Carving Tutorial - Part 3

Carving the Nose, Forehead, Mustache, Mouth and Beard

A) Carving the Nose and Forehead:

Model #3 - Photo

model 3 wood carving
  1. Lower the brow line and forehead a bit. Slope the forehead back from the brow line to the hair line.
  2. If your gouge is digging deeply into the sides of the nose remove it and remove more wood from the sides of the nose using a # 7 gouge. Leave enough wood for the nostrils. Keep the wings of your tool on the outside of the purple lines when you move up the sides of the nose. You may need to repeat this procedure several times until you have the desired nose profile. Remove the wood at the eyebrow line by coming down between the brows with the # 7/10 gouge.
  3. When you have removed wood from the bridge of the nose take a small # 8, 9 or 11 gouge and remove wood from between the eye brows. I prefer to start with a # 6 or 7 and remove more wood later if I want to. Go down from the forehead, and carve a furrow between the 2 brows till you meet the nose bridge cut.
  4. Continue removing wood along the bridge line until you have the desired nose profile. On average, the angle from the tip of the nose to the forehead is about 45 degrees. This can vary depending upon the kind of nose you want to carve.
  5. When you have the desired profile of the nose use the # 6 or 7 gouge (depending upon the size of the face), to carve the tip of the nose. Invert the gouge and work it down around the tip of the nose and straight into the wood at the bottom of the nose.
  6. Next turn the gouge around so that it is positioned a bit to the side of the center line under the nose. The space left on each side of the center line will give you the septum. Cut into the wood by rotating the gouge back to form the bottom part of the nostrils. Your gouge will be going down and away from the nose and into the face a bit.
  7. Draw in the shape of the nostrils to provide a guide for cutting. Use dividers to ensure that the distance out from the center line and from the bottom of the nose is the same for both nostrils. This will help prevent one nostril being larger or higher than the other. Refer to Diagram A in the hand out for positioning.

(I used Carving the Nose & Mouth by J Phares as reference material when describing the details of carving the nose)

B) Carving the Mustache and Beard (refer to Models #3 and #5):

Model #3 - Photo

model 3 wood carving

Keep all hair lines flowing by using C and S curves. Draw in your mustache.

Trim and taper the wood under the nose that will be shaped into the mustache. Leave the area under the nose fairly flat and work the wood down along the sides of the face. Be certain to leave yourself enough wood for the mustache.

The area under the nose is called the mouth barrel. The mouth barrel has 3 areas to it. It is quite flat under the nose area and then it is rounded toward the outside of the face on each side of the face.

Take off wood under the nose using a #5 gouge. Do this gradually while working both sides of the face until the wood is lowered to meet the bottom of the nose. Leave quite a bit of wood for the mustache and beard. The mouth barrel will help develop the profile of the nose. Round the beard area around the sides of the face.

Replace your center line.

  1. Draw in the outside and inside line of the mustache as it fits at the corners of the nose. Put short stop cuts where the nostril meets the mustache. Outline the mustache with a V tool.
  2. Using a # 7 gouge or bench knife remove the wood on the outside of the nostrils and along the stop cut on the outside of the mustache. You have now carved out the smile line. Work carefully as the wood along the nostrils may be quite fragile. Lower the cheek behind the mustache.
  3. Remove some wood from the beard that lies under and between the 2 sides of the mustache. This will lower the beard under your mustache. With a bench knife, cut in between the beard and the mustache so that the beard seems to fold under the mustache. Keep reshaping the mustache as you shape the beard.

C) Carving the Mouth:

Remember that the bottom of the bottom lip was 1/2 way between the bottom of the nose and the chin.

The mouth is a hollow just below where the mustache meets the nose. Undercut the mustache at the corners of the mouth to make the lower lip fit under it. Define the inner edge of the lip and hollow out a bit of wood under the lower lip. An 11/10 sweep works well for hollowing out a furrow under the lip.

Replace the center line from the tip of the nose and up through the forehead.

Continue to Part 4: Carving the Eyes and Eyebrows