Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Just A Little Off The Top!

After I finished the stripes on Sherlock and put him together permanently I relaxed a bit and started a new character from a  photo I saw on the net.  I'm not sure just what his problem is but he sure lookes pissed!  Maybe the Barber just handed him a mirror after he had told him he just wanted a little off the back!  I know just exactly how he feels.  The last commercial haircut I got was sometime back in the 80's where I experienced the same feelings after checking myself out in the shop mirror.  As this head is rather large it will probably end up being another bust.  Maybe I'll put a cape around his shoulders  and have him looking at himself in the mirror.  Whatever, look forward to your comments and there are a couple more photos in the Gallery.

Sherlock Gets His Stripes!

Sherlock Holmes Gets His Stripes from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

A few of you ask if I would show how I was going to paint the coat on Sherlock so here is a video of part of the process.  I'm not as steady as I used to be but it turned out pretty good I think.  There are lots of photos in the Gallery and I'll look forward to your comments.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sherlock Holmes

I've been working on this bust for over 6 months and I've finally just about got it finished. See, sometimes it even takes a so-called expert quite a while to get his head around something. Anyway, today I carved his hand as it will be holding a rather large pipe which I still have to do tomorrow. As his thumb is in a vertical position while the rest of the hand has the grain running horizontally, I made it from a separate piece and attached it with a metal pin and glue. The joint will be mostly hidden by the hands position and with the pipe in place. Once finished he's going on a long journey back to Europe so I'm making every effort I can think of to make him make the trip and arrive in the condition he was when he left my shop. The real fun of this piece will come with the painting as I want to give him a cape-coat that looks like the one everybody thinks his coat should look like. It will be a checkered tweed? I hope I got that right. His cap will also be painted in a similar pattern. I've put some more photos in the Gallery and I hope you like him so far as much as I do.

Developing A Character - Part 16 - Finished At Last

Part 16 - Finished At Last from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Well, we've finally come to the end of this little experiment in using something we thought might be the basis of a new character and, taking advantage of some available tricks and tips, develop it into something completely different.  I think our Marshal turned out real well and I hope you picked up some things that will help you to do the same with some of your future projects.  Patterns and rough-outs can..or at least should, appeal to you for only so long.  After that you should strike out on your own to see what you personally can accomplish.  That's the real fun of this look at a finished piece and know that it came from you.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Old Barn Comes Down

The Old Barn Comes Down from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

The other day, while Judy and I were out picking up brush, a fellow stopped by and asked if we'd like that old barn taken down.  "Sure!  How much!" Now, sn't that the first question you'd ask?  "Nothing!" he said, "I'll drop it for the lumber."  Well, it seems the guy does this for a living, dropping old barns and selling the wood to a recycling business in Peculiar, Missouri.  Here's the link:  I made a video of the drop for our Son who lives overseas and who actually owns the property the barn sets on but considering the number of hits it's been getting from others familiar with this site I thought I'd just leave it up.  It took a lot longer to fall that the fella thought as that corn crib on the left hand corner just refused to let it go.  It finally fell around the 8:20 mark on the video.

It's really a shame these old structures are disappearing.  It can all be blamed on the round bailing method that's now being used when putting up hay.  Those bales can be left out in the weather so there is no real need to protect the hay once it's cut.  They can set in the field for several years without any serious loss of nutrients.  At least that's what I've been told.  A good thing about taking them down is that their wood is highly sought after being as it is mostly old-growth hardwood. Looking at the beautiful things made from this wood in the link above, while being sorry to see them disappear, it's nice to know that they will live on in another form.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Developing A Character - Part 8 - The Body Details

Part 8 - Body Details from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

I apologize for the video quality but my computer was having fits when we made it so we were stuck with a much lower quality. Hopefully, this problem will be fixed quickly so we can get on with this project. It's starting to get interesting!

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Tip Jar

As most of you have noticed, over in the right column there is a little icon titled "Tip Jar".  The reason it's there is for those who think they have gotten something of value from  this blog or want to make a small contribution to ensure that the blog continues, can drop a buck or two into the Out West Woodcarving Expense Fund.   Now, by no means do I want you to think that I'm begging for money cause I'm certainly not.  This blog will probably continue even if the jar is empty and remains that way.  I get a lot of enjoyment out of making my blog posts and both Judy and I have fun filming the videos.  Any money that might go into that Jar would and does go to any maintenance costs involved.  These costs include the yearly Vimeo host fee, a percentage of the DSL costs, and most important, to offer a little help with the repair costs should the computer we use to accomplish all this stuff breaks down which it just did.  For some reason Windows has decided to no longer allow me access to my video production program so the main unit is setting down at the local computer repair shop which I hope can find the problem and the fix.  As you probably may have noticed, the quality of the last video was not that great as I had to use my laptop to load it up and also had to settle for the MP4 format.  Personally, I like the higher quality as I'm sure you do.

Now here is what I request you do should you want to make a contribution.  KEEP THEM SMALL!  Just a buck or two is plenty.  Nothing more than that, please!  We just don't need that much.  And once a year would also be plenty.   Any tips are handled through our PayPal account which we have been using for a number of years and who we trust completely.

So, if you should decide to hit the Jar with a few coins...Thank You very much!  If you don't, no problem, we're still friends.

Developing A Character - Part 7 - The Body

Developing A Character -Part 7 - The Body from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Developing A Character - Part 4 - The Mouth

Part 4 - The Mouth from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

We're zipping right along with this one and he's really starting to come to life. In this segment we work on the mouth and contribute to his smoking habit. He's starting to look a little pissed but I'm starting to really like him. I think he's going to be a classic.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Developing A Character - Part 2 - Roughing Out

Developing A Character - Part 2- Roughing Out from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

In this part we start roughing out the head to get an idea of the shape we're after. I never noticed that my old Boy Scout moccasins would feature so prominently or that they were in the process of falling apart. I've had them for around 30 years and now keep them in the shop to wear after I kick off my muddy or snow covered boots. Guess I'll have to see if I can lace them back together. -

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Developing A Character! Part 1 - Initial Steps

Let's start off the New Year with maybe something a little different than what you've done in the past with a few tips on which might help you out in the future.  When I'm surfing around the net each day I come across all sorts of things that I think might be useful when coming up with new carvings.  The real beauty of the net and computers is just how handy they are when you take advantage of just what they can do.  So, with this project we'll use some of these features to develop a new figure.  Now I said develop...not copy!  We'll try and make sure that the end product will be ours....not theirs.
Here are the links to the sites I use in the video:

1.  This is the video link to the Cartoon video clip:
2.  This is the download site for MWSnap, the screen capture program:

After you use that MWSnap program a while I'm sure you'll agree it's one of the neatest free downloads available.

I've also put the drawing I did along with the photo of the character in the associated folder in the Gallery should you want to use it.