Wood Carvings by Mark Sheridan

Archive for the tag “carving caricature”

Go Number 19!

It’s starting to look like a racer now.

I highlighted all of the panel lines on the car with a mixture of cherry red and asphaltum brown.  I also added a number of rivets/fasteners and highlighted them with a very thin wash of the same colour mixture.  The rivets were made with the end of a centre punch that I have that happens to have a nice round hollowed out end that leaves a great rivet impression when pressed into the wood.

I also painted the combing around the cockpit to look like cushioned leather.  The leather is painted with milk chocolate and a wash shadow of asphaltum on the lower edges.

The radiator got some vertical veins in it by making finely spaced burned lines with a wood burning tool.  Then it was painted a combination of asphaltum and carbon black before the yellow number 19 was applied.

Now it needs some dirt thrown here and there for highlights.


Painting the Wheels

You’ll remember that I actually cut out the wheel parts initially with a hole saw and then glued the pieces together and detailed them a bit on a lathe.

Today I used a wood burner to create deeper ridges for the treads and the whitewalls on the tires.  These ridges allowed me to be a little less cautious with the painting, as the thinned paint would only flow as far as the ridge and no further…so, you didn’t get too much bleeding of one paint colour into the next.

I think it’s all looking pretty good for what I’d consider as the base coat.  Once I detail the wheels in a bit more with a variety of highlight colours, I think that they’re going to look pretty good.  At least the little hounds look happy.



Finishing Up The Base Coats

I think I’ve got the two hounds painted about where I want them.  I used a lot of different browns in their coats…milk chocolate, asphaltum, linen…and a bit of yellow ochre to soften the browns.  The little passenger has a mottled pattern on her back as well as a larger “spot” of asphaltum with a few washes of carbon black.  This weekend, I’ll seal the acrylic on the hounds with satin urethane.  This last step really brightens up the colours even further.

You can see from these photos that I’ve taken the first few steps at painting the car.  Right now, I have a cherry red base coat that’s starting to look really nice.

As usual, just click on the photo to make it bigger.

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.

Completing Arms and Goggles

I’ve added the arms in my usual way.  Aside from the arm that is wrapped around the back of the driver and is carved directly into the wood, the other three arms were added separately so that the direction of the wood grain runs along the arm giving it the greatest strength.

You might be able to see from the photo that each arm had been placed in its rough location and then drilled through the shoulder with a 1/4″ bit followed by a wood dowel.  This helped me ensure that while I was fitting the arm to the body the arm was ending up in the exact same spot every time I removed it for shaping.  The shaping was done by shading the body with lead pencil and then letting that lead transfer to the “unleaded” arm.  The resulting marks on the unleaded arm showed where the high spots were and they were simply cut away with a chisel or knife.  Doing this several times mates the two pieces together very closely.



You can also see from the photo that the eyes within the goggles are starting to emerge.  The driver is fairly wide-eyed and his friend is squinting and howling.

Back to Wood Carving

The clay hounds have been left behind now and I’ve moved on to their wood versions.

I didn’t take a photo of it, but what I did was hold the clay figures up to a piece of paper and outlined the side view shape onto the paper.  This takes a bit of eye-balling as you want to make sure that the lines that you draw are accurate and as close to a 90 degree angle to the paper.  With a little practice and some measurements from the clay to the paper just to check that everything is true, you end up with a side view that you can take to the bandsaw.

If you’re careful, you can do the same for the front view by holding the clay figure now up against the profile that you just sawed out on the bandsaw.  This is a bit trickier as the saw pattern left on the figure is contoured and not a flat plane.  Again, with a bit of practice it’s possible to get a nice pattern developed.  Just remember that when you take this to the bandsaw you will not have the flat plane that you originally had to rest on the bandsaw table.  What I did was to lightly glue onto the back a portion of the profile that I had cut off, so that I now would have a flat surface to cut against.

At that point, out came the Typhoon bits and the Foredom tool for some rough shaping followed by the chisels and knives.  Here’s where I am at this point.


Clay Figures Completed

This is about as far as I’m going to need to go with the clay figures so that I’ll be able to use it as a model for the wood carving of the little racing hounds.

The driver is leaning forward pretty nicely as he cuts through the wind, while the passenger/navigator seems to be just enjoying the motion and the breeze while howling away!  The driver’s left hand will be on an external handle while his right hand will be perched up on top of the steering wheel.  Both dogs will have their ears blowing in the wind…and, I just reminded myself I wanted to have them wearing scarves…so, I’ll need to add that quickly to the clay sculptures.

Next stop is cutting the blanks out on the bandsaw.  Although their arms will be well supported, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to do their arms separately so that I can ensure that the wood grain is going in the strongest direction.


Some Fast Wheels

This little roadster is in need of five new wheels…four on the road and one on the trunk.

I started out by cutting a thin slab of basswood…about 3/8″ thick to mimic the skinny tires that 1920’s roadsters would have had.  Then, with a hole saw I cut out the blank for each of the five wheels.  I actually cut out a smaller blank of thinner material ( happened to be cherry ) and glued it onto the centre so that I’d end up with a disk hub for the brakes…not that these two characters ever touch the brakes on their joy rides.

I then put these on a small hobby lathe that I have and rounded them out and added a few line for treads and whitewalls on the tires.

The whole thing was followed by the start of the front end of the wheel assembly.  More detail to come, but you can see the drive mechanism and the suspension coming into shape.  It’s also going to have a crank for engine starts, as well!

Lots of fun.

Click on the photos for larger versions…

Hobby Day

Paul and I decided we’d have a hobby day today.  So, after I cleared the snow ( 5″ overnight ), we sat down to some tv watching, colouring and carving.  Paul’s a very good artist and enjoyed colouring his Minion’s colouring book.


Not to be outdone, I started into carving a chair from two basswood blanks that I cut out on the bandsaw.



I’m just going to keep carving up these little items and piling them onto Mervin’s load.  Poor Mervin.  Looks like the strain is starting to show on him.



A Sandy Base

I’ve been poking along on my carving in between raking leaves, cleaning windows, raking leaves, getting the house ready for winter, raking leaves…did I mention raking leaves?

The base is my usual 1/2″ oak and I’ve added some sand for the beach scene.  The sand is once again a polymer mixed with aggregate that is used in the patio block laying business.  The nice thing about the mix is that once I screen out the larger pieces and am left with the “sand”, adding a little water activates the polymer and sets it rock hard.  I actually mix it with a bit of white glue and water to give it greater sticking power.

Here’s a photo of what it looked like while it was still drying.  Once dry, I’ll give it a couple of coats of sand coloured acrylic paint.  By the way, I’ve added a little sand pail and shovel along with some small shells.  The shells almost look real because…they are.




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