Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Projects, Tutorials



Whittle Folk Monks are three-inch-tall characters that are subjects used for instructional purposes as a beginning carving project that were introduced in 2009 [click on MONKS 1  and  MONKS 2 for earlier postings.] The photos above show the front view and the back view of the row of monks in their finished poses of the 2017 versions of Monks.

monks 3

Study the Progress Steps photo above to follow the descriptions that follow.  A template was developed that folded around the three-inch-tall by inch square block of basswood that is used to mark on the wood the areas of the block that are to be removed for the major landmarks of the monk figure utilizing the corners of the block.  The front corner slices off the angle for the front of the face while the back corner slices off with two angled cuts a notch to indicate the slant of the back between the shoulders and the hood of the monk’s robe.  The two side corners have two notch cuts on each side corner with the top notch cut representing the opening for the top of the shoulders and the bottom notch cut representing under the elbow and the side of the body.

Once the block has been opened with these opening cuts, the head is narrowed above and on either side of the shoulder notches. Determine whether the hood will cover the back of the head or rest down on the back between the shoulders while continuing to shape the head toward its rounded shape.  Use the Rule of Three for Facial Proportions (Hairline to Eyebrow; Eyebrow to Bottom of Nose; and Bottom of Nose to Bottom of Chin) to lay out and shape the major landmarks of the face while also deciding to have a beard and mustache or clean shaven face.  Carve to basic form leaving the facial detail until later.

Next determine what the hands will be holding and draw guidelines for the robe covered arms making sure that the drawing is not too narrow.  Draw hands into box shapes connected to the object the hand or hands are holding (walking stick, book, tree, praying hands, lantern, etc.).  When carving the basic form of arms and hands carve away from the line so that there will be enough wood available for the final shaping.  Carving straight down along drawn lines may decrease ability to shape the area to size by establishing too narrow of area.  The corners underneath the draping robe sleeves, underneath the hood on the back as well as the front corner are rounded to shape with “slice and roll” cuts.  Once the monk has been carved to basic form, the detail portion of the carving process finishes the monk with the details that give definition and character to the face and hands. [look again at the progressive step photo above]

Whittle Folk Monks are fun carving projects to experiment with carving a variety of poses and facial features realizing that as with any carving project, it is always a learning experience.  Carving is “learning by doing,” and “the more one carves the better one carves.”  BEE CARVEFUL.

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 13th, 2017 at 9:36 am and is filed under Carving Projects, Tutorials. 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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