This article is about how I carve eyes on caricatures 9 to 12 inches tall.
I use a mixture of techniques learned from Marv Kaisersatt and Harold Enlow.
I highly recommend that if the opportunity arises, you take a class with one or both of these world-class instructors.

This will be mainly a pictorial article on eye carving; I will include comments only as needed to clarify a point or to describe an operation.
    Artist Unknown  by C.O. Trygg    by R. Ferry
If you wish to follow along, I am starting with a 2 x 2 x 6 inch basswood block
A
B
C
Area for eye is shaped and rounded across the width.
Tools: 1-1/2" straight edge Murphy knife and 3/8" #5 sweep Ramelson gouge.
Outside of eye ball is drawn in; it may be rounder depending on the eye to be carved.
Tool: Pencil
The line is removed to a depth of approximately 1/8 inch for this particular eye size.
Tool:  1/4" Ramelson veiner.
D
The edge is removed from the eye mound, and the mound is smoothed.
Tool:  1" detail knife
This completes the eye itself; much more may be done to improve the appearance of the eyelids and surrounding area; but that is determined by your individual carving.

By the way, I left the inside pencil dot for your reference.


Good luck with your eyes.





Nose Side
One method to setup an eye mound is to draw a circle enclosing the entire eye area, then removing that line to create a raised area that will become the eyeball and lids.
Another method is to hollow out the inside corner of the eye with a gouge, then carving as needed to create a mound.  However you get there, the mounds
should be the same size and be equally located on the face.
Now with the eye mound formed, we can begin.
Start by placing three dots; one at the inside corner of the eye, one at the outside corner, and one about 1/3 of the eye width from the inside corner.
Place both inside corner dots first; then both outside corners.
There are several things to consider at this operation; sizing the opening to match the expression is critical.
Depending on the effect you desire, the two outside dots could be straight across from one another.   When the dots are properly located, we connect the dots.
With our lines in place, and if we are happy with them, we remove the lines with a small V-parting tool.  It is not necessary to remove the lines completely, they are merely guidelines.  We are cutting only to eyelid depth.
It is best to use a three or four separate V cuts.

You should be confident that your V-tool is sharp and recently stropped before making this cut; test it on a piece of scrap.
(If we are not happy at this point, we re-make the mound.
Once we complete the next operation, to start over will require
removing more wood than we probably want to, though it can be done.)
If we are satisfied with the eyes, we move to the next step; cutting-in the eye. 
This is done with a sharp, thin bladed detail knife.  The blade tip travels along the bottom of the V; perpendicular to the eyeball. 

There are two reasons for the V; it prevents the eyelid from "flaking off" and provides an angled edge to the eyelid which creates another highlight or surface to the eye. 

The cutting-in operation is defining not only the eyelid, but eyeball itself. 
Cut deeper at each corner and lightly for the remainder of the eye.
Make the corner cuts first; be sure they intersect in the corner of the eye.
Then make the shallower cuts for the remainder of the eye. Take your time and use magnification if you have it; make all the cuts connect.
Remove a small three-cornered chip from each corner of each eye.
The inside corner chip is slightly deeper than the outside corner chip.
Use caution not to damage the eyelids.
At this point, all that is required is carefully removing wood from the eyeball to round it; then smoothing the eyeball to allow for easy painting.
What could go wrong?
The eyelid may be open too much – it gives the face a surprised look.
The eye opening may be too wide – this is never a good thing.
The two eyes may not match – one may be larger, open wider, or angled.
The eyelid may be closed too much – this gives a sleepy or squinting look.
The Eyes Have It
There are many levels of realism in eye carving. From eyes that are carved to appear realistic, to multiple V cuts, to eyes that are simply painted on a smooth area.
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