Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ Category



   Posted by: woodbeecarver

IMG_1863                        IMG_1864

The term “BLOCK HEAD CARVING” is coined to describe the carving process of carving from a “block” of wood and using one’s “head” in the carving process to shape the wood into a carving project.  The use of “head” refers to the carver’s imagination partnering with the carver’s creative carving ability to figure out how to carve an envisioned image.  This approach of opening up a block of wood being guided by imagination is to discover in the shaping process the “design by carving”.  Often in the process of removing wood chips the remaining carved facets on the shaped block will suggest an innovation in design of the envisioned image. Read the rest of this entry »



   Posted by: woodbeecarver

demo study facedemo face study                 Face Study

One of the exercises used in teaching the Rule of Three of Facial Proportions and how to open up a block of wood with the primary landmarks of a face uses the progressive steps face study depicted in the photo above.  Each step is demonstrated by the instructor while the students carve each demonstrated step.  The demonstrations cover the basic steps of 1 through 5 in the photo above with additional demonstrations by instructor of a variety of the mouth with or without teeth.  The finished detailing as depicted in step 6 is done by each student at a later time.  The instructor’s demo face studies accumulate following each class which are finished with detailed carving at a later time to complete each face.  The result is the variety of faces as depicted in the following photos. Read the rest of this entry »



   Posted by: woodbeecarver

Man StumptedMan Stumpted

“Man Stumped” in a new carving with borrowed design facets of a figure sitting on a stump and a figure holding a long stemmed pipe is an example of the Old and New coming together. Read the rest of this entry »



   Posted by: woodbeecarver

                          Face Study 002

The photograph above is of Study Faces that are a by- product of the instructor’s carve along instructional go-by for doing the preliminary steps during a class.  Those instructional pieces served their purpose and now have been completely carved to become visual examples of various faces that can be carved following the initial steps of carving the basic landmarks of a face. Read the rest of this entry »



   Posted by: woodbeecarver


The Rule of Three for facial proportions is applied to a carved Santa ornament to illustrate how to visually keep proportions in perspective in a face with a mustache, beard and long hair while half the forehead is covered by the hat.

The three divisions of the length of the face are: Hairline to Eyebrow; Eyebrow to Bottom of Nose; and Bottom of Nose to Bottom of Chin. When carving a face with a beard, the carver visually imagines where the chin is located under the beard. When carving a mustache, the carver follows the Rule of Three for the area between the nose and chin with the mustache fitting into the first third proportion between Nose and Top of Upper Lip. The middle third includes both lips down to the groove between lips and chin. If the mustache is carved as big and bushy so that it extends and covers the lips, then the lips are not carved. Rather there is an indention carved under the mustache to indicate that underneath the bushy mustache there is a mouth hidden from view.

If the Rule of Three of proportions is not followed and a bushy mustache is carved on the face of Santa and the carver carves in the bottom lip then the end result may give the appearance that the mouth is located where the chin is supposed to be located.

While the length of the face is divided into thirds proportionally, the width of the face is equal to two thirds of the length. A carving that is carved following the understanding of “proportions” will result in a carving looking right. On the other hand, when the “proportions” are out of proportion, then there is something about the carving that will not look right.

Caricature carving is “exaggeration of realism” which does exaggerate proportions for a caricature effect that is done on purpose. In order to “exaggerate realism” the carver must first have a clear understanding of correct proportions of realism before any on the proportions can be exaggerated.

To learn more about the Rule of Three facial proportions, look under the section of this blog entitled BEE HIVE and click on “Face Eye Study 2” which can also be printed.



   Posted by: woodbeecarver

egg noggins redux 3 egg noggins redux 3egg noggins redux 3 egg noggins redux 3

When it is said, “you got egg on your face” it means something so obvious that it cannot be hidden. On the other hand, when a wood carver says, “see the face on the egg,” it is obvious that a face has been carved into a wooden egg. (click on photos to enlarge.) Read the rest of this entry »



   Posted by: woodbeecarver


The caricature carvings of a Viking and an Indian began as a line drawing by artist friend Don Stephenson (a.k.a. the Idea Monster) who comes up with the neatest ideas for carving projects.  The first two photographs above show the carving subject surrounding the drawing of each subject.  The next two photographs are of a Viking and an Indian with a quarter to depict their miniature size of three inches tall. Read the rest of this entry »



   Posted by: woodbeecarver

Quaker Couple

It is fun as well as instructional to study old, antique and vintage wood carvings.  Often they are available at flea markets, antique or thrift stores and auctions at a reasonable price.  Their value is in studying each carving to imagine how the artist and creator executed the carving process with the efficiency of each cut as well as studying the pose and coloring effects.  Some may need some repair providing an opportunity to try one’s hand of making those repairs and blending in the color.  Vintage carving can also serve as models for one’s own interpretation of the subject of the model.

The photos presented here include a repair done of the Quaker man’s hat and an often repeated theme of a man sitting in a rocking chair that was carved for the tourist trade seventy five years ago.  All of which provide excellent study in the art of carving in the vintage style of tourist souvenirs. (click on each photo to enlarge) Read the rest of this entry »