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How I carve Leaves

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  • How I carve Leaves


    I thought I would share how I do leaves on I would call a Green men carvings. I will use pictures from a couple of different projects. I do feathers and fish scales much the same way. As you will see I incorporate knives, power and chisels. The power tools saving time are easier on old hands. . Before I had power carving tools I did the same work with knives and chisels.
    SAM5a.jpg



    I will start with the face, roughing in the eyes and nose area. Then with pencil I start to draw in the leaves. Most of the time I start with the center leaf at the top of the head. Then I work out ward and down the wood. This way I can maintain an even flow to their appearance. Once I have a few drawn in I add the rest as I go to be sure they fit the shape and need as I go.As you can see I mix full leaves with half leave making them look mixed one on top others or tucked in the side of another. This gives a more natural look. One I am happy with the look I go over the lines with a maker. The main reason is just to be sure that I can see the lines when I cut the outline of the leaves.

    image_20952.jpgwwww.jpg


    For many years I cut the leaves out lines using a chip carving knife and various size U-gouges. Once I got a power carver, starting with the Dremel, then the Foredom and now an OZ. Life got easier. Using a 1/8th to 1/16th inch collet reducer I could use a fine carbide cutting burr to do the out lines. It is quicker and I get a more uniform depth to work with.


    Leaves 1.jpg

    My next step is to begin shaping the leaves. This is where I have to pay attention to the cuts. Some leaves I want to fall on top of another leaves are going under another at the top and over one at its bottom. Mixing up the pattern on how they are lying on the stick takes some time. I could use power tools to do this initial shaping but I find I have better results carving in the basic shape I want the leaves to have. Most of the time I us a small butter knife blade, a small dockyard skew and a 5/8th #3 and #5 sweep palm chisel for this work.

    leaves2.jpgLeaves3.jpgLeaves4.jpg

    One I have the leaves roughed in I will finish the face carving then with a rotary tool and different Diamond burs I will smooth out the leaves and give them a final shape. And then I may cut in the vanes of the leaves, burn them in or put them in with a rotary tool.

    All questions or comments welcome.
    aaas.jpg
    Last edited by Randy; 06-29-2020, 05:00 PM.

  • #2
    Good to watch how it is done. Thankyou.
    Have you got leaf patterns to trace or do you freehand it all?
    Brian T

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    • #3
      Lost for words Randy that is just beautiful. That piece of work has the wow factor and no mistake. Quick question What is the advantage of the OZ tool over the Dremel. I do have a dremel.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Brian T View Post
        Good to watch how it is done. Thankyou.
        Have you got leaf patterns to trace or do you freehand it all?
        I do have some patterns I made from a plastic water bottle. But now I have learn to draw them Brian.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Glenn Jennings View Post
          Lost for words Randy that is just beautiful. That piece of work has the wow factor and no mistake. Quick question What is the advantage of the OZ tool over the Dremel. I do have a dremel.
          The OZ will deliver Up 40,000 rpms and has more torque. But it is a big investment. It save me time I and is more versatile And I use it for a number of different activities.

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          • #6
            Beautiful work Randy great description. Always good to see your projects.
            Ed
            Living in a pile of chips.
            https://m.facebook.com/pg/CentralNeb...ernal&mt_nav=0

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            • #7
              Very nice post, Randy. Great information. Curious how you make patterns from a plastic bottle. I use cardboard and it doesn't last that long. Plastic bottles might be the answer.
              Bill
              Living among knives and fire.

              http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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              • #8
                The plastic bottle templates are brilliant. Different size bottles,
                different curves built in, easy to hold against the stick.
                I will be doing that for matching eyes.
                Brian T

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by woodburner807 View Post
                  Very nice post, Randy. Great information. Curious how you make patterns from a plastic bottle. I use cardboard and it doesn't last that long. Plastic bottles might be the answer.
                  Hi Bill. I cut up a clear gallon plastic water bottle then place it on a picture or drawing and trace what I want to make a pattren of with a fine marker. I cut it out with a box cutter or a old small spear shape woodburning nib. Both take a little practice. The patterns can rap to fit the curve of the stick.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks, Randy and a swell idea...I'll use it.
                    Bill
                    Living among knives and fire.

                    http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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                    • #11
                      Great idea Randy I will be using that one as well. many thanks.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks Randy, I think leaves add a nice touch to many forms of carving: In all of these examples the leaves fill spaces in areas difficult to do with geometric chip carving.

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                        • #13
                          nice work Randy

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                          • #14
                            Hi Randy , that's the one I remember that you did years ago and liked the way you did Leaves . I'll be using your Tutorial for future References . Thanks for taking the Time to it . Merle

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                            • #15
                              Great tutorial, Randy!

                              Claude
                              My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/

                              My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/

                              My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

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