re-using, recycling, and redeeming old wood

# 41 Wood Carving: Little Hobo

Hobo 1

The little guy really turned out nice. I like many things about him.

Hobo, side view

One thing I do enjoy about this Hobo is his color.  I was really pleased with the way the colors worked together.  Also, the wash of paint allowed the wood grain to show through this piece very nicely.  I might have added a little more rosy coloration to his checks, but his face is cute enough to make up for that lack of color.

Hobo 3

The next part about this carving to like is the movement created by the position of the legs, hands, feet, and coat.  Their positions give the piece a more dynamic, rather than a static, stationary feel.  The eye is invited to follow the lines of the carving, to find the interesting points along the way.

Hobo, gotta love the toes

Hobos aren’t really a “cute” topic.  They represent economic hardship and difficulty in life.  But I am a fan of “Freddy the Freeloader” ala Red Skelton.  Red’s portrayal of a hobo was “cute.”  It is that character I looked for in this carving.  So, you will notice the “cute” toes sticking out of the shoes.  I also like the scrunched face, a little character being a little character.

Hobo coat tails

The block of wood for this carving was 4″ x 2″ x 2″.  The figure was not roughed out.  The image was drawn on the square block and the roughed out by hand.  This method has its advantages.  One advantage is demonstrated in the coat tail.  As you can see in “Hobo coat tails” there is a nice sweep to the coat, as if it were caught in the wind.  This is the result of have had “extra” wood in the back of the carving with which to play.

A “cute” smile

On this last picture and on “Hobo coat tails” you can see how great a paint wash looks.  You can see the color, but the wash allows the grain of the wood to come through in a pleasing way.

“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”  Proverbs  22:1


5 responses

  1. Jan


    December 21, 2010 at 10:12 pm

  2. I like the way you have photographed this piece. nice work and nice pics

    December 22, 2010 at 12:35 pm

  3. Hi Yaakov, Thanks. It was a sunny day with the light pouring in through the living room window. I was also pleased with them. Had a photography friend who mentioned using as much natural light as possible. But, Chicago in winter is not very sunny. We will try on the sunny days. Shalom, John

    December 22, 2010 at 5:17 pm

  4. Rick

    Well done, son. Aniline dyes? R

    December 23, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    • You must be looking at the Hobo, R. No, not even sure yet what Aniline dyes are. The table cutting out three-D ornaments at the wood show was using them. I will have to look up what that is. The Hobo was done with regular acrylic paint thinned and then the piece was soaked in boiled linseed oil/burnt umber mixture. The sunlit photography really helps. Ciao.

      December 23, 2010 at 10:19 pm

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