Doris, I pushed the carving until I was afraid I was going to crack the left and right edges off! I must say that it really makes a difference. As I cut deeper into the wood, suddenly, I liked what I saw … the carving kinda told me to stop. I stepped back and looked at the piece and decided that the wood knew more than I did. I sanded the carving even though I generally like the tool marks, this speaks more to me in a flowing smoothness.
Doris, I hope I got the child and the mother looking at each other. I believe that this is a product of a lot of elements. The posture of the mother’s body, their head tilt, the flow of the veil, and the subtle change in the roundness of the heads (the face area has less curvature.) Did I get close?
Many areas of the carving were pushed deeper, but the area that showed me the most improvement was the arm that supports the child. Mark said that everything is relational (paraphrased, sorry) in a relief. And that the different parts of the body should be at some related depth from each other. I know that sounds confusing, but when I pushed the end of the arm area deeper into the wood, the child’s form seemed to be better defined and the flow of the robe over the right knee seemed more natural.
Ok, I feel pretty good about this, but I still am very open to suggestions.
If you compare this to Mark’s sculpture, does it appear to be a miniature imitation? (imitation is a sincere form of flattery;-)) The relative position of the carving parts can be seen here.