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Carving depth

Hi,

I have just finished carving a Greek acroterion similar to Mary’s version, my question is, when carving from a photocopy what is the best way to decide on the depth of the different elements?  Obviously it’s an educated guess but are there any tips that anyone can give?
Thanks,

Gideon.

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That is a beautiful carving!

Reading a photo can be very challenging, and ultimately discovering depth and shape from shadow is really something that comes from experience. It's very difficult. But here is a good rule - carve it deeper than you think it should be 🙂 Generally I see carvers holding back on the depth because, well, you can't put it back, right? But often what creates the beauty in the details is the depth and shadows that are created from this depth.

So every chance you get, go to antique stores, go to museums, go to anywhere you can find originals and study them. If you can take photos, take front on photos and side photos that will show the depth and shapes better.