Wood Carvings by Mark Sheridan

Archive for the category “Country Hound”

Photo-Op for a Country Hound

Our little Country Hound is finished and has now sat patiently for his photo-op.

I’m pretty pleased with the way that this little carving  has turned out.  Thanks to Lynne for her ideas on this carving as I would not have come up with this composition on my own.  It was fun to carve and complete.

I’ll put some additional photos on the Flickr site ( link at the side of this page ) a little bit later today.





A Colourful Rug

Well, that was fun…I’ll be sure to carve and paint a braided rug again.  Maybe I’ll even make a real braided rug in the future!

The rugs themselves are made of multi-coloured strands of cloth.  The rug that I “carved” is modelled after a three cloth braiding pattern and also has three distinct colour sections: an outer dark blue/light blue/red section, a middle light blue/beige/yellow section, and a centre yellow/light green/dark green section.  I say that I “carved” the rug in quotations because the strands were actually carved into the base with a parting chisel ( looks like a “V” ) and the individual braids were burned in with the tip of a wood-burning tool.

Having the burned-in channels of the braid were really helpful in the painting, as the paint was confined to the burned boundaries and was not able to bleed into the adjoining sections.  So, everything looks nice and crisp.

I should mention that the sections where no braiding is evident is where the rocking chair rails will fit and be glued.  I felt that I needed a bit of a depression ( which won’t be seen after the chair is in place ) so that the rocking chair rails had a good surface for which to adhere.

Next step…fastening and gluing the rocking chair to the base.


Some Rug Braiding

I’ve done some rug braiding tonight and the rug is now ready for paint!

The planked floor and the shaped base beneath it also got some stain and urethane earlier this week, so the base is coming to completion.  I’ve typically painted the wood grain lines on the plank floor with acrylic paints, however, in this case, the planks are running parallel to the grain in the oak base and, given that the grain is very fine, an oak finish looked just right to make a true-to-scale rendition of a floor.



After doing some sanding, the edge of the base got a darker stain than the planked floor just to make the perimeter stand out.  I also included some small nails at a few of the plank joints in the floor just to add some more interest.

My next step will be to use some acrylic paints to provide a multi-colour rug pattern within the “braided” lines that I’ve already burned in with a wood burner.  I’m planning to use diluted “washes” of a number of colours so that the rug ends up not looking too bright…I’d prefer something that looks well used.

The Base Takes Shape

Well, I decided on a circular base as I mentioned in the last post…so, this morning I did the routering and spent a bit of time carving an oval “braided” rug and a few hardwood slats into the top of the base.  I’m just in the process of using a wood burning tool to show the braiding in the rug cord.  I think that once it’s finished and painted it’s going to look pretty good.



In non-carving news, Rosie and I got a bit of snow-frisbee in today.  We also learned a new trick…snow angels…kinda like a normal “roll-over” trick but done in the snow!


Starting the Base

The Country Hound carving is now finished, has been glued together and has received a light coat of urethane to protect the acrylics.  I like the way this carving is turning out.

The base has been cut from a piece of oak and I’m just getting a sense of how I’d like it to look.  I’m picturing that rocking chair sitting on a wood floor with a throw rug.  I’m going to play around with that for a little while and see what turns up.

For now, here’s how it’s looking.



Some Painting for the Country Pup

Here’s a quick first peak at the little pup with much of the painting completed.  This weekend, I’ll apply some satin clear urethane to seal and brighten the colours and that should be about it on the figure before I start into the base on which the rocking chair will sit.  I have some ideas for that but I’m sure they’ll change as I get started and add more to the scene.

So, here’s what I’ve been up to…

The hound got a base coat of ivory lightened with a bit of white.  Then, in many individual washes ( very diluted paint ) of alternating milk chocolate and asphaltum browns, he got his colouring and little “spots”.  Then, the figure received a very dilute wash of asphaltum brown over everything to bring out all of the little contours in the carving.  Finally, I applied some yellow ochre and raw sienna in little smudges just to show that his paws, in particular, are a bit dirty here and there.  After all, he is a Country Hound and should have spent at least a little bit of time close to the earth!

The overalls were  painted in several washes of midnight blue.  I darkened up the recesses and wrinkles with extra washes of the same colour, and then added some whitened blue to show where the high points were and where those denims may have been worn away a bit.  I also added a nice green and yellow plaid patch to the knee patch that I had carved earlier.  After a few hints of yellow ochre and raw sienna “dirt”, a dry brush of slightly darkened ivory was used to give the overalls that dusty and worn look that I like on the clothing that I carve.

For those interested in seeing these methods used in outstanding fashion, be sure to watch one of Lynn Doughty’s videos which you can link to off to the side of this page.

Well, that’s about it for now…hope you enjoy the progress so far and are having fun with your Christmas and Holiday preparations.



The Tail Takes a New Direction…Literally

Any good artist always listens to input from others.  Did you know that Michelangelo actually started painting the floor of the Sistine Chapel?  Don’t quote me on that.

Well, after some good input from Cheryl and Lynne, some agreement from Peggy and a bit of experimentation on Rosie ( sorry Rosie ), the tail has taken a new direction.  Haha!

Actually, this is a good chance to show what the tail looked like with just the copper wire twisted together.  Once the epoxy is applied it fattens up the tail considerably and smooths out all of the bumps and spirals of the copper wire.

I like this look a lot better and I think I’ll fatten the tail up even more this time with the epoxy, but please weigh in!…your suggestions make this a lot of fun…and it’s easy to adjust the tail or remove it completely.


All Prepped for Paint

Well, I think that I’ve done about as much as I need to before putting a bit of colour to this little hound.  Let me tell you what I’ve done since my last post.

The little handkerchief got a bit of checker-board paint.  The colours are barnyard red and butterscotch, with a bit of highlighting over the butterscotch with bright white.  Finally, the whole thing got a dry brushing of ivory to make it look a bit used.  I still need to put a coat of urethane on it to brighten up the colours further…but, I like the result so far.

I also carved in a hint of some claws on all of the paws and then epoxied all of the pieces in place…the ears and the one back paw that cuddles the banjo.  After that I gave the whole thing a coat of very thinned gesso.  Again, I like to use the gesso where many others like to paint directly onto the bare wood.  For me, the gesso serves to seal the wood and make a good base for the acrylics and it also tends to highlight any imperfections so that I can deal with them before the final paint.  Normally, the imperfections are little stray knife marks or some wood “fuzz” that I don’t like.  Normally.

This case wasn’t normal…once I put the gesso on I noticed for the first time that I forgot something…a tail!  I guess that the overalls threw me off…but I corrected that after I stopped laughing.  I made the tail in my typical fashion with some copper wire twisted together and coated with epoxy.  I wrapped it around the back of the chair and I like the way that it balances the handkerchief on the other side of the carving.  I’m still chuckling a bit because I have been accused in the past of omitting tails!

Hope you like the way that it’s turning out…I’m enjoying it.





A Country Hat and a Pretty Pup

Although I wasn’t able to spend much time on my carving this week, the little hound’s hat did get some paint.

Basically a  light yellow combined with some yellow ochre to come up with an interpretation of a straw hat.  Just a hint of burnt sienna around the brim and some yellow ochre here and there to make it look a bit lived-in.  Finally a dry-brush “dusting” of off-white to make the worn parts stand out a bit.  I think the result is a good rendering of a straw hat that a little banjo playing hound dog might sport.


Now, this isn’t a Basset Hound by any means, but my little Sheltie, Rosie, got her Christmas hair-do today and insisted on being included in this post.  I try to keep Rosie happy.


Pickin’ and a Grinnin’…

Our little hound will soon be pickin’ and a grinnin’ with this little banjo on his knee.

I cut the heads off of some very small, shiny finishing nails and arranged them around the tin section of the banjo.  This is meant to resemble the small bolts found on full size banjos that are designed to keep the drum skin tight.  Each nail is epoxied into holes that I drilled around the banjo skin.


I carved some “ears”, or tuning mechanisms, for the banjo out of oak and gave them a dark stain.


I then bundled some very fine wire together in five strands and epoxied it in a hole that I drilled in the base, or end, of the banjo and glued that bundle in place.  Then it was a matter of fashioning a very small bridge and gluing it to the banjo body skin to route the little strings across.

After drilling some holes in the tuning mechanisms will a pin, I threaded each wire through and wrapped it around the tuning dowels and epoxied them in place.  Finally, I arranged the strings evenly across the bridge and epoxied that end and the other end of the strings at the neck of the banjo so that everything would stay put.

A few twists of the remaining wire around a little dowel to make the curly bits at the end…and we’ve got ourselves a little banjo.

Now, that was fun.  I really need to think up more reasons to make banjos.  I wonder if they’d make nice Christmas Tree decorations?


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