Wood burn your Holiday cards to create long lasting memories and keepsakes.
This free pyrography project, by Lora Irish, is worked on a pre-cut heart shape basswood plaque and uses colored pencils to brighten the finished wood burning with sparkling colors.
6″ basswood heart
variable temperature wood burning unit
ball tip or loop tip pen
white artist eraser
set of 12 colored pencils
acrylic spray sealer
Click on the pattern, and any photo shown in this free pyrography project, for a larger image.
Lightly sand your basswood plaque with 320-grit sandpaper. Make a printed copy of the pattern. Fold the pattern paper, side to side, to find the center line of the design. Align the center line fold with the v-indent and point of the heart plaque. Tape into place. Using graphite paper under the pattern trace the design. Remove the pattern and graphite paper.
On a medium temperature setting, using a ball tip or looped tip pen, begin the shading of the three snowmen in the design. The light source for my burning is from the right side which places the darkest shadows on the left.
Work a layer of shading along the outer edges of the ball shapes in each snowman. The darkest areas will be where the snowball touches or tucks under another element. Note the darkest area of shading in the left side snowman’s face falls on the left side under the edge of the hat. In the same snowman, his body has the darkest shading on the left side of the scarf.
On a hot temperature setting, burn the face, nose, and coal buttons. Use a tightly packed scrubbie stroke for all shading.
Fill in the trees with the tightly packed scrubbie stroke on a medium-hot setting. Add fine line shading to the pines behind the snowmen on a medium setting, using the loop tip or ball tip pen. This pattern can easily be adapted to a taller rectangle board by extending or stretching the background trees.
With the shading complete, begin your outlining and detailing using a hot temperature setting and the ball tip or loop tip pen. The tassels on the scarves and the pom pom for the hat are worked using short straight lines that begin at the scarf or hat and reach away from the snowman. This places the darkest part of the burn line against the fabric, with the paler end in the air area.
A small touch-and-lift spot is worked at the tip of each tassel thread. A dark solid shadow is worked under each group of pine tree branches. Add snowflakes by working a six-point star in the background area.
Using a white artist eraser, remove any remaining graphite tracing lines. Clean the eraser dust with a dry cloth.
Use colored pencils to decorate your finished burning. Work with a well sharpened pencil to insecure that color is applied in the wood grain lines. Work in thin, light layers of color, adding more layers to slowly develop your final coloring.
You can lay one color of pencil over another to create gradually blended areas. The background trees were first worked in yellow-green, followed with a medium green as the tree neared the ground line. The right side snowman’s hat was worked first in yellow, then orange was worked over the yellow as the hat neared the snowman’s head and the pom pom. Red was used on the hat band.
With a pencil add your holiday greeting, date, and name to the bottom area of the heart. Seal the work with several light coats of acrylic spray sealer, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. Your Christmas Snowmen is ready to display.