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2 Background

This is a low relief: the background is only 3/16", 5mm, deep so there is very little wood to remove across what is quite a flat subject.

We move through the usual path of lining in, lowering and levelling, and dealing with the big areas first, what you might call the 'low hanging fruit'.

In a relief carving, especially a low one, getting a strong outline to the subject is vital for telling the viewer clearly what they are looking at.

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| 26 February 2022 00:08

That makes a lot of sense - it's so tempting to run before I can walk! I will work on banishing the submarine effect. Thank you!

| 25 February 2022 10:56

Adam - It's what I've called the 'submarine effect' - Going Down!

The best thing is to take the stage out of the project and turn it into an exercise.
So just copy a part onto a spare piece of would and start practising - over and over again until you understand what you need to do and what you don't want to be doing. You can enlarge the part to begin with.
I'd go further and suggest you make your exercise piece really simple to begin with: just recess a square or a circle for example; then repeat to the same depth.

The thing is, this ability to decide on a level, and to consistently and neatly arrive at it, is one of those fundamental skills you need for any low relief. So, thoroughly getting it under your belt will help in so many other places and really worth that special effort.

| 25 February 2022 02:31

Hi Chris, thank you for sharing info on your techniques. I have a tendency to lower, and then it's uneven, so I go over it again, and again, trying to fix mistakes and tears I make. If I keep levelling like this, I'll end up with something in the round! I suppose it's practice and sharp tools, but still frustrating!

| 27 August 2020 17:37

David - No problem. Feel free to ask anything.
I have a range of widths in the #9's; it's a very useful tool for this sort of work. I generally start with a 1/2in.(14mm) for the wider areas, reducing to 3/8(10), then to 1/4 (6) as the spaces I'm trying to get in to become narrower.

| 27 August 2020 15:52

Chris, Sorry to bother you. Can you tell me what #9"s did you use to lower? Thanks

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