Year: 2013

Tiki Chess Set by Lora Irish

December Happenings!

Enjoy the free, online teaching, tutorials, projects and patterns created by Lora S. Irish which focus on wood carving, relief carving, pyrography, paper crafts, quilting, painting, and general fun art ideas. We now offer over 550 pages of online instructions for wood carving, pyrography, and craft

Wood Carving

freen man relief carving by Lora IrishWood Carving Fundamentals
Basics to Wood
Tools & Tool Kits
Sharpening Your Tools
Working with Patterns
Basic Cuts and Carving Tips
Coloring Your Project
Specialized Techniques
Finishing Your Project
Your First Carving Pattern

Basics to Wood
Woodcarving Basics
Carving Woods
Australian Carving Woods
Glossary to Mail Order Wood
Working With Wood Grain
Soft and Hard Wood Comparisons

DSC_8486Wood Carving Tools and Supplies
Basic Carving Tools
The Beginner’s Tool Kit
Carving Session Preparation
Bracing Table for Relief Carving
Carving Tools Close-Up

Sharpening Your Carving Tools
Sharpening Bench Knives
Sharpening Round Gouges
Convert a Chisel to a Bull Nose Chisel
Sharpening Stones
Sharpening Your Chip Knives

LSIrish-027-0965Working With Patterns
Transferring the Pattern
Pounce Patterns
Enlarging and Reducing
Simplifying a Pattern
Working with Levels
Determining the Depth of the Levels
Lettering Layouts
Dividing a Circle
Free Form Patterns
Cattle Branding Layouts

irish_tiki_0042Basic Cuts & Carving Tips
Stop Cut in Relief
Low Relief Carving
High Relief Carving
Smoothing the Background
Using a Depth Gauge
Smoothing Backgrounds
Working with the Grain of Your Wood
Adding Drama through Shadows
Introduction to Dramatic Shadow
Undercutting Techniques
Level Changes & Free Elements
Pattern Work for this Tutorial

Specialized Technique
Incised Carving
Wood Block Prints
Intaglio Carving

Finishes & Sealers
Preparing for Finishing
Stains, Oils, and Washes
Oil, Wax, and Urethane Finishes

texture_celtic07-321x285Woodcarving Projects
Beginner’s Projects
Country Snowman and Santa
Sunfish Fish Decoy
Wood Carving the American Hero
Tiki Chess Set, Beginner Project
Sailboat Relief Carving
Canada Goose Relief Project
Canada Goose Relief Project, 1
Canada Goose Relief Project, 2
Canada Goose Relief Project, 3
Canada Goose Relief Project, 4

sunken-greenman1076-300x246Relief Carving Techniques
Relief Carving
Introduction of Dramatic Shadows
Undercutting for Dramatic Shadows
Level Changes for Shadows
Dramatic Shadow Pattern
Carving the Relief Wood Spirit
Landscape Relief Carving
Floral Clock
Woodcarving the American Hero
Welsh Love Spoons
Basic Cutting Techniques
Carving A Chain and ball
Ball and Cage Carving
Wood Spirit Carving
Canes and Walking Sticks
Russian Birch Bark Carving
Basics to Chip Carving
Sharpening Your Chip Knives
Positive and Negative Chip Carving


wood burning practice boardPyrography Fundamentals
Pyrography Practice Boards
Simple Shading in Wood Burning
Tonal Value Sepia Worksheet
The Basic Wood Burning Tool
Basic Wood Burning Strokes, Textures
Wood Burning Technique Samples
The Basic Wood Burning Tool
Wood Burning Scene Samples
Carousel Horse Instructions
Coloring Wood Burned Projects
Wood Burning Sepia Values
Wood Burning Animal Fur and Hair
Mapping Pyrography Patterns

Pyrography Mask Project by IrishPyrography Projects
Blue Heron Tavern Pyrography
Wine Caddy Sunflower Design
Pyrography, Working in Layers
Simple Pyrography Shading
Pyrography Steps for Portraits
The American Hero
Pyrography Cougar Portrait
Pyrography Leather Journal
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography 1
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography 2
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography 3
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography 4
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography 5
Feathered Border Wood Burning 1
Feathered Border Wood Burning 2

Urban Warrior wood spirit gourd maskPainting and Coloring
Basics to Painting
Painting Supplies
Paint Kit Supplies
Steps to Success
General Techniques, Painting
Burnishing your Wood Carving
Simple Blending, Acrylic Paints
Acrylics over a Primer
Simple Dry Brushing
Dry Brushed Acrylics, Oil Stains
Marbling and Splatter Painting
China Painting with Acrylics
Vintage Painting with Acrylics
Watercolors and Wood Burning
Adding Skin Colors, Watercolors
The Color Wheel, Who Is R. G. Biv?
Painting Eyes
Dry Brush Color Application

Paper Crafts
Ice Fishing Decoy Scrapbook Tags
Celtic Bird Paper Bag Project
Scroll Backgammon Board Project
Working Colored Pencils in Layers
Scrapbook Fishing Tags

Quilt Crafts
Fretwork Butterfly Quilt Art Project
Marker Painted Quilt Squares

Scroll Saw
Scroll Sawed Layered Santa

Gourd Art
Wood Spirit Gourd Art by Lora Irish
Gourd Art
Braided Raffia Gourd Rim
Wood Spirit Gourd Mask
Wood Spirit Gourd Pencil Jar


Animal and Wildlife Patterns
Birds and Waterfowl Patterns
Botanical and Flower Patterns
Celtic Knot, Viking Animals Patterns
Dragons, Gargoyles Patterns
Furniture and Architectural Designs
Holiday Pattern Packs
Landscape & Farm Scenes Patterns
Lines, Corners, and Finials Patterns
Mantel Boards Patterns
Mythological Pattern Packages
Nautical, Seascapes Patterns
New Pattern Package Releases
Oak, Grape, and Fruit Patterns
Oriental Pattern Packs
Pencil Drawings Pyro Packs
Religious Themes
Signs, Frames & Borders Patterns
Spirit People, Angles Pattern Packs
Steam Punk and Trendy Designs
Western, Cowboys, and Indians
Wood Spirits and Green Men
Download PDF e-Project Books
US, Americana Pattern Packs
Carving and Pyrography eProjects
Carving and Pyrography eProjects


About the Artist
Contact Us
Copyright Protection Notice



It’s Snowing!

Christmas card pyrography projectIt’s snowing here in Mount Airy, Maryland.  We already have 2″ and it is suppose to snow for the rest of the day.  So, it’s time to break out the hobbies and craft supplies and have a little fun.

NEW!  Christmas – Holiday Card Snowmen Pyrography
Make your own Christmas cards with this quick and easy Snowmen wood burning project which uses colored pencils.

Scroll Saw Layer Santa Claus
Try your hand at a layered scroll saw cutting with this classic fun Santa Claus pattern.

Country Snowman and Santa Wood Carving
If you enjoy wood carving this free online project has two free patterns – one snowman and one Santa Claus.

And, just for extra fun here is a free printable Old World Saint Nicholas – pattern and drawing – for your wood carving, wood burning, or scroll saw work.  Click on any image on this blog for a larger, full sized pattern or photo.

Saint NIcholas pattern Saint Nicholas drawing

Art Styles of Pyrography E-Book

My newest e-book, Art Styles of Pyrography, is finally ready at my pattern website, Art, and I am so excited!

Styles of Pyrography by Irish

This e-book, Art Styles of Pyrography, focuses on the basic techniques and styles used to create our wood burnings. Enjoy the 15 in-depth projects as you learn black and white silhouettes, cross hatching, engraving, pointillism, graduated pencil-like shading, texture painting, and realism. 190 page PDF E-Book only $16.95!

Plus you get the 83-step in-depth Advertising Barn project, a large realistic landscape with close-up hand positions and pen tip profile photos.

Easy to See, Easier to Print

Click on the image to see the photo size for each project page.

Each project page features full-page sized photos! So you can see every burned stroke, every shaded line, and every fine detail. The Blue Jeans photo, right, is one sample of a project page and the web does not do the PDF format image justice!

Honestly, the images are so large, clear, detailed, and easy to follow in this PDF format e-book that I believe it is the future for any pyrography book!

The Table of Contents and Project Gallery is listed so that you can easily print just those pages you need to complete your project.

Explore the art styles you can use in your wood burning.

art styles of pyrography by Lora Irish

Learn black-and-white silhouettes, negative and positive space, engraving, cross hatching, pointillism, shaded drawing, texture painting, and realism.

Create a texture and stroke pattern practice board.

complete texture board

Want to learn more?  Click here to see Art Styles in Pyrography, or order now through our line art pyrography and wood carving pattern site, Art Designs Studio.

Check out our new E-Project Bundles!

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography by Irish Ceremonial Mask E-Project Bundle includes two in-depth PDF format e-books – Introduction to Pyrography and Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project.  The same full-page sized photos, and step by step instructions for the Ceremonial Mask and the Feathered Border project.  Plus you get three complete pattern packs – Fun Wood Spirits, Green Men, and Ceremonial Mask.  A $52 value for only $27.95.

Lion Portrait Pyrography by IrishAnimal Portrait Pyrography E-Project Bundle includes two in-depth PDF format e-books – Introduction to Pyrography and Animal Portrait Pyrography.  Three step-by-step projects with full-page sized photos for the Lion, Cougar, and Cow Portrait burnings.  Plus you get three complete pattern packs – North American Wildlife, North American Big Cats, and Western Horses Mantel.  A $52 value for only $27.95.

Wood Carving Celtic Dragon 3

Over the last two days we have worked on a relief wood carving project featuring a Celtic knot dragon pattern.  Today we will walk through the simple and easy painting steps to give this basswood carving the look of stone.

Wood Carving Celtic Dragon 1
Wood Carving Celtic Dragon 2
Wood Carving Celtic Dragon 3

Celtic Dragon Wood Carving by Lora IrishPreparing the carving for painting

14.  Basswood is an easy to carve wood that has a very clear, white coloring.  Because basswood is very porous it is does not take oil based stains well without the use of a pretreatment sealer as polyurethane or spray sealer.  For our project I used acrylic craft paints to create the stone effect.


Acrylic craft paints in:
Titanium White
Carbon Black
Payne’s Gray
Burnt Umber
Burnt Sienna
Driftwood oil stain
Water bowl
Glass tile, palette paper, or tin foil
Paper towels
Clean, soft cloth
Assorted soft-bristle paintbrushes
Splatter brush or old toothbrush
Masking tape or painter’s tape
220-grit sandpaper
Polyurethane spray sealer

More information on painting your wood carvings.

using a primer coat when painting a wood carvingPrimer coat for relief wood carving

15.  Begin by using painter’s tape along the uncut 1/4″ margin surrounding the carving.  Cut long pieces, place into position, and press firmly.  The painter’s tape will protect these areas from coloring.

Place a small amount of titanium white, Payne’s gray, and burnt umber on a glass tile. Thin each color with an equal amount of clean water.

Brush two wash coats of titanium white on the carved area of the plaque. Because you mixed equal parts paint and water, this coat will not give full, solid coverage.

While the titanium white coats are still damp, pick up a small amount of Payne’s gray and mix it with the titanium white on your tile. Working along the diagonal of the plaque,  brush a few random strokes of the gray/white mix over the white background. Pick up a little more Payne’s gray, mix it with the titanium white on your tile, and apply it to the carving.

Next, add a small touch of burnt umber to the gray/white mix and repeat. Add a small amount of burnt sienna to the mix and repeat. Your background should now contain many  shades of white, gray, and brown. Allow these coatings to dry for about half an hour .

splatter painting a relief wood carvingSplatter the carving with fine paint dots

16.  Clean your glass tile, and then place a small amount of each paint color on the tile. Do not thin these colors with water. Working one color at a time, use an old stiff toothbrush or splatter brush to splatter a coat of each color on the carving.  Do this by picking up a small amount of color on the end of the splatter brush. Hold the brush a few inches from the surface of the carving, and pull your thumb across the top of the brush. This action will spray a fine mist of paint drops over the carving. Thin the paint with a few drops of water if you wish to create a fine spray with small droplets.

Painting the routed border

17.  Remove the tape from the edges of the carving. Brush two thinned wash coats of titanium white on the routed border edges of the plaque. Streak this area with a mix of titanium white and Payne’s gray, just as you did with the center of the carving. Allow the carving to dry overnight.

Creating a vintage look to your painted carving

18.  After you have completed the painting steps and allowed the paint to dry , sand the carved areas, background, and routed edges of the plaque using 220-grit sandpaper to remove some paint from the high areas of the carving. Sand lightly in some areas to remove one or two layers of color; in other areas, sand the carving back to the raw wood. Clean the dust from the board using a soft, dry cloth.

Seal the work with two coats of polyurethane spray sealer. Allow the sealer to dry thoroughly. Following the manufacturer’s instructions to apply an oil-based stain to the carving . Wipe away the excess oil stain with a soft, clean cloth. Allow the stain to dry overnight. Seal the work with one to two light coats of polyurethane spray sealer. Remember to sign and date the back of the plaque when finished.

I hope you have enjoyed this in-depth step-by-step free relief wood carving project and will take the time to browse through the other free online relief carving projects by Lora Irish that we have posted on our blog.

Thank you for visiting – Lora Irish!

Lora Irish celtic knot pattern 129_150x150 Celtic knot patterns by Lora S Irish
Celtic Crosses Celtic Dragon Knot Celtic Knots 2

Celtic Knot Carving Patterns by Lora S Irish,

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