Creating a wood carving that looks like a work of art can be time-consuming. By beginning with a whittling knife or carving knife and big shapes, and gradually working your way up to power tools and small, intricate shapes, you can learn to carve amazing and impressive designs. A rose is an iconic flower, but one with a lot of detail, so don't be discouraged if it takes more than one try to carve one of out of wood.
Sharpen your knife until it is razor sharp to be able to do the best possible job.
Trace the outline of the rose pattern onto your block of wood with deep and dark lines. To trace the inner lines and patterns, hold the paper on top of the wood and press down firmly with your pen so it breaks through the paper. Continue until you have traced the entire rose onto the wood.
Grasp the wood firmly in your weaker hand over a flat surface, such as a table. Never hold the wood directly over your lap because if the knife slips, this can cause injury.
Examine the wood to determine which way the grains are going. The cell fibres will be darker at the ends, so you should carve toward the darker side, which is in a downward direction. Carving against the grain will result in the wood splitting, so if you find that this is happening, turn the wood around and carve in the opposite direction.
Grasp the knife firmly in your stronger hand by putting four of your fingers on one side of the blade and your thumb on the other. Use your thumb to guide the knife along the shape.
Dig the knife into the wood and follow the pattern of the rose until you have carved the whole thing.
You can find a pattern of a rose at CarvingPatterns.com (see the Resources section). Many different styles are available for flat patterns, but once you have mastered this level, you can attempt 3-D patterns for more of a challenge.