Wood Carvings by Mark Sheridan

Archive for the tag “squirrel carving”

Photo – Opportunity for the Hounds

Well my little Hound Trio on the Louisiana dock is now finished.  I’m very proud of the way that this carving shaped up.

It’s actually quite a large carving at about 14″ by 14″ at the base with the “longest” hound at 7 1/2″ and the “tallest” hound at 5″.  I like the expression and character of each of the little Basset Hounds as well as the little squirrel.

The dock area and base really turned out to my liking, also.  I really put a lot of relief and depth into the dock with lots of cracks and imperfections, nails along the plank lengths, some broken planks with a bent nail where a plank had been less than carefully pried away and ropes wound around the piers to protect little fishing boats that tie up for the night.

This is a Louisiana scene so the Cypress knees were added to that effect.  I like the way that they turned out and the way that they balance the dock scene.

The base itself came from a real nice piece of red oak.  The grain just turned out beautifully as I think that between the rolling contour and the fairly strong grain pattern you’re left with an impression of a water scene.

I like this carving and am glad that the idea was offered up…I would definitely not have come up with this idea on my own!

Enjoy the pictures below and please click on the Flickr site on the links to the right of this page to take a look at some additional photos.  Enjoy!





The Squirrel Chaser

Here’s another quick update of the Howler and the Squirrel Chaser underway.  Both still require work to get all the colours that I’m looking for included in their coats.  Again, my method is to use a base coat of a cream colour with washes of the darker colour over top.

Washes of acrylic paint create a really nice effect…almost a depth of varying colour rather than just a single, solid colour.  I also like the washes for the fact that it keeps the edge of the darker colour coats varying in darkness so that you never end up with a solid transition from the cream colour to the darker browns and black.

So far, each of the dogs has about six or seven washes applied with some hair-dryer work in between.  I’m really enjoying the way that they are coming to life.


Dock and Pier Painting

The dock, piers and the little squirrel got treated to some paint during this past week and I’m quite happy with the results.  Although the Three Hounds are the focal point of this carving, these “accessories” and background items really add to the total carving and give you an opportunity to add the little details that make all the difference…the squirrel holding an acorn, the rope wound around the piers, the nail heads and rust stains around each of them and the single bent nail where a dock board was removed ( which is probably a little hard to see in these photos, but, trust me, it’s there ).


Those Cypress Knees were unique to carve and paint.  The knees are actually protrusions from Cypress tree roots found mostly in the south and certainly in wet areas.  The painting, I think, captured the colours that you’d expect to see in a Cypress knee along with shading and use of Payne’s Grey to simulate the markings where tide waters would have stained the wood over time.


The piers and dock have a base coat of territorial beige and are highlighted with various shades of brown and grey…raw sienna, burnt umber, asphaltum brown, medium grey and payne’s grey.  Some spots of “dirt” were added with yellow ochre and raw sienna more or less scrubbed on with a small paintbrush.  The dock hasn’t received its coat or clear satin urethane yet, but once it does you’ll see the various colours that I added really come out.

I don’t know what it is about these little add-ons, but they tend to be the most liked parts of the carving sometimes.  I know that I brought this little squirrel and pier into work the other day to show friends who have been watching my progress and that little guy got a lot of positive attention.  I want to do a little bit more work on the eyes with some brown around the bottom section of the eyes and a nice coating of clear epoxy to make them shine.

This is a fun project and I hope that you are enjoying it as well.


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