I carved this for a client in Japan who wanted a picture of something to do with music to put by her piano. I had a 1″ thick cabinet door made out of plywood. I never carved plywood before but I thought the alternating grain pattern might have an interesting look. It took me awhile to decide on the subject but then I thought nothing could be better than Ludwig von Beethoven. I looked at various pictures on the web and came up with this one. I used hand tools including: not-so-crooked knife, european chisels and my Foredom with carving handpiece. I came across a few surprised while carving. NAILS! The maker of the cabinet door used brad nails to make the door 1″ thick. The chisels went through them like butta! Once in awhile the plywood revealed a void in the wood but I used putty to fix that. I carved the portrait really deep to get a nice shadow. I woodburned the details with a Colwood woodburner that I have had for about 20 years. For the background I decided to make random carving strokes to clash with the face. I used an airbrush and also brush with acrylics. I then stained it with Old Masters Dark Walnut stain and then finished it with matte laquer used for oil paintings. The client loved it and has it on the wall by her piano. It was my first relief carving – I’m used to carving in the round. Now I want to do some more. Maybe Jimmy Hendrix or Socrates or other famous figures. I hope you enjoy and welcome any comments.
Ludwig up close
Ludwig with frame