Thursday, April 27, 2017

new addition

So yesterday I received a wonderful gift in the mail, a hillbilly carving from Mark Akers. This is not just any hillbilly carving, this is the hillbilly from my very first pattern book, "Cartoons 2 Carvings: making the transition from paper to wood". Mark was gracious enough to not only carve the pattern but he also took photographs of his progression while carving. But as if this were not enough look at the mini crate he built to ship this guy due to the pipe and more then that the burnt match he's holding in the other hand. He could have placed him in a box and filled it with peanuts and the carving could have made it all the way with no issue to the match stick, but that doesn't match Marks character. 

On a carving note, the boulders are carved solid from the piece of wood that forms the base, and there is a piece of felt under the wood that forms the base. Wonderful craftsmanship all the way around, I am honored to own this wonderful carving and beyond that to call him my mentor and my friend.

Please take a moment and visit his carver's page and check out all his carvings and rough-outs. I don't believe either of these Santas have been posted on his page but I do believe he does have some available for purchase. 

as always, 
"Good night and May God bless"

Sunday, April 23, 2017

even more on Amazon

A while back I created a t-shirt for wood carvers through Teespring's and it is now available on Amazon. What fun, a book and now a t-shirt and hopefully soon as I just published it today, a coffee mug from this design. Until the mug makes it's way to Amazon you can find the mug onthe Teespring page.

as always, 

"Good Night and May God bless"

hat-less cowboy pt fini

He is now done sealant and all, though I tried a new technique and am not as happy with it as I had hoped for. I will be doing some research on different techniques in finishing carvings as I want my cowboys to have a softer look to them. This finish works great for my Christmas ornaments but not as well (in my mind) with my cowboys and other characters. Always some new process or technique to learn.

as always, 
"Good Night and May God bless" 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

hat-less cowboy pt 2

Well he's all painted up and awaiting sealant. I may dip him or I may try the spray finish to compare the two. With my carvings in butternut I always like the way dipping them in Polycrylic highlights the grain of the wood. Many are not fond of the shiny finish on these but a lot of my carvings are Christmas ornaments and I like the way they gently reflect the lights from the tree.

This gentleman is carved from the same corner block piece of butternut that I carve my ornaments from. These have become popular and most seem to like the design quality of these being that he is missing a few piece to make a full body cowboy, like arms.

as always, 
"Good night and May God bless"

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

another hat-less cowboy

So I haven't gotten much carved lately but I recently carved this cowboy. The last carving of a cowboy without a hat was because of a break, so this one was done just because. I am happy with him but will tweak a few things before I consider painting him. As you can see he was carved with the same corner block I use to carve my ornaments during the holiday season. He was also carved in butternut, my favorite wood to carve.

as always, 
"Good night and May God bless"

Saturday, April 8, 2017

if a doodle gets color

If a doodle gets color is it still a doodle. Years ago, much like today, I kept small pieces of paper around that I would doodle on.

"This must be distinctly understood or nothing wonderful can come of this story I am going to relate"

Charles Dickens
First and foremost, we should probably understand the difference between a doodle vs. a sketch for

To doodle is to
verb; scribble absentmindedly
noun: a rough drawing made absentmindedly

To sketch is to
verb: a rough or unfinished drawing or painting, often made to assist in making a more finished picture
noun: make a rough drawing of

Most of my early cartoons were actually born from a doodle. I spent a good portion of my early adulthood watching TV with small pieces of paper, doodling. I would work on anything from 2.5 x 5 inch to 3.5 x 7 inch pieces. Many of these I would keep some I would simply throw away and move on to the next one. I loved the whole process of seeing a blank piece of paper slowly become a cartoon of what ever. It wasn't till later in life that I had to teach myself how to sketch for a desired outcome. Because of my early beginnings, this stage did not always come easy for me.

Now to present day and a doodle from years gone by. You may notice that my youngest son back then thought this cartoon needed color. So I recently was cleaning off my desk and found this cartoon and as I was putting him away I thought maybe he was right, he might look good with some color, any excuse to play with my water color pencils works for me. it is my dream and one I will probably never full fill to one day paint or carve every single cartoon I have. This could take me way beyond my retirement years as I have not yet thrown away my pencil.

Nowadays I do some of my doodling on water color paper, usually 5 x 7 inch. This way I am ready to go straight to the paint table with my latest cartoon such as the one shown here. Of course water color paper is not made for doodling and is a bit more pricey so not as many are discarded. For the most part though still a doodle, I have a concept of theme of what I will work on, o.k. so maybe not really a doodle after all.

as always, 
"Good night and May God bless"