tributesinwood

Wood Carvings by Mark Sheridan

Archive for the tag “wood caricatures”

A Valentine

I’ve been busy with a million things but did get some time to start a caricature of a boyfriend for our little gal. She’s been patiently waiting and it seems that Valentine’s Day might be the right occasion for a formal introduction.

This little fellow will be a bit geeky when finished, so I started with a facial expression that was a bit distant and a wide-open mouth singing a love song at the top of his lungs. I stuck that head in what became a clay figure that would accommodate an old fashioned accordion. I thought an accordion would be the least likely instrument that even a love-struck boy would bring with him on a date…

There’s not a lot of detail in the clay figure, just enough to give me a sense of the right posture and a bit of an image to trace onto paper and bring to the bandsaw. After some bandsaw work and some roughing-in with a Foredom and knife, I set the two figures together to get a sense of positioning.

I’ll add shoes later, but needed this rough image to determine the orientation of the hands and the space that I needed to fit the accordion. After adding a bit of detail…including a bow-tie, of course…here’s how it’s coming along.

A Female Caricature

I finally got around to trying to carve a female caricature. It’s something that I’ve been wanting to try but have never got around to it until now.

I’ve always thought that a male caricature carving would be easier than trying to do a female caricature. A man’s face just seems to me to lend itself more to a caricature…you can really exaggerate the size of the nose and ears, you can give him really baggy eyes and lots of wrinkles and the face will still look great when it’s finished.

Now, if you do similarly exaggerated features for a woman’ face, well, you really start worrying about whether or not you’ll even be able to tell that it’s a woman.

So, off I went with the challenge to carve a pretty caricature…big eyes, nice bright smile and tiny nose.

I liked her so much that I thought that she needed a dainty little stance to go with the pretty face. Sitting with one knee over the other and her hands neatly placed together, she started to take shape.

As I went, I started to sand things smooth and remove the knife marks. I thought that this might make her look even more dainty. I’m not sure what the setting will be just yet but I’m thinking about something that pairs her up with a beau who she’s fond of but who is not quite as attractive as her…

Christmas Pickles and More

Well, Emily and Paul received their Christmas Pickles and were happy and confused by them. But it was fun.

After the festivities, I started carving another little face figure. This time, a face within a bell. You might recall the “Claymations” Christmas versions of the bells. I guess that my bell is loosely based on those. I’m not finished yet, but here’s how things are coming along.

I started with a pretty simple bell pattern cut out on the bandsaw. The face is located on one of the corners of the bandsaw cut so that you have a lot of wood to play with as you start shaping the face.

I won’t go into the detail of shaping the face. I basically have been following Lynn Doughty’s method of laying out the face and find that works well for me. Check Lynn’s work and his videos out at outwestwoodcarving.

I want to add a handle with a Christmas bow on it…so, there’s more to come.

A Little Unhinged?

Actually, a bit hinged as I wanted to include a couple of handles on the front and back of the basket.

A pretty simple addition, really…just some household copper wire strung through a hardwood carved handle and then bent to fit in some holes that I drilled into the basket. After painting, I’ll glue the copper wire in place.

Time for a Santa

You know, I’ve never carved a Santa. I always think about carving one just before Christmas and by the time I get around to things, Christmas is over and I’m on to something new.

This year is different…maybe. At least I’ve started on a Santa.

So, here’s how I’m coming along with it. Started with just a quick sketch directly on the basswood and then went from there. I threw it out twice before finishing it! I’ll do a bit more wood burning to clean up a couple of spots and then on to painting.

‘Heading’ Into A New Project

This is probably the first time that I’ve just started carving heads not knowing what the project would end up looking like. Now that the heads are fairly complete, though, I’m starting to get some ideas.

Do you remember the old game show called “What’s My Line?” They’d introduce someone, say an airline pilot, and then contestants would try to guess who was actually the airline pilot amongst three people…the actual pilot and two imposters.

I was thinking about carving a bust for each of these heads…a Cowboy, a Sherlock-Holmes style Investigator and a Naval Officer of old. The busts would be situated on and behind a panel top with the words “What’s My Line” carved into the front. It would look like the original game show.

Anyways, just a thought that came to me…

Back to Mervin

Well, it’s back to my little window cleaner.  I can’t let that sound like I’m going to be completely dedicated to this little guy in the next while because it’s fall now and that means lots of clean-up around the house when you live in Ontario.  But it’s all fun.

I’ve taken the roughed-in version of the carving that I did with the Foredom tool and Typhoon bit and trimmed everything down a bit with knives and gouges.  Not a lot to tell you on this other than the fact that I used some simple callipers to take measurements from the clay sculpture that I did and transferred those dimensions to the carving.  I’m not all that particular when I do this…I’m just using the clay as a general model for what the carving might look like.  If it’s out a bit, I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

Now that I have it to this point, I’ll do a bit of work on the head before returning with more dimensioning and detail.

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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!

 

 

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