Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Projects

HALF PINT carving figures refers to the use of a half inch equals a foot scale to keep a carving in perspective with the average heights of a male figure as being six feet.

Most of the Whittle-Carved figures carved by the Wood Bee Carver are carved out of a block of basswood six inches tall and an inch and half square or two inch square.  Thus, when carving a Half Pint, the basswood block is three inches tall by an inch square.  The Half Pint figure tends to be squatted and compressed when compared with a six inch tall figure.

Below is a comparison photo between a six inch pirate and a three inch pirate to express the slight difference in comparative appearance.  Keep in mind that a carving is almost always an interpretation of the original image and is not a complete anatomical duplicate reproduction of the original. The point is that each size presentation stands on its own rather than being a preference comparison between the sizes.


The photo gallery below will highlight in various poses the Half Pint version of the Red Beard Pirate.  Following that gallery will be an instructional roadmap of the process in progressive stages from a three inch by inch square block of basswood.




The instructional progression of the process for carving the Half Pint Pirate with begins with the concept of the Rule of Three related to the proportions of the face and of the Body once the head is established as illustrated in the following photo.


The next five photos containing five illustrations of the carving stages will serve as reference points for instructional observations.






The first illustration on the left of each photo is the Rule of Three block with red horizonal lines drawn on the side of the block to indicate the three proportional divisions bordered by the landmarks of Shoulders, Waist, Mid Knees and Bottom of Feed. The Head is at the top of those divisions and is slightly larger that each of the three proportions of the body.

The second illustration shows the beginning shaping of the Head area into a dowel shape into which the Hat will be carved first and then the Head carved as going up into the hat.  Notice the base has been carved as a notch around all four sides of the block at the bottom red line.  The three remaining red lines represent the Shoulder, Waist, and Knees that will serve as a proportional grid into which the body parts will be drawn as guidelines on the front, back and both sides of the block as illustrated in the third illustration

The third illustration, beside the body parts drawings also has brawn lines for the bottom of the hat brim and on the sides of the hat a “U” is draw to match up with to top lines drawn front and back to indicate the upturned hat brim at the front and back.  Notice also in the top view of the third photo that the center line is indicating that the head is turned slightly to its right so that when carving the head, the face will follow the center line.

Combining the third and fourth illustration together illustrates the Rule of Three for Body Proportions that guide the drawing of the major landmarks of the pirate.  Once the head and hat are carved to Basic Form, then the remaining wood is divided into three equal divisions between shoulder and bottom of feet.  Those divisions are: Shoulder to Waist; Waist to Mid Knees; Mid Knees to Bottom of Feet. Those divisions are indicated by the three red horizontal lines.  Within these lines are drawn the landmark lines to guide the shaping process.  Guidelines are just that, guidelines to begin the opening of the wood at the landmark areas. Once opened with notch cuts to begin the stair step shaping of various levels of the figure, the act of shaping the wood mixed with the mental image guiding the shaping will design the individual parts of the overall figure.

The fourth illustration is where the major carving activity is utilized in carving the “Basic Form” of the Pirate with out details at this stage.  Carving to Basic Form is to shape the figure into a good foundation in which the final details will be carved. 90 per cent of the carving process is carving the Basic Form and 10 per cent is reserved for carving in the details.  Take time to get the Basic Form into its proper form which will make the details much easier to fashion and finesse.

Illustration five represents the detailing portion of the carving process so that the carving is now reach to receive it coloration and protective finish.  Artist oil paint thinned with boiled linseed oil was used for coloration and Deft was the applied protective finish. The four photo below are of the unpainted pirate in its detailed appearance.



The final five photos are a review that includes the painted Pirate along with the Basic Form, the Drawn Guidelines and the Rule of Three block.


The Wood Bee Carver is a knife carver who utilizes a curved cutting edged blade to make slicing cuts for carving to Basic Form and for detail carving. Pictured below are two typical knives used for such carving projects.




This entry was posted on Monday, January 30th, 2023 at 3:32 pm and is filed under Carving Projects. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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