Carving an Eagle in the Round (part 3)

I started shaping the back of the wings and body, and as you can see, I have roughed out the ball the eagle is standing on. Carving a ball is normally fairly easy. But with an eagle standing on the ball, the job gets much harder. The eagle gets in the way and makes it difficult to both see the outline carve around the feet and tail. The only way to get it right is to work all sides of the ball together, little by little, until it looks right. At the point I don’t want to get too fussy with the ball because the feet need to be carved before the ball is finalized.


Beginning to shape the feet. One detail I did not like on the original eagle was the feet. I decided to carve feet that are a bit more realistic, with defined claws.


Roughly drawing in the feet details.


Refining the overall shape of the foot.


Roughing out the toes. Notice I work on all of them at once. I don’t try to carve each one separately.


Further refining the shape of the toes.


One foot is roughed out. Final refining will be done after the other foot is roughed out and the ball is finished.


Here is a view of the entire foot showing the rear toe and claw. The rear toe was difficult to carve because of its position between the tail and legs. I had to use some specially shaped carving tools to get it done.


Starting to work on the head and neck.


One side of head and neck is roughed out. The grooves are a feature I really liked in the original eagle. They represent movement and muscle, and make the eagle come alive.

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John Stacey
9 years ago

I found part 3 very helpful. I am working on a bellamy pilot house and am almost ready to start ball and feet. I will do it like you do. Did you temporarily attach a block to the bottom of the ball to give you something to put in the vise or is that bottom block part of your original glue up?

Great Web site Thanks for sharing!