Horses - Intarsia Woodworking

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Project by Chris Mobley posted 02-25-2013 01:47 PM 2528 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Horses – Intarsia Woodworking
One of my recent Intarsia projects is from a painting of horses. The client sent me a photograph of a painting hanging on their wall and requested an Intarsia piece from this photograph. I was very excited to start this one because I loved the picture they sent over.

I started this project by cropping and enhancing this photograph on the computer. There is a few ways that I could have done this project. 1) Making the pieces follow the musculature of the horse’s body or 2) Having the pieces follow the shading in the picture. I chose to go with the second method because both of the horses, ground, and background were all a very similar color and I wanted the horses and the pieces to stand out. It is hard to differentiate between pieces if everything blends together.

I blew up and printed this enhanced photograph out on the plotter so that I would have an actual sized print of the piece.

I then hand drew out each piece to create some plans to go by. This is one of my favorite parts of the process because, when you do not have set plans to go by, you get to create your own. This is where the creative side of me loves to come out.

Once I had something to go by, I headed for the shop. I began cutting out each piece and fitting the picture together. Like most all works, the hair is the most difficult, because the pieces of wood get very small. On this the two horses seemed to blend together and it was difficult to differ one horse from another, so I raised the horse on the left half an inch off of the other to give it more dimension and create a 3D affect.
I used several different types of wood to accent the shading in the painting. Where the sun was shining on the horses, I used much lighter wood and in the shadows, the wood is much darker.

Once the pieces had all come together, I added a background and frame to the image and sealed the wood.
I am glad that I decided to determine the pieces of wood by the shading in this painting. It gives it an impressionist feel to the piece.

-- Chris Mobley -

5 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3350 days

#1 posted 02-25-2013 01:52 PM

It’s really nice work, Chris. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View luv2learn's profile


2959 posts in 2786 days

#2 posted 02-25-2013 03:21 PM

This is a great looking piece Chris. I think going with shadows was a good idea.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30428 posts in 2821 days

#3 posted 02-25-2013 03:22 PM

I am glad you showed the original picture. Now I see how incredibly tough that would be to capture. Great job!

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3396 days

#4 posted 02-25-2013 04:04 PM

Nice work Chris!

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View Grumpymike's profile


2417 posts in 2798 days

#5 posted 02-25-2013 08:39 PM

What an interesting piece, that knot threw me for a while, I thought it was an eye but as I looked at the picture I saw what it realy was … great work on this piece.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

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