Carvings and Canvas

Dedicated to the Joy of Woodcarving and the Promotion and Preservation of woodcarving as an Artform!

CARVING AND PAINTING A HUMMINGBIRD

The two slide shows below will take you Step By Step through the process of carving, then painting, a hummingbird.  


Carving Your  Hummingbird!         Carve a Hummingbird with simply a knife.  Materials that you  need  will be a piece of Basswood measuring 6" Long x 2-1/2" High x 1" thick. The direction of the grain will run in the 6" direction. You will also need Superglue (thick or gel is my preference), Wood Filler  and Sandpaper (120 and 220 grit).    The below pictures are meant to serve as a visual guideline of the steps involved. The bird below is ready for light final sanding and painting. I have not applied any wood filler around the wings so the pictures of assembly are clearer.   For a Full Size Pattern that you can print click  HERE


Painting Your Hummingbird!

The most common paints used by woodcarvers are Acrylics, Oils and Watercolors. For the purpose of this tutorial I will be using Acrylics available at craft stores and big box stores everywhere. Though I mainly use Acrylics in the tube form (preferring JoSonja or Liquitex), you can achieve very good results using craft paints which are very inexpensive, averaging approximately one dollar for a two ounce bottle. They are mixable also and clean up with just water. Please note that there are many materials and techniques for painting so experiment find a technique that works best for you!   We will be using White, Black, Hunter Green and Crimson Red.

When painting it is helpful to study several pictures of your subject. If you look at 100 pictures of a hummingbird you will see 100 variations in color, texture, wing and tail variations and body features.  This is because of movement, light, shadows, juvenile and adult, male and female, seasonal changes and breeding stages.  and many other factors. No two birds are alike just as no two carvings are ever alike! 

Tip:  I use a Corelware dinner plate as my mixing palette. They are strong, clean easily with just warm water and can be found in your kitchen cabinet or you can buy one for little or nothing at a yard sale or thrift shop! I have used the same one for probably a decade!
  • Tools and Supplies. Note: ReSaw your wings to about 1/2" thick to allow for the wing to have curvature!
    Tools and Supplies. Note: ReSaw your wings to about 1/2" thick to allow for the wing to have curvature!
  • Roughed Out Body and Upper Wings
    Roughed Out Body and Upper Wings
  • Roughed Out Body and Under Wings. Notice the curvature of the wings.
    Roughed Out Body and Under Wings. Notice the curvature of the wings.
  • Detailing the Body. Pay attention to the Bill Detail, The Eye Pockets and Eyes, The pronounced Neck Plumage and the mortises to accept the wings.
    Detailing the Body. Pay attention to the Bill Detail, The Eye Pockets and Eyes, The pronounced Neck Plumage and the mortises to accept the wings.
  • Another View of the Body Detail
    Another View of the Body Detail
  • Upper Tail Detail
    Upper Tail Detail
  • Under Tail Detail
    Under Tail Detail
  • Front View Wings Mounted
    Front View Wings Mounted
  • Bird Left View
    Bird Left View
  • Rear View
    Rear View
  • Bird Right View
    Bird Right View
Tools and Supplies. Note: ReSaw your wings to about 1/2" thick to allow for the wing to have curvature!
Tools and Supplies. Note: ReSaw your wings to about 1/2" thick to allow for the wing to have curvature!
  • Painting Your Hummingbird!
    Painting Your Hummingbird!
  • Black, White, Hunter Green, Crimson Red. A Liner Brush for fine detail, a small brush for blending and a slightly larger small brush for mixing and covering large areas.
    Black, White, Hunter Green, Crimson Red. A Liner Brush for fine detail, a small brush for blending and a slightly larger small brush for mixing and covering large areas.
  • Base coat Entire Bird with light grey. Coat twice with  paint thinned to watercolor consistency.
    Base coat Entire Bird with light grey. Coat twice with paint thinned to watercolor consistency.
  • Mix white and green to achieve a light green. Coat the areas and details as shown.
    Mix white and green to achieve a light green. Coat the areas and details as shown.
  • Mix white and green to achieve a light green. Coat the areas and details as shown.
    Mix white and green to achieve a light green. Coat the areas and details as shown.
  • Mix white and green to achieve a Slightly Darker Dreen. Coat the areas and details as shown. Thin To Watercolor consistency
    Mix white and green to achieve a Slightly Darker Dreen. Coat the areas and details as shown. Thin To Watercolor consistency
  • Mix white and green to achieve a Slightly Darker Dreen. Coat the areas and details as shown. Thin To Watercolor consistency.
    Mix white and green to achieve a Slightly Darker Dreen. Coat the areas and details as shown. Thin To Watercolor consistency.
  • Mix white and green to achieve a Slightly Darker Dreen. Coat the areas and details as shown. Thin To Watercolor consistency.
    Mix white and green to achieve a Slightly Darker Dreen. Coat the areas and details as shown. Thin To Watercolor consistency.
  • Using White, thinned to a medium constancy, highlight feather edges on wings and tail
    Using White, thinned to a medium constancy, highlight feather edges on wings and tail
  • Using White, thinned to a medium constancy, highlight feather edges on wings and tail.
    Using White, thinned to a medium constancy, highlight feather edges on wings and tail.
  • Using White, thinned to a medium constancy, highlight feather edges on wings and tail.
    Using White, thinned to a medium constancy, highlight feather edges on wings and tail.
  • Using Crimson Red paint the under chin feathers. Apply two coats. First coat thin, second coat thick using a blotting technique to give it texture.
    Using Crimson Red paint the under chin feathers. Apply two coats. First coat thin, second coat thick using a blotting technique to give it texture.
  • Close Up of Painted Texture on the under chin feathers.
    Close Up of Painted Texture on the under chin feathers.
  • Mix Green with a small amount of black. Thin to watercolor constancy. Paint thin lines on each wing and tail feathers.
    Mix Green with a small amount of black. Thin to watercolor constancy. Paint thin lines on each wing and tail feathers.
  • Mix Green with a small amount of black. Thin to watercolor constancy. Paint thin lines on each wing and tail feathers.  Closer view showing tail.
    Mix Green with a small amount of black. Thin to watercolor constancy. Paint thin lines on each wing and tail feathers. Closer view showing tail.
  • Paint eyes black then mix Green with a small amount of black. Thin to watercolor constancy. Paint thin lines on each wing and tail feathers. Showing underside of wing.
    Paint eyes black then mix Green with a small amount of black. Thin to watercolor constancy. Paint thin lines on each wing and tail feathers. Showing underside of wing.
  • Using Green, lightly thinned, detail the darker green areas by mottling in small feather like shapes ( similar to thin oblong dots)
    Using Green, lightly thinned, detail the darker green areas by mottling in small feather like shapes ( similar to thin oblong dots)
  • Continue using Green, lightly thinned, to detail the darker green areas by mottling in small feather like shapes. Another View
    Continue using Green, lightly thinned, to detail the darker green areas by mottling in small feather like shapes. Another View
  • Using Green lightly thinned detail the darker green areas by mottling in small feather like shapes. Another view
    Using Green lightly thinned detail the darker green areas by mottling in small feather like shapes. Another view
  • Using Green lightly thinned detail the darker green areas by mottling in small feather like shapes. Another View
    Using Green lightly thinned detail the darker green areas by mottling in small feather like shapes. Another View
  • Paint the Bill Black
    Paint the Bill Black
  • Using Black, Paint legs and feet as shown.
    Using Black, Paint legs and feet as shown.
  • Using Black, Paint legs and feet as shown. Another View.
    Using Black, Paint legs and feet as shown. Another View.
  • Optional.  Using Minwax Gloss Polycrylic you can add a realistic sheen to the eyes.
    Optional. Using Minwax Gloss Polycrylic you can add a realistic sheen to the eyes.
  • The completed bird.
    The completed bird.
Painting Your Hummingbird!
Painting Your Hummingbird!

IDEAS FOR MOUNTING YOUR HUMMINGBIRD

Here are a few pictures of hummingbirds I did over the years to give you ideas on how to mount and display your new creation.  These are but a few of the Hummingbirds that I have done over the years. Be Creative and find a mount that you enjoy and that you feel works best for your carving!

  • A simple wall plaque.
    A simple wall plaque.
  • A base with a short piece of heavy guage floral wire.
    A base with a short piece of heavy guage floral wire.
  • a simple carved flower.
    a simple carved flower.
  • A more elaborately carved flower.
    A more elaborately carved flower.
A simple wall plaque.
A simple wall plaque.