Thursday, November 5, 2015

Whittling a Face - A Review!

The newer wood carver/whittler is usually reluctant to start whittling a face.  There are many videos and study sticks that are very helpful, but if you do not have access to them you're on your own.  "On my own" was the way I started.  It's the way lots of us started.  If you're like me you learned lots of bad habits, and were never really satisfied with what you carved or whittled.

After lots of trails and errors in attempting to teach others how to carve/whittle a face, I boiled it down to a series of simple steps.  The following series of step by step photos is a way to begin to learn the basics in face carving.  I will use only a knife so it's technically whittling.

Learning to whittle a face is easiest when done on the corner of a piece of Basswood that measures about 1" x 1" x 5", or on the corner of a piece that was cut at 45 degrees from a 1" thick piece of Basswood.

STEP 1:  Sketch the face with a hat, on the corner.  I'm using the wizard as an example.                  

STEP 2:  Make a STOPCUT at the bottom of the hat, and remove some wood up to that STOPCUT.

STEP 3:  Redraw the nose and eye brows

STEP 4:  Make a STOPCUT at the bottom of the nose, and remove a chip of wood up to that STOPCUT.

STEP 5:  Make STOPCUTS defining the sides of the nose. To make this STOPCUT  plunge the knife tip into the wood at the top of the nose sides, rock the blade down to the bottom of the nose.  Angle the knife blade so that you do not undercut the nose side.

STEP 6:  Make STOPCUTS defining the eye  brows. To make this STOPCUT plunge the knife tip into the wood at the top of the nose sides and rock the blade out to the end of the eye brows.

STEP 7:  Remove the chip of wood that is formed by the two previous STOPCUTS.

STEP 8:  Remove the chip from the other side of the nose.

This will take some practice, but it's a good way to start roughing out a basic face.  In this example there are no curved cuts, only straight cuts.  This simple technique merely places the nose and eye areas so that you can add the details.

More coming!


Jason Corbett said...

Howdy Tom! Great post. Was there ever a follow up on finishing the face? Great starting point and super helpful!

Tom H said...

Jason, Thanks for the comment. Let me check! If not I'll put one up...

Jason Corbett said...

You are welcome Tom. Thanks for checking and I'll keep an eye out. Great site!