Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Monte Walsh – Part 1 - Guns, Chaps, And A Big Gut!


As I said earlier we’re going to do this project just a little different than the others.  You won’t see much carving as I think we’ve pretty well covered most of that in the previous video series.  What you will see is my explanation of how I go about doing the things I think necessary to construct a realistic looking caricature.


In this part I explain the importance of understanding the upcoming details when laying out your blank, how various details and gear affect each other and how figures  look best when posed in a relaxed position.  I even dress up a bit to show how these details actually appear. 


So, I hope this helps you out in developing your own figure and will look forward to hearing your comments.  

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Monte Walsh

Last night I watched the movie Monte Walsh starring Lee Marvin.  While I think the later version starring Tom Selleck is the better of the two this one still is pretty good.  I also liked the role played by Jack Palance but I'm saving him for later.  That character he played in Shane just begs to be carved.  Too bad these two great actors are no longer with us.  Anyway, I thought Monte would make a great figure to carve so I'll use him as my next project.
I'm going to do this one a little different than the previous  videos as I've already covered a lot of the techniques I'd use.  Also, it takes a lot of time to carve a figure while also making a video and in doing that a lot of my interest in it wanes toward the end.  Pancho was a good indicator of that Monte deserves my best efforts.  So, here is what I'll do:
-I'll give you the patterns but they'll be pretty generic and there won't be many of them so you might have to make some modifications to accommodate a specific character.  Thats a good thing as you'll be able to use these patters over and over for other figures.  I won't give you all the patterns as I don't use them, i.e., only a side profile of the body as I just draw on the front view directly on the wood.  Same goes for the head. 
- Instead of showing how to do the carving from start to finish I'll only cover certain aspects of the process like attaching arms, sidearms, things like that.   As I mentioned earlier, we've already covered the other stuff.
When watching the movie I had my sketchbook handy to make a quick note or thumbnail drawing of things that set this character apart from the others.  Monte's hat is something I want to capture as is his mustache, shirt, and sidearm.  I think I saw a knife on his belt too and he's wearing batwing chaps. Cigarettes figured prominently in this film so there will be one of those hanging from his lip.   The pose of the figure is very important but as I'll be taking you along for the ride I'll keep it simple.
I've set up an album in the Gallery which will have the patterns and any other material that might come along and like I said I'll toss in a couple of videos to show the parts that might speed you along.  A Google search will supply you with more info and images and if you haven't seen this film I'd highly recommend it. 
So, let's saddle up and hit the trail......we've got a lot of carving to do.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Stonewall Jackson - Painted

Hopefully the dust over at WCI is starting to settle so I think it's safe to go ahead and post the photos of my latest effort. Anyway.......
I think this grim looking character turned out pretty good. He actually looks a lot better in 3D than in the photos as the darkness of the hat hides a lot. I tried something different on the brass buttons by painting a little detail on their surface. You'll have to tell me whether that worked or not. I also added some twisted wire braid on his hat to give a little more color up there. I'm not really sure whether that is accurate or not but it does add a bit to the effect so I'll go with it. I made a new base for him as the other was just a little too large.
There are more photos in the Gallery and your comments are always welcome and appreciated.
If you look at the top of the column to the right you will see I've added a little note about what appears on this Blog. While it might sound a little threatening it's not meant to be. I'm a very accommodating kind of fella so if you have a question or request about a carving, video, photo or post just ask and I'll make sure my response is to your liking. Thanks

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Carving Ethics

If you've been over to the WCI forum today you've no doubt seen the reaction to a thread I started this morning on copying the work of others. I won't repeat any of it here but I will outline how such a thing should be applied to what appears on this Blog.
When I post a video, a photographic tutorial or a pattern on this Blog feel free to copy or reproduce it for your own. However, if I just post a photo or series of photos of a recently completed carving it is not meant to be available for duplication. If this seems a little harsh I'm sorry but I have to retain those works as my own. I owe that to myself and to those who collect my work. Hopefully, as time goes on and more videos and tutorials are posted there will be enough to keep your juices flowing, at least I hope so.
Your acceptance of this request is appreciated. Thanks.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Stonewall Jackson

Old Stonewall seems a little long in the face but I think he sure looks impressive. This figure stands about 15" tall including the base. I really got interested in him and literally whipped him out in a day of hard carving. Unfortunately, I paid for it later that evening and throughout the night with a very painful wrist.
About the only thing I still have to do aside from applying some paint is to make a new base and add some gold braid to his hat. Most of the photos of him I could dig up only showed him wearing a Kipi but I wanted to do something a little more striking so I gave him a cavalry Stetson. It should really frame his head once painted.
There are quite a few more photos of the head and bust in the Gallery and your comments are always welcome.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Spurs – How I Make Them

Almost everyone seeing my Cowboy figures asks just how I make my spurs.  Well, here I show just how to go about giving your wrangler a pair of classy looking foot apparel.  While it might look a little challenging at first once you’ve made a few you’ll be looking for ways to stick them on just about anything. 
So, take you time, have fun and sorry for some of the more jerky moments of this video.  As always, your comments are apreciated.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Willie Whitefeather

Here is a little bust I finished today. I wanted to see how the base treatment I applied to Whiskey Jim would look with another character and I think it looks pretty good. I had carved the head for this figure several years ago which explains the closed eyes but it stills looks okay to me. With the base it stands about 8" tall.
A few more photos in the associated album in the Gallery and your comments are always welcome.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Whiskey Jim Gets A Bust Enhancement

That modification to Pancho went so well I thought I'd do the same thing with this reprobate. I fitted him out in some fancy duds considering he's know to play with some reall highrollers. I only wish there was someway I could have also added a gold-banded stogie but he was too far along for that. I also tried a different stand which I think worked out really well. It takes a common bust and elevates it to a much higher least I think it does. It's just a 3" piece of turned walnut on a 3/8" thick material.
As always your comments are welcome.

Video Feedback?

It's going on 6 months since I posted my first video so I'd like you to give us some feedback on how you think we're doing. Be honest.....we can take it. I'm especially interested in how the videos posted here compare with any others or to commercial carving CD or DVDs in how the carving process is presented. I've tried to keep it as casual and original as possible as I want to not only show any technics I might use but also the mistakes I make when using them. I realize that the quality of the productions may not be the best and that the camera sometimes jerks and jumps around trying to keep up with me but neither Judy nor I are graduates of the Academy. We're just a couple of Yahoos living out here in God's country having fun.
So take a moment and drop a comment to let us know how we might make any improvements or changes. Also, any suggestions for upcoming projects would be appreciated. Making a set of spurs in the next one on the production schedule. Thanks!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Making A Cowboy’s Lasso

A lot of you have ask me how I go about making the wire lasso or lariat that is a detail I use with a number of my cowboys.  Well here’s a couple of videos which should shed some light on the process.  Not that hard really but you have to be careful with joining it up with the figure.
I’ve also uploaded the photos from a previous blog post on doing this in case you want a little more detailed look.
Hope this helps you out.  We’ll tackle making Spurs in the next series.  The way it’s going it won’t be long before you know all my secrets.  Comments always welcome.