The same principles apply: first the main shape, then the details.
You sort of sneak up on the details. If you put them in too early, you'll find they look wrong. They are probably not 'wrong' as such; more, they are in the wrong place.
We've been looking at the parts of the dog's face separately but, of course the the various parts aren't separate. Everything is connected and related to everything else. So take a step back at the end and make sure everything you've carved merges and works together.
| 23 May 2020 06:22
David - Well done for finishing your carving! This whole finishing business can be quite a dilemma, never mind wondering about staining.
Myself, I would leave. Why? This sort of low relief relies heavily on light and shadow - viewed best with a good cross light. If you stain black you will lose a lot of the effect, if not all, because you've maximise your sense of shadow. You might get some light/shadow back with a shiny finish.
Consider also that your carving is WOOD; you are not pretending anything else. There's a squirrel and leaves on the website but I never stained them red/grey and green respectively; I left them as wood. In fact a lot of the projects on this site could have been coloured, and some carvers love staining and painting their creations, but I choose not to for this reason and the one above. But that is my choice and how I like the things I carve to appear.
Having said that, you can still make a choice to do it. You should certainly experiment first - once stained you can't go back! Perhaps mock up a part of the carving in similar wood and see what effects you get. Perhaps a grey wash might make the point and be an acceptable compromise?
Let us know how you get on, and don't forget our gallery!
| 22 May 2020 08:37
Hi Chris, I have carved a Cocker Spaniel with your guidance (in relief) & have just removed the paper.This is the dog of a friend which is black.I am debating whether to apply black stain or leave .What would you advise? David Thomas