tributesinwood

Wood Carvings by Mark Sheridan

Archive for the tag “caricature carvings”

From Clay to Wood

Why is it that everytime I start a little fun project, a bunch of seemingly necessary projects come up to interfere?  I can remember as a kid always enjoying the fall period as it meant the start of a new winter project…usually a model airplane…and nothing seemed to get in the way of that.

But I did take a bit of time to rough in the basswood blank based on the clay sculpture.

I decided to do the head separately again just so that I could get the right sideways glance that I wanted.  I also decided to do the arms separately so that I would have a better chance at getting the wood grain going in the strongest direction.  My plan is to attach the arms just below the rolled sleeves.

So with a quick approximation on the bandsaw and them some callipers to transfer the dimensions from the clay to the wood, here’s where I ended up.  Note again that I used a Foredom tool with a typhoon bit to remove the wood quickly.  That’s what created the fuzzy appearance on the wood.  Now that it’s at this point, I’ll get to carving with a knife and gouges.   Still a lot of slimming down to do.

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Mervin Moves Up

Well, Mervin of “Mervin the Mover” fame was so successful that he has decided to add another venture to his business empire.  Plus, his slogan of “One Haul…That’s All” is taking its toll on his back.  Time to move up, lean back and enjoy life.

Yup…window cleaning.

So, I dug out the old clay figure that I had created for Mervin the Mover and with a bit of bending and breaking away the dry clay from the copper armature that I made, I’ve twisted him into a posture for window cleaning.  Now, Mervin is vintage ’30s so don’t expect him to have the best safety harness as he’s cleaning downtown, high rise apartments….just a sling or rope that he’s leaning back against.

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With a bit of clay added, you can see that he’s leaning back with his heels planted on the ledge of the high rise window.  He’ll have a rag in his right hand as he wipes away a spot and his left hand will be holding a bucket of suds and a squeegee.

I’m thinking that this one’s going to be called “Missed A Spot.”  And I’m pretty sure that it will somehow include a little dog.

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A Bit of Painting

Here’s the start to the painting.

The apron is a blend of washes of yellow ochre and asphaltum ( brown ).  I then added a few dabs of burnt sienna and raw sienna for highlights.  The whole thing was then dry brushed with an ivory.

The fur has many washes of asphaltum, burnt umber and yellow ochre.  I even added a single light wash of purple to give it a bit of richness.  I still want to go back and lighten up spots, especially around the face area.

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Back to Caricatures

With the last project wrapped up, I’m returning to “Another Dam Carver.”

Any hard working Canadian beaver needs a toque…so, that’s what we’re working on this afternoon.  Now, for non-Canadians ( you unfortunates! ), a toque is a knitted wool hat that absolutely everyone owns.  They’re great for those cold Canadian winters and can be generally worn anytime from about the end of August to the following first of June!

I still use and enjoy Lynn Doughty’s method of “sizing” the hat to the head of the caricature with a bit of pencil lead on the head that transfers to the inside of the hat to highlight the high points that need to be shaved away.  The dowel is used to ensure that you’re replacing the hat in the exact same spot every time.

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As you can see from the photo above and below, after shaping the toque, I used a burning tool to make vertical ridges in the hat.  Later,  I burned further marks into each of the ridges to make a herringbone pattern.  All in all, it looks pretty close to a knit pattern ( if you squint a bit ).

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A Change of Plans

From an earlier post, you’ll remember the little Basset-in-a-Box.  This little guy is intended as a “Learning by Doing” project at the upcoming Magic in Wood Competition and Show held in Pickering, Ontario this October.  The basic idea is to have several carvers come up with a carving that can be accomplished in about two hours and invite small groups to join them in completing a project of their own.  Registration will be on the Ontariowoodcarvers.ca site shortly for all of the different projects.  I was asked to lead a carving session for a Basset carving and this is what I’m planning to bring.

Actually, because we only have a couple of hours in the carving session, I’m bringing a “rough-out” of the carving for each participant that will look something like this…

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From that roughed in version, the hope is to get everyone within a couple of hours to this stage…

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Beyond that, I’m planning to leave some instructions and photos with the participants so, if they choose, they can go home and paint the figure along the lines that I’ve painted mine.

Now, about the change in plans.  Well, although I started out with the idea that the pup would be in a box, it struck me along the way that it would either be a pretty big pup or a pretty small box.  So, I decided that the box needed to become a bag…a gift bag.

So, come on, who wouldn’t want to receive a howling hound in a surprise gift bag?  Really.

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Basset-in-a-Box

I’ve been asked to lead a carving session at the fall Magic in Wood carving show and competition held in Pickering, Ontario.  This session is part of the “Learning by Doing” program where carvers sign up to take part in one of a variety of two hour carving projects during the show.   For some reason, it was suggested that I take on a Basset Hound carving…

Here’s a few photos of what I’m planning to do.  I’ll finish this carving with some acrylic paint in the next little while such that it depicts the little hound popping out of an opened gift box or moving box.  The painting portion will have to be done by the participants outside of the two hour session.

I first cut out of basswood the pencil drawing that I made.

Then, with a Foredom tool equipped with a very aggressive “Typhoon” bit, I roughed out the general shape of the carving.  My plan is to provide the participants with this “rough-out” to begin their carving.  I thought that this would give people ample time to detail their carving within the two hour session, yet still have the opportunity to do a lot of carving.

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Then with smaller gouges and a carving knife, I began drawing out the details of the ears, paws and head.  The grain runs from top to bottom which makes it fairly easy to carve away the excess material.  You can do the carving with just a knife, however, it is much easier to get the sweeping curves of this little sculpture using gouges.

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With some more attention to the detail and, again, using gouges and knives, I undercut the ears and around the paws to a greater extent.  I added squinted eyes rather than round eyes as the little dog is howling his glee in meeting his new owner…or, maybe just because he’s finally out of the box!  Of course, the squinted eyes are easier to carve quickly but the individual carver can change that if they like.  I plan to bring some reference photos for people to use so they can add details of their own based on their carving experience.

I’ll add another post in the next few days of the box lid that will be a separate piece propped up against the base of the box.

Running a session like this is a first for me, so if you have some feedback or advice for me I would appreciate hearing about that.  Although the “sign-up” registration for “Learning by Doing” is not on the Ontario Wood Carvers’ website just yet, I’m the webmaster for that site ( ontariowoodcarvers.ca ) and plan to get that up on the site in August.

Finished and “On The Road Again”

Here are some final photos of the carving.  That was a really enjoyable carving to do and the first time that I’ve carved a vehicle.  I enjoyed that so much that the next caricature that I do is going to include a scooter and sidecar!

 

 

Some Cobblestone to Ride On

I picked up a nice piece of hardwood and cut out an oval shape for the base.  After routing in a nice edge and leaving about an 1/8″to play with, I carved in an alternating pattern of cobblestone.

The first thing that I did was use a gouge to create troughs in the roadway where car and wagon wheels would have depressed the roadway from constant use.  Once that was done, the cobblestone was first laid out using a v-tool chisel and then with a gouge I made the surface of each cobblestone irregular with little bumps and dips in it…because no one has ever seen perfectly flat cobblestone.  That perfectly flat stone in the walkway to your house ain’t cobblestone.

Once that was done, I clipped a few corners of the stones and created a few cracks in others to give it a real worn look and followed up with a wood burner to make the cracks and lines really crisp.

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The painting was done with a base coat of grey.  Some of the stones were then given a wash of barnyard red, whereas others got a wash of yellow ochre. To add a little dirt and mud, some smudging with yellow ochre and raw sienna did the trick.  Finally, to take some of the brightness away and leave the cracks between the stones a bit darker, several washes of payne’s grey were applied.

The routered edge got a dark stain followed by a few coats of satin urethane.  The cobblestone had satin urethane applied and then wiped away almost immediately with a paper cloth to ensure that there would be no shine left on the coloured stones.

Finally, a nice brass nameplate was added…and I think it all looks pretty good.  A couple more touches and we’re done.

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Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you carvers and art lovers who have a day job being a mom!

My Mom’s in Niagara Falls.  She’s a great mom…how many moms would have let their young son play with sharp knives!

Paul started the day off right with a hand-crafted  card and a nice gift.  It’s sunny and warm today and we’ll do our best to pamper Peggy…she more than deserves it.

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On a less celebratory note, I picked up a nice piece of hard wood and cut out the base for the carving.  I think that I’m going to carve some cobblestone into the base as the roadway to match the era of the car.  The little flat section in the middle is where the nameplate will be fastened.

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From this and the previous photo, you can see the difference in the colour of the carving after the urethane has been applied.  The sealing coat really brings out the colours that were fairly subtle when they were just the flat acrylic.  You can also see the addition of the “leather-wrapped” steering wheel, the hand lever and the radiator cap.  Still need to add a small hub cap on the wheels.  Lots of fun.

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A Quieter Ride

You can look back a few posts earlier where I cut the two mufflers and tail pipes out of basswood and them shaped them with a carving knife.  Today, I did a little extra detailing and painted them up.  I also carved a little gear shift lever that’s at the driver’s right paw.

I actually carved a couple of heat shields into the tailpipe.  These were simply there so that the passengers in the open cockpit didn’t inadvertently touch an elbow on a hot pipe.  They were typically perforated for better cooling, so I used the rounded tip of a Foredom tool to quickly put some dimples into the shields.

I also added a couple of small dowels to each pipe to locate it properly along and under the car.  Once I’ve applied the final sealing coat of urethane, I’ll epoxy these dowels and the general area around the dowel to the car.

The mufflers got several washes of mixtures of asphaltum brown and carbon black.  This was followed with some blotches of asphaltum, raw sienna and yellow ochre.  When this was all done, it started to look like a pipe that had gone through a few heating cycles and a few mud puddles!  I topped it off with a dry brushing of silver…a little heavier on the heat shield sections and a bit lighter on the rest of the pipe.

I still need to add a steering wheel, radiator cap, starter crank and some wheel hub nuts and then I think it’ll be ready for it’s seal coat of urethane.

Just click on the photos to make them bigger.

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