Use Wood-Carving Skills to Whittle a Family Portrait

Tired of the typical matching family photograph? Hone your wood-carving skills and follow these step-by-step tips for whittling a super unique family portrait.



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Step 1. The wood is checked for "carvability."
Photos By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff
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The homemade gouge and short-bladed whittling knife used to carve the following examples.
Photos By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff
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Step 2. The tracing has been transferred to the wood block with carbon paper.
Photos By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff
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Step 3. The background is being gouged away to show the outlines.
Photos By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff
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Step 5 . Here's the semifinished portrait.
Photos By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff
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The carving has been coated with brown wax shoe polish, which is rubbed in and buffed to a soft glow, then delicately scraped off to achieve highlighting. The finished work can be hung from a wall or propped up.
Photos By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff
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Step 4. The face has been roughed in.
Photos By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff

















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