Wood Carvings by Mark Sheridan

Archive for the category “Moving Day”

Some Dirt, Wear and Tear

Our little racer isn’t a show piece that stays in the garage, so we want it to look like it’s enjoyed.

To do that, I first used yellow ochre and raw sienna to highlight a few spots that have picked up some dirt along the roads.  I don’t actually paint this on in the usual sense.  I just put a small dab on the end of a brush and, after wiping a lot of it away on a paper towel, I rub the brush into a small area of the carving.  This ends up giving it a nice blended look rather than just a spot of paint.

Following that, I dry brush on a light beige by just lightly using the tips of the brush to catch the high points of the carving.  Again, very little paint is used on the brush and most is wiped off on a paper towel before touching the carving.  The brush is similar to the brush a woman would use to apply blush…be sure to use your wife’s if you’re brave.  This method gave the car a dusty and scuffed appearance…similar to how you’re going to look if you use your wife’s cosmetic brush.

What do you think?  Once I get the urethane final finish on the paint, the colours and highlights will get really enhanced.



Blowing in the Wind

No, not Peter, Paul and Mary…just a few Basset ears.  With the ears taking shape, the car has really picked up some speed.  It sure doesn’t look like a static carving any longer.

I carved the ears much like I did the arms in my usual fashion of fitting them with the use of a small bar of sketching lead used on the two mating parts to highlight the high points.  With some gentle carving and shaping, you end up with a really tight fit that becomes stronger than the wood once the epoxy is applied.

As a note of interest, the lead that I’m using is a piece that I bought at an art store a decade ago when we went to France for a short vacation.  We brought that along with a large piece of paper and were able to make an etching of the headstone of a great uncle of mine who sadly died in Cambrai during the last few days of the first world war.  That was quite an experience.

I should also mention that I attended just a super professional carving competition and show in Belleville on Saturday.  Very well organized.  The Belleville situated “Quinte” club meets twice a week for carving and socializing and is about a 40 minute drive for me from door to door.  Guess who’ll be joining that club?  I entered “A Moving Experience” in the competition and received a 1st in Caricatures, 1st in Open and People’s Choice Award.  I met some great people and saw some great carvings…

Here are a few photos of the steps that I took in the creation of the ears.  I’m just finishing the fourth ear…then it’s on to some more of the detail on the car.

Proud Mervin

You’ll forgive me for displaying these ribbons…Mervin got a 1st in Caricatures, 1st in Open Class and 1st Best in Show at the Canadian Carving Championships held in Hamilton Ontario this past weekend!

I had just a great time with my daughter, Emily, and we got a chance to chat with all kinds of carvers.  I took quite a few photos and I’ll get some of them posted shortly so that you can see the wide variety of outstanding carvings that were displayed.



A Moving Experience

All done and tied down with tea-soaked twine!  Mervin’s off to the Canadian Woodcarving Championship Show in Hamilton this weekend…

I’ll get some more photos on Flickr next week.  Just click on the photo, below, and you’ll get a larger view.

Load ‘Em Up

Well, Mervin finally has some colour and some of the load is now glued in place.  It’s looking pretty good, all in all.  You learn something new with each carving and although there are a few things that I would now do differently, I’m really pleased with the way this carving is turning out.

I picked up a nice piece of maple for a base and carved in some cobblestone and painted it using a reddish-brown and highlighted with burnt umber and yellow ochre.  In between the cobblestones is a sand coloured acrylic paint with a wash over it of the same colour as the bricks.

Notice in behind the carving there was a bit of a dead space that just didn’t look right, so I added a little sewer opening.  I like the way it fits in with the carving and makes it look like Mervin has just stepped off of the curb and is on his way down the road.

By the way, the maple was very, very hard.  I think I’ll return to a softer hardwood on my next carving.




Assembling the Parts

I still have the Mervin character to paint, but I thought I’d spend some time in assembling his moving load.

Here’s a quick shot of some of the assembled parts.

The mattress ended up looking really nice.  It’s actually a shame to cover it with other items!  I used brass nails with nicely rounded heads and trimmed them back and then glued them in drilled holes wherever a mattress “button” should appear.  Later, I painted the brass heads and gave them a light coat of polyurethane to seal them.

This weekend, I’ll do some final prep on Mervin and get the painting started on him.



Good Boy

Our little dog is eager to get his fill of “Good Boy Dog Chow.”

I actually came across a vintage brand of dog chow called “Good Boy” and combined that name with the old Purina checkered border on their packages.  I liked the way that it turned out as both the checkers and the label were painted to look stretched by the little dog which helps the whole image of the heavy sack getting pulled away from the moving load.



Another Braided Rug

This is my second braided rug, the first one being included with “The Country Hound.”

I made it along the same lines…I first used a parting tool ( v-shaped ) and a knife to make channels for the line of braids and followed that up with a wood burning tool to give each row a lot of definition.  I then burned the actual braids into the lines by making individual “y’s” that looked like a herring bone design when it was finished.

The painting used three different shades of the same colour in each section.  So, as an example, the blue section consisted of a pale blue, a medium blue and a dark blue repeated over and over ( …and over and over ).  It is truly mindless work but the final result looks nice.

I finished it off with a light dusting of beige and a spray of matte finish.  I would normally use a satin urethane and then wipe away the excess, however, there are so many crevices left from the wood burning tip that it would be impossible to wipe away all of the urethane and you’d be left with a lot of very shiny areas.

I also painted the “porcelain” on the kitchen sink and made sure that I added ample water stains with some yellow-ochre.  The porcelain colour is basically white with washes of “linen.”  I then brushed several coats of white glue ( it’s actually a bit yellow in the bottle) over the whole thing to give the porcelain some depth.  It seemed to turn out pretty well.


Lightly Toasted

I finished up the mattress, lamp and the toaster today although I still want to add electrical cords to the lamp and toaster later on once everything is in place.

I’m not sure if I mentioned earlier that I decided to change up the floor lamp and have it sticking through the rolled up mattress.  So I ended up drilling out within the fold of the mattress and cutting the lamp in about equal halves to insert into either end.

The lamp shade got a coat of automotive primer followed by several coats of acrylic “linen” with some dabs of yellow ochre to give it an aged and a bit stained look.  The lamp stand and legs were first covered with brown “asphaltum” and then dry brushed pretty liberally with a copper colour called “worn penny.”  I think that it duplicated that aged brass look that I was after pretty closely.

The toaster got covered with metal tape often used in HVAC ( furnaces and ducts ) work.  This is an adhesive backed tape that once on the wood can be smoothed out around gentle curves by rubbing on it with a smooth surface like the back of a spoon.  With a bit of grey-black on the parts that would have been the plastic of the time – bakelite- it turned out pretty well.


Everything is Better with Music

Although Mervin doesn’t have a whole lot of spare time, if he could take a break at least he has a borrowed guitar to play.

I first painted the guitar case in a lightened black ( added a bit of grey ) and then highlighted some of the scars in the case with even lighter grey.  I added some raw sienna and yellow ochre to dirty things up a bit before dry brushing with beige.  Everything got the usual satin polyurethane finish for sealing.

The little bumper stickers show that whoever’s moving has attended at least one jamboree and square dance!


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