tributesinwood

Wood Carvings by Mark Sheridan

Archive for the tag “carving caricature”

Might be Finished

I’m never quite sure when I’m finished a carving. I can always think of something extra to add and, in this case, it’s probably going to be a little dog. But for now, I’m going to call this one complete enough to put into a cabinet and move on to some serious gardening.

A friend gave me a piece of bloodwood. I’d never heard of it either. It’s a South American wood, very red in colour and when it’s cut on a power saw it has a very nice odour…something like coconut butter. I used a dust mask but could still smell the fragrance of the wood. Oh…and it’s hard as nails…I would imagine if you were making something substantial from bloodwood, you’d need to buy some new saw blades and router bits after the project was complete.

I used the bloodwood for the base and carved/chiseled/ground/dynamited a few lines in it to represent cobblestone. I then added a little flower bed at the back made from basswood ( which felt like carving butter after carving the bloodwood ) and included a brickwork wall. I added a couple of evergreen bushes and it all ended up looking like a nice backdrop.

I drilled a hole through the lamp post and inserted a brass tube. A couple of screws and washers on the end covered in epoxy made nice little end spindles. Of course, a couple of little blue birds needed to be added to this bar. I also used some light metal sheet to make straps at the end of the accordion.

Before everything was epoxied in place, everything got a light coat of satin urethane.

So, now it’s on to the gardening!

A Straw Hat and Some Painting

Well, I continue to dabble with a number of projects around the house during our “social distancing” period. I’m not sure if it’s the amount of news we’re watching that consumes our days or just the fact that I have too many projects to play with…but, it seems that I’m not focusing on one thing to any great degree lately.

I did do a bit of carving and painting on my romantic couple scene, though. I decided on a wooden bench with cement support legs and cut that out on the bandsaw as one piece. With a very fine v-tool, I engraved grain marks into the wooden slacks of the bench that will look pretty nice once I paint the bench. I probably did a lot of work for nothing as the two figures will be sitting on much of the grain that I carved…but, I’ll know it’s there! Here’s a photo of just the centre section engraved so that you can see how I went about progressing with it.

I carved and painted the little guy to look a bit ragged but not too ragged. The girl on the other hand was finished with sandpaper to make her smooth and delicate and then painted with bright, clean colours. The little guy has been left with all of the angularity of the knife cuts with wrinkles cut into place…and then painted with a bit of off-colour spots and dry brushed highlighting to make him look just a wee bit dusty.

But the real fun was when I decided he needed a hat. So I made a nice straw hat for him in my usual way with the crown and brim as separate pieces for strength ( thanks to Lynn Doughty for this tip ). After carving it up and glueing the two pieces together, I used a wood burning tool to make a spiral wound weave and then painted the whole thing with a combination of whites, beiges and a honeycomb colour. Of course, the top of the little guy’s head needed to be lopped off to accommodate the hat. Looks pretty nice, I think…

So, here’s how everything is looking so far…

Take care of yourselves, everyone…regardless from where you’re reading this post, we’re all in this together.

A Bit More Basset Detail

I’ve been shovelling snow more than I’ve been carving the little Basset Hound, lately.

But I have put a little bit of time into carving. I’ve actually been joining a group of fellows at our local Seniors’ Centre for some carving once a week and have been enjoying that…and managed to finish a bark carving and a Santa figure ( which my Mom now has ). Next week, I’m providing an afternoon seminar on caricature carving at the centre and I’m looking forward to that as well. Hopefully, I’ll get some more people involved in caricature carving.

The Basset in a Basket is coming along nicely. I like to trim down the ears quite a bit so that they’re thin and, with a bit of sanding, take on a velvety appearance. The facial features are coming along nicely as well and I’ll make sure that he has droopy eyes to go along with his howling pout.

Braided Rug

The braided rug where the three little dogs will sit came together pretty nicely.

It’s nothing more than a thin layer of basswood, maybe 3/16″, in which I made some spiral cuts with both a v-tool and followed up with a burning tool tip to clean things up a bit.  The individual braided part was created using a burning tool tip.  I guess you’d call it a herringbone pattern and it’s pretty simple to do but it takes a bit of time.  If you make a rug like this, just remember to give yourself enough room between spirals as you’ll need the room for the burned-in pattern.

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Once that was done, I used three alternating colours to paint the patterns.  You don’t have to actually switch between colours…just paint one “braid” or block, skip two and then paint the next braid until you’re finished with that colour.  The other two colours will follow the same pattern and eventually fill in all of the braids.

I actually used a three colour combination of blues, greens and reds.  Just pick a dark, medium and light colour in each of the blue, green and red combinations and start painting.  Water down your acrylic paint and you’ll find that the paint flows nicely over the braid that you’re painting and the burned line keeps it from flowing beyond that braid.

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The final touch was to do some dry brushing with a light beige colour just to pick up the high points and add a little more interest.  So, this was just using a fanning motion lightly over the carving with a large brush loaded with little and almost dry paint.  I think that without the dry brushing, the rug would look a little too new and a bit plastic looking.  I’ll add a urethane finish for the final touch a bit later.

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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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.

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.

 

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