I’ve made a lot of progress on the carving portion over the past three days! I used the same techniques previously mentioned to outline and then relief carve the fish that will be on the back portion of the cane. I then used a knife to remove the background that is the lake… I’m wanting the lake to be a lower level than the deer, leaves, and fish that I’ve carved. I use some shallower profile gouges like #5s and #3s to get most of it down. I have a long (1 1/2”) Mike Shipley knife that has a very thin flexible blade that I like for a lot of different things, but the length and sharpness really helped to level the background. I then started cutting back from the shore line so that the boulders would appear further back than the lake.
The cabin and the trees were a little more painstaking than the boulders. I wanted the cabin to have the appearance of proper perspective and the trees needed to be in front of and behind the cabin and have a proper “branchy” appearance, not just a cone shape. I played with different techniques using a knife and diamond bits and eventually got the shapes like I wanted by using my pyrographic pen to burn/carve the trees similar to my sketch. I used a small rounded heel skew tip to do the leaves and add the details to the log cabin.
I also added some shadows to the boulders and liked the effect it gave. The picture below shows a little bit more of the tree shape before burning.
So, with that level completed, I removed the background again for the level that would be the mountains. I used a knife to trace all my pencil lines from the design. The pencils lines are all carved away as I lower the background, but the knife marks remain if carved deep enough (if they start disappearing, I just make them a little deeper as I remove the background). I used knives and #11 veiners to create the ravines and channels of the crags and peaks of the mountains. After this was completed, I removed the final level of the sky, which is lower than the mountains.
The next process was to sand and and smooth, using the bristle sander and also a small 1/2” cylinder cushioned sander. I have about wore the rubber cushioning out on this one, but it is an excellent little tool that does a great job on sanding small areas smoothly. It is like the drum sanders that let you cut your own sandpaper to fit, but it has a soft rubber cushion that gives somewhat the effect of a small inflatable drum sander. I use this to smooth the sky and the surface of the lake, as shown below.
Sometimes, certain areas of a carving seem to flow very quickly and then the simplest things will take forever to complete. i am now starting to shade more and outline more with the pyrographic pen. I have an inexpensive Colwood Detailer that has handpiece that accepts interchangeable tips. I primarily use the small skew mentioned aboce for outlineing and straight lines and I use a small spoom shader for the shading effects. I burned darker around certain portions to make sure they stood out well against the background.
Thanks for looking and thanks for your patience with such a long post! I am using this blog as a way to practice and improve my limited writing skills and I really appreciate the kind remarks from those who find my ramblings useful.
-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mikepounders.weebly.com