I've been meaning to ask this for a while and this one is as good a spot as any as I think this carving is a great example of my question. You manage to get really crisp edges on your painting over the carved wood. The few times I've tried things kind of like this I've had some issues with paint bleed. For example, on this piece around the eyes, hair, and shoes there's some bit of exposed end grain and paint->wood transition where I'd expect to have issues but there's certainly no evidence of it here. So I'm wondering if you can share any of your paint prep process with us as that would be super helpful (for me at least ).
Ryan....The only thing that I probably do different from you is that after I am finished with the carving and before I do any painting I put one coat of minwax wipe-on satin polyurethane [i.e., I use the wipe on because it's a very thin coat] on the the whole relief carving and then after it dries I sand it with 800 grit sandpaper...That protects the wood against moisture but at the same time it allows a water base acrylic paint to stick to the wood.