How To Wood Carving Female Figure: Wooden Carved Figure

In this post I will share my experience and tips of how to wood carving female figure step by step! Here In this project am using Husqvarna 445 18″ Gas Chainsaw which is current less than 400 dollars for carving ,some sand paper, oil mixture Dremel tool and epoxy.

How To Wood Carving Female Figure: Step By Step

Quite often the log finds its way to me. This Cedar log came from a friend’s yard with a couple of other relatively large pieces saved also.!

This Cedar log came from a friend’s yard

It just stood there for a couple of months with no ideas when one day I decided to sit with a pencil & paper & within 5 minutes the sculpture came to light

 I decided to sit with a pencil & paper & within 5 minutes the sculpture came to light


The main form of the mermaid blocked out. This one, & quite often, no lines to go by, just let the imagination go & draw with the saw!

main form of the mermaid blocked out

The upper torso arms/hands & head roughed out to relative shape & position

upper torso arms/hands & head roughed out


Working from the midsection down to the legs & fin. I knew I wanted to make the mermaid the full length or height of the log with a large sweeping tail.

Working from the midsection down to the legs & fin

Working the mermaid’s hair into general shape along with the Cobra overlooking her.

mermaid’s hair into general shape along with the Cobra

The first Dolphin is now roughed out in it’s, what seemed to be, natural position on the log.

Dolphin is now roughed out

Working the Cobra’s length & position from top down & the mermaid’s hair on the right side.

Working the Cobra’s length & position

With the mermaids tail to shape I moved on to Dolphin # 2 & got it to shape.

 With the mermaids tail to shape I moved on to Dolphin # 2 & got it to shape.

Another view of Dolphin #2

Another view of Dolphin #2

As you can see, I have had to add Dolphin #1’s fins due to lack of wood in this area. The sculpture has also graduated from a chainsaw carving into a sanded finish. I have a real hard time stopping at the chainsaw stage!

have had to add Dolphin #1’s fins

Dolphin #2 fins & tail along with some finer details progressing. I use an air die grinder with Kutzall carbide bits & the same with a Dremmel for the finer details.

Dolphin #2 fins & tail along with some finer details progressing

Due to drying & cracking I have had to dowel & epoxy the fin on the dolphin & have filled the major crack across the mermaid’s tail with an epoxy/sawdust mix.

Due to drying & cracking I have had to dowel & epoxy the fin on the dolphin

A closer look & some finer shaping & sanding done on the tail.

closer look & some finer shaping


The mermaid starting to take her “shape” with an arbor tech mini sander & dual action air sander. Fingers are also laid out on the hands with the Dremel tool.

 mermaid starting to take her “shape” with an arbor tech mini sander & dual action air sander.


The Cobra, mermaid hair & more coming to shape & final smooth finish as I take advantage of a beautiful day & move outside.

Doing the rings on the shell with the Dremmel tool

I had one large knot/section left & contemplated for a time what to carve there. Decided on a Sea shell. Doing the rings on the shell with the Dremmel tool.

Smoothing out the hollow behind the shell

Smoothing out the hollow behind the shell & trying to keep the spiral lines on the shell symmetrical & smooth flowing.

Smoothing out the hollow behind the shell

The mermaids right hand coming to shape & proportion.

mermaid right hand appears


The mermaids face, my first one of three on this carving. Kinda funny & the first Cobra head detail lines laid out.

The mermaids face

The mermaid’s left hand also gets some attention!

mermaid’s left hand also gets some attention

Dolphin #1 needed some repair to its face & I made some eyes from Cocobolo. The eye socket cut & fitting the eye.

Dolphin #1 needed some repair

A close up showing the eyes turned on a lathe out of Cocobolo.

showing the eyes

My first attempt at the Cobra head…not!

cobra head carving

Another few hour’s progression of the mermaids face.

progression of the mermaids face.

Dolphin #1 shows cracks filled in its nose & obviously needs the mouth fine tuned.

Dolphin #1 shows cracks filled in its nose

The Cobra has changed quite drastically with the mouth open, much improvement.

 Cobra has changed quite drastically with the mouth open

A forked tongue added out of Cocobolo for a more realistic representation

forked tongue added out of Cocobolo for a more realistic

My first “sort of human” looking face. Need some major practice still!

sort of human” looking face.

Gluing with epoxy, the fins made previously. Trying to get them in symmetrical position.

Gluing with epoxy

Another view from above.

Another view from above

Fine sanding for hours on end with the dual action & 180 grit paper.

Fine sanding for hours on end with the dual action & 180 grit paper.

Finished with 2 generous coats of oil mixture!

Finished with 2 generous coats of oil mixture!
Finished with 2 generous coats of oil mixture!
Final Mermaid Wood Carving done
Final Mermaid Wood Carving done

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