Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Carving Doodle

This is a post about the carvings I do and collectively call a carving doodle. So what do I mean when I say I'm doing a carving doodle, well I liken it to the same thing as a general drawing doodle but using knives and wood. All day I find myself doodling in my note book at work; when on the phone, in meetings and when thinking. I would love to be carving but the mess and logistics don't allow.

The picture above is essentially what a carving doodle ends up becoming.

So why doodle? Well for me it's for a number of reasons; I doodle when I want to try a new technique or style of carving, when I have a new toy (sorry tool), when I want to speed up the carving process, when I am experimenting and sometimes just to get some time in with tools and wood - for the simple joy of carving.

In some way I also like the freedom as these are not for general consumption and certainly not carved with a market in mind. That makes them quite free and I enjoy that. Ironically people have started asking if they are for sale!

This doodle is in ash and it was an off cut from a branch used as a walking stick. I'm in the process of looking for a skeletal face and wanted to experiment and try different styles.

The following pictures are of close ups of the faces that make up the doodle. I wasn't convinced that I should post close ups as the look of the doodle is better when you can see the whole thing, however the process is about honing the skill and technique so the end result is in the individual face being scrutinised.

Here they are.

Considering I'm looking for a skeletal looking face in this doodle these guys are quite fat! Better get back to it!

Eventually the stick is used up! I can't get any more carvings squeezed in. Once this happens, or when the wood becomes to dry and hard I wrap a bit of wire around it and hang it above my workstation in the utility room. They become reference sticks that I pull down and use to see how something should or shouldn't look.

This doodle was my first and while I've not used up every available space it was a useful exercise, one that I'm now happy to repeat. The wood again was a cutting from my plum tree in the garden and while semi green was a pleasure to carve. Now it's like iron, hence the decision to stop and start a new one

This carving is an addition of a Sphearoblasts carving that just seemed to fit perched on the end. Why? Why not!

In the photo above another Sphearoblast appears glued to the doodle.

This part of the doodle appears here three times. This carving of a Woodwose is one I go back to to reference regards the way the hair blends with the face and the structure of the face. I'm also partial to the nose shape.

The third and final example of a carving doodle is my stick of many faces. This is essentially a carving doodle but on a practical piece of wood, a walking stick. I have posted this before. Here is the original post . The post itself is about walking sticks and the doodle stick appears towards the end. However here are a few shots of it.

All in all as I've said I use this approach for a number of reasons but if I'm honest, it's because I love carving and in particular I love carving Woodwose or Wood Spirits.

Your comments are as always welcome.

If your interested in anything I'm doing please contact me through Facebook and the 'Woodwose Carving and Crafts' page or Twitter '@woodwose' or Instagram under 'Woodwose' or just through this blog. Many of my new carvings get shown on these other sites first.

If you want to discuss buying a carving please email me at I guess to see if the one you likes still available and to get a price including postage.

~ Dave ~


Rezbarija Vinko said...

Great work!

Valerianna said...

I like the doodle stick a lot, that's a powerful face - the one with the closed eyes... so much emotion.

I often find that telling myself I'm just "doodling" definitely frees me up, sometimes I make a really good painting, and wish I had done it on larger paper. The trick for me is to get warmed up enough to be able to approach all the work as if I'm doodling. Its a practive, for sure!

MackTheKnife said...

Very nice work, Dave. I agree with Valerianna about the sleeping face. Outstanding.

Bob Tinsley

Anonymous said...

Dave, as ever your work is astonishing! Enchanting and enticing, a truly powerful combination :)

Dave Jones said...

Thanks Anonymous. Let me know who you are ;)

Thanks to you all for your lovely comments.