You have made animals, ornaments, shapes, and utensils out of wood. Now, you have decided to try carving a human face. As you might have guessed, carving a face on wood is a challenging project that will take a lot of practice.
But you will never know unless you try. So here’s how to carve a woman’s face in wood.
Techniques To Sharpen Wood Carving Tools
It all starts with having a good knife with good steel. A good knife does not need to be expensive. As a beginner, you may ask a woodcarver or a reputable knife dealer which brand will suit your budget and your level of skill. The same goes for your other wood carving tools, such as the chisel.
Know the basics of sharpening wood carving tools to preserve their quality. Each tool with different specifications may require a different sharpening technique.
Preparing For Wood Carving A Woman’s Face
As with other carving projects, you need to be prepared with the right tools and materials to carve a woman’s face in wood successfully.
- Choose wood with easy workability. Basswood is popular among beginners.
- You may prepare some scrap wood if you wish to practice your cuts before starting the project.
- Purchase wood with measurements fit for your project.
- Prepare your tools: knife, chisel, and gouge.
- Pick a model for your project. Your model can be your friend or a family member.
- Take a photo of the face of your model. If you have chosen a celebrity or a famous person, you may access her/his photo online.
- Sketch the face of your model on a paper, and determine measurements and proportions. It will serve as your guide for carving.
Here’s an important tip: identify the grain direction of your wood. Carve along the grain to easily carve your model’s face.
Basic Steps To Carve Woman’s Face In Wood
The process of carving a woman’s face in wood is basically the same as with other carvings you may attempt to do. Considering you have already done the preparation steps mentioned above, you are now ready to do the following:
- Fasten your wood into a stable and firm surface. Use clamps or vices.
- Make sure both hands are free to control your tools.
- Cut the wood to reveal the shape and form. Do this according to your measurements. Refer to your guide.
- When the basic form is revealed, use a chisel and gouge to chip away unwanted wood from the material.
- Start making details, such as eyes, nose, lips, cheeks, forehead, and hair. Carefully work on the details by referring to your guide of proportions constantly.
- You may start sanding if you are satisfied with your work. Sandpaper smoothens rough edges. Yet, some carvers prefer tool finish to keep the ‘crisp making marks.’ It depends on your style.
The proportions of male and female faces are generally the same; hence, take note of the subtle differences between male and female facial features. This way, you can avoid making your female carvings look masculine. Here are some tips from a veteran carver, Ivan Whillock:
- A strong brow ridge makes your carving look masculine.
- The nose of a woman’s face is narrower and softer.
- A woman’s hairline is more rounded around the face.
- A woman’s jawline is softer.
- The lower part of a woman’s face, including her neck, is narrower.
Develop confidence in carving wood sculptures by consistently practicing and accepting honest feedback on your work. Take the first step on how to carve a woman’s face in wood, and move on with the process. Build on the lessons you learn from your mistakes. Carve away to perfection! Find out more wood carving tips here!