Hand Carved Octopus on Driftwood

Florida artist Gil Watson hand carved this octopus on driftwood. Gil started this creation with planks of basswood. Basswood is a wood that is soft and light, suitable for carving as you don’t have all the knots that occur in many other woods. It also glues and finishes well. Basswood is found in most of the temperate Northern Hemisphere of the world.

To prepare the wood for this piece Gil laminated the planks of wood in the approximate shape he was looking for. Once the glue dried it was time to begin the carving. Gil only uses hand chisels and chips and shapes the wood all my hand. Once he is completed with the carving he does not sand the piece as he believes leaving all the hand chisel marks in makes this a more authentic piece. In order to complete the color on the octopus Gil uses a red paint mixed with a variety of stains. The octopus was then sprayed with a clear polythene for protection. Once all this is completed and dried the octopus is then placed on a select piece of driftwood. The dimensions of the piece are 48′ x 40″. This was a commission for clients in Homosassa, Florida who now have it hanging on their wall.

More of Gil’s work can be seen at gilwatson.com or the Facebook page, Watson’s Art Gallery & Studio

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