How to carve in wood for beginners
Breathe life into wood: A realistic carved sculpture
Sculptural carving is rightly considered to be the pinnacle of carving art. To the technique of creating three-dimensional figures most logically pass after a confident mastery of relief carving, which can be regarded as a kind of intermediate stage. In the material presented, we will discuss the basic principles of sculptural wood carving, doing so using the work of American artist Leah Wachter as an example.
How to Whittle a Simple Fox. Step By Step Beginner Wood Carving Project
How this project is convenient for a beginner? First, it has a relatively simple carving algorithm, with the work itself looking very effective. Secondly, a basic set of tools is used here, with which every carver, who has decided to do sculpture, will have to have in the future. Finally, this project gives you the opportunity to learn about wool texturing techniques. Master this technique. especially important for beginners, as you will have to constantly refer to it in the future, creating sculptures of animals in volumetric wood carving.
Start by transferring the pattern to the linden blank. On a band saw or jigsaw, cut the base along the outer contours of the side and top views diagram. Draw an axial line that will help maintain symmetry while cutting.
Using a Bogorod knife, round the body of the rabbit symmetrically: from the tail to the base of the ears. Then move on to working out the jawline: separate the lower jaw from the body. Use long, longitudinal strokes of the knife to give the face a tapered shape. Cut symmetrically, focusing on the center line.
Finish working out the tail: round it, partially separate it from the body and give it a pointed shape. Continue rounding the body symmetrically. Using a pencil, constantly redraw the working scythe line, which will help you stick to the correct proportions.
Finish roughing out the back legs. Draw schematic outlines on both sides of the workpiece; use an axial line to make sure they are equal in shape and size. Make deep notches along the lines with your knife. Use a narrow, straight chisel on each side of the sculpture to remove the wood above the contour of the hind legs, creating a pronounced semi-volume.
Proceed to roughing out the front paws. Draw a working outline and separate it from the main body by making a rectangular protrusion.
Use the same Bogorodok knife to make the outlines of his hind and forelegs more defined.
Move on to working out the eye. Cut out symmetrical hemispheres. These circles should be proportionally larger, as eyes and eyelids will be carved on them later. Draw the outline of the muzzle and the back of the cheek.
Detail the facial relief by outlining the contours of the muzzle and cheeks. Change sides frequently to keep the carving symmetrical.
Once you have finished detailing the face, move on to rough carving the ears. Our sculpture has ears that are not on the same level, which gives it an even more realistic plastique. To achieve this effect, use a straight chisel to cut the shaded part of the wood along the pre-drawn outline.
Separate the ears from each other by making a series of V-notches. The separation should be deep, but not wide.
Using the template, shape the back of the ears to the desired shape. Outline the bite hole and pick it out with the cerazik, a small semi-circular chisel. Work carefully and slowly. Remember to alternate sides so that the wood carving is symmetrical and the sculpture itself is balanced.
Move on to detailing the toes on the front and back paws, using the main tool, the Bogorodsky knife. Finish outlining the tail.
Detail the shape of the eye by shaping the lower and upper eyelid. Follow the contours you have drawn and make fine detailing of the nose and mouth relief.
As in classical Bogorod wood carving, the texture of the fur on this sculpture is created using a fine chisel. This process requires a certain amount of diligence, patience and accuracy. It is advisable to make grooves, imitating the structure of wool, according to the marks you have made beforehand. The only untextured areas left on the sculpture are the ears, muzzle, paw tips and eyelids.
When you have finished this stage change your chisel for a 6 mm blade width angled chisel and carve the fringe areas on the chest to create some sort of wool scraps on the chest.
Sand the back of the ears using rolled up pieces of fine sandpaper.
Prepare the sculpture for coloring by carefully brushing it with a toothbrush. Use acrylic or oil paints for painting.
The main part of the wool is aged in a light brown tone. Muzzle, chest, ear cavity and the area around the eyes are dark grey. Paint the eye in black. Paint the tip of the nose and the back and inside of the ears with light pink.
The principle of creating highlights and shadows when painting the figures is standard. It is especially important to practice this technique for beginners who are mastering volumetric wood carving. It can be advantageously used to create any kind of wood carving work in volume: animals, people, garden sculptures, etc. The play of light and shadow can make figures more realistic and effective.
Using a light black color, make thin strokes with a brush on all the recesses of the animal: in the folds of the neck, front and back paws, ears, tail, etc.д., Create a realistic shadow for the sculpture. Blot excess paint with a paper towel.
Mix the white and brown to achieve a light brown tone (one order of magnitude lighter than the base color of the wool). Glare in the most exposed areas of the sculpture: the cheeks, hind and forelegs, and the back of the animal. For extra sparkle, paint the rabbit’s eyes with clear acrylic.
The fine sculpture tool. Wood Carving for Beginners.
We are talking about a small sculpture like different figures, about 10 centimeters high. It is important for beginning wood carvers to choose good tools and wood, because a poor choice can turn out to be an unpleasant first impression of carving in general, especially for a child if you suddenly decide to arouse their interest in handwork, creativity, wood and craftsmanship. Well, or if he, the child, such an interest awakened by itself without your direct involvement.
In principle, you can carve in wood practically with any knife. Someone can carve something with a kitchen knife, someone with a scalpel, someone is ready to use a screwdriver, but all this, in my opinion, is from the category of sadomasochism. Much better, easier, more comfortable, simpler and pleasant to work with special knives.
If you want to carve a small figure at your leisure, you may do even with a penknife. There are even several foreign publications, telling about the peculiarities of woodcarving with such a tool, as well as describing the performance of several figures. For example: There are many advantages: such a knife can always be carried with you, it is quite versatile (suitable for both camping use and for carving), often has several blades of different shapes (although not all of them are useful in carving), functionally sometimes no worse than specialized knives for wood carving, often stronger than them, but thicker (the blade itself), not so sharp, because of its frequent use to work on such materials as stone, earth, etc.д., Can be spoiled and not suitable for carving. So if you decide to use a penknife, make sure it is of good quality, without nicks, chipped tip, lies comfortably in your hand, and most importantly. the steel must be of good quality, hold a good sharpening and sharpening. It is important that the blade is well fixed in the handle in the open position. Another solution is to buy specialized knives for woodcarving. A shoal knife, for example, will not be suitable for this purpose. Something else is needed here. For example, a Bogrod knife. Why is it called so?? It’s not hard to guess. Named after the village of Bogorodskoe near Moscow. It was in this village carvers made Bogrod toy, traditionally using special knives. That is why there is no doubt in reasonability to buy such a tool. it is convenient to use and with proper dexterity allows to do both coarse carving (creation of general “angular” shape) and fine details (this is where skill is needed). To cut such figures, for example, one such knife will be enough (this figure is the work of an American craftsman). The Swiss company Pfeil has something like an analogue of the Bogorodsky knife. a g-shaped knife called Pfeil Junior. The handle is thicker, the blade has a different shape. It is designed for children, but can also be used by beginners. Its secret is the special shape of the blade, curved in a letter g (you can see the shape better in the photo below). This overhang on the side makes it easier to hold the knife in your hand and move it with your fingers, and at the same time increases the degree of work safety. But in general it’s not very convenient to work with such a knife. The length of blade with Bogorodsky knife is 50 mm, with Pfeil Junior. 55 mm.
Another option is to use another specialized, kind of “European” knife. It is less than Bogorodsky, more maneuverable, while not inferior in functionality and practicality, on the contrary. the blade is thinner, well suited for the delicate treatment of wood. Knives come in different lengths. for several different purposes, but there is a universal size. In general, all of the above tools are versatile enough to use and can be used to create and perform various shapes and patterns, the only limitation will be the skill of the master himself. Which tool to choose? Decide for yourself. One will be attracted by the convenient shape of the handle, another by a pleasant feeling in hand, some just by the color, etc.д everyone can have his or her own criteria. But an advice can be given all the same. buy tools from trusted producers, that in case of what you can return or at least change (by buying somewhere at the market from someone you have no idea who has it, you risk to buy a low-quality knife, that can discourage carving in both you and your child). And if you have such an opportunity, don’t buy the tool in absentia, but personally in a store, where the tool is presented live. then you will understand exactly which tool is “yours”. By the way, all knives mentioned above are available at “Tatiana” online store.ru. All for woodcarving and creativity”. We also have a specialty store where this tool is presented live.
Purpose Contrary to carpenters, straight chisels in wood carvers have a secondary role. Their main function is background scraping in flat-relief carving. In geometric technique these chisels are used for chamfering, cutting out contours and ornaments. When creating medium and large sculptural compositions, broad chisels cut a large volume of waste wood.
Blade shape This type of chisel has a rectangular blade with a straight cutting edge. The back can be flat or with two chamfers, for better access to hard-to-reach places. Blade length. 100-150 mm; it is less than the length of a classical woodworking chisels, which enables better control over the tool while trimming. For carving on a plane, chisels with blade width of 6, 10, 20 and 30 mm are most commonly used. Wider chisels are used for large sculptures.
Sharpening Straight carving chisels are sharpened at an angle of 18 to 25°. for tapping chisels, the sharpening angle should be between 25 and 30°. The chamfer width is 2-2.5 blade thickness.
Handle Sharp chisels have a special backing pad or casing ring at the end of the handle. Chisels designed to work only by hand do not have a butt plate.
Sharpening and straightening tools are skills that you will inevitably have to master if you decide to take up carving. For information on how to properly sharpen chisels using water stones, a sharpening stone and an ordinary sandpaper, see this separate article.
Practical wood carving tips for beginners
For a long time, people have decorated their homes with carved wooden objects. Various kinds of paintings, kitchen utensils, objects of worship, children’s toys were considered valuable things for any family. Maybe that’s why there were different kinds of woodcarving. The most popular options are considered to be:
Fortunately the list does not end there, because this type of creativity is widespread throughout our vast country. Let’s look at just a few of them.
Geometric woodcarving involves the use of different figures in the work. These are triangles, circles, squares and polyhedrons. It is used to make elements of furniture, housewares, as well as wall art. The most ancient type of such carving is a three-sided carving. This is one of the simplest methods, because it is performed with only one tool, a knife joint. A simple set of objects is required for such wood carving:
Firstly sketches of geometric figures or a finished ornament are drawn on the board. Beginning amateurs are better not to use complex drawings, so that the work turns out to be flawless. For the first works, the material from deciduous trees is suitable, as it is more convenient to carry out even mowing lines with a sharp knife.
The wooden surface should be as smooth as possible. It is achieved by planing the board. It does not need to be sanded with sandpaper. Otherwise, the carving will not turn out clear and accurate, and the tool will quickly blunt.
Flat-cut method is used for carving indentations of different size and shape on the plane. It can be oval contours and all kinds of convexity.
The slotted type of carving is also considered quite simple. It is made with a jigsaw. A sketch of any shape, drawn on a wooden plane, is sawn out along the contour. The result are pretty crafts. Slotted carving is used to make background objects through which other planes can be seen. It is often called openwork carving, and it is used to decorate furniture in the Baroque style. It can also be elements of cupboards, window platbands, doors, and sometimes decorative screens. If the handicrafts are attached to a special base, then this type of carving is considered to be applied.
Wood Carving for Beginners. Basics&Tips
The process of work in the carving method begins with a sketch, which is applied to a pre-polished workpiece. It is transferred to the surface with a special template or transparent white paper. Then holes are made in the contours and cut out on the workbench using a fine jigsaw saw.
Relief carving includes two basic methods: flat and blind. In addition, the blind version implies a low or convex relief. The essence is that the pattern is formed thanks to the main background of the surface.
The flat-relief method is performed so that the pattern and the surrounding background are made at the same depth over the entire area of the base. A blind carving is characterized by a convex pattern, which has no flat outlines. Such products are valued for their high decorative value and richness of composition. After all, on the plane creates a kind of miniature landscape with elevations, depressions and hollows. To create such masterpieces, masters use elements of almost all types of woodcarving. Therefore, beginners should learn each method separately in order to apply skills to more complex crafts.
Wood carving for beginners: A chisel
Chisel. are hand tools designed for woodworking, but also other materials (leather, metal, etc.). д.). Used by wood carvers, joiners to carve wood, create indentations, notches, grooves. It consists of a handle, usually made of wood, and a metal part. Thus, chisel, clew carving, spoon carving. are all chisels.
Chisels can be classified according to the method of advancement, handle shape, size and other parameters. Basic Classification of Chisels. according to their shape, longitudinal or transversal. It is not unusual to define a chisel according to these two parameters simultaneously.
depending on the shape of the transverse, or end profile, of the chisel blade, there are the following types of chisels.
Radius chisels. is 95% of all picks, which appear under the following names in various publications: semi-circular, flatter, semi-flat. In the classification proposed by Shamil Sasykov, the radius chisel. it is a chisel with a cross-sectional profile partially round. For example, the chisel number 20/2-1 has a blade width of half a circle with a diameter of 20 mm (symbol 20/2), and the last number. 1. the thickness of a 1 mm chisel. Another example: chisel number 20/5-0.5. a chisel with a blade 1/5 as wide as a circle with a diameter of 20 mm and a tool thickness of 0.5 mm.
Flat. Chisels with straight, flat cross sectional profile. Chisels differ in width and thickness of the blade and in the shape of the cutting edge, which can be oblique or straight.
Boxed or braced. Flat, straight chisels with flats of varying height.
Corner chisels. with a profile in the form of a corner, the Latin letter V. The size of such chisels is determined by the height of the angle side of the tool, as well as by the size of the angle in degrees, enclosed between the sides. in most cases it is 60-90 degrees.
Depending on the shape of the longitudinal, i.e. lateral, profile of the blade, the following types of chisels can be distinguished.
Straight. chisels with a blade that is straight as a ruler, without any curves.
Wood Carving for Beginners / Basic Wood Carving Tutorial
hacksaws. chisels with a rather steep longitudinal curve of the blade, which begins closer to the end of the blade.
Curved. chisels with a longitudinal curve of blade. But, unlike clavicars, they have a greater portion of the blade curving.
The offered classification allows to distinguish the main kinds of chisels on the basis of simple and understandable parameters, that is important for a beginner carver. But it is worth remembering that there are other types of chisels which are distinguished in other ways. We shall speak about them when necessary. For example, this list can be increased dramatically by identifying reverse chisels, commonly referred to as back chisels or reverse chisels.
Another important criterion for classifying chisels.
principle of operation
Type 1 Chisels are advanced by hitting the handle with a hammer, mallet, mallet, or electric tool (electric chisels), which causes the wood to be cut. These chisels are usually used in hardwood carving when a lot of force is needed, or in softwood carving when a lot of material has to be cut at once.
These chisels look large, long, and sometimes simply huge. They are held with one hand and the other hand is used to hit the handle with a hammer. Handles of these chisels are usually looped so they do not fall apart. But sooner or later they do fall apart, and therefore it is preferable to use a rubber or polyurethane hammer to make the tool last longer.
Type 2 There are chisels, sometimes as long as type 1, but their cutting part is somewhat narrower. You work with both hands, pressing and pushing with the effort of your hands. It’s clear that this is mostly possible on soft wood. Their handle’s tip is rounded, smooth, easy to hold in a hand. You can use a cudgel to a limited extent, but a rubber mallet is better: the handle, even birch, can withstand many years.
Type 3 And finally, chisels, which are used for cutting by hand only. They are, of course, much smaller than the ones described above, even the metal part is thinner and sometimes harder. It is possible to work with them on any kind of wood, all depends on the angle of sharpening of the blade and the size of the object. It is convenient to use them to carve small things like netsuke: from juniper, cypress, apple, cherry.
From the history of terminology
The word “chisel” is borrowed from the German. Stemmeisen. The German word Stemmen translates as “chiseling, chiselling, gouging”. This term in German is used to refer exactly to a chisel, but a thin one, advanced by the hands without the use of a cudgel. To designate exactly this kind of chisel, it was borrowed by Russian craftsmen.
This term most likely entered the everyday vocabulary of craftsmen during the reform era of Peter I. Interestingly, the chisel most often referred to a flat hand tool, which today is called a chisel. Here is an excerpt from the book by A. А. Pchelnikov’s “Conversations with Children” (1858.): “With this flat chisel, which is called a chisel, you carve and clean up the thorns, or hollowed out holes, etc., which are made with a chisel. With a semicircular chisel they take out and clean up the semicircular notches. With chisels, tetrahedral chisels, both wide and narrow, they hollow out holes and create slots for inserting thin slats into frames, etc.”. And in the Dictionary of the Church Slavonic and Russian Language (vol. 4, 1847.) the chisel is defined as “. chisel. Carpenter’s chisels, flat and spiked”. A more detailed definition is given by the authors of the Dictionary of all branches of knowledge (vol. 3, 1864).): “A chisel, a carpenter’s tool, used for making holes and replacing a chisel. It is made of steel, four versts long and one verst wide” (one verst = 4.45 cm).
Exactly when the term “chisel” began to be used for half-circle chisels is not known. But in the editions till the end of the 19th century, which we found, this term is used exactly for a chisel, while the word “chisel” refers to cutters of different forms, including semicircular. In the thirties of the XX c. there have been several editions in which chisels are different, including semicircular chisels. In the current linguistic tradition, including the professional vocabulary of woodworkers, chisel. is the common name for chisels of a similar type (most often semicircular), while chisel. straight cutter with a profile in the form of a hexagon or a trapezoid, designed for creating grooves, splitting material and other operations.
About the types of chisel handles, recommendations for choosing chisels and about other features of working with this type of hand tools read other specialized articles on our website.
Carving with your own hands
Those who are engaged in woodcarving, already know that this business brings not only pleasure from creating beautiful things, but also delivers unearthly pleasure from the very process of work. After all, woodcarving is good for calming you down and getting you in the creative mood. Most importantly, you can create from wood as dishes and toys, key chains and jewelry, as well as figurines and caskets.
The process of getting started
If you are at the initial stage and have just recently begun to master the technology of woodcarving. you will need to prepare a minimum set of tools. It is also necessary to choose a suitable wood, preferably of the soft variety, for example, take birch or lime. Purchase and sketches on wood carving for beginners. To begin with, you can take a simple composition, which will fully allow you to hone the movements you need.
Wood carving: the steps of the job
Some of you will wonder how you can do woodcarving with such a set of tools? We’ll tell you: woodcarving is a complex and fascinating process, which should only be started after careful preparation.
The preparation process includes:1. Choose the right blades. Beginners in this business, who have chosen carving as a hobby, will need basic tools. For this you will only need to buy the most common jamb knife or penknife. Also use chisels and chisels in the process. 2. Choose a location. Carving our own wood at the initial stages can be done at your home. Once you have mastered the complex styles of work, for example, through or sculptural. move the work to a separate room.3. Choosing the right material. Soft woods are best for newbies, such as linden, alder, aspen, or birch. Such a material is easy to cut, and also because it can be used to create patterns of any complexity. 4. Choosing the right technique. The easiest technique in woodcarving is considered a threefold carving or in other words, geometric carving. It is done in two steps: first you heat the wood and then you trim it.
With what exactly to start such a work? To begin with, you can cut the most elementary triangle. To do this, draw the outline of the figure on the wood, then put a dot in the very middle of it. Then place the knife at this point. The handle of the knife should be perpendicular to the work surface. Heel of your tool is directed to any of the tops of the figure, while pressing it firmly to the board. Try to do everything so that the blade cuts 2-3 mm into the work surface. Next, you need to prick the wood in the direction of the two remaining tops of the figure. It is done from the same midpoint of your drawing. In the process, you must remember that it is not the board that is scrolled, but the blade of the knife. Next in line. trim step. Hold the tool at a 30-degree angle while you’re carving. Pass the knife along the side of the triangle and gradually deepen into the surface of the selected wood. If you do it right, the material will peel off the board while you’re trimming, thus forming a pyramid that has three faces.
Overhead and helical carving
Spiral carving is a type of carving during which a unique style is created. Its distinctive feature was and will be the alternation of protrusions and screw hollows. This alternation can be as a single, or consist of several screw lines at once. Some of the most common types of carving also include the applied carving tool. In other words, it is also called a furniture thread. The peculiarity of this kind of carving is that a ready-made ornament is nailed to the prepared background, created in a cut-through manner.
Bormachina, which is used for woodcarving, in essence, does not differ from that creepy drug, which you can observe and hear at the dentist’s office. Similarly, the rotation of the electric motor shaft is transmitted by a flexible shaft to the rotating cutter. The latter in turn allows you to mill indentations of any width and shape in the wood of your choice.
This is another tool that is used for woodcarving. The only difference between this thing and a boron drill is that the electric motor is directly in the handle of the tool. For convenience, limits are imposed on the size of the handle and on the power of the electric motor. This is what affects the speed of cutting grooves, as well as the very ability of the tool to cope with hard wood.
In terms of functionality, the router is the opposite of a dremel. It is used in cases where it is necessary, using the maximum speed and accuracy, to select the groove or recesses of a large volume. Since cutters for woodcarving are very diverse. it makes it possible, if necessary, to make a shaped section of the groove, thus giving it a rather complex shape.
Although the pantograph is used for woodcarving, it has little to do with creativity. With this device you can precisely copy the shape of a previously created product. The principle of operation of such tools that have a mechanical drive. simple. With the manual movement of the carriage, the rounded head of the device travels along the recesses of the thread itself. The cutter, meanwhile, copies all its movements on the workpiece.
As you may have already guessed, in order to engage in woodcarving. you need to collect a fairly solid set of tools. But if you’re a beginner and just about to get into this business, you’ll need to assemble a much smaller number of these tools. You can watch a video that will allow you to learn more about all the subtleties of the creative process. So take a look at our materials and wish you success in your endeavors!
carving in relief: from basic skills to a proficient technique
Of all types of carving, the relief technique is one of the most expressive. Realistic wooden bas-reliefs, with careful detailing, a spectacular play of shadows and properly constructed composition, are able to truly mesmerize. The relief technique can be considered as a stepping stone to sculptural carving, which is rightly considered the crown of the carving art.
In this material we will tell you about the basic principles of carving in relief. Our tips will be useful not only for beginners carvers, but also for craftsmen who have already tried their hand at this technique. On the example of the proposed project you will learn the basic principles of clean and accurate cutting, learn how to properly model the volume, learn professional secrets that will help emphasize the three-dimensional qualities of the carved composition.
The technology of geometrical carving
The technique of geometrical wood carving looks as follows. the wood is cut along the fibers and cut against the direction of the fibers. The play of light of simple geometric figures, stacked in a single composition, depends on the angle of the wood cuts.
Cutting simple shapes
You can learn geometric wood carving only after you have mastered the basics of making the simplest shapes. Technology of making some elements:
- Staples. The first notch is formed perpendicular to the mowing line of the figure, and the second. at a certain angle to the first. In this case, the knife goes from the other mowing line of the figure. A triangle is obtained.
- Rhombus. The first part of the rhombus formation fully corresponds to the making of a bevel. And then in a mirror reflection the second one is made.
- Twist. It is a consecutive chain, consisting of pieces offset at the same distance from each other.
The principle of cutting such elements is mastered in the beginning.
The technique of making more complex shapes
To get a full geometric pattern on the tree you need to master the technique of forming more complex elements of three-sided carving:
- Pyramid. A figure consisting of three triangles that touch at one point at an equal angle with respect to each other. When making such an element requires precision.
- The asterisk. The figure is formed by distributing several pyramids in a circle.
- The square. You need to cut a piece of wood at an angle to its base. The chips must be broken off vertically with a knife.
- Socket. Use the compass to draw a circle. In it draw a few of the same figure, but smaller in diameter. Then the diametrical mowing line is formed.
Making a square and a rosette requires experience. Even a craftsman with average skill may not be able to cope with such a task.
Once you have mastered making basic patterns, you can create real masterpieces. It is important to skillfully combine the simplest geometric shapes.
Safety measures are to know how to hold the knife correctly while working in different directions. There are a few provisions that a beginner needs to know:
An additional safety measure will be the fixation of the wood piece, so that it or the knife does not slip off in the process of work. Also the blade of the knife must be sharp. If you have to push hard on the knife, there is a huge risk of it coming off.
Geometric woodcarving is considered a simple kind of work with wood, but still requires certain skills. In addition you need to skillfully wield a knife to work with wood. If you understand the construction of patterns and the creation of certain elements, everything will work out.
Let’s proceed to carving
Depending on the complexity of the shape you need to choose the right tool and start working. Along the contour the cut should be made. If necessary, reapply the outline and make the cut. Then again and again, until the workpiece takes the desired shape.
In the next step you must begin to gradually cut out small parts. If you doubt that you will be able to do it without pre-marking, do not take the risk, but use a felt-tip pen or pencil again and then continue cutting.
After cutting through all the details of the figure, you need to lightly sand the product with sandpaper, and then cover with sunflower oil or boil in it. The oil polymerizes and the wooden surface is reliably protected against dirt and moisture.