Wood Burning Sepia Values

wood carving sephia pyrography basics
Comparison Chart. By scanning the sepia value scale and then gray scaling the image you can create a comparison chart.

Gray Scaling your Sepia Value Scale

Once your Sepia Scale is completed make a scan of the test board or take a photo of it.  With your graphics program or photo editing program change the photo from color to gray scale mode.

In the image I have gray scaled my sepia burning then laid the two images side by side.  I can now compare each rectangle, gray scale to sepia scale.

If you do not have a scanner or digital camera print a copy of my gray scale-sepia scale image from the Close Up.  Use the best quality paper and best setting on your printer’s ink to create a permanent copy for your wood burning kit.

Even though it is very easy to keep and print a copy of my value scales, please take the time to burn your own test sample.  The learning, practice, and experience in creating your own is invaluable.

sepia scale comparison chart pyrography basics
Your tonal value comparison chart can now be placed on top of your gray scaled photo.

Finding the Tonal Values in the Photo

Lay the Comparison Value Scale Chart that you created in the above step onto the gray scaled photo of the Mule Deer.  Chose one small area in the Mule Deer.  Note which of the gray scale value rectangles match in lightness or darkness that part of the Mule Deer.  Move to the corresponding rectangle on the Sepia Value Scale and you will know which tone of brown you will want to burn for that area.



sepia pyrography woodcarving
Making a small viewing window from white paper makes it easy to isolate an area for matching to your chart.

Isolating Small Areas in a Photo

Some photos have so much detailing and shading that it can be difficult to discover exactly where one area of the photo matches your value chart.  You can isolate these areas from the rest of the photo by creating a small viewing window.  Cut a 2″ square from a piece of heavy white paper.  In the center of the square cut a small 1/4″ hole.  Place the paper square on the photo so that the difficult area shows through the 1/4″ viewing hole.  You can now slide your comparison chart up and down beside the viewing hole until you match the value tones.

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