Scottish St. Nick

Holiday Carving / Techniques

Scottish St. Nick

Santa dons a matching kilt and cap for his holiday in the Highlands

This web extra accompanies the full article by Don Swartz in Winter 2019

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Santa is a well-traveled individual! As such, we imagine he picks up fashions from some of his favorite places. In Don Swartz’s carving, he is dressed for a Christmas holiday in Scotland. His kilt and cap are tartan, a colorful crisscross pattern that is often associated with specific Scottish clans. Don’s Santa is sporting a modified version of the ancient Clan Munro tartan, with festive red and green alongside bands of blue, yellow, and white.

Painting and Finishing

Before you paint the carving, dunk it in a satin lacquer, such as Deft, and let it sit for 2 minutes. Remove and let the carving drip-dry for 5 minutes. Wipe with a clean cloth and let dry. Then paint the carving with thin washes of acrylic or oil paint (thin acrylics with water and oils with mineral spirits). First, paint the shirt and the base coats for all remaining clothing. Then add the clothing details, boots, stockings, belt, tassels, buckle, skin, hair, and eyes. Drybrush the entire piece with titanium white. Once dry, finish the body and base with satin lacquer and the face with semi-gloss.

Say Yes to the Tartan!

You can customize your own Scottish St. Nick by accessorizing him with the tartan of your choice! Whether you have Scottish ancestry or just want to pick an attractive pattern, there are hundreds to choose from. We selected a few images courtesy of the Highland Kilt Company to make the decision a bit easier:



























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