Wood relief carving has been an art form since ancient times. In relief carving, figures or objects are carved into a flat piece of wood. The general process for relief carving involves removing wood so that the carved object appears to rise out of the wood itself.
Things You'll Need
- Flat piece of wood
- Carving chisels
- Wood finish
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Sketch the overall design on a piece of paper the same size as the wood. When doing relief carving, it is sometimes necessary to carve away part of the drawing that is sketched directly on the wood. Having a paper copy to refer to allows you to easily redraw those portions during the carving process.
With a pencil, carefully sketch out the design onto the wood. Using pencil instead of pen allows you to change the design and fix sketching mistakes more easily.
Rough out the relief carving by using a larger hand chisel to carve out the main lines and shapes of the piece.
Resketch the detail lines and forms that may have been removed during the rough carving.
Using a medium or fine chisel, carve the details into the rough carving.
Finish the wood by sanding and then applying the desired wood finish. Some people stain reliefs; others prefer a more natural tung oil or olive oil finish. Lacquer or polyurethane also make good finishes for relief carvings.