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1 Introduction

Carving a local scene is quite a popular subject, especially a scene that features a building or a bridge for example.

In this series of workshops, I wander up the road to my local church with my camera. From the photograph I create a working drawing and prepare the wood, all ready for carving. This low relief has a depth of about 1/4in. (6mm): not a lot of wood to remove so, to get the depth, we need to make full use of the perspective. Low relief carvings always need a good cross light to bring out the lights and shadows.

MIstake! In the video I say the depth of the carving is 1/2in. That is actually the thickness of my original board. Apologies for that. The depth I marked for the background was indeed 1/4in. (6mm) down from the surface.

More on perspective: Perspective Made Simple.

Download: For subscribing members, below is my working drawing and tool list (as a PDF) of the Low Relief Church carving. I haven't given board measurements as I'm rather hoping you'll carve your own local building! However, if you print out the working drawing you'll find I added a scale so, if you want to follow exactly, you can readily work out the size of the board I had.

Subscriber download: Church Working Drawings (PDF)


| 19 December 2017 13:27

Liam - I think one could. You'd have more of a slope to the ground front to back and that would no doubt bring about undercutting.
Give it a go!

| 18 December 2017 21:43

Hi Mr. Pye,

You carved this as a low relief; would it also be possible to carve it deeper (i.e., a half-inch perhaps)?


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