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Lesson 2 - How to Carve A Wood Spirit | Nose, Brow and Eye-mounds | Face Carving Beginner Tutorial

Lesson 2 of 5

We recommend you start this tutorial series at the beginning. Here are the links to each previous lesson:
Lesson 1 - Prep and Roughout Stage

You can check out lessons 3-5 here:
Lesson 3 - Carving the eyes
Lesson 4 - Carving Hair
Lesson 5 - Finishing your carving

In this Schaaf Tools Video Series, woodcarver Lucas Kost will take you through the process of carving a wood spirit from start to finish. In this exciting second lesson, your wood spirit's face will begin to come to life! Lucas goes over:
- Shaping the nose
- Refining the eye-mounds
- Creating the brow/forehead area of the face
- Woodcarving tips and tricks Lucas uses while carving

The 5 gouges we'll be using today:

From the 7-Piece Expansion Set

From the 12-Piece Foundation Set

From the 4-Piece Fishtail Set
#3F - 6mm

Shaping the Nose
Timestamp [0.52]
- Bring the tip of the nose forward from the nostril flares
- Use your #9-10mm gouge to follow the circular shape you've drawn out for the tip of your nose
- Remember, you want to carve a rounded shape

Carving Tip
Timestamp [1:55]
- Anchor your left hand to the piece and use your thumb and forefinger to do the fine articulating work
- Use your 3F - 6mm Fishtail gouge to round off the tip of the nose
- Draw in your nostril flares and get out your #11 - 3mm

Carving the Nostril Flares
Timestamp [3:15]
- Use your #11-3mm gouge
- Anchor with your left hand again and follow the drawn nostril flare line with your right hand, swinging the gouge up and around. This is a challenging cut!
- Round off the hard edges you just created using your 3F - 6mm Fishtail gouge, or another small fishtail.

Carving Tip
Timestamp [4:52]
- Another great way to hold your wood carving tool for finer detail work is like a pencil
- Then you can anchor with your pinky and hand on the piece. This allows you to articulate the tool with a lot of precision

- Carve in the nostrils using the #11-3mm
- Be cautious - at this stage its better to take more away below the nose in the mustache area than taking away material off the nose itself

Shaping the Brow Ridge and Forehead
Timestamp [6:58]
- Draw in where the eyebrows should go
- Use your #9-10mm, remove just a couple mm of material surrounding the eyebrows so they are raised.

Carving Tip
Timestamp [7:29]
- When you need to use a lot of force, but also want to have a lot of control
- Anchor left hand and leave the left thumb available to control and oppose motion of the right hand.
- You're using a lot of force with your right hand, but you're opposing that force with your left hand, so you have more control.

- Use your #3-20 mm gouge (or any flat gouge) to level out and smooth the rest of the forehead.
- Use your fishtail gouge to eliminate and round off the hard lines, removing a very small amount of material

Refining the Eye Mounds
Timestamp [9:07]
- We want a little more depth underneath the eye mound, especially in the corners
- Start with your #9-10mm
- Use the technique where you anchor your left hand and use the left thumb to oppose your right hand
- Create more depth in the corners with your #11-3mm gouge
- Begin to smooth out some of the hard lines and round the eye mound a little bit using your #3-20mm gouge.

And that's a wrap for Beginner wood carving lesson #2. Next Lesson, We'll continue to add detail to your wood spirit.


  • Eli

    Hey Rick, we don’t sell individual gouges at this time, in part because the price point of our sets are already so low. What type of fishtail are you looking for (sweep and size). Please email Nida, and we can see if we can help.

  • Ricky

    I have bought at least one of everything you guys have to sell. And have recommended your tools, mallet, and diamond stones to many other carvers. Many in BWC. My questions is do you sell any chisels one at a time that are not in the sets? I am wanting to find a few very wide fishtail gouge to use on CWB, but do not want to spend before I can not afford to spend over $90.00 each for them.
    So any thing you can do to help?

    Thank you Rick Adkins.

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