Wood Spirit Carving, 11 Shaping the Features

Through these steps we will continue to shape the features of the Wood Spirit face that we have established by cutting the planes of the human face.

The eleventh chapter in Lora Irish’s Great Book of Free Carving Projects and Patterns
“Wood Spirit Carving”- Shaping the Features
Steps 19 – 22

Step 19
Freeing the Face from the Hair

Here is a quick visual check of where we are in this free wood spirit carving project. LSI-0111
We have the basic planes of our face worked to this point, and I want to free the side area of the wood spirit’s hair from the area that will eventually become his hat.I am using a push cut with my bench knife, working with the grain of the wood. free Lora Irish wood carving project
A second push cut along the bottom edge of the hat area frees the slices.I like to reduce an area as this by working in several layers with thin push cut slices. That way I have total control on how deeply I drop the hair line. free wood carving project by Lora Irisih
free wood carving project by Lora Irisih free wood carving project by Lora Irisih

Step 20
General Rounding Over

Throughout this next section I will be working on rounding over the planes of the face.I am not directly working on a finished shaping step; this series of work is simply to get rid of the square and flat planes left from the original block of basswood.Note that the wide area of the cheek and the side of the nose are still at the original wood level of the block. My wood spirit, at this point, remains very blocky. carvingpatterns by Lora Irish
Also as I work through any series of steps I do not work one area at a time.You will see me bounce back and forth between areas – a little on the nose, some on the cheeks, back to the beard, return to the nose, let’s go to the eye brows.What you do on one area of your wood spirit effects the entire face of the wood spirit. By working a little here and a little there you can develop the whole face into one strong unit. carvingpatterns by Lora Irish
Let’s start by rounding over the mustache area, right under the nose.The lower I cut this area and the tighter I slant it towards the base of his nose, the bigger his nose will appear at the ball tip of the nose.Round over the center line of the beard all the way from the mustache area to the base of the block carvingpatterns by Lora Irish
An easy way to check how round your face is at any point in the carving is to lay another carving block against the face block – see above photo.In this photo, the original wood surface in the eye brow, cheek, nose, and side beard becomes very obvious.To aid me in getting his face nicely round I have marked the bottom of the block with a pencil in a rough circle. This line is where I want the sides of the face to end. By comparing the carved edge to the pencil circle I can see how much more rounding I need to do. carving patterns by Lora Irish

Step 21
Rounding Over the Nose

Let’s move into the nose area for a little rounding over work.I first want to blend the sharp angle between the center ridge plane and the ball tip of the nose.The sides of the nose need to roll smoothly into the center ridge area.Note that these are very small, tight shaving cuts. carving patterns by Lora Irish
carving patterns by Lora Irish carving patterns by Lora Irish

Step 22
Shaping the Lower Eye Lid

The center of the cheek, right below the eye, has a sharp point left from shaping the cheek into the side of the nose.I want to shave this area so that the lower eye lid is an even depth all along the cheek line. free wood carving projects
In the photo, right, you can see the point under the right eye and the shaved cheek under the left. free wood carving projects
In the photo, right,  you can see that the right lower eye lid has an even depth along the top edge of the cheek. free wood carving projects

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 Copyright, Lora S. Irish, 1997 – 2015
Copyright, Art Designs Studio.com, 1997 – 2015

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 Wood Spirit Carving,
Free Project by Lora Irish
1 Introduction and Supply List
2 Walking Stick Preparation
3 Exploring the Human Face
4 Planes of the Human Face
5 Carve The Human Face
6 Shaping the Facial Features
7 Sloping the Sides of the Face
8 Rough Cutting the Features
9 Carving the Eyes
10 Detailing the Eyes
11 Shaping the Features
12 Defining the Cheek and Nose
13 Working the Facial Hair
14 Refining the Face Shape
15 Carving the Wrinkles
16 Trimming the Beard
17 Review of the Techniques


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