To celebrate Heartwood Art carvings being featured in upcoming issue of Woodcarving Illustrated the “Follow My Carving” series was created to give you a an insider’s view on how the art is made.
There’s a bit of trick to making the branches stand out from the limbs. A very shallow angle is used to make short, stabbing cuts just at the line where the two meet.
A great deal of care is needed not to cut into the branch and not to stab too hard. I always use a piece of soft wood underneath my carving. That way, if the stabbing stroke does go through, the tips and edges of my gouge will not be damaged. A fine cutting edge is very thin, and therefore, somewhat fragile.
Several short strokes are needed to deepen the cut.
The final result looks like this. The edges are cut much deeper next to the branch and tapered out along the edge to blend in with the rest of the branch.
The second part of the trick is to cut the lower part of the limb at an angle. This gives it the illusion of falling away and underneath the branch.