I was anxious to start on the leaves as I know this can add some life to the piece.
Using a router I first made small cutouts spaced around the edges of the leaves. The router makes quick work of this by removing material quickly rather than doing it all by hand. I still have to go in with a chisel and clean them up but removing stock is the only objective here.
I then laid in lines for the main veins as well as lines that extend from the center vein to the edge. These lines are first cut in with a V tool then using flatter chisels the cut is rounded over onto the surface of the leaf. I then use a large gouge to cut a cove from the cutouts along the edge towards the center of the leaf. Doing this adds some movement and interest to the leaf.
Off to the lower right in this photo is a nearly completed leaf. The others show the initial cuts with the V tool and I will focus in on the one at the center top.
Here are the cutouts as well as the main vein and the smaller ones that lead to the edge of the leaf.
Showing the leaf lit from different angles reveals the undulations created by the veins and coves.
And a variety of leaves in different states of being carved,, sanded,, etc.