The Celtic Warrior Carving was one of my first projects when I started woodworking/making,it was my second or third time carving and I am really happy with how it turned out! I decided to challenge myself to use only handtools for this carving!
I made a video of the entire process for my YouTube channel BCDesign please watch, thumbs up and subscribe if you like it!
Step 1: Drawing Out My Pattern
- I am not great at drawing but wanted this project to be all my own
- I drew a warrior as best I could with a shield and sword I also gave him a beard and helmet as for a beginner carver it means you have to carve less facial and body features.
- I was going to put horns on his helmet viking style but did not like the way this looked so I did not carve them and went instead with the Celtic Style look for the warrior.
Step 2: Carve Your Stop Cuts
- I use my vtool to carve along the lines of my drawing
- Using a vtool allows you to make the stop cut to the desired depth quite easily
- we use stop cuts so that when material is being removed with a gouge later, the piece you carve out will break off at the stop cut and not tear out material you do not want to remove!
Step 3: Use Gouges to Remove Material
- I next started using assorted gouges to remove material to give depth to the carving.
- carefully carve the material with the gouge and try not to let the edges of the chisel go under the wood as this can cause tear out
- The stop lines you carved earlier will help alot here, they will stop you removing material from areas by accident.
Step 4: Create Areas of Light & Shadow
- To make the carving look more realistic, you need to create areas of what I call light and shadow
- In the pictures above you can see the warriors hand before I carve between the fingers and knuckles and after
- In the after shot you can see the shadow between the fingers and the areas that stand out reflecting the light.
- I also removed wood between the beard and shield to give the appearance the shield is being held out in front of the face.
- I removed lots of material along the edge of the sword to create a lot of shadow along the blade that will really make it stand out when light hits the blade.
Step 5: Add the Fine Details
- I used my veiner and vtool to create the effect of hair on the beard and mustache
- I removed material around the mouth and eyes with my 1/4" gouge to add areas of depth
- Next I created teeth using a carving knife and gouge very carefully.
- Use an appropriate size gouge to create a pupil in each eye by removing wood in a circular motion.
- I rounded the arms over and created a crease in the skin where your elbow naturally bends, I also added definition to the bicep by creating an area of shadow underneath it.
- I used the 3/4" inch gouge to add a sloping rounded appearance to the helmet
Step 6: Complete the Sword & Shield
- I drew a center line along the length of the swords blade.
- The center line would be the highest point on the blade,I used the 3/4" gouge to create a sloping blade profile from the center line of the blade to each edge.
- I added Celtic swirls to the guard of the sword and gave the grip a ribbed texture almost like it was wrapped with leather.
- I used the vtool to carve some lines across the shield to give it a battle worn look.
- Then I hand sanded any areas that were rough from 120 grit to 400 grit.
Step 7: Finished!!
- I added the finish which was beeswax and mineral oil mixed
- This was my most enjoyable project ever & I hope to make more carvings soon!!
I made a video as I carved, please watch it and thumbs up & subscribe if you like it!!Thanks for reading and watching!!