About 4 weeks ago I carved this sun. It is a pattern by Lora S. Irish from her book, 101 Artistic Relief Patterns for Woodcarvers, Woodburners & Crafters. I really do like the patterns in this book.
After cutting and sanding the basswood blank I attached the pattern and carbon paper and carefully traced the pattern by hand.
As you can see this basswood is somewhat grainy. I didn’t think that it would matter that much.
I began carving by outlining the inner wall of the circle and outline of the nose with a v-tool.
Since the nose would be the most prominent part of the face I started to remove wood from the rest of the face with a gouge.
And then smoothing the surface with a number 3 gouge which is less shallow than the first gouge.
I took another pattern that I had copied and piece of carbon paper and cut along the inner line of the circle around the face and also around the nose so that I could locate the eye sockets.
After they were located I began carving the outline of the eye sockets with a small number 11 gouge.
And got the outline of them both to approximately the same depth after which I rounded the whole area inside the eye sockets over and smoothed them up. He sort of looks like he has glasses on at this point.
I drew in the left eye as best as I could and then carved it. I missed a few pictures here because of concentrating on the eye. I also began rounding over the forehead and eyebrow ridge.
I then copied the right eye from the left eye with a pencil in order to try to keep them as symmetrical as I was able to even though I knew they wouldn’t be exact.
After this I began shaping the cheeks and thinning them up a bit.
And I also began shaping the mouth.
And I also worked on the chin and joules a little.
I thought that everything was coming along ok at this point but I wanted to try something a little different than the way I did the left eye.
I decided to round over the whole eye mound before drawing the right eye and before I carved it. I thought that this would make the eye look better even though I knew it would make each eye a little more different than the other. But I’m learning and like to experiment while I’m carving.
After rounding it over and thinning it up I could see that this would work better for me.
I used a ruler to help me make three strategic marks for the right eyelid. This would help in drawing it by hand.
Using the dots and observing the left eye I drew in the right eye lid trying to keep them symmetrical.
Then, after drwing in the rest of the right eye I could carve the right eye lid by also observing the left.
The symmetry is not perfect but reasonably so – at least for me. I have a lot to learn.
And I carved the top of the lower lid and began rounding over the whole eye ball.
Of course while I’m working on any detail sometimes my eyes are distracted to other parts of the face so everything is in a state of flux.
I get off of the eyes for a while and began shaping the cheeks some more and thinning them a bit.
I also round the mouth a little.
The upper cheeks are shaped a little more and blended in a little to the lower eyelid area.
I can then proceed to work on the lips.
I carve the pupils and iris’ of the eyes and carve the outer perimeter of the face circle.
And round over the circle which is similar to a bead.
The last detail of the face is the forehead wrinkles.
I drilled some relief holes for the scroll saw blade and sawed out the rays on the scroll saw.
This is the first time that I have used my scroll saw in many months. I’m becoming to realize that it will be an important tool for me in the future.
Now I can try to put a pattern into the rays that will maybe simulate fire.
A few more touch ups and details.
This is where I have temporarily stopped. I need to do some more clean up work but this sun is close to being done. Before I finish this one I have gotten some better ideas about how to do the next sun so I may digress to that before cleaning this one up. The next part of this blog is a bigger sun with a few modifications.
I hope that you will stay tuned. And thanks for looking.
-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau