Beast in Relief


Elk,  African Water Buffalo, Moose, Geese, Eagle, Dolphins, Whales... there is no end to the creatures that can be carved in relief. Plus you can included the habitat for each species, allowing you to place deer in the forest or moose in a swamp, or a bear fishing in a stream.


My students have demonstrated a greater desire to carve wildlife than myself. And with their projects I’ve had opportunity to see many remarkable wildlife reliefs take shape. A number of these have taken ribbons at competitions, and for good reason.


The key to a successful wildlife relief carving is starting with a good photo resource. This means a clear photo with lots of detail, that can be enlarged on a color photocopier and then traced into a line drawing on a light table. Without a good initial photo resource the carving design/pattern will lack definition and fail to impress.


Photo calendars are often a good source for wildlife images, but there are also many online image resources that can be purchased from professional photo studios. The first photo in this gallery illustrates what a good photo resource looks like. The fellow who brought this photo to carving class was able to photograph - in natural and neutral light - a mounted Dahls Sheep his son possessed. What a great way to start a carving!


Click individual photos or play the slideshow.


Owl, Levi Vajda
Owl, Levi Vajda
Alpha Male - Timber Wolf
Brian Davis
Alpha Male - Timber Wolf
Brian Davis
Elk, Levi Vajda
Elk, Levi Vajda
Eagle, Rosemarie Robson
Eagle, Rosemarie Robson
Wolf, Brian Davis
Wolf, Brian Davis
Bison, RonFleming
Bison, RonFleming
Owl, Bill Black
Owl, Bill Black
Cougar, Brian Neufeld
Cougar, Brian Neufeld
Wolf, Bill Judt
Wolf, Bill Judt

Woodcarvings by W.F. Judt