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A fascinating form of art, pyrography is an interesting and rewarding way to be creative using various wood burning techniques for simple decorative designs for the home.
Pyrography can not only be used as a decorative, crafty kind of art, but it can be raised to the level of Fine Art by experienced and talented pyrography artists.
An ancient craft, it can be used on wooden boards and bowls, kitchen cupboards, dressers or chairs. You can also create beautiful artwork to adorn the walls of any home with memories and family portraits.
Monochromatic designs and pictures are the most suitable for pyrography art. Wildlife, birds, pets, buildings and geometric or swirling designs create beautiful effects.
There is a host of subjects to explore and enjoy.
In this section, you will find a step by step method to start your first wood burning onto any natural surface – and the required pyrography accessories.
By following these wood burning tips and tricks for beginners you will have a well-prepared base to work on, and a properly finished and protected original artwork.
You will need:
Now you are ready to start your project.
If you follow and implement these tips on how to prepare your project, as well as expand your techniques, your experience of this medium should be an enjoyable one.
The wood you have chosen to work on should be a softwood. Some good examples are Basswood, Pine, Birch, Ash or Maple. These varieties are cheaper – so they are great to practice on – but they are also easier to burn and lighter in color to give good contrast in your artwork.
It is important to sand down the base you will be working on.
Use some 320 grit sandpaper wrapped around a flat based wooden block. Lightly sand in the direction of the grain – the direction of the wood fibers.
This will minimize any scratch marks or gouges that may occur when going across the grain. Make sure you sand the whole working surface evenly, then wipe down with a damp cloth to remove all the sawdust.
Burning onto a smooth surface creates sharper details and is easier to transfer your design onto.
By following the highlighted link: Pyrography patterns for beginners you will find an explanation in detail on how to transfer your template onto your blank.
There are various ways to do this – choose the method you are comfortable with.
The method chosen does depend on how arty you are and whether you can draw your idea freehand or alternatively if you have a pattern or picture to work from.
Tip – Work in a well-ventilated room. Smoke and the smell of burning wood can become irritating. Use a fan to disperse the resultant side effects or use an exhaust fan with a carbon filter to remove the smoke.
After getting your wood burning kit organized and ready for the job – it is time to get burning and start applying the techniques that you have been practicing.
Handle your burner pen gently, don’t hold it too tightly. This will help stave off a tired, cramped hand and also allow for smooth movement across your artwork and more fluidity in your wrist. A floating movement across your work with your wrist on the wood will produce fluid, consistent, and even lines.
Before you switch on your pen, insert the nib you will be working with. Use your pliers to attach and detach your different tips. Rest your tool on the pen holder of your choice while it gets hot.
It is always advisable when using new wood types and new tools and tips to practice your techniques on a sample piece which has similar properties.
Also, make note of how quickly the surface burns as every variety has a different density, therefore, a different heat and pen pressure. Experiment with your pyrography nibs and find out what they are capable of and how you can create different textures and effects with them.
Here are a few pointers to make your artwork look more professional.
Shown in the video below is a timelapse video of how Minisa Robinson creates her art. A little something to inspire you.
You may also want to try adding color to your design. This is done with either watercolor paint or watercolor crayons, stains or inks.
To start, unless you are experienced with watercolor paint, inks and stains – use the crayons to put in your color. Once you have drawn the colors where you want them, add a little water to a soft paintbrush and start blending the crayons to create a wash effect.
Make sure to clean your brush in clean water between blending strong colors so that the colors stay clean and true.
When your project is complete, take the time to sand off any trace lines that are still visible. If you leave these on and seal the wood, the sealant will accentuate any pencil lines that may remain.
Finally, seal and protect your artwork by applying a wood finisher. Let this dry thoroughly.
Your artwork is complete.
These wood burning tips and tricks and techniques should stand you in good stead with any artwork you start to burn.
Diligence and good planning are the keys to success.
An ancient art, wood burning is used by crafters and highly experienced fine art artists to create beautiful pieces of artwork.
This versatile medium can be both satisfying from a beginner artist to any artist using various pyrography techniques. This includes anyone who loves to draw and wants something new to try, including the experienced pyrography artist.
Every piece of wood is different with its tonal ranges and grains. These variations mean that every artwork is individual and unique.
The traditional artist is not the only one who can use these tips and tricks – graphic designers and abstract artists can take full advantage of this medium to create amazing shapes, textures and tonal qualities in their art.
Color can be included to add another dimension and create effective light and play in the artwork.
Wood burning techniques can also be used by carvers to enhance their carving creations to achieve depth and added color and versatility, creating a more enhanced 3D effect in their artwork.
Once you have mastered basic pyrography techniques, the world of wood burning is an open door.
A truly remarkable art form!
There are many books with tutorials that you will find very useful.
Some tutorials show shading techniques while others suggest finishing methods to protect and enhance your artwork.
These and many other wood burning tips and tricks are available to you right now.
Preparation and finishing are just as important as doing the artwork.
“Without a well prepared blank to work on, you will find you will have issues with burning properly.
Just as important as completing your artwork to your satisfaction, is the final finishing and protection of your project.”
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