Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Breed

This will be my "Silent Auction" piece for the Dayton Woodcarving Show coming up this weekend.  With the walnut base it's about 11" tall.   He's off the reservation and cooling his moccasins somewhere on the beach from the reflection on his glasses.   I've always wanted to do a good pair of mirrored sunglasses and I think I finally found the secret.  As it would be hard to describe without writing a big chapter I'll save it and do it in a video.

I hope you like him and if you're in Ohio for the show he'll be setting on the table for a closer look.  You might even want to make a bid.  It goes to a good cause.  

Monday, August 22, 2016

Big Bear

Here's the last one I'll be able to finish before the trip to Ohio for the Dayton Ohio Artistry in Wood show.

Big Bear stands at just under 18" with the oak base so he's a pretty impressive Drummer heading off to the big Pow Wow.   I did a lot of paint mixing to achieve the colors of the blanket and shirt.  Some Red in with the Midnight Blue for the blanket and a little Midnight Blue with Green for the shirt.  This is fun to do but make sure you remember the color ratios in case your need some later for a touch-up.   I explained the drum construction in the earlier post so won't repeat it here. His earrings are made from aluminum wire left natural for a silver look.

I really like this piece as the character has a relaxed regal look about him.  Clearly, he must be the head Drummer and possibly even the lead singer.  I guess we'll just have to use our imagination to figure out which.

Again, as Google has did a number on my photo posting this is the only photo of the piece.   As always, I will look forward to your comments.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Big Bear

Here's a new one I just finished carving Friday.  Hopefully, I can get him finished up before the show in Ohio next month.

With the base he stands approximately 18" and is quite an impressive piece, especially once he's got some color to him.  I'm sure the main feature on him will be the drum.  I made it just like a real one with a piece of leather stretched over a wooden frame and tied in the back.  I did this by drawing out the leathers shape on a chammy, allowing lots of length to the
tie strips, soaking it and having Judy hold the wooden frame in place while I pulled, stretched, and tied the matching leather strip on the other side.  Believe me...it takes two people to do this.
 Once dry the leather is nice and tight and presents a nice surface to paint on.  I outlined the design with a gel pen then painted in the colors.  Lastly I use some white on a dry brush to indicate wear in the middle of the drum head where the drum sticks would hit. 

As Google has did a number and discontinued the Picasa site where I had all my albums I've decided to only post photos on the actual Blog post vs. in a Gallery album.  Hopefully they will eventually fix the problems and I can resume posting more photos.  As the videos are hosted on Vimeo they are not affected in any way. 

So, I hope you like this fella and will look forward to your comments as I always do. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Gallery Photos - What A Mess!

Google, in their unknown wisdom, has decided to shut down web hosting on the Picasa site and switch everything over to Google + photos.  I have added a new link to the "Blog Photo Gallery" button which takes you to that site but once there I know you will have problems trying to find individual albums associated with the posts.  For that I'm truly sorry but I have no control over the new structure of this site so please, please don't ask me how to go about finding something there as I'm having the same problem and still haven't figured it out.   Hopefully, as everyone using the old Picasa is having the same problems adapting they will fix things soon.  In the meantime I guess we just have to buck up and suffer.   Sorry!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Buffalo Girl - Finished

All done and she turned out great.  I was kind of bleary eyed painting all the beading but it really sets off the piece as does the Buffalo skull.   I decided not to paint the upper part of the dress the darker color as it would have detracted from the overall piece.   I was a little worried about mounting the skull to the figure but putting dowel from the back of it into the body locked it in place securely.  There are lots of photos in the Gallery and I will look forward to your comments as I always do.

Note:  As I mentioned earlier, Google is no longer supporting Picasa but now is using Google Plus as the host for photos.  Picasa will remain it's just that it will no longer be updated.  All my photos are already on Google Plus so for ease of operations I'm going to just let things stay the same for the time being.  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Buffalo Skull

Spent the morning painting the Buffalo Skull for my new piece.  Looks pretty good although the photo really doesn't show all the colors used.  Before starting I checked the skull hanging in the Gallery to make sure I indicated all the major skull details, i.e., plates, nerve holes, etc. As that skull was bleached I did a little research to capture the true colors of a naturally sun bleached product.

I started out by removing the horn caps and then painting the entire skull a light gray (mudstone) followed by yellow ocher highlights, followed by brown (asphaltum) and ending with white on the parts that would be mostly exposed to the sun.  I then used straight black for the eye sockets with a little white on the outer edges.  For the horn caps I used black and then dry-brushed on some white highlights which really set off the horns texture.  Once everything has a chance to dry I'll paint on the ceremonial decoration but not too much as I don't want to overdo it.

So far so good!!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Buffalo Girl

I've been working on this one for the past 6 or 7 months.  Once it's painted I think it will be one of the best so far even though, after taking the photos, I noticed a couple areas that need to be corrected.  With the walnut base she will stand about 20" tall.  An impressive piece.

She's a Cheyenne girl, preparing for the Call of the Herd dance.  I plan on painting a few ceremonial symbols on the skull to carry that theme.  She has her skinning knife on her belt and will be ready to follow the hunters once the herd is located.  While there is quite a bit of beaded decoration on her dress and more will be added once I start painting her, I added a role of Elk teeth above the strip of
beads on her chest.  I made those with some 3/16th' dowel and inset them into the wood.   The earrings, choker disk and hair feather disk are made from hammered galvanized
tin.  Once carved, I covered the hair braids with texturing material to simulate a fur wrap.   As for the coloring, I'm thinking of using this dress as a guide:
I really like to darker colored cape.

While I had a number of Buffalo skulls aready carved the size of the figure required that I care one more.  I carved the arms and hands separate so they would fit naturally around the shape of the horn caps.  

While this was a pretty challenging project once it's finished it's going to really look nice.  I hope you agree and will look forward to your comments.  More photos in the Gallery. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Wandering Bull - Part 3

He's finished!!  Thank the Lord!  I thought I'd never get this one off the work table.  But, I think he turned out pretty good.  Certainly a colorful one.  I repainted the eyebrows black to try and recapture the stern look on his face that was lost when I painted on the red facial decorations.  It didn't work completely but it worked a little so will have to leave it at that.

So, I hope you like it and will look forward to your comments.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Wandering Bull - Part 2

Squeezed in a little brushwork today.  The photo looks a little distorted as I took it with my phone.  It's really not that crooked. 

One thing I've learned when painting facial decorations is that it can change or hide expressions.  That happened here.  Unpainted he looked really P.O.'d but here he looks kind of contemplative.   Will have to wait till the painting is completely done to see if there's any change and whether I can correct it.  

Really enjoyed doing the shield.  I painted the entire blank with raw sienna and followed that with some lighter tan to lighten up the center.  Next came the green, several coats, and then the red lines....mapped out using a Popsicle stick.  A liner brush really comes in handy when doing straight lines.  It took three coats to cover that green.  Then I free-handed the skull using tan, white and black.....lots of blending here.   The hooves were last done with asphaltum and outlined with black.  Oh....I also used midnight blue to put a shadow on the bottom of the shield and up the one side.  A lot of work but it's fun and the result will be quite striking once the feathers are added.  

So, it might not look like I did much but believe me it takes time to get the result your after.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Wandering Bull

This one has been on my workbench for about 6 months staring at me each day so I thought I would go ahead and finish him cause he looks a little threatening.   I still have to add a few more details....actually, I have to add a lot of details to him to flesh him out, i.e., ribbons, feathers and maybe a decorative cloth (wood) strip hanging from the back of the headress plus all the feathers to be added to the shield.   Again, he's a little larger than the normal bust standing at just under 14" with the walnut base.  With the addition of some facial decoration he should be quite striking and colorful.

While we were on our trip we stopped at the Prairie Edge store in Rapid City, SD.  Like the Cowboy Hall of Fame in OKC I seems to be magnetically drawn to this place.  It's filled from floor to ceiling with Native American art and artifacts and if you like such things you owe it to yourself to make a stop if you're in the area.  They also sell the numerous craft supplies used to make regalia.  While there I took the opportunity to take photos and will refer to those to come up with the designs for this figures beading, shield design and other decoration.

With Judy and I celebrating our 50th next weekend I hope I can get it wrapped up before the hordes of visitors start showing up.  Anyway, I hope you like him and look forward to any comments.