Monday, April 27, 2009

Carving A Cowboy on His Horse - Part 4 - Completing the Body

Hey....that's starting to look like a horse! With this post we'll finish the trunk of the body and add a little detail to the saddle. We won't be adding the stirrups to this one as they will be part of the Cowboy's legs.
There are more photos in the Gallery outlining what I did. Comments welcome.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Carving A Cowboy On His Horse-Part 3 - The Legs's time for some legwork!! Now if you were doing these steps from a solid blank this would be the hardest part but as we're going to do it with the body split in two it becomes the easiest. The only thing you really have to be careful with is that raised leg...but if you support it as you carve that will be no problem either.
Lots of additional photos in the associated album and comments and questions are welcome.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bobby Deer-In-Water

This is Little Joe Beaver's best buddy on the Res. They meet each morning behind Bette's Kitchen Cafe on Black Elk Road in hopes of a handout before heading down to Pine Ridge to look for any available work. There's one more character in this group but he hasn't showed up yet....maybe next week. I sure hope he turns up as he will complete the scene that I have a vision of.
I really like doing these little figures. Being as they are wrapped in a blanket most of the body detail is covered. This guy measures at 9" and I just whittled him freehand working from scraps I scrounged from my cutoff box. There are more photos in the Picasa Gallery along with those of Little Joe Beaver. Comments welcome.

Carving A Cowboy On His Horse-Part 2

As the horses hoofs will be one of the areas that will cause the most trouble for some I thought I would concentrate this post on that portion of a horses anatomy.
My wife and I have owned horses for quite a few years and in taking care of them the area that requires the most care is their feet. While some might think the daily hoof cleaning chore is a bore it's one of the best ways to "hook-up" with your fourlegged partner while ensuring that he remains healthy and trail-worthy. A farrier told me years ago that while the heart of a horse pumps the blood throughout the body it's the hoofs of the horse that pumps that blood back to the heart.
With this post I've posted a number of anatomy photos to use as guides when carving. As I've mentioned before you can get away with a bit when carving a caricature but you still have to remember that what you are carving should still look like what it's supposed to be. Hopefully, when you were cutting out your blank you didn't toss those leg cutoffs into the woodbin as they make great practice pieces. So if you did give them the heave-ho go dig them out.
There are more photos in the Gallery and comments are welcome.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Little Joe Beaver

Here is a little quickie I did yesterday while my son and I were trying ot figure out how to make a video to upload. We finally gave upon the video but the figure turned out pretty good. He stands just a little over 8" in his moccasins and I hope to do a couple of others to go along with him in some sort of scene.....maybe standing in the snow roasting a hot dog or something. There are more photos in the Gallery and I'll post some additional ones once he's painted up.
As always, comments welcome.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Carving A Cowboy On His Horse-Part 1

A number of you have asked to do this project for quite some time so here we go. The photo on the left is not necessarily the exact Wrangler we'll do but it will serve as a good representation. The pose will be pretty much the same.
First, let me say that in doing this project you will be using tools that if not properly used can cause serious injury. You should read, understand and follow all safety guidelines given in the tools manuals. The last thing I would want is for someone to become injured while doing one of my projects.
With this first post I'll show you how to lay out the body of the horse on the block. We'll be using some of that great Heineke basswood 1-1/4" thick. Everything is explained in detail along with each photograph in the associated gallery album. Make sure you click on each photo to read the complete comment. While this might be a caricature the horse & rider are in scale with the Steer we just completed.
This should work out to make a great scene with lots of public appeal so let's get started. There are lots of photos in the gallery and comments are always welcome.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Carving A Steer - Part 4 - Finishing Up!

While we've been overrun with Grandkids I managed to get this bovine painted up so I can begin the next step of this project.
In painting him I started by wetting the figure and then painting the entire animal a very light beige and once dry came back and painted the sock area of the legs straight white. I also painted the forehead and nose straight white. Next came straight Raw Sienna for the solid red areas and while that was still wet I use some Dark Burnt Umber applied to the nose and blended out into the other colors. The hoofs are also Dark Burnt Umber with a little white added.
To get the speckled effect I used a tooth brush and splattered the Raw Sienna over the beige areas. I really like that effect as it looks quite natural for a longhorn. Once everything had set overnight he was given a coat of Polyurethane Satin and then wiped with a clean paper towel to removethe excess varnish. A final coating of epoxy on his black eyes brought him to life.
With this part of the project complete the next figure for the scene will be the horse which I'll start after I regain control of my shop and life once the wee-ones depart. As always, comments are welcome and there are more photos in the Picasa album.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Carving A Steer-Part 3-The Head, Ears, Horns & Glueup!

With this post we'll carve the head, the ears, the horns and then attach the head to the body. As you can see by the photo it's really starting to take shape.
When carving the head keep the detail simple. This is a caricature so the anatomy doesn't have to be that accurate, just enough to carry the figure. The hardest part of carving the head is the placement and carving of the eyes. Spend some time here as if you get them off just a little it won't look right. When determining the placement of the ears check the reference photos or better yet go look at some cows.
Once you have all the pieces carved don't jump the gun and glue them up before you attach the head. Once that head is locked onto the body we still have to carve the neck to shape and it would be really had to do if the horns and ears were in the way. We'll attach the ears and horns in the next post.
Again, the new photos are in the same album as the others. Have fun. We're almost done with the hard part.