Artist quality colored pencils are perfect to adding the bright yellows, oranges and red browns to this burn project.
There are several grades of colored pencils available for the wood burner – artist color pencils, watercolor pencils and color pencil sticks. Artist quality colored pencils use a wax base for the color pigment which keeps the colors transparent when they are properly applied. The wax keeps the colors creamy and smooth during application. That transparency allows your wood burn tonal values to clearly show through the color work.
Watercolor artist pencils are also a great coloring agent. These pencils are applied just as the artist quality pencils. Once the coloring has been worked you can use a lightly moistened brush over the pencils to turn the colors into moveable/workable paint.
Because the colors are transparent you can lay one color over another to create new color hues. Develop you pencil work in very light, very thin layers of color. The first several color layers are barely visible. It is not until your reach the fourth or fifth layer that you will begin seeing the color over each area.
Stick color pencils are often used for large area application because of their thickness. A few selected background colors make a great addition to your color pencil set.
Keep your pencils extremely sharp. This helps to keep the pencil work on the high, unburned or lightly burned areas of your design.
In this project I first laid several very thin layers of pale yellow colored pencil over all of the sunflower petals. A few thin layers of white were added over that pale yellow to create the highlights. Orange and red tones were then added for my shadow areas. This creates one sunflower petal with color shades from very white through the yellows into the rich red orange tones.
Hobby grade color pencils are often clay based and become cloudy or milky when used. Using an inexpensive colored pencil set can ruin a wonderful wood burning quickly.
Most wood burn designs can be easily colored using a twelve pencil set of artist quality colors. They are well worth the investment.