The Bear with Trout (based on Splatoon 2 Mr. Grizz)
This one came out better then I expected. I made it in the Scandinavian flat plane carving style. I got frustrated at the end of this project and just started quickly lopping off chunks of wood to create the flat planes.
I broke the fishes mouth when trying to carve it, and Elemers glued it back together. Originally I wanted it to be a salmon, but I painted it green (thinking fish are green) then realized salmon are silver in color. My wife said it still looked good and even sent me a photo of a bear catching a trout, so she made it okay for me.
Dale Kirkpatrick an amazing carver taught me after this to paint the wood wet. I painted this one dry and the brown and green was too dark. Painting it wet keeps the paint from soaking in too much and getting too dark. I ended up lightly sanding this with a very fine sanding pad foam thing. It lighted up and make it look distressed.
My wife loves penguins so I wanted to carve her one for her birthday. It was hard to find a good photo, and there are several species of penguins. I settled on the most interesting image I could find. I feel like the image shows the drudgery of being a penguin. When I gave my wife the penguin she asked where I bought it. It was the best compliment ever.
When I cut this pattern with the bandsaw, I cut two of them. I carved one for my wife and didn’t carve the other until a year later. Since then I had bought wood from Heinecke Wood. When I went back to this first wood I found a big difference. It was wood from a local art store. All the art stores carry the same kind. I found it was much more brittle and harder to work with. I was surprised I could tell the difference.
Carved penguin with the photo I carved it from.
The waving bear
From a distance bears are cute and I wanted to carve a waving bear. I’d seen videos of them waving so people would throw them food. I added an element of the bear pointing to his mouth, but that didn’t convey as well as I had hoped. I also opened his mouth so it would look like he was pointing to an open and hungry mouth. That didn’t get conveyed either because the mouth needed to be more open and expressive.
I did searches for images of bears before starting, and used about eighteen images. I tried to find photos from all angles. The hardest part of this carving was the concave area on the bears back. I learned later to use the tip of the knife to fine tune the concave sections.
A big mistake I made was cutting down the feet after the carving was finished. I could never get them flat again. I tried several times on the bandsaw holding it various ways, but I couldn’t get a flat cut.
Another mistake was carving the lines around his haunches. I saw those lines on another carving, and it worked because that carving had hair. Those lines defined the hairline and the separation between the legs and body, but on mine it didn’t make sense to me.