Landscape Relief Carving

The Basics to Landscape Relief Wood Carving

By L.S. Irish

Carved Sample of the Basic Barn
Roughing out the Design


I have printed the Basic Barn Pattern with my computer printer, the finished pattern printed at 6″ square.

With landscape carving for a beginning wood worker, larger designs are easier to create. You may wish to print you pattern at the full size of your paper, giving yourself more room in the carving.

If you did not get a copy of the pattern on the introduction page to this tutorial, please click on the link below. This will open the pattern in your browser. Right hand click on the pattern and click “Save Image”. To return to the tutorial just click back on your toolbar.

Basic Barn Pattern Close-Up

The pattern has been traced on to a 3/4″ piece of sanded basswood.

I begin the design by roughing out the basic levels of the design using a bench knife, 3/8″ rounded gouge, 1/8″ skew, and 1/4″ skew.

The highest point on the barn is the front corner of the roof line. This area remains uncarved at the original level of the wood. The second highest level point on the design is the corner intersection of the barn walls, note where it almost touches the original level of the basswood. The deepest points in the carving are along the sky line where the air meets the barn roof and silo.

All of the carving work slopes away from the roof corner and wall corner dipping down to where it touches the circle that hold this pattern. The deepest area, the sky between the copula and the silo is about 3/8″ deep. Personally, I do not like to carve deeper than one half the width of the board that I am carving.

After every level is established I will lightly use the gouge and 1/4″ skew to smooth out each section of the work.

Let’s add the detail to the carving, Detail Work.

Roofing Ideas
Boards and Bricks
Field Stone and Flag Stone
Barn Example Drawings
Carving Sample One – Rough Out
Carving Sample Two – Detail Work
Carving Sample Three – Finishing Details

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