Happy New Year!
Last spring I taught a class in Rio Grande, Ohio for the SAPFM (Society of American Period Furniture Makers). One of the projects we carved was an acanthus leaf on a flat board in basswood – before carving a similar leaf on the knee of a cabriole leg. The reason we carved this first was simply to understand the layout, overlapping technique, and general flow of an acanthus leaf.
This leaf is the same style leaf I demonstrated on The Woodwright’s Shop with Roy Underhill. You can see this video if you click on this link. If you click on the individual photos below, you can see a very high resolution photo that shows good detail.
Here is a pdf file that shows how to draw an acanthus leaf and the final drawing can be used as a template.