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Lesson 4 - Carving Hair - How to Carve a Wood Spirit | Wood Carving Tutorial for Beginners

How to Carve a Wood Spirit Lesson 4 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
Lesson 2 - Nose, Brow and Eye-Mounds
Lesson 3 - Carving the eyes

You can check out lesson 5 here:
Lesson 5 - Finishing your carving


In today's lesson, learn how to carve beautiful, flowing hair (or any type of hair you'd like, really. It doesn't have to be flowing.

First you'll separate the tufts of hair to help define its' flow pattern. Next, Lucas will go over how to execute the detail work.

This Schaaf Tools Video Series with woodcarver Lucas Kost takes beginner carvers through the process of carving a wood spirit from start to finish.

If you haven't seen lessons 1-3, you can find them here:

Tools Used:

From the 12-Piece Foundation Set

From the 7-Piece Expansion Set

- With the #3-20mm round off the sharp edges on the mustache and hairline.
- Now begin by drawing in the major tufts of hair to define the flow pattern. Have some fun, and be creative!
- Separate the tufts of hair with your 10mm V-gouge by making deep cuts following the drawn lines.

Carving technique used for separating the tufts
Timestamp [2:25]
- Make sure that as your making these cuts with your V-tool you are guiding the tool with your left hand, which is also anchored to the back of the piece.
- The power comes from the right hand
- This gives you good control, while also allowing you enough power to make deep cuts.

- We're going to do the same thing on the mustache and beard
- Draw in the flow patterns
- With the #12-10mm V tool, once again, follow the drawn lines to separate the tufts
- Smooth off the sharp corners with your #3-20mm

Technique - smoothing the edges
Timestamp [4:56]
- To eliminate hard lines for a smooth, rounded look, use the edge of your gouge, changing the angle of it as you follow the curved lines

Defining the Cheeks and separate the cheek from the side hair
Timestamp [5:30]
- Draw in the line from the edge of the mustache up to the hair
- Trace along the line with your #11-15mm gouge
- Smooth out the sharp corners with your #3-20mm

Detailing the Hair
Timestamp [7:00]
- Use your #11-3mm to create many small cuts, right beside each other, that follow your tuft flow
- These small ridges with create the impression of individual strands of hair
- Hold your gouge like a pencil and anchor your hand, bring the gouge downwards to the forehead to get the detail at the base of the hairline
- For the upper hair, articulate the tool with your right hand, as you stabilize with your left

The Eyebrows (Technique for Fine Detail Work)
Timestamp [8:46]
- With the #11-3mm gouge
- When you need a lot of control, anchor your hand to the piece, and use just your thumb to articulate the tool

- For the sideburns, use your #11-3mm
- Finally, repeat the steps from above to fill in the details for the beard and mustache

And that's the end of Lesson 4. By now, your wood spirit is really coming to life. Stay tuned for the next and final video, as we finish up this fun beginner project with Lucas and Schaaf Tools.

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