I have completed the Acanthus Leaf Gourd Carving Initial Detailing, and thought I would share a little update on what it took to get here. This project is a semi-repeating pattern with acanthus leaves with just two layers in the carving.
In order to complete the carving to this stage it was most important to keep in mind the thickness of the gourd itself. Because gourds vary in thickness throughout I had to keep tabs on how much material I was removing.
My goal with the initial detailing , or rough detailing, of this project was to lay in the basic form and flow of the carving. Along with that I wanted to make sure everything was over pronounced, but gave me a good idea of the direction I wanted to head.
Acanthus Leaf Gourd Carving Initial Detailing
Because this was just the initial detailing for this project I wanted to make sure that the main elements of each leaf was defined, and I had enough material for the final detailing.
Looking at the veins of the leaves you can see that they are very much over pronounced. This was done on purpose to ensure that I had enough material to smooth and shape the veins and leaf detail without having to worry about carving through the leaves themselves.
Additionally the edges of each leaf were kept relatively flat on their respective layers. I did not want to add too much detail or flow at this stage of carving. It is important to have enough material available during the final detailing of the project, and keeping this in mind gives me more options as I progress to the final details.
If I were to carve the edges of the leaves to the final curvature and flow I may not have enough material left to come back and add the final detailing. It is better to save this type of edge flow for the final detailing of the carving
This does mean in essence that I have to remove a little bit extra material in the final detailing phase of the carving, but the benefit is that I and sure I have enough material available to finish the carving.
It may be tempting to go from establishing the initial layers and levels to final detailing all in one step, but this is not necessarily the best approach.
If you break up the carving process into many smaller steps it gives you better control over the final outcome of the carving itself. There is no rush to get from the initial layers to the final detailing.
Taking your time here will ensure that you have the necessary material thickness to add all the details you want, and avoid unnecessary accidents or carving mistakes in regards to the thickness of the material you have available.