When carving the ark animals remember we'll have to carve two of each animal. But there is some good news. These ultra flat plane animals are real simple and real fast to carve with only a knife. In fact, you can probably carve them in nearly the same time it takes to trace and cut them out on a scroll saw. This is great for me, cause I am probably the most impatient person on the planet.
I would say that with just a little practice with a sharp knife, a new carver would soon be carving these animals. This project provides great motivation for the new woodcarver...
To prepare to carve these smaller animals you need a carving glove, thumb protector, and a sharp knife.
The example used for this exercise will be a generic Rhino.
Step 1 Prepare the blank, by lightly drawing the features on the blank with a pencil. Draw a center line as shown in the photo.
TIP - When drawing on the blank with the pencil use very light lines. If you want finish the pieces with just wax or light stain you will have to sand or cut the pencil lines off the piece.
The following steps will be done with a sharp carving knife. This use of the knife qualifies this carving to be referred to as WHITTLING.
Since this piece will be whittled "in the round" this will necessitate making the exact same knife cuts on each side of the blank.
The whittling steps will address and show the knife cuts on one side only. I would recommend as soon as you make a knife cut on one side, you make the same cut on the other side.
The direction of the grain in the blank is very important. Generally the grain will run from the animals feet to their back. However, when making knife cuts the grain will change from one side to the other. For this reason the first knife cut should be done very carefully and shallow. If the knife blade digs in you are cutting against the grain. When this happens, you must reverse the blank and make the cut in the opposite direction.
Get into the habit of making SLICING knife cuts.
The coming postings will provide the steps to carve the Rhino, in the flat plane style.