I've re-stocked the cane handles and Santa rough outs. I'll probably get some made in the near future of the little witch and will add them to the store here.
I was demonstrating making clay models to the carving club last year and came up with this little face. She had such a winsome look, that I had to finish her out and she turned into this witch. But it has taken a while to get her even cut out on the band saw! I finally completed her this weekend and she turned out pretty good. I especially like her face and the details on the hand. She might make a good rough out, since you could carve the hands in different positions or holding different things, and she could probably be easily converted to a hillbilly, wizard, or cowboy. My original idea was to have her holding a frog behind her back for the "trick", but I couldn't get it to look right. The club/bat should be more persuasive for reluctant contributors! Thanks for looking!
It's been forever since I've posted anything. Work, personal stuff, and health things have kept me pretty busy for several months, but I have been able to carve and design some. I did a few ornaments at Christmas for family and have sold a few carvings and canes. A guy in the carving club wanted me to do a clay model for him to get some rough outs made from. A carving magazine asked to write and article that hopefully will be published in the summer of 2016. I'm finally starting to carve this little witch I designed so I'll have something new to add soon! Thanks for looking!
Now we get to a fun part! It wouldn't hurt to paint a piece of scrap white, to use as a practice piece. Thin out some black paint and using the big brush, just touch the tip to the white to make a black dot. If it is watered down enough, it will kinda bleed out into a larger gray dot. Randomly stipple these over the entire dog, leaving less in some areas if you want them to be whiter. Blow it dry after the first coat. Now, make your paint a little darker and go back over it again. You want to go over the same places as before, overlapping the dots you made. Don't just wipe it on using the side of the brush! Use the tip to make the dots. What you're doing is building layers of colors to give the dappled effect. Dry it and repeat until you get the coat as dark as you want. If you look at the pictures again, you'll see that Blueticks have a really dark coat. If you decide an area is too dark, you can lighten it up by stippling it with thinned white paint. You can use this same technique to make a really nice dapple or pinto horse. When you have it like you want it, dry it and paint his collar and blow it dry.
Now for the final touches. We'll add some shadows and shading that will really make the details of the carving stand out. Mist the entire piece with water and make sure you painted everything you wanted to. While it is still damp, thin some black out a little and use the small brush to apply it to wrinkles on the face. Use the large brush with water only to blend it out. Use the same process on his muzzle under the nose. Darken it around the eyes, and up it the deepest parts of the ears. Do this in all the little cracks and crevices around the collar, the legs and feet, and around the tail. What you're trying to accomplish is similar to what people do when they antique a piece; you are trying to deepen the contrast, the shadows in the deeply carved areas. I feel like doing it this way gives me better control over what gets darkened, that wiping an antiquing solution over a piece and then trying to wipe it off. When I get it like I want it, I blow it dry to set the colors. My preferred finish after painting, satin Minwax polyurethane brushed on heavily over the entire carving. I let it soak in for a few minutes and then blot off the excess with a paper towel. One coat will give you a matte finish with colors that pop. If you try to do additional coats, it will start to look plastic. All of this is not really complex, but it does take a little time to make it look good. Your carvings are worth the effort! I hope this is useful to you in your painting! Thanks for looking.
Don't be concerned if your paint job looks a little chalky when it is dry; simply mist it with some water to see the colors pop and have an idea what it will look like when you apply a finish to it! I do the eyes next, cause I like to have my stuff look at me while I work on it. I draw the pupils in with pencil to get the right size and have them pointing correctly, then start with pure black in approximately the center of each eye. I just keep making them larger to make sure they match in size and are pointing correctly. AFter blowing them dry, I start on the body. I pencil in the large irregular spots that will be a darker black, positioning them similar to ones in the reference pictures, because i don't want any white paint on those areas. Next, I mix up a tan/light brown that will be used for the backs of the legs, between the toes, under the belly, and around his butt. Then I thin out some white and paint the rest of the body several coats with that. It doesn't have to be exact and if you overlap the brown in places, it just helps it blend in and look natural. Next, I thin out some black paint for the larger spots and the tail. I don't try to reach the desired color with one coat; it is better to reach it with several coats. And it doesn't matter if you stray outside the lines or if it bleeds into the white. Just blow it dry when you are through.
I'll start with lighter colors first. I think out some white paint and do the muzzle first. Looking at some of the reference pictures, it is pretty common to see a white streak up between the eyes and a small blaze up higher on the head. I use a hair dryer to dry my paint before starting another color or section. This keeps colors from bleeding into each other and keeps me from smearing wet paint where I don't want it.
Next, I use a lttle thinned out burnt Sienna. Looking at the photos, I see a couple of patches up around the eye brows, and then a little on the sides of the face and toward the back of his head. The color isn't quite right, but I'm not worried about that now. Next, I think out some black and start painting the other areas of the head. I use thin washes to sneak up on the color I want. I can always make it darker, if I want. I don't want it to be just a pure deep black, because I want to use that darker black later to deepen shadows in the wrinkles and different places. I'm wanting to use several shades of black. You can see that darkening the black with several coats really starts looking good! I blow him dry to set all the colors and then I decide The brown is too red. I do a few washes of Asphaltum brown and then decide to use some yellow to lighten it up. That looks better! I blow it dry to set the paint. Then I spray it with plain water and use some thinned out black to shade the front, underneath his nose and around his lips. then I use a yellowish orange mix to paint the eyeballs a bit. Check out the eyes in the pictures! More later when I get to paint some more!
Someone asked me to give some tips on painting one of these hounds, so I figured I'd post it here. I always use Google to come up with reference pictures. I usually don't go by one specific one, but they let you get the general idea of what colors and patterns would be consistent to the breed.
So my pallet of colors will be white, black, brown, burnt sienna, and yellow. I use acrylic paints, a tiny brush, and a bigger brush. I'll be using thin washes of paint and I will apply it in layers to get the shades and depth I want. I'll be painting directly on the bare wood, no sealers or BLO or anything. Sometimes I will be painting on dry wood, to keep colors from bleeding. Other times I will dampen the wood, in order to blend colors, and add shadows. Here is what I'll be using.
My granny and pawpaw lived on a gravel road in Rockwood, Alabama. They didn't have air conditioning, so we spent a lot of time on the front porch, which had a view of the elementary school and it's baseball field. I remember the sounds of whipperwills, church bells, and tires on the gravel road. Maybe it is a southern thing, but they always raised their hand and gave a little wave of greeting or recognition to whoever came down that road. Usually, it was someone they knew, but I guess they figured they were either visiting them or their neighbors, that they were not really strangers if they were driving down that road. I guess seeing that gesture so much, it has grown to be part of me. Whether it's a nod, a tip of the hat, or a polite wave, it's just something that is a reflex for me when I am driving or walking. Or when sitting on a porch, listening to car tires on a gravel road.
Thanks for looking!
I've wanted to carve a bulldog ever since we got Otis. He's pretty interesting with his wrinkles, his smile, the way he sits. This is more of a caricature, but I like some realism in my caricatures, maybe too much at times. I like the way he looks, but I think I'm probably going to use him in a scene or a group. I think I may have him looking up at a guy eating a hamburger or something? I need to think about it some more! Thanks for looking!
This is a Gerald Sears rough out that I got last October. I had hoped to carve with Gerald, but at least I got this rough out from him! Lots of challenging deep cuts on this guy... I got to use a variety of knives and skews to get some of the areas as deep as i wanted. Look for him in my store. Thanks for looking!