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Project Owner: Dirk Holzman
Type of Wood: Basswood
Finish: Linseed Oil (natural and with oil paint), Wax
Dimensions: 12" x 14" x 1"
Besides attempting the three simple leaves project on this site, this is my first attempt at relief carving. I have previously done some whittling (spoons, caricatures, etc.), working from books and other guides/patterns, but have recently tried to expand the size of my projects and more seriously improve my skills. I made this carving upon request from a family member who loves to fish, and I worked from a couple pictures of flounders, using the "Dog Cameo" videos to guide my process. I wanted it to look like the flounder was lying on a sandy, ocean floor, rather than just mounted to a board, so I carved ridges into the background. This was definitely the toughest part of the carving because it made it difficult to clean the background up; I had to keep switching directions to avoid moving against the grain. I tried to experiment with undercutting for the pelvic and tail fins of the flounder to give the impression that it is resting on top of the sand. I finished the sand with natural linseed oil, and the flounder with a mixture of linseed oil and a bit of burnt umber oil paint. I wanted the grain to show and the flounder to appear slightly darker, albeit in the same color palette, since flounders often are close to sand-colored. I applied a wax finish on top of the oil to help protect it. I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts to get better!