Friday, June 29, 2012

carving apron pt 2

Well last night was a great test and it passed with flying colors, the apron that is. Caught everything and is way more comfortable than holding the box in my lap. So if you have no shop to carve in and want to carve the no mess way I highly recommend this carving apron. Even if you have a shop and don’t want to sweep up after every carving this is the way to go. Because of my proximity to their store, I received the apron in three days.   
The carving portion of the Santa shown is done as well. I like this one and like the way the goggles came out, although I do have one thing I might try before applying the paint and will update if I do. But overall I am truly happy with this carving and will finish him off today one way or the other.

So let the chips fall where they may, cause if they are not falling I am not carving.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

carving apron

Well the carving apron from Smokey Mountain Woodcarvers arrived yesterday and even though I have only used it one day so far it looks to be a wonderful investment. I used it last night on another Santa pilot carving. This one I am going to try and carve even more detail. This is my goal, to try and carve in extra detail in each attempt until I feel like I have a truly complete carving. I want to see improvement every time I put one down and deem it a completed piece.  

If you notice the goggles seem larger than in previous carvings. The reason for this is I wanted to carve more detail into the goggles. There is a thin line between carving reality and carving just enough to give an impression of reality, I haven’t crossed it yet. To get an idea of what detail was missing I did a search and found an image that gave me a starting point to work from. I will try and incorporate some of the detail into my carving, more will come from the painting process as well. As for the apron, let the chips fall where they may……….. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Who's that?

If you clicked on my desk photo you might have seen someone you have not been introduced to yet. He’s another of my practice carvings done awhile back. I had fun with his attire; you might notice the torn shirt or the slightly broke in fishing cap. Since he is clearly enjoying the weekend, he might even be getting ready to go out and cast a few, I gave him a three day growth just to make sure he was comfortable. I can’t speak for all guys but for me some days when I look my worst, that's when I feel my best. Can’t have them all the time but there is nothing better than a lazy day weekend. Casual day at work was never like this but then again he doesn’t look like he is at work now does he? 

“Beware, so long as you live, of judging men by their outward appearance.”
Jean de La Fontaine

Monday, June 25, 2012

So where do you carve?

I usually carve while in the living room while our family watches TV or the boys play on the wii. I don’t have a shop so wood chips and where they fly can be an issue. For the longest time I have held a box in my lap, don’t remember when I came up with this brilliant idea, although it has worked for the most part. I do though have bursitis in my left shoulder so sometimes the angle I have to hold my shoulder to carve with the box in my lap can bring on a pain before I am done. As for catching the wood chips it is mostly hit but yes sometimes miss depending on what I am carving and what I am trying to do.

So recently I ordered what I hope will be a resolution. I ordered a carvers apron that has a large pocket to catch the chips from Smoky Mountain Woodcarvers out of Townsend, TN at Nawger Nob. I know it won’t catch everything and I will still have some clean up but if it makes me more comfortable as I carve and catches most of the chips then I will be happy. I received an email today that the apron has shipped out and it is scheduled to be a two day delivery so I will hopefully have an update soon. This unfortunately will not ease the burden of my desk and its lack of organization. The joke in our house is that when I had a desk job for 6 ½ years doing computer graphics my desk at work was scary neat, almost Monk like, Adrian that is. This was the beginning of the joke that would follow me to this day. That is why I sometimes sign my emails Ricardo-monk-a-bond. Hey I didn’t say it was a knee slapper just a joke. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Another Santa ornament

This one a basic Santa ornament nothing fancy no pilot cap or fancy colors. I have to say I like this one. I had one 1 1/2 corner cut left so I thought I would do a basic Santa since I have been doing test pilots lately. 

On a side note Happy Fathers Day. I am blessed for God has given me the privilege to be a father to two wonderful boys. I believe it was President George W. Bush who said "out of all the titles I have had, governor, owner of a baseball team, the greatest title I have is dad”. I agree whole heartily. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

test pilot 3 n 4

In working out a design I will try different ways to carve the same thing and see what is either preferred or what makes the most pleasing carving. So here is test pilot 3 n 4 Santa, I am probably happiest with the last Santa with the goggles down. Even though I still think I could add more detail to the carving I like the look of the goggles and the hint of eyes peering through the glass. I also like the Army Air Corp patch on the ball of the cap, I painted the ball itself in army green to acknowledge the armies part in the birth of the Air Corp. Speaking of which, it is the Army’s 237 birthday. Happy birthday and thanks to all who wear the uniform of the Army as well any of the armed services. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

test pilot pt 2

So I painted my test pilot Santa and for the most part like the way it came out. When painting the goggles I first painted it with a watered down brown to match the cap. After it dried I then came back over it with a diluted blue including the inside rim of the goggles to give the illusion of glass where there was no glass. I like the effect it gave and will try this again in the near future. The Santa’s’ cap I painted with a darker shade to give a vintage look and to also not have it stand out too much from the pilots cap, next time I will lighten it up more with a more reddish color. Other than the obvious carving errors I am happy with the concept and will try to re-carve the design making some corrections to the goggles. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

test pilot Santa

My latest idea is of Santa wearing pilots' goggles. This is the first one I have tried so it is safe to say that he is my test pilot. I didn’t get the goggles carved out like I wanted but this gives me something to work from on the next go round. When first carving this I began putting way too much detail in the goggles before I worked out the proportions of the rest of the head and gear. I will try and re-carve this in the next day or two and see what, if any, improvements I can come up with. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

same carving differant results

I have done a few more Santa carvings trying to see how I can play around with proportions and expression to get a result I am happy with. One or two of these I really exaggerate the proportions. Sometimes what looks bad to me looks fine to others, you be the judge.

It is funny how they transform for me once the paint is applied. I carved it, I have seen it all along the process, but many times it changes as the color is added. This happens on paper as a cartoon goes from a pencil sketch to a water color or color pencil illustration. I think you can see the cartoonist in me with my carvings. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

In living color

Here are the three carvings after being painted. I had asked my boys what color I should paint the cap of the third Santa. It was my older son’s suggestion, actually more a joke to paint him with a purple cap. As you see I did it and was very happy with the result. Out of the three this is my youngest son’s favorite even though he still thinks his cap should have been red.

On a side note when I was at the craft store looking for paint for the faces it was my younger son who picked coral. This color was a little lighter than I thought I might like but thought with a touch of brown it would work pretty well. On the purple cap gentleman I used the coral by itself (as suggested by my son) with a little extra color added to the nose and cheeks and am happy the way it turned out.

So back to the carvings; by the expression of purple Santa, he seems confused or bothered by something. Maybe he doesn't like the color of the cap either. I like playing with the expressions of the carvings. This adds some fun to the character and gives me a variety to look at as I carve multiple roughouts. Out of the three, his proportions are the more pleasing for me and I will stick with similar proportions in future carving. As for the purple we will see, maybe other colors will be tested, you just never know. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Santa progress

 So I took my Santa roughouts template and 1 ½” by 1 ½” by 12” block of bass wood and cut it up into roughouts. I have set it in my sights to carve all the roughouts but to play with the style in which they are carved. While doing this I am also experimenting with the gouges that I now own to become more familiar with the way to utilize them in my carvings. So far I am happy with the results and see an improvement in my carvings overall. I still have areas that I need to work on and will be moving on to those after this portion is done but for now I see progress and that is all I can hope for. I have been busy painting these as well and will share those shortly.