Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 4

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 4

Feathers, leather, and fur are common elements found in Native American folk art.  In our Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project will we work through the wood burning steps to shape, shade, and detail all three.

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 1
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 2
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 3
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 4
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 5

9.  Spear Shade the Feathers

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography by Irish

Map the shading areas of the feathers using the spear shader, the long pull lines stroke, and a tonal value setting between #3 medium-pale and #4 dark-pale.

I worked the each side of the feathers in two parts.  The first shading began at the edge of the central feather shaft and was pulled towards the outer edge of the feather.  In the second session I laid the spear shader at the outer edge of the feather and pulled towards the center.

This makes a pale central line down each side of the feather creating a rolled or curved impression.

Following the photo, work the background feathers slightly dark with more long pull strokes than the foreground feathers to tuck them under the higher feather.

10.  Scrubbie Stroke to Even the Feather Shading

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography by Irish

Remaining on a temperature setting for a #3 medium-pale to #4 dark-pale tonal value, change over to your ball tip or looped tip pen.

Work several layers of tightly packed scrubbie strokes over the shaded areas of the feathers to create an even, smooth, and gradual shading for these areas.

11.  Add Feather Detailing

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography by Irish

Thin, tightly packed lines are worked into the sides of the feathers to show the individual feather lines.  Work each line in a gentle curve that starts high at the central feather shaft and drops down towards the outer edge of the feather.

For this step you can use the ball or looped tips, with light hand pressure, and a quick pen movement across the wood.
The spear shader also creates thin, fine lines when you use this tip on its edge.

I used my curved shader, which not only burns extremely thin lines it literally cuts those lines into the wood.

Adjust your temperature setting for a #5 light-medium to #7 dark-medium setting, depending on the tip that you chose.

 

Tomorrow we will finish up by burning the hair clusters.  Thanks for reading, Lora Irish.

 

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 3

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 3

In this section of the Ceremonial Mask Pyrography project we will complete the mapping steps to shading the face.  Using a ball tip pen and the scrubbie stroke we will explore how to make any shading into an even, smooth graduated shading.  The black tone solid-fill areas to the face will be added to create areas of dramatic contrast with the unburned white highlights in the cheek, nose, eye lids, and mouth.

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 1
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 2
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 3
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 4
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 5

5. Continuing the Left-Side Shading

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography by Irish

Begin this step at a tonal value setting of #3 medium-pale.  Work the long pull strokes using the spear shader along both sides of the outer nose ridge.

Shape the lower area of the right-side cheek and the cheek areas adjacent to the outer nose ridge.  Establish the shading surrounding the raised elements for the eyes, eyebrows, and chin area.

Raise your temperature setting to a #4 dark-pale and still using the spear shader in long pull strokes, strengthen these shaded areas to create dark areas at the corner of the eye elements, along the left-side cheek at the outer nose ridge, and at the left-side mouth corner.

6.  Overlay the Mapping

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography by Irish

In the last three steps we have mapped the main areas of shading in the face.  Because poplar takes a burn stroke quickly and because a spear shader stroke begins dark and fades to a pale tone through the pull, the facial shading at this point is uneven, and patchy.

To smooth the shading to a gradually changing tonal value shading move to your ball tip or looped tip pen.

Beginning on a tonal value temperature setting for a #3 medium-pale use either the tight scrubbie stroke or a tight curl pattern to work over your shaded areas.

Continue with the ball tip pen, and the tight scrubbie stroke, slowly increasing your temperature setting up to a #5 light-medium to blend in the darker tonal values as shown in the photo.

7.   Black-Fill the Eyes and Mouth

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography by Irish

Ceremonial masks are most often carved from wood and include areas of geometric decorations that are cut into the facial areas.  In our pattern that includes the decoration on the forehead and the cheek diagonal line work.

As the sunlight reaches across an indented line it will leave a very dark shadow inside the trough of the cut and a highlight on one of the edges of the cut.

As you work this step leave a thin unburned line of #1 tonal value on the high side of the decorative cut lines.  Follow the photo for the placement of these highlight areas.

Using the ball tip or looped tip pen, the solid fill dot pattern, and a #5 light-medium to #7 dark-medium tonal value, fill the forehead pattern, eyes, cheek decorations, mouth.

8.   Make Minor Adjustments

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography by Irish

After the mapping steps and blending steps are completed it is a good time to set your project somewhere on your work table and take time to look at the face as a whole instead of as small shaded areas.

Approximately one-fourth of your face should be in the unburned to dark-pale tones for highlights.  The next half  of your design should fall in the mid-tone range from light brown to deep medium brown.

The last fourth of your pattern should be in the dark to solid-fill black tones.

Check List:
1. Do you have smooth, even, gradual shading?
2. Have you established dark shadows at the corners of the eyes, eyebrows, and left-side of the mouth?
3. Have you created a wide range of tonal values?

Thank you for joining me today, more tomorrow.

 

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 2

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 2

Pyrography Mask Project by IrishThis project begins with the transferring and tracing your pyrography pattern to your wood plaque, a brief discussion of poplar as a pyrography wood, and we will start the first shading steps in the face of this Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project.

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 1
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 2
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 3
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 4
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 5

Creating a Practice Board

Working a practice board before I begin my main project is the most important preparation step I can take.  On a scrap piece of the same media that I will be burning my large design I can experiment with my pen tips, texture and stroke patterns, temperature settings, and the speed I move my burning pen.  I will even work small portions of my large design to establish my shading and shadows before I go onto the main work.

For this morning’s practice board I have chosen a simple daisy pattern, worked on birch plywood.  The practice board is found on Simple Shading in Wood Burning, Daisy Pattern.   For the first shading steps of our Ceremonial Mask design we will be using long, pulled strokes made with the spear or curved shading tips.  The daisy pattern uses that stroke line and will give you the opportunity to learn the stroke before you begin your mask.  Learn more about Practice Boards in Pyrography and Tonal Value Sepia Worksheet.

1.  Transferring your pattern

how to trace a pattern

1.  Using 220- to 320- grit sandpaper, lightly sand your board to remove any imperfections or small, loose wood fibers along the edge.  Work your sanding with the direction of the wood grain to avoid cross-grain scratches caused by the sandpaper.  Remove the sanding dust with a clean, dry cloth.

2.  Click on the full size – 9″ x 8″ – pattern and save a copy to your computer.  Print one copy for tracing.  Fold your printed pattern along the center of the face, matching the sides of the face.

ceremonila mask pattern

3.  Turn your pattern to the back.  With a #2 or softer artist pencil rub the back with an even, dark coating of pencil graphite.

4.  With a pencil and ruler, mark the center vertical line of your board.

5.  Align the center fold of the pattern paper with the center pencil line on the wood.  Secure the pattern paper on one side using masking or painter’s tape.

6.   With an ink pen, trace along the pattern lines of the design.  Lift one corner of the pattern paper to check that you copied all of the design.

7.   Remove the pattern paper and tape.

8.  With a #2 artist pencil you can add extra feathers, raffia strings, or bead lines to your design to enhance your pattern.

For more information:  How to Transfer Your Pattern to the Wood, Creating a Pounce Pattern, and Enlarging and Reducing a Pattern

Mapping the right-side of the face

2. Mapping the Right-Side of the Face

Poplar is extremely soft wood and indents easily along the burning lines.  When your project is complete you will be able to physically feel the texture on the wood left from the burning strokes.

To keep the physical texture to a minimum, the first step in shading any area is to map the tonal value with a spear shader, low temperature setting, and long pull strokes.

With the spear shader pen tip on the flat of the shader, and a #3 medium-pale tonal value setting,  shade along the top right-hand sides of the raised elements in the face with long pull strokes.

Shade cheek areas around the top edges of the diagonal face decoration lines.

For more information: Mapping your Pyrography Pattern and Simple Pyrography Shading

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography by Irish

3. Mapping the Left-Side of the Face

The light source for this project is set in the upper right- hand corner of the pattern.  This places the brightest highlight on the mask’s upper right-side of the forehead and on the right-side of the nose ridge.

Using the flat of the spear shader and a #4 dark-pale  to #5 light-medium tonal value temperature setting, shade the left-side of the face using long pull strokes.

During this step I did not work the left-side of the nose ridge or the left-side of the raised elements of the face. Note that a pale, unburned area is left inside the diagonal lines on the left-side.

For more information: Pyrography Steps for Portrait Burning

 4. Mapping the Left-Side of the Face

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography by Irish

The light source for this project is set in the upper right- hand corner of the pattern.  This places the brightest highlight on the mask’s upper right-side of the forehead and on the right-side of the nose ridge.

Using the flat of the spear shader and a #4 dark-pale  to #5 light-medium tonal value temperature setting, shade the left-side of the face using long pull strokes.

During this step I did not work the left-side of the nose ridge or the left-side of the raised elements of the face. Note that a pale, unburned area is left inside the diagonal lines on the left-side.

Tomorrow – Tues, Nov. 5, 2013 – we will continue working on the face shading.  Hope to see you in our virtual classroom. Please add any comments, questions, or thoughts!  You input is very welcome.  Thanks! Lora Irish

 

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project

Pyrography Mask Project by IrishStarting Monday, Nov.  4th, I will be sharing my latest pyrography project with you in this free online wood burning class – Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project.   This is a 17 step project that includes lots of photos, lots of instructions, and lots of wood burning basic information.  I hope that you will join me.  Please share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and your favorite pyro forum that we are holding an Online Seminar here on my blog so that they can join the fun!

Ceremonial and Ritual Masks use strong geometric line patterns and abstract shapes to create the facial features and to express emotions that are proscribed to the myths and legends of the culture.  Often they are carved from wood with open holes for the eyes and mouth of the mask.  Raffia, dried reeds, nuts, seed pods, and even sea shells may decorate the geometric patterns on the mask or surround the outer edge of the wood shape.  Animal hair and fur has historically been added to enhance the human or animal impressions they portray.

Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 1
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 2
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 3
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 4
Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project 5

They make a perfect subject for any pyrography project.  My sample pattern is worked from the Masks Pattern Package, available at ArtDesignsStudio.com.  But Wait!  We are working on a special Project Bundle just for you that will include my new 36-page Introduction to Pyrography e-book which covers the basic techniques used in any wood burning project and my new 24-page Ceremonial Mask Pyrography Project e-project which gives you extra large, extra clear photo images of every step used to complete this mask burning – all bundled up with three Irish Pattern Packages, perfect for use in with this technique.

As soon as we have our Project Bundle posted I will post its announcement here on the blog!

Get your burning tips bright and clean, gather your supplies, and chose your favorite wood species so that on Monday you can pull up your computer chair to my virtual classroom!

Take a moment and sign-up for my blog so that you can add your questions, ideas, and share your own techniques as we work through this step-by-step lesson plan.

Ceremonial Mask Pattern by Lora IrishBurning Supplies:
Variable temperature burning unit
ball tip or looped tip pen
spear shader pen
curved shader pen

Wood Pyro Blank:
*  9” x 9” poplar practice board
*  9” x 9” poplar pre-cut heart

Pyro Pen Cleaning Supplies:
leather strop
rouging compound
1500 grit emery cloth

General Supplies:
220- or 320- grit sandpaper
clean, dry dusting cloth
graphite paper
#2 to #4 soft pencil
ruler
masking or painter’s tape
8” square of brown paper bag

Optional Finishing Supplies:
watercolor paints
watercolor colored pencils
spray polyurethane or acrylic sealer

*  This project was worked in poplar, but any non-toxic wood can be used, including basswood, birch plywood, and mahogany.   Also consider working this Ceremonial Mask of natural toned chipboard as a scrapbook album cover or on vegetable tanned leather as a cut out wall display.  You may wish to work a dried craft gourd, cut to become a sand candle vase. Whichever wood or burning surface you chose, we will work a Reference Guide Sepia on the same material.

 

 

New Books

Arts and Crafts Pyrography

Available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and BAM

Lora S. Irish’s newest book, Arts and Crafts Pyrography, focuses on the wide variety of surface that you can use in your wood burning – leather, paper, gourds, fabric, and wood.

Although it is often referred to as woodburning, the art of pyrography can be worked on just about any natural surface, including gourds, leather, or cotton rag paper. Now Lora Irish, the author of the bestselling Great Book of Woodburning, offers thirty-five amazingly detailed new projects that explore the craft of pyrography across the full range of inventive pyro media.

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