Thursday, June 4, 2009

WIP: Part 2-Ladybug walking stick

She's a pretty little bug

I've finally completed this cute little ladybug and for such a small carving she really does stand out atop the stick boasting that coat of orange and black! This is a walking stick that I've had on my mind for a very long time and I'm pleased with how it came out. It's actually a fairly simple thing to carve and I would have to put it in the fairly easy category if teaching a new student to carve one.

If you don't have much carving experience my tips for this project would be to first study as many pictures of the ladybug as you can AND study the real bug in the wild too if you can. As you can see from the pictures that I added to the last posting, sketch out the general rounded body shape on the top of the stick before any carving begins. Most of my new carving students biggest mistake is picking up their piece of wood then they will begin cutting it with their knife with absolutely no sketching, or outline of their project on the wood and then they will wonder why they can't get it right. All good carvers will do at least a rough sketching of their project on the wood first. The next tip that I will recommend is to scribble a general center line if you are carving a 3-D project such as the ladybug. I find that having a center line is essential as a reference point for keeping both sides of the carving in their proper perspective.

For the paint job I used water based acrylics and thinned them down a good bit then, as usual, applied several layers until I reached the tone I wanted. For the base coat I mixed a bright red with a pumpkin orange that seemed to make up the real ladybug color. After painting the legs and spots with black I quickly dried it with my hair dryer then very lightly sanded the finish which I feel highlights the hand carved markings just beautifully. Gosh, I do want it to look like a wood carving and not like the smooth painted finish of a new car.

The next step now will be to carve those green leaves under the ladybug which I believe will contrast well with the bright orange and bring my bug to life. I'll try and get those pictures posted by the weekend. Hope that you like my new little buggy friend!

1 comment:

  1. wow! i never knew you could make such things with wood! id love to be able to do that! i love the carving great work. Can i have one too?