MYRON COMPTON carves “Ole Flint”

   Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Friends

Myron cowboy     Myron cowboy 2     Myron cowboy 3

Myron Compton has been gracious enough to share photographs and written description of his journey to carve another of his wonderful cowboys. Ole Flint is a good “visual study” of an interpretation of a cowboy carving that any carver may want to try on their own. A “visual study” allows for one to exercise and encourage the inner eye of creativity to “see” this cowboy subject with an imagination of how to carve a similar cowboy.

Myron cowboy 4      Myron cowboy 5      Myron cowboy 6

Myron has designed and carved some very unique and creative touches that make this cowboy subject a good lesson in observation and incorporation into a carver’s inspiration. The series of photographs include the finished and painted cowboy, unpainted cowboy, cowboy partially carved, the sawed out blank and a drawn pattern. Some of the photos are close up views for a more detailed study. So do a “visual study” of the photographic journey and read Myron’s own words about his carving journey as well as helpful instructing insights.

Myron cowboy 7                              Myron cowboy 8

In Myron’s own words:  Cowboy Ole Flint, was designed over about a 4 day period. I had this block of basswood that measured 3” x 7” x 12” that I was sketching on. Each evening I would pick that block of wood up and sketch something.  Then I would erase it and start again. It just wasn’t coming to me. My goal was to have something really special; something different then I had carved before. I searched the internet and looked thru lots of my reference western books but couldn’t come up with something that suited me. After struggling with it for a few days I finally come up with something that I liked. The idea of Ole Flint was born.

Myron cowboy 21Myron cowboy 22Myron cowboy 10Myron cowboy 11  Myron cowboy 19  Myron cowboy 20

To carve Flint you will need a block of basswood 3” x 3” x 9”. I made a pattern from my finished carving which is attached here for your personal use. The cigarette that he is holding in his left hand is a separate piece of wood. At times I like to print the pattern onto a transparency. With it on a transparency you can hold the pattern up to your carving and see how you are doing.

Using the band saw, I cut the front and side profiles. I also removed some wood between his legs using different size Forstner bits. This is the only power that I used, from this point on it is only knives and gouges. The hole for the cigarette was added using a Dockyard 1/8” round gouge. Great little tools to have in your toolbox.

Myron 16Myron 17Myron 14Myron 18

I wanted to add some details to Flint that would make him a bit special like, an oversized hat, his boots together with the toe of one boot higher than the other, chaps was added, cigarette in his left hand. What I should have added was spurs. I’m sure I will hear about that. I think maybe I could have had him holding a rope in his right hand. It’s almost endless as to what can be done on a carving. Remember that it’s your carving and you can decide what you want. The main thing is to keep it fun.

Myron 13      Myron 15Myron 12Myron pattern


Paints that I used for Ole Flint:

Hat:  50/50 mixture of Delta Creamcoat Mudstone #2488 & Americana Buttermilk #DA03.

Boots, Hair, & Pants Belt: Americana Asphaltum #DA180.

Flesh:Mixture of Delta Ceramcoat Red Iron Oxide #2020 & Americana Yellow Ochre #DA08. (go a tiny bit heavier on the red for the lips, nose, cheeks, & top of ears)

Eyes: Delta Ceramcoat Oyster White #2492 for the eyeball, Delta Ceramcoat Wedgwood Blue #2069 for the Iris, Black for the pupil, then a dot of white for the gleam.

Chaps: Delta Ceramcoat Burnt Umber #2527. Dilute to a very thin wash. Dilute to a less degree for the trim at the top of the chaps and at the bottom. The darker at the bottom will give the chaps a warn and dirty look. This shows how you can adjust the color by simply adding more or less water.

For the buttons & buckles I used Liquitex Acrylic Iridescent Rich Bronze (tube).

Bandana: Delta Ceramcoat Opaque Red #2507. Then I added white and black dots for the design using a tooth pick.

Shirt & Pants: Delta Ceramcoat Midnight Blue #2114. (you might thin the paint a bit more for the pants. This would then make the shirt a bit darker blue than the pants.) 

Pants belt buckle: Delta Ceramcoat Metallic Silver #2603

After the painting is complete, I will let it dry for 24 hours, then I brush on a good coat of Deft Clear Wood Finish Satin. I like brushing it on rather than the spray for better control. I give the Deft 24 hours to dry then wax the carving using Howard Feed-N-Wax. When complete there will be no shine on the carving. Just what I want.

A note on painting: I do not wash my carvings before painting. To keep my carvings clean, I have two carving gloves. I have one in the wash while I’m using the other. I will switch to the clean glove every 2/3 days. All paints gets diluted with water, lots of water. Also I will brush water onto the area that I’m about to paint. Let this water soak in. The wet area will lose its shine and turn dull that shows me that it’s ready for paint.

The base:  The base for Flint was made from Quarter Sawn White Oak. I start with a base a little oversized. I then temporarily fit the carving to the base using 3/16” dowel pins. Now with the carving in its correct position I can then shape the outer profile of the base. This insures the carving is perfectly positioned in the center of the base.  After the base has been shaped, sanded and steel wooled, I then darken the white oak using the ammonia fuming process rather than staining. It gives me a uniform color on all surfaces.  All surfaces including the end grain come out the same darkness. I use 28% ammonium hydroxide which is a bit dangerous due to the fumes. Search the internet for “fuming white oak” and be very careful. The base is then finished using about 5 to 10 coats of tung oil finish.  The carving is then attached to the base using 3/16” wooden dowels and 5 minute epoxy.

Hope you give this little cowpoke a try. Pattern and reference pictures attached.

Happy Carving, Myron Compton

POSTSCRIPT: 4/3/15  ~ Myron Compton carved the brother of Ole Flint and here are photos of “Clint” of which he says, “Clint” is the brother to Ole Flint. Clint was carved from a piece of basswood 3″ x 3″ x 9″. I took my pattern from Flint and reversed it making him hold his cigarette in the right hand. I also changed the colors a bit.”

M. Compton 1M. Compton 2M. Compton 3M. Compton 4                    M. Compton 5

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 12th, 2015 at 9:35 am and is filed under Carving Friends. 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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