Carving portraits in wood requires close attention to the subtleties of human expression, which is, more often than not, quite challenging. However, it is a challenge I love.
This portrait carving of grandson, Daniel Little, turned out to be a happy accident. After hours of work, it was finally ready to stain, starting with a dark stain for the hair.... a dark stain that splittered and splattered all over my pretty carving!
Oh woe is me, woe is me - what to do, what to do? Paint it you say? Well, okay, perhaps it will save the day. Woe turned to delight and a happy ending to the tale, for I can tell you true that painting is fun to do!
The PS to this tale is that while the carving made Daniel look older than his 5 year old portrait, at 8 years old he looked very much like the carving.
This relief wood carving of my darling husband, James, is the first carving I did after more then 6 years. It took 3 tries and a whole lot of doing, but in the end it is just a bit of alright. James likes it.
Taking too much wood out of the chin ruined the carving so I experimented with stains using nail polish for the lips, different kinds of shoe polish, and food colouring for the shirt. The end result was something you really didn't want to hold. Shoe polish comes off! Oh, and the eyes are cut outs from the photo that I glued on.
Not being very happy with the first try I decided to try and fix the carving with some acrylic paint and cleaning up some of the rough edges. The result was at least a carving I wasn't embarrassed to show anyone, but not quite there yet.
This relief wood carving of Malcolm Scoble, set in a scene of Cornwall, was my parting gift to him when I left Mining Engineering at the University of British Columbia in 2005. The buildings and foreground are textured using 8 different minerals; the sea is blue agate.
Old Man of the Sea
I saw this gent in a magazine and just had to bring it to life in a carving - the first face I attempted. It's hard to describe the delight I get sculpting faces out of wood.
The animal in his arms was another thing entirely. It was supposed to be a cat - a fox maybe?
The Sullen Warrior
The quality of this photo is quite poor, but I wanted to include it to show what can be done with just a belt sander. While I did actually finish off the carving, Terry McKinnon did most of it in an hour with said belt sander.
A relief carving portrait of my granddaughters (now adults). They’re not identical twins, but when they were younger it was pretty much impossible to tell them apart. To do this carving I measured every part of their face in order to capture the subtle differences, but each measurement was within a millimetre so it wasn’t much help.
A relief carving based on a line drawing of Chief Dan George - or so I thought. Looking on the Internet, I see I was mistaken. James swears it is a portrait of his grandmother.
Can you see the buffalo shape in the burl?. I see a buffalo, but some see a lion.