Wood Carved Ice Fishing Decoys

Wood Carved Ice Fishing Decoys

During the  America Depression ice fishing decoys were a major way to put food on the table.  Today they are a fun, delightful carving subject that lends themself to brilliant coloring.  This post will look at a coloring/painting technique called Rouging, as shown on our middle red-orange metallic goldfish.

Below are three samples of ice fishing decoys, all worked off the general body shape of a comet goldfish.  Measuring between 6″ x 4″ to 7 1/2″ x 4″, worked in basswood, the top fish is sprayed with a copper metallic finish.  Our second fish has been roughed using oil paints and linseed oil over the same copper metallic, and the bottom fish is painted using craft acrylics over a lime green spray base.

 

Ice decoys were made from what ever materials the carver had on hand.  A scrap of wood, maybe an old license plate or piece of scrap metal for the fins, and roofing nails for the eye; these decoys are a major part of American folk art.

My carved samples are worked in basswood for the body shape.  The fins are cut from 30 gauge copper sheeting, which can easily be cut using a pair of craft scissors.

To insert the fins into the body I use my shading tip of my wood burning tool on my hottest temperature setting to literally burn a thin trough into the decoy.  While I have my burning unit on the table I can add small details to the body as scales, center lines, and even cross hatch patterns.

Remove any burned dust from your fin troughs then insert and set the copper fins with super glue.  To fill in the small gap between the burned trough and the metal fins I use Liquitex Modeling Paste – an air-dry polymer mixture that dries extremely hard without shrinking.   You can see the white line of modeling paste between the top fin and body, below.

After the decoy was thoroughly dry, sanded and dusted, I gave the fish two light coats of copper metallic spray paint.  Allow that primer layer to dry for several hours. I used t he spray paint as my base to avoid any brush strokes that might come from a hand-brushed primer.

Rouging is worked over a heavily antique project or a metallic base using artist oil paints, boiled linseed oil, and gloss acrylic spray sealer.

Place a small amount of each oil paint on a palette – I am using lemon yellow, cadmium yellow, cadmium orange, and cadmium red.  Oil paints are transparent colors that have no white, black, or gray base.  So as we work the color of the paint will clearly allow the color and sheen of the metallic spray to show through.

1  Lightly dampen your ox-hair brush in boiled linseed oil.  Blot as much of the oil off the brush as you can.  Next, pick up a very small amount of color on your brush tip.  I like to rub the color into the tip on the same area of paper towels as I just blotted the oil from my brush.

2  Gently rub one coat of linseed oil thinned color onto each area of your project.  I use a circular motion where the brush just barely touches the fish … just like applying your make-up rouge.  You should barely be able to see any color application with this first coat.  Let the oil paint dry for about 15 minutes.

3  Now, give your fish a light coat of gloss acrylic spray sealer.  Let the sealer dry for about 1/2 hour.

4  Repeat steps 1 through 3 over, and over, and over again.  And now repeat some more.

With each repeat you add an extremely thin layer of transparent oil color followed by a layer of gloss shine all on top of your metallic base.  The decoy below has about 8 to 10 coats at this stage.

 

The finished technique gives you this deep layering of bright color, sparkle and shine, that also allows the metallic sheen to come through the work.  This is similar to Chinese lacquer ware or enameling, in its effect.

For a little contrast I did add solid acrylic black eyes, black and white dots along the spine, and a little splatter of metallic gold paint to the fin ends.  With one last coat of gloss spray sealer this little bit of folk art is ready to hang.

 

 

 

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Free Chip Carving Wood Carving Pattern

Free Chip Carving Wood Carving Pattern

You can add color and paint to your chip carving projects to create a vintage look to your wood carving.  This is especially effective for chip carving projects that developed minor flaws as chip outs, double cuts, and wobbly lines.   Begin by painting a primer coat of acrylic craft paint to your entire project.  Here I am using a loose mix of ochre, mustard, and white to give my primer coat variations in tones.

Chip Carving E-Project at ArtDesignsStudio.com

FREE CHIP CARVING WOOD PROJECTS

removable spray adhesive chip carving patternSharpening Your Chip Knives
Positive and Negative Space in Chip Carving
Chip Carving Seminar
Chip Carving Supplies
Chip Carving Graphed Patterns
Chip Carving Hand Positions and Grips
Chip Carving – Cutting Triangle and Square Chips
Chip Carving – Cutting Straight-Wall, Curve-Wall, Free Forms
Chip Carved Chess and Game Board
Chip Carving – Sampler Layout Pattern
Chip Carving Common Mistakes
Chip Carving Shortbread Cookies

 

Individual motif areas of your chip carving can be painted in complementary colors to emphasis the change in the chip shapes, depth, and design.  Again, note that since we want a vintage look I am not working towards a solid, opaque coloring anywhere on the chip carving plaque.

Allow the base acrylic color to dry thoroughly.  You can at this point give your plaque several very light coats of spray sealer, which limits how much of the oil stain can grab into the wood.  For my project I applied one coat of burnt umber oil paint mixed half and half with boiled linseed oil.

With a clean cloth, wipe off the oil stain working with the grain direction of your wood.  You can dampen your cloth with turpentine to remove any excessively dark stain on the high areas of the chip carving.

 

Let your stain coat dry completely.  This can take several days depending on how thick the oil is in the deep chip cuts.  Using 220-grit sandpaper lightly begin to sand your chip carving.  The sandpaper will clean the high ridges between the chip cuts and distress the large, un-carved areas, creating a wonderful vintage look.

Clean the sanding dust with a tach cloth and apply your favorite finish.

This little chip carved fish decoy is found in our
Whittle Fish Decoy Carving E-Project, and in
Finishing Techniques for Wood Crafters.

 

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Painting with Eye Shadow for Wood Carving and Pyrography

Painting with Eye Shadow for Wood Carving and Pyrography

This wonderful idea is not mine … it comes from TurtleSoupBeads YouTube Channel for polymer clay bead creations.  In fact from her video:

Creating Mini Doughnut Beads with Polymer Clay

What I have done is applied her great technique to our wood carving, wood burning, and gourd art paintings.  Its so simple, but extremely effective.  The smaller background fish has just the acrylic paints and the overlay larger fish has been enhanced with eye shadow make up.

After you have finished painting your wood project using acrylics or oil paints but before you have applied any finish or sealer, grab up some of your old eye  shadow make up. You will also want several small clean, filbert-type brushes.

Pick up a little eye shadow color on your brush and gently rub the brush over the area that you want to shade or intensify the color.  You can apply several coats and you can apply one color over another to create added  color interest.

For my fish decoy I started with a dark purple eye shadow in the deep joint line between the fish’s body and his top fin.  Dark blue eye shadow added depth to the v-gouge line that runs through the center of his body, and bright green was added under his eye to enhance that sparkle.

Deep purple and teal were worked along the joints of the fins with the body and along the bottom edge of his belly.

Because eye shadow is a powder it is easily blended with just a brush, adding gentle graduations of color.  While I probably won’t paint an entire wood project just with eye shadows, they are perfect for brightening and strengthening your shadows and highlights without any brush strokes.

After you are done simple proceed onto your sealer and finishing steps!!!!

Thank you TurtleSoupBeads !!!!

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L S Irish.com Site Map

L S Irish.com Site Map

Discover the numerous free online projects, patterns, and tutorials available at LSIrish.com.

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Free Chip Carving Projects by L S Irish

Free Chip Carving Projects by L S Irish

Let’s take an in-depth look at the chip carving technique by creating several chip carving practice boards, and working a classic needlepoint sampler layout, shown above, that you can use to carve multiple chip carved projects.  The pattern and photo sampler for this  Needlepoint Layout is available in both our  Chip Carving Pattern Package and in the Chip Carving E-Project.

Here is the link list to our Chip Carving Seminar by Lora Irish.

Chip Carving Seminar
Chip Carving Supplies
Chip Carving Graphed Patterns
Chip Carving Hand Positions and Grips
Chip Carving – Triangles and Square Chips
Chip Carving – Straight-Wall Chips
Chip Caved Game and Chess Board
Chip Carving Sampler Pattern Layout
Chip Carving Common Mistakes
Chip Carved Shortbread Cookies

 

We will explore:

free Irish chip carving patternSupplies needed for chip carving
Creating basswood chip carving practice boards
Wood preparations
Knife sharpening
Transferring a chip pattern to your board
Knife angle
Common problems
Positive and negative space
How to cut the different styles of chips
Learn triangles, square, straight-wall, curve-edge, free form, and accent chips
Using chip styles in your patterns
Work a set of chip progressions
How to turn a corner

 

Learn how to prepare your wood board, three methods to transfer your pattern, and how to set up a chip carving practice board.

Please stop by Art Designs Studio, (a.k.a. CarvingPatterns.com) Lora Irish’s wood carving, pyrography, and chip carving pattern website.

Chip Carving Basics E-Project, Everything from this Chip Carving Seminar and more!  Learn how to create a wide variety of chip carving designs using different styles of easy-to-cut chip motifs, by Lora S. Irish.  37 page, PDF file format, easy to print e-project and the full cp015 Chip Carving Pattern package with 110 ready to print chip carving patterns.

On sale through March 31, 2019 at only $7.95

 

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