, attempting to put in every single hair can really over-power the carving because it ends up not really being to scale. On this one, I 'll use about a 3/8" #11 or #9 gouge for the hair and a smaller 2mm #11 for the hat.

Textile Bottle Wood Market Retail


I just carve very shallow elongated S shapes from the cheeks down to the bottom of the beard. Try to avoid straight lines or simple arcs. You will probably be able to cut one side by going down and will then have to turn it upside down and make the cuts in the other direction on the other side…..this is because of changes in grain direction! You'll find you need to do this quite a bit to avoid chipping out. I just do a few simple gouge cuts on the mustache also, to indicate the sweep of the hair. When I got my first little v-gouge (that was actually sharp), I went crazy with it and made all these little grooves all over my beards! I still use them some to add minimal extra details, but I primarily use #11s and other gouges to create more realistic looks. On bigger pieces, I start with bigger gouges to establish waves and then work my way down through successively smaller gouges to add textures and shapes. You may notice that most of my chisels have a thumbnail grind, which allows me to carve up and underneath things like the mustache and the hat. I use the small #11 to take little divots from different angles out of the band of the hat and the ball, to create the look of fur or wool. I like to go over these areas with a bristle sander after I carve them, to really soften out the edges and give it a soft furry look.

Head Hand Gesture Sculpture Finger


The next step is optional, depending on whether you have a wood burning pen or not. I use a Colwood Detailer and pen with a small skew tip to lightly burn around areas that I want to highlight and areas that will be painted different colors. I use the pen like a hot knife, in that it makes delicate fine cuts as much as it lightly browns the wood. I am not going for a deep, charred black, just a slight brown shadow. This also helps prevent different colors of paint from bleeding into each other later on. You can use a burning pen to add very realistic details to animal and bird carvings, such as fur, hair, feather, and scales. You can achieve a similar look by washing burnt umber paint into the crevices and cuts, but it is not required.

Wood Finger Thumb Electrical wiring Engineering


You can see how I highlighted a few things like the splits on the bottom of the mustache. These can be painted in after you have completed the rest, if you don't have a burner.

Hand Plant Wood Finger Gesture


Now we can get to the painting. I use watered down acrylic paints and a method that gives a washed out antique look. I have already inserted the eye hook in the top of the ornament to give me a little extra place to hold it or to hang it while it drys. You may have noticed that I haven't carved or burnt any teeth in? Burning the lines is too much contrast, so I cut them in, after I paint. I dip the ornament in water, getting it completely damp, which helps blend the paint and also gives an idea what it will look like when a finish is applied (a finish will usually darken the wood to some degree). Dipping it in water also has the added bonus of magically healing many unintentional cuts or slices you might have accidentally made! If you made a slicing cut to show the teeth, the cuts will all disappear when you get the wood wet and paint them! You can see the two brushes that I use and I only need white, red, and a little yellow to paint this guy. I use a piece of glass as a pallette, to make mixing and cleanup easy. I mix a little bit of white, red, and yellow to get a watery pink look and apply it to the face and lips.

Wood Art Recreation Flooring Indoor games and sports


Gesture Wood Headgear Artifact Finger


You can add a slight touch of red to the cheeks and tip of the nose, for the frost-bitten look, and blend it in with plain water on the brush. Carefully clean your brush and use a fresh spot of white paint for the hair and trim on the hat. You don't want any pink in it! Apply as much as you like to get the desired whiteness, but you don't want it so thick that it obscures the wood…..it will show more white and more of a contrast when you put the final finish on. Lock your elbows into your sides and steady your brush by placing your pinky finger to the carving as a steady rest. And finally, clean the brush again and paint the red on the hat. Keep the paint a little thicker near the white portions of the hat and it will help prevent it from bleeding over.

Hand Finger Natural material Gesture Thumb


Now it needs to dry. If you get to impatient, you can hurry it up a bit with a hair dryer! It will have a chalky, flat appearance when it is dry. When it is dry, use your knife and cut in the lines for the teeth in the mouth. Try not to make them too uniform.

I use Minwax Satin Polyrethane to finish most of my carvings. You want to get the smallest can, because you want the fresh, thin stuff, not the stuff that has sat around and yellowed and thickened up. The new stuff will soak easily into the wood, which is what we want. Get several plain paper towels and have them handy. Brush the polyurethane on, getting all the cracks and crevices. Then immediately start wiping it off with the paper towels, getting all the little corners and places where it might have puddled. You will notice that the colors now pop and you have a flat matte finish that shows off the wood and the details of the carving. You don't want a heavy coating that might make it look too plastic. This finish will protect the piece and the colors for carving that will be a treasured gift for someone!

Wood Artifact Art Ingredient Sculpture


So here he is! Have fun doing some of your own and if you mess up, cut you off another piece and try it again! It takes a little practice, but if you're having fun you already know the most important thing about carving!

Thanks to all for looking and I'll try to get some other brief tutorials up soon.
Good job Mike!
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Finishing up & Painting

Today we'll finish this little guy up. As I've carved ornaments, I've gotten faster at doing them and I can complete one in an hour or two, depending on how complex it is. I have started saving them up and painting 4-5 at a time, so that I don't waste as much paint, and that seems to help also.

So after we get him all carved, I spend a little bit of time going back over the whole piece and cleaning up the cuts a bit. I try to get all the little fuzzy pieces in the crevices and any little chips or raggedness removed. I go a further step and lightly sand most of my pieces, just to get some roundness and softness to the beard and face, not trying to remove all the knife marks. Some carvers like the look of all the marks and that is fine….. I just like a slightly more finished look.

Finger Gesture Creative arts Thumb Art


Now that I have the underlying shapes of the beard and mustache established, I'll use some gouges to add some texture. You can texture the beard in a lot of ways, with strictly knife cuts, v-tools, and gouges, even stones and burs in a Dremel. I sometimes use all of those, but in smaller carvings, attempting to put in every single hair can really over-power the carving because it ends up not really being to scale. On this one, I 'll use about a 3/8" #11 or #9 gouge for the hair and a smaller 2mm #11 for the hat.

Textile Bottle Wood Market Retail


I just carve very shallow elongated S shapes from the cheeks down to the bottom of the beard. Try to avoid straight lines or simple arcs. You will probably be able to cut one side by going down and will then have to turn it upside down and make the cuts in the other direction on the other side…..this is because of changes in grain direction! You'll find you need to do this quite a bit to avoid chipping out. I just do a few simple gouge cuts on the mustache also, to indicate the sweep of the hair. When I got my first little v-gouge (that was actually sharp), I went crazy with it and made all these little grooves all over my beards! I still use them some to add minimal extra details, but I primarily use #11s and other gouges to create more realistic looks. On bigger pieces, I start with bigger gouges to establish waves and then work my way down through successively smaller gouges to add textures and shapes. You may notice that most of my chisels have a thumbnail grind, which allows me to carve up and underneath things like the mustache and the hat. I use the small #11 to take little divots from different angles out of the band of the hat and the ball, to create the look of fur or wool. I like to go over these areas with a bristle sander after I carve them, to really soften out the edges and give it a soft furry look.

Head Hand Gesture Sculpture Finger


The next step is optional, depending on whether you have a wood burning pen or not. I use a Colwood Detailer and pen with a small skew tip to lightly burn around areas that I want to highlight and areas that will be painted different colors. I use the pen like a hot knife, in that it makes delicate fine cuts as much as it lightly browns the wood. I am not going for a deep, charred black, just a slight brown shadow. This also helps prevent different colors of paint from bleeding into each other later on. You can use a burning pen to add very realistic details to animal and bird carvings, such as fur, hair, feather, and scales. You can achieve a similar look by washing burnt umber paint into the crevices and cuts, but it is not required.

Wood Finger Thumb Electrical wiring Engineering


You can see how I highlighted a few things like the splits on the bottom of the mustache. These can be painted in after you have completed the rest, if you don't have a burner.

Hand Plant Wood Finger Gesture


Now we can get to the painting. I use watered down acrylic paints and a method that gives a washed out antique look. I have already inserted the eye hook in the top of the ornament to give me a little extra place to hold it or to hang it while it drys. You may have noticed that I haven't carved or burnt any teeth in? Burning the lines is too much contrast, so I cut them in, after I paint. I dip the ornament in water, getting it completely damp, which helps blend the paint and also gives an idea what it will look like when a finish is applied (a finish will usually darken the wood to some degree). Dipping it in water also has the added bonus of magically healing many unintentional cuts or slices you might have accidentally made! If you made a slicing cut to show the teeth, the cuts will all disappear when you get the wood wet and paint them! You can see the two brushes that I use and I only need white, red, and a little yellow to paint this guy. I use a piece of glass as a pallette, to make mixing and cleanup easy. I mix a little bit of white, red, and yellow to get a watery pink look and apply it to the face and lips.

Wood Art Recreation Flooring Indoor games and sports


Gesture Wood Headgear Artifact Finger


You can add a slight touch of red to the cheeks and tip of the nose, for the frost-bitten look, and blend it in with plain water on the brush. Carefully clean your brush and use a fresh spot of white paint for the hair and trim on the hat. You don't want any pink in it! Apply as much as you like to get the desired whiteness, but you don't want it so thick that it obscures the wood…..it will show more white and more of a contrast when you put the final finish on. Lock your elbows into your sides and steady your brush by placing your pinky finger to the carving as a steady rest. And finally, clean the brush again and paint the red on the hat. Keep the paint a little thicker near the white portions of the hat and it will help prevent it from bleeding over.

Hand Finger Natural material Gesture Thumb


Now it needs to dry. If you get to impatient, you can hurry it up a bit with a hair dryer! It will have a chalky, flat appearance when it is dry. When it is dry, use your knife and cut in the lines for the teeth in the mouth. Try not to make them too uniform.

I use Minwax Satin Polyrethane to finish most of my carvings. You want to get the smallest can, because you want the fresh, thin stuff, not the stuff that has sat around and yellowed and thickened up. The new stuff will soak easily into the wood, which is what we want. Get several plain paper towels and have them handy. Brush the polyurethane on, getting all the cracks and crevices. Then immediately start wiping it off with the paper towels, getting all the little corners and places where it might have puddled. You will notice that the colors now pop and you have a flat matte finish that shows off the wood and the details of the carving. You don't want a heavy coating that might make it look too plastic. This finish will protect the piece and the colors for carving that will be a treasured gift for someone!

Wood Artifact Art Ingredient Sculpture


So here he is! Have fun doing some of your own and if you mess up, cut you off another piece and try it again! It takes a little practice, but if you're having fun you already know the most important thing about carving!

Thanks to all for looking and I'll try to get some other brief tutorials up soon.
Thanks for doing such a fine job on the carving and the class. I cant wait to get started! I look forward to other character ideas for the holidays.
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Finishing up & Painting

Today we'll finish this little guy up. As I've carved ornaments, I've gotten faster at doing them and I can complete one in an hour or two, depending on how complex it is. I have started saving them up and painting 4-5 at a time, so that I don't waste as much paint, and that seems to help also.

So after we get him all carved, I spend a little bit of time going back over the whole piece and cleaning up the cuts a bit. I try to get all the little fuzzy pieces in the crevices and any little chips or raggedness removed. I go a further step and lightly sand most of my pieces, just to get some roundness and softness to the beard and face, not trying to remove all the knife marks. Some carvers like the look of all the marks and that is fine….. I just like a slightly more finished look.

Finger Gesture Creative arts Thumb Art


Now that I have the underlying shapes of the beard and mustache established, I'll use some gouges to add some texture. You can texture the beard in a lot of ways, with strictly knife cuts, v-tools, and gouges, even stones and burs in a Dremel. I sometimes use all of those, but in smaller carvings, attempting to put in every single hair can really over-power the carving because it ends up not really being to scale. On this one, I 'll use about a 3/8" #11 or #9 gouge for the hair and a smaller 2mm #11 for the hat.

Textile Bottle Wood Market Retail


I just carve very shallow elongated S shapes from the cheeks down to the bottom of the beard. Try to avoid straight lines or simple arcs. You will probably be able to cut one side by going down and will then have to turn it upside down and make the cuts in the other direction on the other side…..this is because of changes in grain direction! You'll find you need to do this quite a bit to avoid chipping out. I just do a few simple gouge cuts on the mustache also, to indicate the sweep of the hair. When I got my first little v-gouge (that was actually sharp), I went crazy with it and made all these little grooves all over my beards! I still use them some to add minimal extra details, but I primarily use #11s and other gouges to create more realistic looks. On bigger pieces, I start with bigger gouges to establish waves and then work my way down through successively smaller gouges to add textures and shapes. You may notice that most of my chisels have a thumbnail grind, which allows me to carve up and underneath things like the mustache and the hat. I use the small #11 to take little divots from different angles out of the band of the hat and the ball, to create the look of fur or wool. I like to go over these areas with a bristle sander after I carve them, to really soften out the edges and give it a soft furry look.

Head Hand Gesture Sculpture Finger


The next step is optional, depending on whether you have a wood burning pen or not. I use a Colwood Detailer and pen with a small skew tip to lightly burn around areas that I want to highlight and areas that will be painted different colors. I use the pen like a hot knife, in that it makes delicate fine cuts as much as it lightly browns the wood. I am not going for a deep, charred black, just a slight brown shadow. This also helps prevent different colors of paint from bleeding into each other later on. You can use a burning pen to add very realistic details to animal and bird carvings, such as fur, hair, feather, and scales. You can achieve a similar look by washing burnt umber paint into the crevices and cuts, but it is not required.

Wood Finger Thumb Electrical wiring Engineering


You can see how I highlighted a few things like the splits on the bottom of the mustache. These can be painted in after you have completed the rest, if you don't have a burner.

Hand Plant Wood Finger Gesture


Now we can get to the painting. I use watered down acrylic paints and a method that gives a washed out antique look. I have already inserted the eye hook in the top of the ornament to give me a little extra place to hold it or to hang it while it drys. You may have noticed that I haven't carved or burnt any teeth in? Burning the lines is too much contrast, so I cut them in, after I paint. I dip the ornament in water, getting it completely damp, which helps blend the paint and also gives an idea what it will look like when a finish is applied (a finish will usually darken the wood to some degree). Dipping it in water also has the added bonus of magically healing many unintentional cuts or slices you might have accidentally made! If you made a slicing cut to show the teeth, the cuts will all disappear when you get the wood wet and paint them! You can see the two brushes that I use and I only need white, red, and a little yellow to paint this guy. I use a piece of glass as a pallette, to make mixing and cleanup easy. I mix a little bit of white, red, and yellow to get a watery pink look and apply it to the face and lips.

Wood Art Recreation Flooring Indoor games and sports


Gesture Wood Headgear Artifact Finger


You can add a slight touch of red to the cheeks and tip of the nose, for the frost-bitten look, and blend it in with plain water on the brush. Carefully clean your brush and use a fresh spot of white paint for the hair and trim on the hat. You don't want any pink in it! Apply as much as you like to get the desired whiteness, but you don't want it so thick that it obscures the wood…..it will show more white and more of a contrast when you put the final finish on. Lock your elbows into your sides and steady your brush by placing your pinky finger to the carving as a steady rest. And finally, clean the brush again and paint the red on the hat. Keep the paint a little thicker near the white portions of the hat and it will help prevent it from bleeding over.

Hand Finger Natural material Gesture Thumb


Now it needs to dry. If you get to impatient, you can hurry it up a bit with a hair dryer! It will have a chalky, flat appearance when it is dry. When it is dry, use your knife and cut in the lines for the teeth in the mouth. Try not to make them too uniform.

I use Minwax Satin Polyrethane to finish most of my carvings. You want to get the smallest can, because you want the fresh, thin stuff, not the stuff that has sat around and yellowed and thickened up. The new stuff will soak easily into the wood, which is what we want. Get several plain paper towels and have them handy. Brush the polyurethane on, getting all the cracks and crevices. Then immediately start wiping it off with the paper towels, getting all the little corners and places where it might have puddled. You will notice that the colors now pop and you have a flat matte finish that shows off the wood and the details of the carving. You don't want a heavy coating that might make it look too plastic. This finish will protect the piece and the colors for carving that will be a treasured gift for someone!

Wood Artifact Art Ingredient Sculpture


So here he is! Have fun doing some of your own and if you mess up, cut you off another piece and try it again! It takes a little practice, but if you're having fun you already know the most important thing about carving!

Thanks to all for looking and I'll try to get some other brief tutorials up soon.
Thanks for the tutorial. I will have to give it a try.
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Finishing up & Painting

Today we'll finish this little guy up. As I've carved ornaments, I've gotten faster at doing them and I can complete one in an hour or two, depending on how complex it is. I have started saving them up and painting 4-5 at a time, so that I don't waste as much paint, and that seems to help also.

So after we get him all carved, I spend a little bit of time going back over the whole piece and cleaning up the cuts a bit. I try to get all the little fuzzy pieces in the crevices and any little chips or raggedness removed. I go a further step and lightly sand most of my pieces, just to get some roundness and softness to the beard and face, not trying to remove all the knife marks. Some carvers like the look of all the marks and that is fine….. I just like a slightly more finished look.

Finger Gesture Creative arts Thumb Art


Now that I have the underlying shapes of the beard and mustache established, I'll use some gouges to add some texture. You can texture the beard in a lot of ways, with strictly knife cuts, v-tools, and gouges, even stones and burs in a Dremel. I sometimes use all of those, but in smaller carvings, attempting to put in every single hair can really over-power the carving because it ends up not really being to scale. On this one, I 'll use about a 3/8" #11 or #9 gouge for the hair and a smaller 2mm #11 for the hat.

Textile Bottle Wood Market Retail


I just carve very shallow elongated S shapes from the cheeks down to the bottom of the beard. Try to avoid straight lines or simple arcs. You will probably be able to cut one side by going down and will then have to turn it upside down and make the cuts in the other direction on the other side…..this is because of changes in grain direction! You'll find you need to do this quite a bit to avoid chipping out. I just do a few simple gouge cuts on the mustache also, to indicate the sweep of the hair. When I got my first little v-gouge (that was actually sharp), I went crazy with it and made all these little grooves all over my beards! I still use them some to add minimal extra details, but I primarily use #11s and other gouges to create more realistic looks. On bigger pieces, I start with bigger gouges to establish waves and then work my way down through successively smaller gouges to add textures and shapes. You may notice that most of my chisels have a thumbnail grind, which allows me to carve up and underneath things like the mustache and the hat. I use the small #11 to take little divots from different angles out of the band of the hat and the ball, to create the look of fur or wool. I like to go over these areas with a bristle sander after I carve them, to really soften out the edges and give it a soft furry look.

Head Hand Gesture Sculpture Finger


The next step is optional, depending on whether you have a wood burning pen or not. I use a Colwood Detailer and pen with a small skew tip to lightly burn around areas that I want to highlight and areas that will be painted different colors. I use the pen like a hot knife, in that it makes delicate fine cuts as much as it lightly browns the wood. I am not going for a deep, charred black, just a slight brown shadow. This also helps prevent different colors of paint from bleeding into each other later on. You can use a burning pen to add very realistic details to animal and bird carvings, such as fur, hair, feather, and scales. You can achieve a similar look by washing burnt umber paint into the crevices and cuts, but it is not required.

Wood Finger Thumb Electrical wiring Engineering


You can see how I highlighted a few things like the splits on the bottom of the mustache. These can be painted in after you have completed the rest, if you don't have a burner.

Hand Plant Wood Finger Gesture


Now we can get to the painting. I use watered down acrylic paints and a method that gives a washed out antique look. I have already inserted the eye hook in the top of the ornament to give me a little extra place to hold it or to hang it while it drys. You may have noticed that I haven't carved or burnt any teeth in? Burning the lines is too much contrast, so I cut them in, after I paint. I dip the ornament in water, getting it completely damp, which helps blend the paint and also gives an idea what it will look like when a finish is applied (a finish will usually darken the wood to some degree). Dipping it in water also has the added bonus of magically healing many unintentional cuts or slices you might have accidentally made! If you made a slicing cut to show the teeth, the cuts will all disappear when you get the wood wet and paint them! You can see the two brushes that I use and I only need white, red, and a little yellow to paint this guy. I use a piece of glass as a pallette, to make mixing and cleanup easy. I mix a little bit of white, red, and yellow to get a watery pink look and apply it to the face and lips.

Wood Art Recreation Flooring Indoor games and sports


Gesture Wood Headgear Artifact Finger


You can add a slight touch of red to the cheeks and tip of the nose, for the frost-bitten look, and blend it in with plain water on the brush. Carefully clean your brush and use a fresh spot of white paint for the hair and trim on the hat. You don't want any pink in it! Apply as much as you like to get the desired whiteness, but you don't want it so thick that it obscures the wood…..it will show more white and more of a contrast when you put the final finish on. Lock your elbows into your sides and steady your brush by placing your pinky finger to the carving as a steady rest. And finally, clean the brush again and paint the red on the hat. Keep the paint a little thicker near the white portions of the hat and it will help prevent it from bleeding over.

Hand Finger Natural material Gesture Thumb


Now it needs to dry. If you get to impatient, you can hurry it up a bit with a hair dryer! It will have a chalky, flat appearance when it is dry. When it is dry, use your knife and cut in the lines for the teeth in the mouth. Try not to make them too uniform.

I use Minwax Satin Polyrethane to finish most of my carvings. You want to get the smallest can, because you want the fresh, thin stuff, not the stuff that has sat around and yellowed and thickened up. The new stuff will soak easily into the wood, which is what we want. Get several plain paper towels and have them handy. Brush the polyurethane on, getting all the cracks and crevices. Then immediately start wiping it off with the paper towels, getting all the little corners and places where it might have puddled. You will notice that the colors now pop and you have a flat matte finish that shows off the wood and the details of the carving. You don't want a heavy coating that might make it look too plastic. This finish will protect the piece and the colors for carving that will be a treasured gift for someone!

Wood Artifact Art Ingredient Sculpture


So here he is! Have fun doing some of your own and if you mess up, cut you off another piece and try it again! It takes a little practice, but if you're having fun you already know the most important thing about carving!

Thanks to all for looking and I'll try to get some other brief tutorials up soon.
Good job Mike. I shared on our club's facebook page.
Keep up the good work.
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
7,502 Posts
Finishing up & Painting

Today we'll finish this little guy up. As I've carved ornaments, I've gotten faster at doing them and I can complete one in an hour or two, depending on how complex it is. I have started saving them up and painting 4-5 at a time, so that I don't waste as much paint, and that seems to help also.

So after we get him all carved, I spend a little bit of time going back over the whole piece and cleaning up the cuts a bit. I try to get all the little fuzzy pieces in the crevices and any little chips or raggedness removed. I go a further step and lightly sand most of my pieces, just to get some roundness and softness to the beard and face, not trying to remove all the knife marks. Some carvers like the look of all the marks and that is fine….. I just like a slightly more finished look.

Finger Gesture Creative arts Thumb Art


Now that I have the underlying shapes of the beard and mustache established, I'll use some gouges to add some texture. You can texture the beard in a lot of ways, with strictly knife cuts, v-tools, and gouges, even stones and burs in a Dremel. I sometimes use all of those, but in smaller carvings, attempting to put in every single hair can really over-power the carving because it ends up not really being to scale. On this one, I 'll use about a 3/8" #11 or #9 gouge for the hair and a smaller 2mm #11 for the hat.

Textile Bottle Wood Market Retail


I just carve very shallow elongated S shapes from the cheeks down to the bottom of the beard. Try to avoid straight lines or simple arcs. You will probably be able to cut one side by going down and will then have to turn it upside down and make the cuts in the other direction on the other side…..this is because of changes in grain direction! You'll find you need to do this quite a bit to avoid chipping out. I just do a few simple gouge cuts on the mustache also, to indicate the sweep of the hair. When I got my first little v-gouge (that was actually sharp), I went crazy with it and made all these little grooves all over my beards! I still use them some to add minimal extra details, but I primarily use #11s and other gouges to create more realistic looks. On bigger pieces, I start with bigger gouges to establish waves and then work my way down through successively smaller gouges to add textures and shapes. You may notice that most of my chisels have a thumbnail grind, which allows me to carve up and underneath things like the mustache and the hat. I use the small #11 to take little divots from different angles out of the band of the hat and the ball, to create the look of fur or wool. I like to go over these areas with a bristle sander after I carve them, to really soften out the edges and give it a soft furry look.

Head Hand Gesture Sculpture Finger


The next step is optional, depending on whether you have a wood burning pen or not. I use a Colwood Detailer and pen with a small skew tip to lightly burn around areas that I want to highlight and areas that will be painted different colors. I use the pen like a hot knife, in that it makes delicate fine cuts as much as it lightly browns the wood. I am not going for a deep, charred black, just a slight brown shadow. This also helps prevent different colors of paint from bleeding into each other later on. You can use a burning pen to add very realistic details to animal and bird carvings, such as fur, hair, feather, and scales. You can achieve a similar look by washing burnt umber paint into the crevices and cuts, but it is not required.

Wood Finger Thumb Electrical wiring Engineering


You can see how I highlighted a few things like the splits on the bottom of the mustache. These can be painted in after you have completed the rest, if you don't have a burner.

Hand Plant Wood Finger Gesture


Now we can get to the painting. I use watered down acrylic paints and a method that gives a washed out antique look. I have already inserted the eye hook in the top of the ornament to give me a little extra place to hold it or to hang it while it drys. You may have noticed that I haven't carved or burnt any teeth in? Burning the lines is too much contrast, so I cut them in, after I paint. I dip the ornament in water, getting it completely damp, which helps blend the paint and also gives an idea what it will look like when a finish is applied (a finish will usually darken the wood to some degree). Dipping it in water also has the added bonus of magically healing many unintentional cuts or slices you might have accidentally made! If you made a slicing cut to show the teeth, the cuts will all disappear when you get the wood wet and paint them! You can see the two brushes that I use and I only need white, red, and a little yellow to paint this guy. I use a piece of glass as a pallette, to make mixing and cleanup easy. I mix a little bit of white, red, and yellow to get a watery pink look and apply it to the face and lips.

Wood Art Recreation Flooring Indoor games and sports


Gesture Wood Headgear Artifact Finger


You can add a slight touch of red to the cheeks and tip of the nose, for the frost-bitten look, and blend it in with plain water on the brush. Carefully clean your brush and use a fresh spot of white paint for the hair and trim on the hat. You don't want any pink in it! Apply as much as you like to get the desired whiteness, but you don't want it so thick that it obscures the wood…..it will show more white and more of a contrast when you put the final finish on. Lock your elbows into your sides and steady your brush by placing your pinky finger to the carving as a steady rest. And finally, clean the brush again and paint the red on the hat. Keep the paint a little thicker near the white portions of the hat and it will help prevent it from bleeding over.

Hand Finger Natural material Gesture Thumb


Now it needs to dry. If you get to impatient, you can hurry it up a bit with a hair dryer! It will have a chalky, flat appearance when it is dry. When it is dry, use your knife and cut in the lines for the teeth in the mouth. Try not to make them too uniform.

I use Minwax Satin Polyrethane to finish most of my carvings. You want to get the smallest can, because you want the fresh, thin stuff, not the stuff that has sat around and yellowed and thickened up. The new stuff will soak easily into the wood, which is what we want. Get several plain paper towels and have them handy. Brush the polyurethane on, getting all the cracks and crevices. Then immediately start wiping it off with the paper towels, getting all the little corners and places where it might have puddled. You will notice that the colors now pop and you have a flat matte finish that shows off the wood and the details of the carving. You don't want a heavy coating that might make it look too plastic. This finish will protect the piece and the colors for carving that will be a treasured gift for someone!

Wood Artifact Art Ingredient Sculpture


So here he is! Have fun doing some of your own and if you mess up, cut you off another piece and try it again! It takes a little practice, but if you're having fun you already know the most important thing about carving!

Thanks to all for looking and I'll try to get some other brief tutorials up soon.
Ho Ho is comin to town. very nice
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 22 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top