Introduction: Carved Wood Owl Caricatures - Owl You Need Is Love

About: My name is Jeff and I've been a Maker all my life. I will be posting Instructables of my projects covering woodworking, woodcarving, electronics, 3D Scanning & Printing and 3D Modelling. Since 2001, I have b…

This simple caricature of two owls in a wintery scene can be made with a few hand tools and wood burner.

It is made from a rectangular bass wood block which can be found at your local craft store for under $5.

If you are new to woodcarving, it may take a little time to get the feel of cutting with the grain. But with patience the end result is a cute folk art piece.

It should be noted that this Instructable uses sharp carving tools and hot wood burner. Remember SAFETY FIRST ...

1) Always wear a carving glove and thumb guard when using the carving tools.

2) Use caution with the hot wood burner and work in a well ventilated space.

Step 1: Carve 2 Owl Shapes From a Basswood Block

Starting with a rectangular basswood block cut off two pieces using a handsaw to make two owls.

Using a carving knife, round off the corners of the wood blocks and start shaping the wood until it looks potato shaped. The size and shape is flexible as this is a simple caricature carving.

Remember to leave a small amount of the wood to carve in the beak and feet.

Use a pencil to draw in the wings. Then undercut the wings so they sit on the owl's body.

Draw the shape of the beak and toes with a pencil, then use a gouge to shape the beak and feet.

Using a hole punch make circles for the eyes. Then using the knife round the eyes and make undercuts to set them into the owl's face.Wood

Step 2: Woodburn Feathers

Follow a natural pattern of flow for the feathers as in the sketch. Use the blade of the wood burning tip to make various strokes for the small feathers. Being a caricature the feathers are not realistic but are done to add an interesting texture.

On the wing tips burn larger flight feathers. First burn the feather shaft down the centre then the barbs.

Use the flat side of the wood burning tip to shade in the eyes.

Step 3: Paint Owls

Seal the wood carvings with Tung Oil. This will prevent the paint from bleeding into the wood.

Use acrylic paint thinned (50/50) with water to make a wash that will not cover the burned detail texture.

Give the Owls a base coat of Antique White. Add the pattern with burnt umber. Paint the feet with orange and the beak with a blend of black and blue.

Add a small white dot the the corners of the eye to simulate a light reflection. Coat the eyes with Gloss Mod Podge. This gives a glassy effect.

Use Snow-Tex to simulate the snow. Mix with light blue acrylic paint and add an undercoat to make shadows. Then top coat with just Snow-Tex to add white highlights.

When the paint dries, spay on a protective layer with Deft clear wood finish.

Step 4: Make the Mount

Gather some twigs and attach them with wood glue to make an interesting display for the owl carvings. Use a suitable sized scrap piece of wood for the base.

Use Snow-Tex to simulate snow on the ground using the painting technique in the previous step. Build up lumps and bumps to make it look realistic.

Use Tinkercad and a 3D Printer to make a label such as "Owl You Need Is Love". Design the labels with mounting holes so the 3D printed label can be nailed to the base.

Attach the owls to the branch by drilling matching holes and glueing in pins.

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