Steam Punk Free Wood Burning Project

Free wood burning steam punk projectMany of the patterns that we use in pyrography are simple line art designs that have no shading or gray scale drawing work that could be used to determine our burning strokes or shading placement. The goal of this step-by-step is to help guide you through the thinking process on how to shade a line art design.

As we work this pattern you will learn to group related elements, to use repetitive textures to unite elements in the pattern and how to determine where your shadows fall.


Supplies and tools:
Wood burning variable temperature system
Wood burning pens: standard writing tip and spoon shader
9” x 12” poplar plywood plaque
graphite paper
transparent tape
soft #2 pencil or ink pen
white artist eraser
artist quality watercolor pencils
small sized soft bristle brushes: #2 or #4 round

Notes and tips:

Each wood burning system uses a slightly different temperature for the number settings on the dial. Each wood species burns to a medium sepia tone at different temperature. Please do a test sample burning using the same species of wood to determine your exact temperature settings before you begin working on your project board.

Wood Preparation:

Poplar plywood was used for this sample burning. Also consider using basswood or birch as your substrate. Other medias that can easily be used in wood burning include rag content watercolor paper, chipboard, vegetable dyed leather, cotton canvas and even dried gourds.

Prepare you wood plaque by carefully sanding the working surface with 320 grit sandpaper. Remove any dust using a tack cloth.

Center a printed copy of the pattern on the board and tape the pattern in place using two or three pieces of transparent tape along one side of the paper. Slide a sheet of graphite tracing paper between the pattern paper and board with the graphite side against the wood. Use an ink pen or #2 pencil to trace along the pattern lines. Check that you have traced all of the pattern lines before you remove the pattern paper from the wood.

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