Relief Wood Carving
LSIrish.com has 146 articles, posts, pages, and projects dedicated to wood carving.
Classic Carving Patterns – Our original wood carving, wood burning, and pattern website.
Art Designs Studio – Original, exclusive, and new patterns and line art by Lora S. Irish
LSIrish.com – Designs Online Since 1997! Free 0nline projects, tutorials, & step-by-steps
Trained as a Fine Artist at the University of Maryland, twelve of Lora Susan Irish’s pure breed dog oil paintings have been published as limited edition art prints. Her art has been featured on the front covers of “Doberman Quarterly” 1991, “Samoyed Quarterly” – all four issues of 1991, and “Shetland Sheepdog Quarterly” 1991 published by Hoflin Press.
She is the author of a series of woodcarving, pyrography, and craft pattern books. Currently Lora has 32 publications in print.
Her first in-depth wood carving book is Classic Carving Patterns, published by Taunton Press, in 1999, publisher of “Fine Wood Working Magazine”. Other popular craft and hobby titles including the Great Book of Dragon Patterns, Relief Carving Workshop, and The Art and Crafts of Pyrography, and Classic Chip Carving published by Chipping Away, Inc. All of Lora’s books are available at Amazon.com, the best price anywhere on the web.
L. S. Irish shared the Woodcarver of the Year – 2007 with Ed Gallenstein, editor and publisher of “Chip Chats Magazine”, for her support and teaching efforts in the wood carving community. Irish’s free online tutorials can be found here on her blog, LSIrish.com, full of in depth step by step, how to free lessons on wood carving, woodburning, pyrography, and other great crafts.
Lora and her husband, Michael, took their home based art studio, Art Designs Studio established in 1984, to the Internet by creating CarvingPatterns.com in 1997 and continue to hold the copyright on this domain and all of the Works which it contains. All images carrying the copyright of CarvingPatterns.com remain the sole property of Lora S. Irish.
Lora’s arts and crafts teachings can be found on her two websites. LSIrish.com has hundreds of pages of Free Online Tutorials and Projects. ArtDesignsStudio.com, her line art patterns and drawings site, features line art designs created exclusively by Lora for craters and artisans. Lora S. Irish owns the copyright on all material related to these three websites. ArtDesignsStudio.com, as of 2013, offers more than 2500 pattern in various subject categories, including North American Wildlife, Celtic Knots, Dragons and Mythological Beasts, Nautical and Sea Life, and So Much More! Lora continues to provide new patterns and new inspiration to many artists.
Working from her rural mid-Maryland home studio, Lora S. Irish is currently exploring new crafts and hobbies including wire bent link jewelry, metal sheet jewelry, piece patch and applique quilting, gourd carving, gourd pyrography, and leather crafts.
To name just a few favorites …
Wood Spirits & Green Men
Wildlife Carving in Relief
Chip Carving Workshop
Essentials Rib Basket Weaving
Wire-Wrapped Jewelry Techniques
Relief Carving Wood Spirits
Finishing Techniques for Wood Crafters
Crafting with Gourds
Landscape Pyrography Techniques & Projects
The Art of Spoon Carving
Cane Topper Wood Carving
Little Book of Pyrography
Wood Carving Walking Sticks, Introduction
Wood Carving Walking Sticks – Adding Extras
Wood Carving Walking Sticks – Common Tree Species
Wood Carving Walking Sticks – Harvesting
Wood Carving Walking Sticks, Gluing Your Joint
Wood Carving Walking Sticks, How to Clamp Your Cane Handle
Wood Carving Walking Sticks, How to Join Your Cane Handle
Wood Carving Walking Sticks, Working with Bamboo
Free Mountain Man Cane Carving Pattern
Twistie Stick Snake Cane Carving, Day 5
Twistie Stick Snake Cane Carving, Day 4
Twistie Stick Snake Cane Carving, Day 3
Twistie Stick Snake Cane Carving, Day 2
Twistie Stick Snake Carving Free Project
Walking Stick and Cane Handle Joinery
Wood Carving Walking Sticks
Four Methods to Cutting a Wooden Spoon Blank
Spoon, Fork, and Ladle Styles for Wood Carving
The Art of Spoon Carving by Lora S. Irish
Wood Carving a Basic Wooden Spoon
Styles of Wood Carved Spoons
Welsh Love Spoons
Welsh Love Spoons Introduction
Basic Cutting Techniques
Carving A Chain and Ball
Ball and Cage Carving
- Finishing Your Project
Mule Deer Relief Carving Free Project by Lora Irish
Working in Levels – Mule Deer Relief Wood Carving Project
Shaping the Mule Deer – Mule Deer Relief Wood Carving Project
Wood Burning the Mule Deer Details
Dry Brush Painting – Mule Deer Relief Wood Carving Project
Relief Wood Carving Canada Goose Project
Relief Wood Carving Canada Goose Project, Part One
Relief Wood Carving Canada Goose Project, Part Two
Relief Wood Carving Canada Goose Project Part Three
Relief Wood Carving Canada Goose Project Part Four
- More Relief Carving Projects
- Levels in Relief Wood Carving
- Introduction of Dramatic Shadows
- Undercutting Technique for Dramatic Shadows
- Level Changes and Floating Elements for Dramatic Shadows
- Dramatic Shadows Pattern Work
- Landscape Relief Carving
- Floral Clock
- Sailboat Relief Carving
- Woodcarving the American Hero
Country Snowman Wall Hanger
- Wood Carving – American Heroes
- More Relief Carving Projects
- Fundamentals & Techniques
- Tools and Tool Kits
- Sharpening Your Tools
- Basic Cuts and Carving Tips
Free Chip Carving Wood Carving Pattern
Free Chip Carving Projects by L S Irish
Back to the Basics of Wood Carving
Chip Carving Common Mistakes
Chip Carving – Sampler Layout Pattern
Chip Carved Chess and Game Board
Chip Carving – Straight-Wall, Curve-Wall, Free Form
Chip Carving – Cutting Triangle and Square Chips
Chip Carving Hand Positions and Grips
Chip Carving Graphed Patterns
Chip Carving Supplies
Chip Carving Seminar
Free Chip Carving Pattern
Sharpening Your Chip Knives
Positive and Negative Space in Chip Carving
Chip Carving Shortbread Cookies
Sharpening Your Chip Knives
- Working with Your Patterns
- Specialized Techniques
- Carving Session Preparation
- Determining The Depth Of The Levels
- Your First Carving Pattern
Wood Carving A Simple Flower
- Free Wood Spirit Carving Project
- Lora’s Wood Carving Tool Kit
- Free Wood Carving Santa Ornament Pattern
- Welsh Love Spoons
- First Carving Project
- Sharpening Your Wood Carving Tools
Good morning Scot and Marsha! Thanks for the great conversation yesterday. Here are the PDFs that will help you learn how to determine how deep each level or layer is in your relief wood carving.
Two free PDF downloads – Your First Carving and Levels in Relief – below!
While today’s blog topic is about levels and layers in relief carving, the same information can help you as a pyrographer determine the shading levels and layers in your wood burning. So, please snatch a copy of the these free PDF files and take time to read through the linked projects here of LSIrish.com.
How deep do I cut each level or layer in my pattern in a relief wood carving?
The depth measurement you need for each level or layer in your relief carving depends on several factors.
1. What species of wood are you carving. Hardwoods as black walnut or maple can stand deeper carved levels than soft woods as poplar and basswood. The hardness of the wood – how tightly packed the wood grain rings are – helps to avoid excessive cupping and warping.
2. How thick is your wood blank. You can, of course, carve deeper into a 2″ thick wood blank than you can into a 3/4″ board.
3. How large is your carving blank. A small blank, 8″ x 12″, is less likely to develop excessive warping than a large blank, 20″ x 32″. The longer the grain lines in your blank the more likely they are to cup over time.
4. What style of carving will you be doing. A simple round-over edge relief carving can be worked fairly deep into the wood, past the one-half thickness rule of thumb. Since all of the wood grain in a round-over carving is adhered to the wood below it the chances of cupping is reduced. If you are working an intense under-cut relief carving, you will want to stay above the one-half thickness rule of thumb. Undercuts create free hanging shelves of wood that are easily effected by the changes in the wood grain of the entire blank.
General Layer Measurements Rule of Thumb!
In general you want to use the top one-half of the thickness of your wood for your carving area. This leaves one-half of the thickness below the carving to stabilize the board from excessive warping and cupping. So a board that measures a true 1″ thick can be carved to a 1/2″ depth.
In general your pattern will have three distinct layers – foreground, mid-ground, and background. Plus it will have one main focal point – a barn, a duck, a dragon.
1. Determine in which layer the main focal points falls as this will become your thickest layer.
2. Divide the carving thickness of the wood blank by 4. This equates to two thickness for the layer that holds your focal point, and one each thickness for the other two layers.
3. So on a 1″ thick board, you will be carving 1/2″ deep. Divide the 1/2″ by 4 equals 1/8″ per layer. That’s 1/8″ for the foreground, mid-ground, and background. Now add the extra 1/8″ to the level or layer that holds the focal point, making it a 1/4″ thick layer.
4. An example is a barn scene where there is a fence line and mail box in t he foreground, a bank barn with silos in the mid-ground, and a tree line and second fence in the background, worked on a 1″ thick board. The focal point of the pattern is the bank barn in the mid-ground level. This equals 1/8″ for the foreground mail box layer, 1/4″ for the bank barn mid-layer, and 1/8″ for the background tree line.
5. The fourth layer or level is called the sky area or sky line. This area of carving is usually extremely shallow, a simple 1/16″ rolled-over edge for mountains and trees, and can be carved on the top surface of the remaining 1/2″ thickness of the wood.
These links will add four more free Lora S Irish patterns to your Artist’s Morgue File!
Free Wood Carving PDFs
Your First Carving by LS Irish
Let’s take a quick look at the carving tools, sharpening tools, general supplies, and wood that you will be using in your wood carving craft.
Working with Patterns
Band Saw cutting your wood
Five Basic Steps to relief carving
Basic Tools and Cuts
And three free patterns to get your started
Levels in Relief Wood Carving
Looks look at what appears to be an intrigue, complicated landscape to discover how easy it is to determine your foreground, mid-ground, background, and sky areas of the pattern.