Woodcarving Wednesdays: Learn to Paint Highlights and Shadows

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Woodcarving Wednesdays: Learn to Paint Highlights and Shadows

Since many of us are spending extra time indoors these days, it’s more important than ever to stay creative and busy. With that in mind, the team at Woodcarving Illustrated will be posting a free beginner-friendly project to our website every Wednesday. So grab a knife and let those woodchips fly!



Paint to a carve is like icing to a cake. It can enhance a piece and add depth and dimension that otherwise may not have been achievable. In this week’s video, Betty Padden demonstrates how to paint a pumpkin. Even if Halloween isn’t constantly on your mind (like it is for us), we encourage you to use her professional blending, highlighting, and shading techniques described in this video on any future carve.




Interested in more from Betty? Be sure to check out her workbook, Lettering & Sign Carving. The book offers a contemporary look at a nostalgic craft with updated techniques and a fresh variety of styles for carving and painting a variety of signs for the home, summer cottage or basement bar.


About the Author

Betty Padden and her husband, Bob, own Wooden Apple Signmakers in Auburn, Mass. They have been professional sign carvers for 35 years and have been teaching their craft to students for more than 30 years. They are the creators of SantaCarls®, a unique figure that has been sold at Disney parks and Busch Gardens. Betty also designs and paints for Ne’Qwa Art and Blossom Bucket, among other companies. Visit bettypadden.com for cut outs, patterns, and designs, and help for woodcarvers struggling with projects. See more of Betty’s work at woodenapplesignmakers.com.

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