One of the pictures is before mod, which shows the red paint and elliptical handle shape. I didn't like how slippery the paint got when wet, so I sanded off the paint and carved the front half of the handle into an octagonal cross section.
Finally, I sanded the handle with 220 grit sandpaper and finished with three coats of a hot beeswax and mineral oil mixture.
The natural birch handle is much easier to grab onto when wet, and looks better in my opinion.
I've also found the octagonal grip to greatly increase control in fine tasks like carving.
I'd love to hear any questions, criticisms, compliments, or ideas!