Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On to the Arms

With the legs and feet completed, it’s time to move on to another area of the figure.  I don’t want to do any carving on the torso until I have the arms positioned properly.  I want to make sure I leave myself plenty of wood to fit the arms in a natural position.  With that in mind, I begin carving the arms.

Here’s a photograph of the arm in a rough-out stage.  The hand is turned out at a ninety degree angle.  My intentions are to have the arms angled back supporting the reclining body and the hands angled perpendicular to the body in a natural position.  I will not do any carving on the arm above the rolled-up sleeve until I have the attached position to the body figured out.  Therefore, I will now move to the detail work on the hands.

The above photo shows the fingers penciled in on the bottom of the hand.  Notice that the middle finger is the longest, and the other fingers fan out from there.  These will give me some guidelines to follow as I start detailing the fingers.

These two photos show the hand blocked out and ready for some detail.  Always carve the basic shapes out before attempting to carve in the details.  It’s good practice and helps to conceptualize the finished piece.

The above pictures show the completed hand from different angles.  Working in the endgrain was a challenge, and I might have been better off carving the hand as an attachment, but, I’m quite pleased with how things turned out.  The palm of the hand was not completely carved, since it will be facing down on the landscape of my scene.

The final photograph shows the arm held against the body in the approximate position for the finished composition.  I considered making the hands larger, but I really wanted to add extra emphasis on the size of the feet.  I can picture this fellow leaning back, soaking his feet in the cool water, with a gigantic grin on his face.  The concept seems to be coming together rather nicely.  Now, one more arm to carve and I’ll get the arms attached to the body.


  1. Ahhhhh! Thars jes' nothin' like soakin' yer feet in a cold mountain stream after a day of drivin' cattle.

    Have you considered having a fish popping out of the stream as if gasping for air???:-)

  2. Tom, that's a great idea, but I have something else in mind that should be a lot of fun. Stay tuned to find out.