Low relief sculpture is similar to drawing and painting in that it depicts an image from a single viewpoint. When you move from side to side as you view a relief, you still only see the represented view. This in contrast to a fully 3-dimensional sculpture where what you see changes as you move around it.
The challenge in modeling or carving a relief is to represent 3-dimensional form within a relatively small depth. The lower the depth, the greater the challenge. And within this depth, every element is seen in relation to, and in proportion to, all the other elements. A subtle change of angle in a plane will suggest a wholly different form. The gradualness or steepness of a plane makes all the difference in conveying the intended effect.
When beginning a relief, it’s important to establish the maximum depth so you have a range to work within. Every subtle change of angle in a plane will suggest a wholly different form. The gradualness or steepness of a surface will make all the difference in conveying the intended effect.
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