Now that the limbs are shaped, I move to the outside carvings. I’m going to add a decorative carving to the circle around the tree and, in doing so, I may knick one of the branches. If I do, the bark carving will easily hide it.
I used a carving knife to make a very shallow outline of the circle before I removed the pattern. I went back over the outline with the knife several more times, deepening the cut as I went. You can see that line toward the top of the picture. Next, I used a micro-veining gouge, which is a super tiny V shaped gouge, to deepen and widen the line a bit. You can see the beginning of that near the bottom of the picture.
The micro-viener is perfect for this job because I don’t actually want to go too deep with the cut. Relief carving is all about illusion of depth. I simply want to make the line deep and wide enough to cast a nice shadow. The outline will also act as a stop cut when I begin to apply the decorative carving.
The next installment will show the decorative carving.