Relief carving of two German Shepherds
Ok lets now get started,
I started this project with a 10" x 8" Basswood round. I will be calling it the round from here on. Check both sides and pick the best one. Next sand it smooth. This will help make the next step easier to do.
Next I drew the picture of the two dogs on to the round and then using my Pyrography pen I outlined the image. This is optional, you can just go with the drawing. I prefer to do the extra step to outline it as this gives me a better image to work with.
We now start to do the relief. Safety statement- (you should wear a carving glove for this step. The reason is the grinder can slip and hit your hand; the one holding the board. The carving glove will stop the grinder at once and save you from a bad injury.) I am using an aggressive bit as we have a lot of material to remove. Its semi cone shaped. ie its widest at the tip and gets narrower as it goes to the shaft. What we want to do is remove enough wood at the edge of the dogs to allow us to carve out the dogs shape. You also want to taper the wood from the edge of the dogs to the edge of the round, keep the amount even. In other words from the edge of each dog to edge of the round should be a uniform depth. Also remember the front dog will not be as deep as the back dog. This gives you room to show one behind the other. What I did as the round is only about 0.70 " deep is to taper the area between the dogs slowly to give an illusion of depth.
Now that all the background wood has been removed we can finish carving the back dog and do the pyrographics.I like to start on the eye and work out as its one of the most important items. If the eyes are not correct you will never get it to look correct. So this is a back and forth between grinding out material to give depth and pyrography to give the detail. If you are new to this start out on a scrap piece of wood until you feel good about what you can do them move to a good piece of wood.
Well at this point I have about finished both dogs when my wife shows me another picture of the dogs and I realize that the back dog is almost black not just the nose area. Once you are finished I use a clear varnish over all parts of the wood to protect it from moisture and UV light. I used a Matt Varnish (flat). It also comes is Gloss ( shinny) or Stain (In between both).
So after my mistake here is the final finished item. Hope you liked it. Let me know if you have any questions.