Wooden Portraits

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Project by WoodRender posted 04-27-2013 05:04 PM 1542 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are a couple of wood portraits that I worked on.

I’ve seen some very nice scroll saw work on LumberJocks and thought I would try it myself. Since I don’t have a scroll saw, I decided to make my patterns on my computer and cut it out on a laser cutter.

They are all Baltic Birch plywood, 8 inch by 10 inch and 1/8 inch (3 mm) in depth with a black cardboard backing. After the image was cut out from the laser cutter, the wood was then cleaned up and oiled with mineral oil to bring out the look of the wood.

  • Model 01 is a random model on the internet. I wanted to make portraits, but was not sure how it would turn out, so I selected a random model from the internet to try out.
  • Model 02 is a random model on the internet. Since the first one turned out OK, I worked on a second random model.
  • Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I decided to work on an image that people would recognize. I selected a great actress from a great movie. I tried to put some attention into the shadows, but I realized that with scroll saw work, this can be difficult to do well. Simple may be best after all.
  • Bruce Lee from the cover of Tao of Jeet Kune Do. Again, I decided to work on an image that people would recognize. This was different from the others because the background was black. I had to make some changes to cut it in wood.
  • Gotye and Kimbra from the music video Someone that I use to Know. Again I wanted to try something different to see how it would turn out. The pattern painted on Gotye and Kimbra was different shades and with scroll saw work, this is hard to portray. This one didn’t come out as well as I thought it would.
There are a few things I learn while creating these wooden portraits.
  • Choose a picture that have a high contrast where dark areas are very dark and light areas are very light.
  • Choose a picture that have enough detail. Hard to say what is enough detail, but after doing a few, you should get the hang of it.
  • Detail could be left out and the image can still look OK.
  • I could never get the final wooden portrait to look like the original image, but most people can make out who they are.
  • Due to the lack of details and shading, the wooden portraits appear to look younger than the original image.

Thank you for looking.


4 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3009 days

#1 posted 04-27-2013 06:26 PM

I’ve seen a lot of these but these are really good. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View KnotCurser's profile


2026 posts in 3211 days

#2 posted 04-27-2013 10:05 PM

Fantastic work! The first two of the “random” models are extremely impressive – you have just the right amount of detail without “overdoing” it.

Just beware – this hobby is VERY addictive!

Welcome to the club.


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View scrollsaw's profile


13032 posts in 3996 days

#3 posted 04-28-2013 02:16 AM

Very nice.

-- Todd

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2318 days

#4 posted 05-01-2013 01:47 PM

Wonderful portraits! Very well executed and I like the subjects. Great job!

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