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Depth in high relief

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  • Depth in high relief

    Good Morning to all, I am a beginner carver and trying my hand at relief carving and I am wondering if there is a formula for deciding on the depth of the different levels? I hope I am not asking a question that has been answered before. Many Thanks for your help

  • #2
    Re: Depth in high relief

    Anita, I can only give you my 'rule of thumb' for relief carving.

    I first decide how many levels I really need in the carving. Three to four is an average. That gives me the following:

    Sky Area - sky and far distant mountains

    Background - this could include distant tree lines, river banks or roads going off over the hill

    Mid-Ground - usually this is where the most important element of the pattern falls as a barn complex, house or animal

    Foreground - this is the upper surface of the carving and might include a mail box beside the road, a fence line or a tree

    Next I divide the thickness of the wood in half. A 3/4" thick board would have a line down the 3/8" mark, a 2" thick board would have the pencil line at the 1" mark.

    My carving will be in the upper half thickness with the sky area in the lower half thickness. So now I have three levels in the upper half and one in the lower half.

    I use the half mark to allow a fair amount of wood behind the carving to avoid cupping and warping. No matter what you do in relief carving your work will eventually cup or warp some but allowing a large amount of wood behind the entire carving helps to keep it to a minimum.

    I divide the upper half into three levels with the background level being a touch shallower then the other two. My level that contains the most important element usually has the most wood.

    3/4" board:
    3/8" - sky area and backing board area
    1/16" - background area
    3/16" - mid-ground for main element
    2/16" - foreground area

    2" board
    1" - Sky and backing board
    1/8" - Background
    4/8" - Mid-ground with main element
    3/8" - Foreground area

    Remember that after you have the levels established that you can re-divide each level into layers. And, please remember that 'rules of thumb' are made to be broken. Oh! I should note here that these measurements would be for a very shallow roll over sky area ... very light carving. For a sky as Ron does you better include an entire extra level.

    Susan

    (FYI - Do you know where the term Rule of Thumb originated? Until the mid to late 1800's a man had the legal right to beat his wife with a stick as long as it was no thicker then his thumb. If charges were brought against him all he had to do was bring the stick to court to prove his innocence.)
    Lora

    Art Designs Studio: https://www.artdesignsstudio.com/
    LSIrish.com: https://www.lsirish.com/
    CarvingPatterns.com: https://www.carvingpatterns.com/

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    • #3
      Re: Depth in high relief

      Thank you Susan
      this was so informative I am glad I run into this post ,when I look at some of my relief carvings I shudder of the mistakes I made and I would like to rip them apart and start over again, mind you I still like them.lol
      Thanks again for your tutorial
      Alice
      www.WoodCarvingIllustrated.com
      www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
      www.ScrollSawer.com

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      • #4
        Re: Depth in high relief

        Quote "(FYI - Do you know where the term Rule of Thumb originated? Until the mid to late 1800's a man had the legal right to beat his wife with a stick as long as it was no thicker then his thumb. If charges were brought against him all he had to do was bring the stick to court to prove his innocence.)"

        Star Wars Here's my take on that law. LOL
        Kathy
        __________________

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        • #5
          Re: Depth in high relief

          http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.co...-relief-11937/

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          • #6
            Re: Depth in high relief

            Thank you for the good information. It was a big help.

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            • #7
              Re: Depth in high relief

              Perhaps I can add a bit here?
              First look at the following carvings and then I'll begin a second explanatory post. These are in very deep multi-level relief, and there is a definite optical science to achieving similar effects wihtout having to chisel so deeply.

              This first one is the entire 5' x 18' carving with our crew in front. This piece is 6" thick, back to front. I may have posted this here some time ago. Can't remember..... OGS (Old Guy Syndrome)



              The following are segment pictures of this piece.






              P

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              • #8
                Re: Depth in high relief

                And........... the final of the main carving and one more example.




                And this piece that will have it's own explanation.






                Back soon with explanations. And don't let the color put you off. Stained or painted, the techniques are the same.
                I need a hand break. One handed typing is no fun!

                P

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                • #9
                  Re: Depth in high relief

                  I'll do a breif mothodology explanation when My Daughter ahs had her breakfast and can type for me. I can see that this needs to be a photographic tutorial, so I'm going to take some time this week and have my son do the demo and have my Daughter take the picures and type for me.
                  Back a bit later.
                  P

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                  • #10
                    Re: Depth in high relief

                    Putting up the tree, decorating and gift wrapping took all of her time yesterday. She'll do some typing for me this afternoon. Sorry.

                    P

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                    • #11
                      Re: Depth in high relief

                      Oh, well. My son and daughter both agree (overriding the old man) that since these two mural carvings depict literally every aspect of perspective and depth management, it should be a tutorial, not a quick description. So........ We'll try to find the original photography, add some visual technique and methodolgy pictures and post it in the Tutorial forum.
                      I'm guessing that this will take a few days since my son will have to fit it in between studio work.
                      Patience. It will be worth it to the novices.

                      P

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                      • #12
                        Re: Depth in high relief

                        Pierre,
                        I think it will be worth it to anyone who pays attention. I will be looking forward to your tutorial and thank you in advance for the time it will take.
                        Thor
                        Steve

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                        • #13
                          Re: Depth in high relief

                          Looking forward to it Pierre and thanks.

                          Al

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                          • #14
                            Re: Depth in high relief

                            Still waiting for Lat to help with the demo part. He's talking about my doing a Master's Mural Carving video and manual early in '08. The hands would be his, but the techniques and self made specialty tools are mine.
                            We're hoping it will slow down enough to do a decent photo show and tell for the forum right after Christmas. I have a number of photos already but we do need more technique photos to go with the verbals.

                            P

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                            • #15
                              Re: Depth in high relief

                              Hi Pierre!

                              Here you go, just like I said...one door closed, and now, it sounds like another is opening. That's great! Look forward to reading the tutorial.

                              Bob L

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