Month: March 2015

Color, shadow, and light in pyrography projects

Color, Shadow and Light in Pyrography

Lora Irish Pyrography, Derringer PatternLet’s take a close look at how your photographs can be used for your next pyrography project, and how the color, shadow, and light of  those photos affect the tonal values of your wood burning.  Today we will start by defining the important terms that are used in describing light, shadows, colors, arrangements, and designs that we use in wood burning.

Shadow and Light in Pyrography Photos – Day 1
Shadow and Light in Pyrography Photos – Day 2
Shadow and Light in Pyrography Photos – Day 3
Shadow and Light in Pyrography Photos – Day 4

INTRODUCTION
As pyrographers we often use photographs as the base for our wood burning projects. Home photos of family and friends, a landscape photo of an old hip roof barn, and pets playing with their favorite toy are all possibilities for a realistic, finely shaded pyro burn.

Today’s digital cameras makes using photographs even easier as your image can quickly be uploaded to your home computer for instant printing.

Although a photograph accurately captures the scene or still life our eye does not necessary see what that photo truly caught.

During this tutorial we will look at how the human eye sees, how the brain interrupts the information from the eye, how color and gray-scale effect visual impact, and how you can learn to use this knowledge to create strong, bold, realistic pyrography images.

shadow_002FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The brightly colored silk daisies grab the attention in the photo and are complimented by the ruby-red base to the antique oil lamp. Shades of golden-yellow are found in the dried leaves, left, the golden orange background daisy, and in the oak basket. Mossy green flows through the central elements of the dried leaves, upper oil lamp base, and in the silk leaves in the basket. Overall this still life has a nice triangular layout with bold dark shadows along the floor of the elements.

 

 

 

Color, shadow, and light in pyrography projectsIt seems a perfect photo for the base of a pyro project until you gray-scale the image. Suddenly those bright orange and yellow flowers disappear into the background area. What appeared to be a bright highlighted area on the oak basket is now a dull mid-tone value. There are very few white highlights.

The flowers on the floor of the still life have little definition between one flower and another as all have taken one the same tonal value. This is also occurs in the basket flowers.  The gray-scale of the flowers nearly matches the gray-scale tones of the background behind the flowers.

Having gray scaled the photo we discover that it was the hue – the pure colors – of the photo that carried the visual impact.  Without the color hues the flower tonal values disappear into the background tonal values.

As we work through this tutorial we will take an in-depth look at why this bright, colorful still life is not suitable as a sepia toned pyrography painting.

 

Using photographs for your pyrography projectsA VERY SIMPLE DRAWING
As you look at the photo and colored pencil drawing to the left you may see a common tomato, unremarkable, and not something that you might choose as the base for your next pyro project. Yet, this simple tomato holds a fast amount of information on how your eye sees an object, how light effects the tonal value of that object, and how color and shadow interact to create an image.

In this tutorial you will explore the differences between color and tonal value; direct and reflected light, cast and reflected shadows; and how to put those aspects to use in your wood burning. This tutorial will focus on the colors, gray-scale tones, and sepia tones found in photographs and colors.

TERMINOLOGY

color wheelCast shadow – a shadow created because an object blocks the area from the light source
Contour – the curvature of a shape
Gray scale – a tonal value scale worked from white to black
Highlight – an area of direct sunlight
Hue – pure color, as red or blue, without white, gray, or black tones
Primary color – red, blue, and yellow; colors that can not be created by mixing other colors
Profile – the outline of a shape
Reflected light – a highlight created from light that has bounced off another surface
Reflected shadow – a shadow that has bounced off one surface onto the main object
Secondary colors – colors created by mixing two equal parts of two primary colors
Sepia scale – a tonal value scale worked in shades of brown
Tertiary colors – colors created by mixing two parts of one primary with one part of another
Tonal value – the amount of white, black, or gray contained in a color tone
Tones – a color with white, black, or gray added

EXPLORING THE BASICS OF YOUR PHOTOGRAPH

Foreground, mid-ground, and background boundary linesAny pyrography pattern, design, or photo will hold eight basic ingredients – form, arrangement, depth, texture, color, light, shadows, and focal points.

Form – the basic shape of each element within the design.  For this photo we have the shape of the flowers, the shape of the flower centers, the shape of the lamp, the shape of the basket, and the shape of the dark shadows on the floor of the layout.

 

 

 

Basic arrangement boundary lines in a photograph for pyrographyArrangement – this describes the boundary lines that hold the main elements of the design.  For our photo the elements can be captured in a triangle, making this a triangular arrangement.  The elements in this photo can be contained in a large triangle that starts on the left at the tip of the most extended leaf, to the top edge of the glass globe, and then to the blackest shadow point behind the basket.

Texture – the physical characteristics of the surface of each element – the weave of the basket reeds, the ribbing in the flower petals, and the smoothness of the glass globe.

 

 

 

Foreground, mid-ground, and background boundary linesDepth – includes the air space behind the elements, the elements that are deepest in the layout – background elements shown in the deep gray boundary lines, the elements that fall in the middle of the designs – the mid-range elements shown in the light gray boundary lines, and the elements that are in the front area of the design – the foreground shown in the white boundary lines.

 

 

 

 

Color arrangements in photos for pyrographyColor – the hues of each element – red, blue, or yellow primary colors.  Colors can create their own boundary or arrangement lines within your photo as shown in the rectangular arrangement of the red tones of this photo.

 

 

 

 

 

highlights and light reflection in pyrographyLight – those areas that are directly hit by your light source – the bright and mid-tone whites of your wood burning.  Highlights can fall at any depth in your designs.  In the photo the brightest highlight falls on the glass globe which is in the background depth area of the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

Shadows in a pyrography wood burningShadows – this describes the darkest tonal values of the wood burning that are created because those areas are blocked from direct light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

focal points in a pyrography designFocal Points – a focal point is the area of the design that first catches your attention.  There can be multiple focal points in any design, with one dominate point and other minor points.    The focal point of our practice photo is the bright white highlight that falls on the chimney of the lamp. It becomes the focal point because it is the brightest, purest color in the photo, because it falls in the center of the arrangement boundary triangle, and because it falls on top line of the color boundary.

 

Tomorrow we will work through the color wheel, color groups, highlights, reflected highlights, cast shadows, reflected shadows, and contour tonal values … see you then!

 

 

Great Book of Woodburning by Lora S IrishLora is the author of the Great Book of Wood Burning,
available at Amazon.com. For more great craft books by
Lora Irish, please visit our Book Gallery.

 

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how to paint your wood carvings

Wood carvings can be left in their natural wood coloring by using polyurethane, varnish, or oil finishes.  But by adding coloration with oil, watercolors, or acrylic paintings can bring a new dimension to your finished work.

Our Hen and Rooster relief wood carving is a great beginner’s carving project as it uses simple layers and rounded over edges.  Because it pattern, Hens and Rooster Pattern Package at ArtDesignsStudio.com, is a stylized design you can add both fine and deep detailing using the stop cut or a v-gouge cut.  To bring the detail of the carving to the forefront I dry brushed this carving with acrylic paints over an oil stain.  To learn more about how to paint your wood carving, please visit any of the links below, posted here on our blog.

Hen and Rooster Relief Wood CarvingPainting & Coloring
Coloring Your Project
Adding Skin Colors
Basics to Painting
Acrylics over a Primer
China Painting with Acrylics
Dry Brushed Acrylics
Marbling & Splatter Painting
Simple Dry Brushing
Vintage Painting
Painting Supplies
Paint Kit Supplies for Painting
Steps to Success, Painting
Burnishing Your Wood Carving
Simple Blending Acrylic Paints
Techniques for Painting
Basics to Painting
Painting Eyes
Watercolors & Wood Burning
The Color Wheel
Dry Brushing

 Discount Alert
Art Designs Studio
3/07 through 3/15, 2015

Use our discount code this week is  facebook  at ArtDesignsStudio.com for $5 off that can be used for each Cane, Walking Stick, and Wizard Wands Pattern Packs or E-Projects above.  Save up to $20 on your next wood spirit carving project! Good through March 15, 2015.

Learn how to whittle fish decoys
For our Facebook friends that are stopping by the blog, folk art fish decoy carving is a great first carving project.  Wood Carving Fish Decoys  will take you through the easy step-by-step process of whittling your very first folk art fish decoy.

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Twistie Stick Snake Carving by Lora Irish

Cane, walking stick, and wizard wand wood carving

Discount Alert
Art Designs Studio
3/07 through 3/15, 2015

To learn more about Wood Spirit Facial Plane carvings, check out our E-Project – Wood Spirit Mushroom Carving E-Project – which takes you through all of the steps to create the facial planes, plus gives you eight full sized 3D patterns.  If you want to focus on the Wood Spirit face, check out Wood Spirit Carving E-Project, which takes you through the face carving as well as how to paint your wood spirit walking stick.

Just are looking for new ideas, browse through the Canes, Walking Sticks & Wizard Wands Pattern Package with 48 full-sized 3D patterns or our classic Cane Handles & Walking Sticks Patterns with 38 patterns.

Use our discount code – facebook – for ArtDesignsStudio.com for $5 off that can be used for each Cane, Walking Stick, and Wizard Wands Pattern Packs or E-Projects above.  Save up to $20 on your next wood spirit carving project!

Free Online Walking Stick Carving Projects

Cane and walking stick wood carvingIntroduction to Cane Carving
Wood Spirit and Green Man Wood Carving
Walking Stick Joinery
Walking Stick Wood – Harvesting Sticks
Walking Stick – Adding Extras
Walking Stick – Clamping Your Handle
Day 1 Twistie Stick Snake Cane Carving
Day 2 Twistie Stick Snake Cane Carving
Day 3 Twistie Stick Snake Cane Carving
Day 4 Twistie Stick Snake Cane Carving
Day 5 Twistie Stick Snake Cane Carving
Free Mountain Man Cane Carving Pattern

The patterns for the canes, shown right,
are available at Art Designs Studio,
L S Irish’s pattern website,
CP136 Canes, Walking Sticks, & Wizard Wands

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cane, walking stick, and wizard wand carving

Wood Spirit Cane and Walking Stick Carving

As a new wood carver you would think that the classic wood spirit face would be difficult to create.  Yet, it is one of the simplest, method-technique topics that wood carvers and whittlers can work.

Wood carving the wood spirit face
Face carvings, as the wood spirit, or as shown above as a Mushroom Wood Spirit, begins with a series of simple angled cuts to establish the planes in the face. These planes create the depth, width, and feature areas as the rise of the eyebrow ridge, the deep set of the nose bridge, and the angle and slant of the mouth.

wood carving the wood spirit
Where you create the planes and angles determines the finished look of the face.  In this sample the nose plane is exaggerated and the eye depth plane is minimized.  When the shaping steps are done, this Mushroom spirit has an extra long nose that fills up the needed space to create the mushroom stem.

To learn more about Wood Spirit Facial Plane carvings, check out our E-Project – Wood Spirit Mushroom Carving E-Project – which takes you through all of the steps to create the facial planes, plus gives you eight full sized 3D patterns.  If you want to focus on the Wood Spirit face, check out Wood Spirit Carving E-Project, which takes you through the face carving as well as how to paint your wood spirit walking stick.

If you are an advanced wood carver and just are looking for new ideas, browse through the Canes, Walking Sticks & Wizard Wands Pattern Package with 48 full-sized 3D patterns or our classic Cane Handles & Walking Sticks Patterns with 38 patterns.

And, if you stop by our new Facebook page you will discover a discount code for ArtDesignsStudio.com for $5 off that can be used for each of the Pattern Packs or E-Projects above.  Save up to $20 on your next wood spirit carving project!

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