Sunday, December 29, 2013

White Antelope - Finished At Last!

Hooray!  It's finally finished!  I've been working on this thing for what seems like ages.  Thankfully, it's done and out of the shop.  The ermine headress has always fascinated me and I think I've captured it pretty well in this piece.  I encourage you to go on Google and do an image search to see just what one looks like to form your own opinion as to how close I came.  There are a lot of attachments with this one.....the horns, the feathers, and the rear cloth.  The beads between the two horns are strung on a wire and glued in place.  The top crown feather, the one thats shaved, is held in place by a brass wire and the lower one is soldered to it.  While it might look fragile it's not.  The ermine hanging skins are also held in place by wire inserts as are the smaller feathers behind.  On this type of headress the horns are split, no doubt to cut down the weight.  I've indicated this feature by hollowing out the rear of each one.

All in all I think it turned out pretty nice.  It's certainly an eye catcher.    Anyway, I hope you like him and will look forward to your comments as I always do.  Lots more photos in the Gallery.

Friday, December 20, 2013

White Antelope

Here is one I finished up the carving part today.  He will probably be the most colorful piece I've done to date.  I've always wanted to do this type of headress just to see if I could and also to see how it would look as a least one in my style.  There will be a lot of attachments to make it reflect just what a real one incorporates but that's the fun of doing these pieces.

Hope you like it so far.  More photos in the Gallery and comments always welcome.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Coal Miner

This post will close out the Coal Miner project. Needless to say, I'm sorry we couldn't flesh him out like I had originally hoped but even without the addition of a coal cart I think he looks pretty snappy. One thing for sure.....he needs to spend a few minutes, maybe an hour, in the shower.

To make the scenic base which he's standing on I just used some small gravel and glued it down with ModPodge like I normally do.  Once dry the entire thing was painted black with a few touches of gray here and there in a few of the open spots.  The overall appearance of the piece might seem a little dark but I think it only adds to the figure and the idea we were trying to express.

I hope you enjoyed following along and will look forward to your comments.  As always, there are more photos in the Gallery album.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Coal Miner - Part 29 - Painting The Shirt

Well, I had hoped to make use of a feature of the video processing program we've been using to speed up certain portions of videos by fast forwarding. Unfortunately, it didn't work so to continue to use the higher definition uploads we'll have to limit video lengths to 15 minutes or less. Anything more than that times out, probably from the limits of our DSL line. Anyway, this one covers painting the shirt.

Part 28 -Painting The Shirt from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fence Work

Here is one I've been working on for the past couple of months.  I had hoped to get it finished before the Dayton show but just didn't have the time.  It's a large one, standing about 18" with the base.  It depicts a wrangler taking a break from fixing some broken fence, something we're pretty familiar with around our place.  While we have the benefit of fence pliers, wire stretchers, splices and crimpers, this fella is stuck with a hammer, a can of staples and a pare of dykes......the wire kind not the other kind.  He'll be holding some new wire in the right hand while the old fence post will show it's past history of numerous wraps and repairs.  That post is from an ancient fence on the property which had fallen down years ago.  The tin can will be filled with wire staples and with a painted wrapper.

While I will continue to stick with the caricature genre you will probably notice that my pieces will take on a more realistic appearance as time goes on.  They will also continue to grow in size to what is considered normal for a wooden carved caricature.   The larger size allows an increased area for more detail while being much easier on my aging eyes.  It also separates my work from that of others which is something I'm always striving for.

There are a few more photos in the gallery and your comments are always appreciated.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Circuit Overload

Feels like I've done this figure a gazillion times but this one is at least a little different.......He's much taller at about 17" not including the umbrella.  One thing I do know though and that is that he won't be around the Gallery very long.  People really seem to like this figure.  The umbrella frame is made from copper wire, the burnt pieces of cloth from scraps of nylon, draped over the frame and then soaked in superglue.  If you try this technique (and PLEASE, don't copy my piece. This one's mine!) make sure you use nylon as cotton becomes brittle with the glue and will break easily. Nylon won't.

I varnished him about 10 times with gloss, water based Poly and then use Testors Dul-Coat to flatten the upper, burnt part.  The puddle he's standing in is just made from a piece of thin plywood and modeled with Bondo.  Once painted I mounted him in position, mixed up some clear epoxy resin and carefully filled up the depression, making sure to get the stuff in and around his boots.  Once everything was set I mixed up some clear 5 minute epoxy glue and applied it to the lariat to indicate dripping water.  Had to set there and constantly reply the drips until it finally set.  Really makes a nice effect.

Hope you like him and there are more photos in the gallery. Comments welcome as always.

The Unknown Cowboy

I did this head yesterday at our weekly carving group.  I'm not really sure what he'll end up being or doing, which explains the 'unknown' designation, but he's looking pretty good so far.  I used a photo in my files as a guide for the expression.  The head is a large one so the figure will also be larger than normal.  As I said in a past post, my eyes just aren't as focused as they used to be so the larger sizes make it a little easier when both carving and painting.  Also, they make a much more impressive carving.

Anyway, I hope you like him so far.  A couple more photos in the Gallery.

Oh.......Judy and I hope to crank up the video production department soon as I'd like to get that figure done before we take off to the Dayton show.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Winter's Warmth.....Finished!

I put the final touches on this piece this morning.  Quite satisfied with it even though it seemed to take forever to complete.  About the only thing I would change would be the base as I think the snow feature would have looked much better had I done it as previous snow scenes, i.e., elevate the snow above a dark, recessed piece of wood.  The blond basswood just doesn't give it the snap the other would have.

I really like the female figure and now that I'm over the hurdle of carving a decent female face I hope to do more of them in the future.

There are quite a few photos in the Gallery and I look forward to receiving your comments.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Four O'Clock Wake-Up!

This one made me realize that my eyes are changing being as doing fine detail is becoming much more challenging.  I really had a problem with the apron, doing it over about 3 times before I finally said "To Hell With It!" and settled for what I'd done so far.  As this figure is smaller than the others that I've recently been doing I guess I'm going to have to stick with the larger versions.

I originally had him holding a tin cup instead of the lantern but the hand was just too fragile.   Noticing that I had a spare kerosene lantern setting on the window ledge a quick amputation and a little bit of cloning fixed that problem.  I would have liked that lantern a little larger but I think it will do.  In posting the photos I noticed that I had forgotten to add the watch chain to his vest pocket which has now been corrected.   I mounted him using the horseshoe base, something I haven't done in a while.  If I go to the larger figures in the future I guess I'm going to have to switch the Clydesdale shoes!!

Anyway, he turned out pretty good and these Chuck Wagon Cooks are always popular so he'll probably be cooking for someone else's spread before to long.  I also hope you like him and there are more photos in the Gallery.  Comments welcome as always.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Native American Gains A Girlfriend!

Here's a quick look as my current project.  Worked on the body of the lady all afternoon today and it's pretty well finished.  Did the head yesterday and will add the braids this weekend.  Looking good so far.

Native American

I haven't decided on what to call this piece as I hope to have a companion carving to go with it in a few days.  It's a good sized one...standing about 17 inches with the base.  I foresee lots of color on the robe.  Hope you like him.  More photos in the Gallery.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Grey Owl

I did this one a month back but the buyer requested that I hold off publishing anything about it as it was to be given as a gift to someone who follows this blog.  The surprise worked completely and the piece was well received by the new owner.

I've said it many times before, I love doing Native Americans.  There is just so much color and detail one can use to add to the story of a carving.  I seem to learn with each new one I complete.  With this one I came up with a new way to do feathers that adds a bit of realism without much effort, and I'm always looking for more ways to do things with out much effort these days.  I'm going to hang onto this secret for a while but will probably spill the beans later on as I always seem to do.  Anyway, I hope you like him and look forward to your comments.

Sarge - Painted

Hooray!  It's done!  It's finally off my desk and I can move this stone around my neck out of the shop and into the Gallery.  In one way or another this one has haunted me for at least three months.  Putting that all aside, he turned out pretty well.  The sharp contrast of the colors really set him off and his larger than normal size, about 12", makes him even more impressive.  You can't really see it but there is a gold braid Cavalry hatband around his hat with tassels. I made it out of twisted wire with carved tassels.

I hope you like him and your comments are welcomed as always.  More photos in the Gallery.

Monday, September 02, 2013

The Coal Miner....Where Is He?

No doubt you're all wondering what happened to the Coal Miner project.  Well, at the moment I just don't have the time to do any more with him as other fast approaching deadlines are bearing down and time is limited.  I certainly haven't forgot him as he's the first thing I see when I walk into the shop each morning.  I have a great opportunity coming up October 5 at the Woolaroc Museum and I still have to come up with several carvings orientated to the event.  Shortly after that there is the Dayton show which is the one that pays the bills.  So, with the Coal Miner basically done as a single figure without any additional details you could just mount him as he is or hang on for a while longer and we'll pick him up where we left off.  Hope that's okay.


Finished this fella last night and painted him today but will just post the unpainted version tonight as the paint is still wet.  Will hopefully put up the finished article tomorrow.  A few more photos in the gallery.  Hope you like him and your comments are always welcome.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bacon Rind

Finally got this guy off my table this morning.  Took long enough.....have been working on him all summer.  Of course with my Mom's death, visiting relatives, a Yellowstone vacation and ranch upkeep it's a wonder I ever got it done!  This piece is aimed for the upcoming Woolaroc Outlaws & Cow Thieves Reunion fundraiser this October.  I hope to get a few other Woolaroc associated carvings completed before then.

Bacon Rind was an Osage Chief who was friends with Frank Phillips, the founder of Phillips Petroleum and on whose ranch Woolaroc is located.  Quite an interesting character.

Anyway, hope you like him and there are more photos in the gallery.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Coal Miner - Part 19 - The Left Hand Continued

The Coal Miner - Part 19 -The Left Arm Continued from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

How To Photograph Your Carvings

I was looking over my Blog and Video stats this morning and thought I'd repost the first video I made on taking photos of your work.  I uploaded it back in September 2009 and I think it still has a lot of information you can use to take some almost studio quality shots of your pieces.

  It's hard to believe that since posting that video it was followed by 292 more.   Total Blog entries are bumping 800 with 791.  Hope it's all worth it!

Here's that video:

The Coal Miner - Part 18 - The Left Arm

Things are starting to settle down around here so it's time to get back to the Coal Miner.  A funny thing on our trip to Yellowstone....we rented a historic log cabin just outside of Gardiner, Montana that was built back in 1907.  Setting inside the living area was a antique coal cart which was just the type I had planned on making as an accessory to this figure.  There was an old mine up the hill from the cabin so evidently they just moved it down the slope and into the house.  Neat!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Snake River Sam

With all that's been going on around here I finally found a few moments to finish this one. I've also changed his name to something more reflective of the piece. Funny, when people look at carvings, sculptures, or paintings, they never seem to look at the titles. That's a real shame as the artist generally gives a lot of thought to that area to ensure that the title amplifies what they're trying to express. More often than now it is the key to the whole piece.  Take my advice and read that'll appreciate what was done a lot more.

 I tried something new to try and give his coat the look of sheepskin with the wool on the inside. It wasn't that hard to do. I just chucked in a Kutzal bit and bumped it across the surface of the wood to rough it up. After that I used a butane torch to burn away all the fuzz. Enough was left to accomplish the thought. It did take a lot of dry brushing to get the correct coloring as that rough surface really soaked up the paint. I like it.

 This bust stands a little under 15" with the base. There are more photos in the Gallery and your comments are appreciated as always.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Mossback

Here's a new one I started Tuesday at our woodcarving group. Not that sure about the title yet but wanted something to indicate him being old and firm of opinion. He stands about 12" tall with the base and will get a feather or two in his hatband. Hope you like him and there are a few more photos in the Gallery.

The Coal Miner - Part 16 - Overalls

The Coal Miner - Part 16 -Overalls from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Coal Miner - Part 14 - Finishing Up The Legs

Spent the morning out in the field mowing to beat the heat but it was still HOT! It's was nice to get into the shop where it's nice and cool. In this segment we pretty well finish up the legs and get ready to move up the trunk in the next one.

Part 14 -Finishing The Legs from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Coal Miner - Part 13 - Roughing Out The Legs

Okay.....let's see if we can get back on track with this guy.

Part 13 -Roughing Out The Legs from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Black Eagle - Painted

Worked on this one over the weekend to get him out of the shop and into the Gallery.  Glad he's finally finished as he's been staring at me for the past couple of  months, setting on my work table.  I added a feather on the end of his fan to give the piece a little motion.  I think little details like that really add to the appeal of a piece...same goes for the earrings which are pounded copper.  With the base he stands about 12" tall.

There are more photos in the Gallery and your comments are always welcome.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Artistry In Wood Show

I just received the new poster for the upcoming Artistry in Wood event in Dayton, Ohio this November.  If you have been fortunate enough to have attended this show you know this one will be better than the last.  If you haven't made the trip yet you should definitely mark your calendar as it's clearly the best show in the country by far.  For competition, sales or exposure you just can't beat it.  It's where it's at!

Click on the link to the Dayton Woodcarvers website over there on the right for more information.    See you there?

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Cotton Eyed Joe II

I've done this character before but being as Grand kids are staying with us I thought I'd push the envelope a little and make him a little more wacky than normal as Grand kids always seem to like wacky things.  If you could look under those sparkling teeth you would see all kinds of cavities and discolorations but after watching it for a while it was just a little too much wacky and not enough good taste so I painted over it.  I do want to sell the thing after all and doubt if a prospective buyer would want a very graphic example of poor dental hygiene setting on the knick-knack shelf.   I do like the spotted shirt and hope you do too.  As always your comments are always welcome and appreciated.  More photos in the Gallery.

The Top Hand - Bust

I painted this a couple weeks ago and as things have settled down around here I thought I'd try and get back on track with my posts.  Appreciate your sticking around.  There are more photos in the Gallery and your comments are welcome as always.


Just want to take a moment to say thanks for your kind thoughts, prayers and cards with regard to the passing of our Mother.  You folks are the best!    Thank you.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Our Mom

Our Mom passed in her sleep early this morning.  Life and it's cares are behind her now, and she's back with Dad, her eldest son and all the friends that have passed before her.  It's a sad day Out West.

Our Mother
You can only have one mother
Patient kind and true;
No other friend in all the world,
Will be the same to you.

When other friends forsake you,
To mother you will return,
For all her loving kindness,
She asks nothing in return.

As we look upon her picture,
Sweet memories we recall,
Of a face so full of sunshine,
And a smile for one and all.

Sweet Jesus, take this message,
to our dear Mother up above;
Tell her how we miss her,
and give her all our love. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Just A Note!

Due to a serious illness in the family, my Mother, future posts will be put on hold for  a while.  Appreciate your understanding.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sour Note Charlie III

I've done this figure a number of times and this is another version of him.  I think this one looks more dejected than the others which is good.  Still a few details to add....broken strings, bullet holes, etc.  The music sheet is metal and will be a challenge in itself to paint.  I'm thinking "Cowboy's Lament" for the title.  This one will probably not hang around long once completed so I think I'll enjoy him a while before letting him go for his next appearance.

More photos in the Gallery and your comments are always welcome.

The Top Hand - Bust

Here's one I did the other day.  It's a good sized piece when compared to the normal busts....standing about 15" with the base.  It's certainly no easier to carve a larger piece but it gives you the opportunity to expand the details a little in both carving and painting.  Most importantly, it raises your piece to a different level than what is normally seen and that's what I'm after.  The hat is the type worn in the northwestern areas of cowboy country.

Just the one photo so far.  Hope you like him and your comments are always welcome.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Coal Miner - Part 9 - The Lamp

Part 9-The Lamp from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Attachments - Legal or Illegal?

Slowmover brought up an excellent question as a comment on the Part 8 video.  Here it is along with my views on the matter:

Neat technique.....nobody could ever carve a bill that thin, and it is looking so natural. I want to ask you if you ever run into resistance at shows due to the metal and other material attachments and adornments on your carvings. We have a contest every two months at our club, and it was last weekend. I took in a cowboy that I had used low dome tacks to make conchos around his hat band..looked really good to me. The first words out of the mouth of one of the old timers in the club were "You can't put that in the show (meaning this fall, our big show) it has metal on it". Not wanting to argue or any controversy at a meeting I just smiled and said Don't it look pretty? (as an aside, it took first in the intermediate category, voted on by members present at the meeting) I sure like the look that the tacks, reins on horses, etc give, but really don't want a fight at our show this fall. Our rules just say made of technically they have a point. I just wondered how much push you get at the big shows.

To put it bluntly, I couldn't care less about what others might think about what might be considered allowed or not allowed.  I look at my efforts as 'sculpture' not necessarily woodcarvings. Wood is just one of the mediums I use.  Granted, it might be the main one but it will never be the only one.  If I can come up with a way to enhance the look that I'm after that might be made from materials other than wood I'll certainly check it out to see if it will work.   As for my entering my pieces into competition I've never had any problems.  Quite the contrary, they must be considered acceptable as they've managed to win their share of awards against the stiffest competitors.  That makes me feel especially good as the judges recognize that pushing the envelope is not something we should shy away from.   Naturally, there are those old mossbacks that continue to profess there is only one, true road that everyone should follow.  To those I say "Bunk!"  Get the hell out of my way!

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Thursday, May 02, 2013

The Out West Shop Gets A Facelift!

The painters finished up today.  Good thing as the weather is turning cold and there's snow in the forecast.  I've been wanting to paint the place just about since we bought it over  23 years ago.  How's that for procrastination?  Having too much fun with other things I guess.   Anyway, it's done now and I can finally get back inside and get busy again.  Are you 'Green' with envy?

The Coal Miner - Part 5 - Mustache & Ears

Coal Miner - Part-5-Mustache & Ear from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Now Where'd He Go?


In case you're wondering what happened to us, here's one reason. We have many others. Hope to get back to carving as soon as we stack some wood.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Coal Miner - Part 3 - Nose & Mustache

I hope things are a little easier to see with this one. We turned off some lights and repositioned the camera to give a better picture. I can't turn off any more lights or I'll be carving in the dark. That new camera is just too sensitive I guess.

Coal Miner - Part 3-Nose & Mustache from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Coal Miner - Part 2 - He Loses His Hat!

Here's part 2!

Coal Miner - Part 2 - He Loses His Hat! from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Hard Rock Miner

That coal seam ran out so this guy headed west to the gold and silver fields of western Colorado.  He's not mining ore up in the mountains hear Silverton.  Harder rock but not as dirty that that filthy black stuff.

I had originally painted his shirt the color of chambray but it almost exactly matched the mine tailing he's mounted on.  So I changed it to Midnight Blue and dirtied it up with some Raw Umber and a lighter tan.  I think I spent more time constructing that little lantern than anything else but it looks pretty sharp.

Hope you like him.  I promise we'll be getting back to that fella still stuck in those coal pits.  More photos in the gallery and your comments are always welcome.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Coal Miner - Part 2 - Changes?

Well, I told you I was just going to "wing it" with this character as that's what I normally do when coming up with figures.  I had an old head laying around and thought I'd just try out some details on it to see how things would look.  Well, they look pretty good!  So........ I'm going to give this project a little more thought before proceeding on to see if I can come up with a better and easier way to portray him while still keeping many of the ideas I had for the earlier one.

That green looking rock is a piece of mine tailing we picked up last fall which 4wheeling up in the mountains near St. Elmo, CO. If I can locate a piece of coal I'll swap it out.  Making the lantern was really fun trying to come up with ways and material to create it.  The body was just a piece of dowel whittled to the shape  and the front reflector was made with a ball-peen hammer and a piece of cooper, pounding it into a dished shape.  The flint striker is just bent wire and the center flame mechanism is wood.  The hat bill is TUPELO.  Let me repeat that TUPELO!  I don't know how I came up with Catalpa last time as I don't have a piece of that wood in my shop.

Anyway, there are a few more photos in the Gallery and I'll try and get things back on track here real soon.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The Coal Miner - Part 1 - The Head & Hat

Here we go again.   But first...OPPS!  When I say that bill on Sherlock's hat is made from Catalpa I meant to say Tupelo!  Sorry.

Coal Miner - Part 1 - The Head & Hat from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

What's Next?

Lots of great suggestions.  I think we'll go with the idea of doing a Miner as that would be a great platform for lots of neat details.  I can see pick axes, shovels, carbide lamps, lunch pail, wheel barrow, maybe even an ore cart and a hole in the mountain.  Sound like a challenge?  I think so.   I'll keep him in the period of the late 1800's and downsize the figure from what I've normally been carving.  I think I still have some coal left over from my model train days that will come in handy.  Will probably have to buy an extra tube of black paint too!  Could that be a wad in his jaw?

Stay tuned!  The fun's about to begin!

Saturday, April 06, 2013

White Eagle - Finished!

Put the final touches on this Redskin this morning so here he is.  Turned out almost as well as I thought it would but there are a few areas that could have been improved upon.  I tried something new with the base by making it a little more artsy-fartsy!  I just bought a new chop-saw so just had to try it out with some new angles.  Presentation is 90 percent of anything so the better the platform the better your work looks!  It's as simple as that and it's a shame that most still don't realize it.

Again, to improve his facial coloring I went over the entire area with a wash of  a rich brown to give a more bronze look instead of a reddish one.  I also added more texture to the feathers.  To simulate a fur wrap on his braids I carved, painted with Mod-Podge and then sifted on a layer of the material I use for bases with gives a rough but pleasing appearance similar to fur, especially when highlighted with a little dry brushing.  I also lightened up the leather of the robe more than normal. The earrings are made from pounded copper, bent into rings, soldered and then inserted once the piece is completely finished.

There are more photos in the gallery and I look forward to your comments.

Next Video Project?

Any suggestions on what we should do next?  I'm open to any good ideas as long as they aren't Santas or Hiking Sticks.  Fire away!

Monday, April 01, 2013

Who's Up For An Auction?

It's been a while since we did the last one and being as we missed the Kansas City show I'll put this worried Rodeo Clown on the block.  As before, we'll start it off with no reserve, however this time shipping will NOT be part of the winning bid.  Also, to keep you from having to stay up late let's end it in the morning. So..........


The winning bid will be the one posted closest to the closing time in the Comment section to this Blog post. 

"The Bullfighter" stands approximately 10" tall. I carved it several years ago.  While the photo doesn't show it, it does have a brass nameplate.  If you look closely you can see a few beads of sweat forming on his forehead so that ugly hunk of beef must have him firmly in his sights and lined up for a direct hit.  I't a great piece, lots of humor and color.  So........

Good luck and let the fun begin!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"You Ought To See The Other Guy!" - Finished!

This poor fella just checked into the local Emergency Ward.  I sure hope he heals up okay.  Special note:  If you see him and he asks you out for a couple of beers I'd think up a good excuse not to go!

I really like painting things like this as it stretches my limited skill each time.  Most people would think bruises are purple but they're not.  Anyone who's had a shiner or a twisted ankle knows the color variations that show up.  I gave him a denim jacket as I hadn't done one in a while.  I wish the orange stitching showed up a little better but it's there so at least I tried.

Anyway, more photos in the Gallery and your comments are always welcomed.

Monday, March 25, 2013

You Ought To See The Other Guy!

Finally finished this one up today.  The head had been laying around on my table for the last several months.  I gave him a denim jacket which should look pretty good once painted.  Painting all the bruises and swelling will be a challenge but should be fun.    There are more photos in the Gallery and your comments are welcome as always.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Wind River Willie

The trip to Kansas City for their woodcarving show was cancelled due a severe snow storm that didn't materialize.  So I spent the day in the shop painting this crusty looking fella.  As I said earlier in the previous post on him, I have always wanted to do a Hudson Bay blanket capote as they're neat and colorful.  I also renamed him to something more directly associated with Mountain Men.   I really like the way he turned out.  I had thought about adding some snow but decided not to as it would be just a little too much.  Anyway, I hope you like him and there are a few others in the Gallery.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Wind River Willie

I've been wanting to do a Hudson's Bay Blanket Capote for quite sometime and here is my first attempt.  You can't tell much about that now but as soon as it's painted it will be pretty clear what such a thing is.  I carved the head & hat Saturday and finished up the body yesterday and am in the process of painting now.  Hopefully, will get it finished by the Kansas City show.   Hope you like him.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Daily Grind - Part 10 - Wrapping It Up!

He's finally finished.  Everything is put in place and anchored down.  Unfortunately, during the upload of the video the picture dropped out at the 17.25 mark for about three minutes till it picks up again at 21.50. The audio is still there and you didn't miss that much...just the glueing of the figure to the base so it's not a total loss.  I guess those things happen occasionally.  Also, I forgot to film the insertion of the spurs!  Sorry!  I wonder if these things happen out in Hollywood? He turned out to be a pretty impressive piece.  There are a number of areas that I could have improved upon but I'll leave that till the next one takes shape.

I hope you enjoyed this painting adventure and maybe picked up some things you can use.  For myself,  I learned how to paint a leather-looking vest, something I hadn't done before but will definitely do again. I also tried a new trick with the lantern which I will pass along to you in the future.  So, as always happens, if you're willing to experiment and try new things your work always becomes better for it.

Daily Grind - Part 10 - Wrapping it up from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Painting! What's Up With That?

Slowmover posted a rather long comment on the trouble he's having when painting a figure.  Let me see if I can address some of the concerns he brought up.

First, do not think that you can produce good results immediately with a technique you're not that familiar with.  I've been painting for over 50 years and I still hit the wall sometimes trying to do something and not having much success with it.  Then again, sometimes I do something that totally surprises me at the result.  Painting the vest is a good example of that.  I had never considered using a tan color for a vest, preferring the darker colors.  However, that tan, the darker shading and then the lighter highlights actually take on the look of leather.  A new lesson learned!

As for washes over solid paint just remember....once you dip your brush into water and then into paint it's a wash of some kind or other.  Some are light while some are heavy but they're all washes.  The only difference with my technique is that I wet the surface of the wood so my washes soak into the wood instead of flowing over it and that is a BIG difference.  The colors take on the color of the wood which makes them appear much warmer than they would the other way.  And I like the way the wood absorbs the color unevenly over the various surfaces of the wood.  That just adds another touch to the technique.  If there is a spot where I don't want that to happen I can always add more paint to even things out.

I think a lot of problems come from trying to copy something to closely.  My suggestion would be to read the book or watch the video a couple of times then put  those things away. That's the way THEY paint not the way YOU want to paint.  Next, get familiar with what you plan on painting.  You can't paint something that you know nothing about.  Say you're going to paint Jeans.  Go put on that pair of worn out pants hiding in the bottom of the drawer.  Now look at all the folds and creases, the worn areas, the holes, the grass or dirt stained areas around the knees. Doing this will show you what you're after and will teach you much more than any photo or video will.  The same goes for hats or horses, boots or biscuits, pick it up, feel it, pet it, maybe even taste it. If you know it you can paint it!

And here's the best advice of all.....CHILL!  Quit trying so hard.  Relax and have fun. No doubt a few of your figures will go sailing across the room to smash against the wall just like mine have on occasion. Accept the fact that it's going to take a long, long time and tons of practice but you will get there eventually.  If, for some reason you don't make it, you can at least reflect back on a great adventure and the satisfaction of trying and giving it your best shot!

Oh...I forgot the second most important thing after practice...Confidence!  But, fortunately for all of us, this will appear all by itself the more we grow confortable with what we're doing through practice.  I haven't ridden a bicycle in half a century but I KNOW, having done it once pretty good, I can do it again. Painting or carving works the same way.  The more we do it the more comfortable we become and confident that we can do it again.

The Daily Grind - Part 8 - Painting The Vest

Continuing to move up the body, the vest gets it's color with this one.  Someone stopped by the shop shortly after we finished the video and when first seeing the figure ask if  the vest was leather!  She was surprised when I told her it was just paint so I guess the operation was a success! Here's how I did it!

Part 8 - The Vest from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Daily Grind - Part 7 - The Shirt

Oops!  Someone forgot to delete the previous videos off the memory card.  I won't name any names but their initials are Lynn Doughty!  As a result, this one ends kind of abruptly.  Sorry!  The only thing missing was the painting of the neckerchief so you didn't miss too much.  Maybe I should cut back on telling my life experiences and philosophy of carving and painting?

Daily Grind - Part 7 - Painting the Shirt from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Daily Grind - Part 4 - Hat, Holster & Gun

We taped this segment this morning using the new camera, a Sony CX-220.  I produced it in both MP4, the format used by Youtube and most other similar cites, and then made a duplicate in HD which is just below this.  HD is great but it has it's drawbacks being as it's such a large file.  Compared to the 139MB for the MP4 the HD version takes up 851MB.  It took a little over 5 hours to upload the HD video.   If you download these files for your personal use this higher quality will definitely affect your copying.   So.........   You are going to have to let me know what you want.   Do you want the higher resolution of HD or are you satisfied with the MP4?  We do this for you so you'll be the deciding factor.

 OOPS! I just noticed that I dropped a segment at the end of the Hat where I paint the hatband and do some dry brushing with white to finished it up. Too late now! We've covered that before so if you need to you can review some of the earlier posts.  Sorry!

Here's the HD version:

Daily Grind - Part 4 - Hat, Holster & Gun - HD from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.
And here is the MP4.
Daily Grind - Part 4 - Hat, Holster & Gun - MP4 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.
Looking forward to your comments as always.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

The Daily Grind - Part 3 - Boots, Jeans & A Coffee Pot

WooHoo!  New table and hopefully better views!   I built a mobile table to aid in the recording of these videos which should give you a better view of what's taking place.  Let me know what you think.

In this one we paint the boots, jeans and the coffee pot.

Daily Grind - Part 3 - Boots, Jeans, Coffee Pot from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

The Daily Grind - Part 2 - Painting The Head

As I started to paint this figure I thought you might like to come along for the ride so here is the first part on painting his head.  It's a long one.

Daily Grind - Painting the Head from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Friday, March 01, 2013

The Daily Grind - Part 1

This one has been in the works for months.  It started out to be something and then ended up being something else so I guess you could say it ended up being what it started out as......Something!

He's a large one....standing about 18-20 inches with the base.  The lantern will probably be changed in the final configuration as I was able to get some hollow plexiglas tubing which will allow me to create an actual flame within the lamp globe.  Now all I have to do is to figure out how to do it.  But that's half the fun of creating these things.

Just one more photo in the Gallery and your comments are always welcome.

When The Boss Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy!

This one really turned out well.  The colors really compliment each other and his expression really conveys that he's not happy about something and that somebody is probably in a bit of a spot.

There are a lot more photos in the Gallery which Google has changed again, so I hope you will not have trouble checking them out.   As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Out West - Up In A Cloud!

As you can see, I've been making a few changes to the design and layout of this Blog.  One change that might need a little explanation is the switch to using a Cloud system instead of Labels as a means of looking up past posts.  If you scroll down the column on the right you'll see an alphabetical jumble of words vs. the previous list.  Beside each word will be a number showing how many times I've made a post that refers to that subject.  Clicking on a word will bring up all the posts in which that word was part of the subject, i.e., Native American appears in 78 posts so far.  I hope that's understandable.  Hopefully this will make searching a little easier.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Red Antelope - Finished!

Here's my newest Native American.  I really love doing this type of character.  Compared to some there is not that much carving involved but they just seem to turn out looking as great as something that takes a real long time.  This one especially just makes you smile when you look at him.  He stands about 15" tall with the base.

Hope you like him and also hope you like the new Blog layout.  More photos in the Gallery and your comments are always welcome.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Red Antelope - The Final Touches

I spent some of this morning putting the final touches to this piece and thought you might like to see how I went about it.  Maybe there are a few things in the video that might help you put a little extra shine to your next creation.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Don Quixote - Finished At Last

Judy and I put the ending to this poor Spaniard this afternoon.  I'm am really pleased at the way he turned out.  I was a little worried about whether the large amount of silver in the color scheme would overpower everything else but it seems to work, at least for me.   I think the brass nameplate will also add another touch of color that will balance it out even more.

I hope you enjoyed this series.  I know it was a long one but sometimes that's what it takes to create some special as this one certainly is.  There are more photos in the Gallery and I look forward to your comments.

Don Quixote - Part 22 -- FINISHED!!!

At last! This segment will wrap up this project. I think it turned out much better than I thought it would. I hope you have as much fun creating your own as I did making mine.

Don Quixote - Part 22 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Don Quixote - Part 21

Finally, we get to paint this old codger.  Hopefully, there will be just one more segment after this one.  While this has been a great project I'm looking forward to moving on to something else.  I think I've got a great one lined up that will appeal to a wide audience and will not be near as hard as this one.  Anyway, here is how I painted him.

Don Quixote - Part 21 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Osage County Cowboy - Painted

Finally got the details on this one today.  Glad he's out of the way as he's been hanging around for too long.  Turned out pretty good.  This little scene is always a crowd pleaser and doesn't stay too long in the Gallery.  Hope you like him.  More photos in the gallery.

Red Antelope

Here is a new one I just finished up this morning.  I really like the expression...he looks quite proud.   I plan on doing some pretty decorative painting on his blanket so it should be a colorful piece.  He will be holding a pipe when done.  Hope you like him. 

Friday, February 08, 2013

Don Quixote - Part 19

With the carving part finished it's time to get out the paint and brushes. But before that we have a little cleaning up to do and some quick work with the burning pen. Also, this segment is pretty long....just about 45 minutes so make sure your chair is comfortable. Popcorn might help too.

Don Quixote - Part 19 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Don Quixote - Part 18

Well, it took us a while to get here but with this video we finally finish the carving and construction of Mr. Quixote.

Don Quixote - Part 18 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Don Quixote in the Raw

I was ask to publish some photos of the piece to help others figure out what is going on with proportions, etc., so here he is.  Lots more photos in the Gallery.

The Texican - "You Called Me A What?"

Fixed this fella to his base this morning.  I guess he turned out pretty good but I'm not that really impressed with him.  Guess it was all that hoop-la over at that other place.  Anyway, hope you like him.  There are more photos in the Gallery and your comments are welcome.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Don Quixote - Part 17

Just about done.  With this segment we start wrapping things up before we can head to the paint table.  One thing though....Judy missed me putting glue to the left arm and putting it into place.  I'll make sure I cover that when we put the next arm in place.  And about that big belly....That's not fat...that's good living!!

Don Quixote - Part 17 from Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Texican-First Look!

When they say "Don't Mess With Texas!" I guess they were talking about this mean-tempered fella.   This carving was prompted by a small brewhaha over on the Woodcarving Illustrated Magazine carvers forum where a member wondered why he was called a Racist because he'd referred to himself as being a "Texican".   Evidently the hair on the back of one of the forum's moderators  stiffened to the point that he thought he'd better douse the flames by shutting down the discussion before we all started throwing things.  Ridiculous!  Here in Oklahoma we call those Texicans things a lot worse than racist but they know it's all meant in good fun and no shots are fired across the Red River because of a few words.

Anyway, hope to get this guy painted today and looking forward to fleshing him out with "All Things Texan"!  And I know what he got that medal for and it ain't purdy!

Hope you like him and there are a couple more photos in the Gallery.

P.S. Also, if you want to offer honest opinions and post your carving photos without worry about them being pulled because someone might think they're Racist you're invited to join the Out West Possee Face Book page.  The link is up there on the right.

Just is NOT a gun free zone so watch what you say!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Woolaroc Museum Receives The Carvings

Aside from my marriage to Judy and the birth of our two sons, today was just about the next biggest day in my life.  This morning Judy and I delivered the three scenes that the museum acquired for their permanent collection.  In the photo below is, from the right, Robert Kane; Chairman, Phillips 66,  Ken Meek; Museum Director, Bob Fraser; CEO and Operations Officer for the Frank Phillips Foundation, and me; Hayseed from Jay, Oklahoma.  After the carvings were placed in their cases I just stood there for a while, completely dumbfounded that something I did would remain permanently surrounded by the works of Charles Russell, Frederick Remington, Thomas Moran, Joe Beeler and numerous other noted western artists of the past and preset.  Wow!

There are quite a few other photos in the Gallery and I apologize for the movement in some of doubt caused by the amount of nervousness on Judy's and my part.   So, if someday you happen to be heading down US60 west out of Bartlesville, OK, make a left turn onto Oklahoma 123 and drive southwest a few miles to see about 5 years of my life.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Black Buffalo - Finished!

Put the final touch to this piece this morning and while it turned out just as I had planned it sure was good to get it off the workbench and next door in the Gallery.

The trickiest part of this one was the necklace.  I had originally though about prepainting everything before assembly but then thought, being as the teeth, the robe and the necklace fur are all pretty much the same color I'd just paint them once it was together.  To set the claws, once the fur was textured I cut the slots for each claw which was numbered along with the slot.  When setting them I started with a back claw, working my way forward and around, drilling a small hole in each one for the wire which holds the beads.  Had to do it this way so the wire would match without any kinks.  Once the epoxy was dry I strung the beads which are held on the wire with superglue.  Then it was off to the paint table.

For the drops off the headress, the ermine tails were carved, doweled and inserted into place, the ribbons were made from Tupelo which was first, boiled, twisted into place, and then clamped until dry.  After that they were removed and painted and then doweled and glued in place.

The war club was in two pieces with leather decoration on one end and a pounded brass point on the other.  The decorative nail head are just paint dots.  The cloth trailer on the back of the headress is another piece of Tupelo with added wooden buttons.  I put a drop of epoxy on the top of the painted nail heads which gives the appearance of beads.   The base is walnut.

This was a great project resulting in, what I think is a great piece which I'll probably hang onto for a bit.  It will look good setting next to the Warbonnet bust.

Lots of photos in the Gallery and your comments are always appreciated.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Road Agents at Prairie Dawg Junction

And here is the last one.  Nothing to fix here.  As soon as those two Bandits get through lifting those poor travelers of their belongings the coach can continue on it's way to the museum.  There are a lot of new photos in the gallery and while you're checking them out note the Bandit on the horse.  Judy sat on a saddle in the shop wearing a slicker while I whittled the folds of the coat.   Another little note is that I think the riderless horse in front is the best one I've ever done.  While it might not show, the inside of the coach is also detailed.

The Gold Nugget Saloon

Just finished tuning up this piece prior to delivering it to the Museum.  About the only thing it needed was a new bed upstairs.  Evidently Diamond Lil was so busy up there that the bed springs gave way.  Either that or it suffered a pretty hard bounce on it's way some where.  I think I'll stick with the first reason.....a much better story.   Lots of photos in the Gallery.