Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Eyes - Simple to Not So Simple!

Eye's can be difficult if ones lets them.  There are all types of eyes that can be done when whittling and carving a face.  I will show some examples from the simple to the more complex.  The examples that I list and show are small, only about 1/4 inch wide.  These are not examples of excellent done eyes.  For you see, I too am learning, and will over a period of practice get better and better.....
Here's where we start!  Just a simple painted on eye.  Start with a white shaped eye and add a black dot.  Some times when carving very very small, this is all you may have room for.

Here's an eye that has started as an outline from an eye punch.  The eye punch is an oval, and then serves as the out line for the white paint.  Use the sharp end of a tooth pick to fill the inside of the eye punched oval.  With this technique. you want to retain the outline of the eye created by the eye punch.

This is an example of a "single cut SQUINT".  To create this look, plunge the knife tip into the wood twice to create this angled cut.  This squinty eye, along with some round puffy cheeks, makes for happy look.
Too give the eyes more of a pronounced squint, use a thicker knife, or widen the knife cuts.
The photo doesn't show it, but this example has a chip created by the two knife cuts, removed.
This example used the same two cuts as the previous example, but has a cut connecting the two.  This example can be painted within the knife cuts. 

This example adds a small chip to give the suggestion of a eye lid.
Some times the face you carve is more of a cartoon character, and you need an eye that fits that face.  This cartoon eye is simple enough.
Some times you may want just a tad more than the cartoon eye. 
Here's a straight cut plus.  The plus is the line cut out over the triangle cut eye, and the bag under the eye.  This is a little more towards the realistic eye.
Here's a humble example of an eye with cured and straight cuts.  With an eye this small (1/4"), one must use a series of small connected stab cuts with the knife tip to make the tight/small curve cuts, or risk breaking the knife tip.

These are but a few ideas among many.  If anyone wants to add another example you can do it by e mailing me at, and I will add it to the list.


Doug Davison said...

Photos are too small to see cuts Tom.

Sammie said...

Thanks for putting up some eyes that will go with my small figures. I'll try them out this weekend. May do all of them.

Tom H said...

Doug, I don't know what happened there. Usually when you click on the posted photo it enlarges. I didn't do anything different. when posting the photos, and now they won't enlarge.

Tom H