Monday, January 17, 2011

Shorebird finished - almost

As I anticipated, this shorebird project went pretty quickly, though some extra time was taken to experiment with a few ideas. I used a #3 gouge to give the impression of feathers on the body and then a #5 micro gouge working from the neck up to the beak to indicate smaller feathers. I used a combination of paint colors to get a nice rich grey-brown color for the body and the belly is white with a few drops of yellow ochre. For the eyes, I carved them out a little and made them a slight dome shape and then painted them by hand. After the paint dried I sanded the body lightly with some 240 paper to expose raw wood and give the coloring a slight dappled look. It also rendered the whole bird such that it appears older than it is. The photo shows wire legs which are not as they will be when I'm finished adding some epoxy and a coat of paint. The base is just a piece of pine I chose for it's thickness and availability and I experimented a little with the disk sander to give the base a faceted look. I gave it a wash of thinned black and then some yellow ochre while the black was still wet, just to take the edge off the pure black color. I could have used a coat of ebony stain for a similar effect. The whole carving gets a coat of matte finish. Finally the eyes get a drop of clear epoxy so they shine and stand out a little. My choice to go with a stylized look gave me a lot of latitude and by painting it in a number of different color combinations and changing the beak shape and length, the same pattern could easily yield a number of different birds.

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