Pyrography Basics

Pyrography Styles – Simple Outlining

Simply outlining the pattern is often our very first project in pyrography wood burning.  After decades as a pyrographer I still use this art style on many projects because of the clear, crisp impact you get by just following the tracing lines.  Also called line art, outlining is often used in engraving, etching, woodcut and lithography.  For more please read this great Wikipedia article.

Learn more about art styles that can be used in your pyrography wood burning – Pyrography Style Handbook is available at Amazon.com.

 

Very simple, very flat, and very two dimensional, a simple outline conveys your image without details or shading.

This dragon face is worked on a 3″ leather key fob.  Since he is both well detailed and worked in a very small space,  simple outlining is the perfect choice.

Please learn more about burning on leather, here at LSIrish.com.

 

 

 

The leather burned purse and the birch plywood burn, above, both use the same pattern from our pattern pack – Dragon Medallions.  It is the lack of shading and extra detailing in the leather purse image that makes the dragon a stronger design then the wood version.  The wood version almost has too much to see compared to the clean, crisp image on the leather.

 

Wood burning, especially on paper mache, leaves a physical impression in the media.  Santa’s outline literally drops down into the surface of this paper mache box.  The trough that comes from a simple outline stroke can also be used as a damn.  Here it works to stop the application of the acrylic craft paints from spreading into the background area.

Note on this little Santa, the background is not burned totally black.  Instead it is filled with the words, “ho ho ho!”

For more holiday and Christmas ideas to use with your simple outline style of wood burning, visit our holiday pattern category in our pattern site, ArtDesignsStudio.com.

I have one more fun simple outline styled work to share with you.  Its a Celtic deer design.  While the above samples all use carefully controlled, uniform thickness lines, this hart uses thick and thin lines.  As you move through the pattern make some areas of the line width thick then taper back to very thin.  This adds a little dimension without losing the crisp, line art effect.

 

 

LSIrish.com is an affiliate of Amazon.com – Pyrography Style Handbook

Here’s a fun patterns for the twisted tail Celtic Hart. Click on the image below to save to your desktop.

Pyrography Styles – Pointillism

Pyrography is so much more than just outlining your pattern and burning the background to black.  Any art style can be created, using a wood burning tool and your selected pen tips.

Pyrography Styles Handbook by Lora S. Irish, at Amazon.com

Let’s look at Pointillism in this day’s post.

Pointillism, also called Neo-Impressionism, was introduced in the late 1880’s by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac.  There is a great Wiki article on this painting style – read more here.

Pointillism began as a new way to blend colors on a canvas.  Instead of blending two or three colors to create a new color, small, tightly packed dots of the two colors visually created the new third color.  So instead of mixing and blending cadmium yellow with ultramarine blue to create a medium green, a very small dot of yellow was painted next to a small dot of blue.  Your eye then blends the two color dots into the new green tone.

To learn more about Pyrography art styles, please visit Amazon.com for your copy of Pyrography Styles Handbook by Lora S. Irish – Your comprehensive guide to the 7 major styles of woodburning: crosshatching, realism, pointillism, shaded drawing, engraving, silhouette, and texture painting.  LSIrish.com is an affiliate of Amazon.

Watercolor Painting your Wood BurningPlease see our article, Color Wheel or Who is Roy G. Biv?

If a yellow-green was wanted the artist would paint two small dots of yellow next to the blue.  If you wanted a darker green, then the artist used two touching dots of blue with one dot of yellow.

The idea of using dots instead of strokes directly impacts how we as wood burning artists can create a pyrography image.  Where Neo-Impressionists used color dots, we wood burners use heat setting for pale, medium and dark dots, and density to create pale tonal area to almost solid black areas in our work.

 

 

 

Celtic knot pyrography wood burning patternFor more reading on pyrography and wood burning techniques, please see our pyrography navigation menu.

This Celtic Bird Postage Stamp burning is also worked in the Pointillism style, and available for free here at LSIrish.com.  This post includes the free Celtic Bird postage stamp pattern.

 

 

 

 

The cougar pyrography project will take you, step-by-step, through a fun, pointillism work.

This entire design is worked using only a small dash stroke made with a ball tip or loop tip pen.  How hot the temperature setting is and how densely you pack those dash strokes gives the sepia value range – pale areas, medium toned areas, and black areas.

This post included the free Cougar pattern and is one of the step-by-step projects included in Pyrography Style Handbook.

Posting tomorrow on Silhouette style burnings !!!!

 

Sepia Tonal Value Crayons for Pyrography

Crayons are a quick and easy media to use on your printed patterns when you want to test your tonal values before you begin your pyrography burn.

While browsing through the Back to School supplies at my local big box store I came across Crayola’s 24 pack of Colors of the World skin toned crayons.  This same palette of colors is also available from Crayola as marking pens –  Crayola Ultra Clean Washable Multicultural Markers, Broad Line, 10 Count,  and in colored pencil media – Crayola 24 Colors of The World Skin Tone Pencils.

(These are Amazon.com Affiliate links above.)

All these packs hold a range of yellow-brown, red-brown, and neutral brown color giving us, pyrographers, a full sepia scale to compliment our burnings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before you touch your wood watercolor paper, or gourds with your pen, use can use these color packs to establish exactly where you want your shading and how light or dark you want it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any mistakes or any decisions to change an area’s value is worked out on paper, not on your expensive basswood plaque.

Free LSIrish.com pattern

 

 

 

 

Free Pyrography Clock Pattern

This pyrography project uses a 1/8″ x 8″ x 10″ basswood plywood plaque as the base media for my newest kitchen clock work.  It has been a fun project that’s included wood burning, colored pencil art, and collage applique, plus a little bit of bling with twine, silk flowers, and two black bumble bee accents.

free pyrography clock pattern

Even though the 1/8″thick plywood can warp with high-heat burning or high-humidity conditions, it is so light weight that the small quartz battery clock hanger fully supports the project – you can hang this anywhere.

My finished painted daisies pyrography clock is show displayed on a small wood easel and, while meant to go into my kitchen is still sitting on my computer desk.

Your free Lora S. Irish pattern is just below the supply list.

 

Supply list: Amazon.com links

Walnut Hollow Creative Woodburner Wire Tip Wood Burning Tool
(Note – this Amazon link shows the Creative tool on sale at 42% off as on Feb. 11, 2021)

8″ x 10″ x 1/8″ basswood plywood
(This link offers a 15 sheet pack of 12″ x 12″ x 1/8″ sheets)

Saral 12″ x12′ Graphite Transfer Paper

Quartz Clock Movements with Black Hands

Handmade Antique Deckle Edge Blank Paper – A4 Size Package of 50

Scotch Quick Drying Tacky Glue

Zenacolor, 120 Watercolor Pencils, Numbered, with Brush and Case

2 – black bumble bee picks (I found mine at Michaels.)

Easel Tabletop Painting Easel with Canvas Sets(4 Packs) Wooden Art Table Easel Stand

 

The featured quote: 

Time flies like an arrow: fruit flies like a banana. ~ Groucho Marx

 

Free for Personal Use Pattern:

free pyrography clock pattern

For more floral clock ideas please visit ArtDesignsStudio.com, my pattern website.
Henna Tattoo Patterns 1

Henna Tattoo Patterns 2

Floral Clocks

Step 1:  Prepare your wood plaque by lightly sanding the wood with 220- to 320-grit sandpaper, working the sanding strokes with the grain of the wood.  Remove all sanding dust.  Using graphite paper, trace your pattern.  Using the ball-tip pen and my Walnut Hollow Creative tool, I burned the general outlines of the daisy pattern, numbers, and quote onto my wood plaque.  I used a medium-hot setting of 6 – 8.

When the outline is completed, erase any graphite lines or pencil lines that remain from the pattern tracing step.

free pyrography clock patternStep 1

 

Step 2:  I was not happy with my lettering burn, but very pleased with my outline work.  My solution was to create a collage paper piece to add to the plywood that would carry my quote while covering up my wood burned letters.  I chose a heavy, yet flexible antique paper that easily went through my home computer printer.  You can see that collage piece temporarily placed over the burned letter.

free pyrography clock patternStep 2

 

Step 3:  Still using the ball-tip pen and a medium heat setting of 4 – 6, I have added shading to the background area of the pattern.  Lowering the temperature a bit more to the 3 – 4 heat level, I then worked light shading into the flowers and leaves.

free pyrography clock patternStep 3

 

Step 4: When your burning is done its time to get out your favorite artist-quality colored pencil set.  Do a quick google image search under ‘painted daisy chrysanthemums’ for coloring ideas.

I used tones of yellow through bright red for the petals, yellow greens for the inner flower leaves, and green teals for the background leaves.  Tones of sienna, golden brown, and chocolate make up the flower centers.

Both white colored pencil and white chalk pastel pencil was used to brighten the highlights of the work.

Lay several thin lines of quick-dry tacky glue to the back of your collage paper.  Use a stiff piece of card stock to evenly spread the glue.  Position your quote to your plaque and press lightly into place.  Place a heavy book on top of the quote to press the paper evenly to the wood and let dry.

Several light coats of matte spray sealer.  The sealer protects your raw wood, colored pencil work, and collage paper.

 

free pyrography clock patternStep 4

 

Step 5:  Here’s my finished clock with the quartz clock movement inserted, bees in place, and just one fun silk flower.

free pyrography clock pattern

Hope you have fun creating your own pyrography clock!  Thanks for stopping by my blob ~ Lora

Pyrography Cleaning Graphite Tracing Lines

September 15, 2020

This morning I am working on getting your supply list ready for the Feathered Green Man Leather Journal Pyrography Project and came across a few photos on how to clean the graphite tracing lines from your wood burning project that I thought I would share.

I prefer to either use a  graphite tracing paper or graphite pencil lead rubbed over the back of my pattern my paper as my tracing media.  Graphite leaves a pale to medium gray line on our working surface that has no oil or wax, and therefore is not a permanent marking.

 

I do like to remove those tracing lines as early in the burning as is reasonable and will even do an extremely pale tonal value burned line before any shading work is done just so that I can erase the graphite right away.

A white artist eraser works wonderfully for wood and gourds.  These are our rougher wood burning surfaces.  Do not use an eraser that has any coloring ( that pink one on the end of your bright yellow #2 pencil) to it as the color dye can rub off onto your project.

An architect’s eraser pad – a fine mesh cloth bag filled with eraser grindings – is perfect for our finer medias as paper, leather, and chipboard (paper mache).  Since the eraser bag is flexible it works well for wood carvers that want to remove any carbon build-up from their wood burning details on the carving.

 

A dry ‘Magic’ eraser not only removes the graphite lines from your leather or wood project, it also picks up any oil and dirt that has been left from moving your hand across the surface.

In the photo sample above, Feathered Green Man Leather Journal Pyrography Project, I first cleaned the graphite tracing using my Architect’s eraser pad.  Then I followed up with a light cleaning using the dry ‘Magic’ eraser … and,wow!, was I surprised at how much more dirt I picked up …

That ‘Magic’ eraser is now a permanent addition to my pyrography tool kit.

 

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