My door panels are carved back to back on a 40mm block of oak so each carving had about 7mm of depth. All the shapes have to be flattened to fit in this depth limit. From previous work, I have learned that it is the shadows that create the impression of the scene, rather than the carving of a realistic shape. Relief is a style of carving that involves a lot of walking. I carve a bit, stand the wood upright, walk back to see if the light works, make a decision about what’s next, walk back to the carving. Sometimes I get stuck on the ‘making a decision’ bit and have to just leave it to next time. The work was all done with hand tools with a lot of attention to different textures.
T his was an attempt at the diversity that will probably not be repeated. I have carved landscapes in low relief before but always avoided including the human figure. I looked through art history books and I could not find any examples of figures and landscapes in low relief. The figures tend to be either facing the front or the side. Rarely do you get a figure that is at an angle to the picture plain or leaning out of the picture? There are differences in relief design that are peculiar to the material used. Rodin managed some spectacular figures but they were modelled in wax and cast in bronze. This allowed them to stand proud of the actual surface plane.