I just released the Sleeping Dragon Wood-Burning Pattern and I am excited on how it turned out. I don’t consider myself the best pencil-drawing artist, but I think I can manage the line art for a pattern.
I love dragons and when I looked at the piece of hickory, I thought it would make a create wood-canvas for a sleeping dragon. I didn’t want to just have a dragon on this piece, I envisioned a whole scene that you may see if you were to walk upon a dragon in a cave.
I thought to incorporate some of the natural grain colors would help bring this idea together. I always love it when you can blend art with nature in a way that just seems to blend with ease.
This wood-burning pattern and video workshop shows you the use of three different wood-burning tips: the writing, skew and shading tip.
The writing tip I used for the trees and bushes, the skew for the crystals on the cave ground and the shader for everything else.
The project took about 5.5 hours and I squished into a 15-minute time-lapse video from start to finish.
One of the biggest challenges in using hickory is that its hardwood and really grainy which can make this quite intimidating. But as I am looking at the finished project, the sleeping dragon wood-burning pattern turned out exactly how I imagine this particular piece of wood.
You can use whatever wood you prefer or have handy and truly make it your own work of art. This is what I love about line art without showing you where the light and dark areas are because you get to play with your own imagination and play around.
The pattern is available with and without videos depending on what you prefer.
Sometimes experimenting with pyrography and paint is what brings you to love a piece of art you were working on.
Awhile back I did a wood-burning of a western town. I loved the idea and concept but I didn’t love the result And as things go in wood-burning I had a few options. Either sand the piece of wood and “erase” the work I had done, throw the work into the fire and be done with it or add some color through painting parts of it.
As you can see the sepia is beautiful but my challenge was that the horse didn’t stand out and everything was just kinda blending together. When working with different shades of the same hue that can happen and I could have probably gone darker in some of the areas but that didn’t sit right with me when I had finished it initially.
I have a ton of work-in-progress laying around because sometimes pieces are not done like it’s missing just a little something, and I like to step away for a bit and come back to it at a later time. Which is what happened with this Western Town.
So this past weekend as I was clearing out my studio with finished and “waiting to be finished” creations, I thought adding color would probably be the key to this one.
Here is the before and after from me experimenting with pyrography and paint and really, I love the painted version a whole lot more. I still retained some of the pyrography details but the paint gave it a little some extra.
Which is why I ended up adding color the Eagle Mandala as well which is part of my latest coloring book.
I am making a few edits on the image for more clarity but it will be in the store some time this week. Also, if you are interested in a Mandala Pyrography I am open for commission work!
The Lion Pride Wood-Burning is a beautiful scene of a lion family wood-burned on wood with stained frame. But I want to talk about how it all came together.
As you can see here, I didn’t make the graphite lines light. IN fact, I left them dark on purpose so that I would burn darker. This has been a theme for me because I used to burn too light which in essence can make your wood-burning piece fada a lot faster.
Once the pattern was traced, I started with the king of the jungle as getting him in place and wood-burned would be the guide for the entire lion pride wood-burning.
This first lion cub didn’t quite turn out as I had hoped. I actually had to scrape off his face with a razor blade and some sandpaper and start over.
It was a matter of rushing through it with a tip that was a bit too hot.
This is why temperature control matters but also being patient and taking your time with any wood-burning project.
In the end, I don’t hate how the cub turned out.
Filling in the second cub and some of the trees to make sure that I keep going with the contrast of the sepia hues that wood-burning creates.
Not using outline but shading from the graphite lines inward as needed to create the depth of where muscles start and end and any other definition that is present.
Because I am right handed, I work from left to right in most of my wood-burnings. This can be tricky if if the graphite is heavy as it can lead to smudging and in some cases is difficult to remove.
There are a few areas I went in with an eraser to lighten the graphite line because in the end the dark lines didn’t work out quite as well as I hoped.
Trust the process and your skills as they develop over time. I find I am always learning something new about the art of even myself the more I create!
Once I had the lion pride in the picture, I started working on the background. I find that working on the focal points of a project like this is key because they lion pride is that – the main feature of the art piece but the trees also had to have some definition.
I started with the writing tip to add some swirly unevenness but ended switching back to the shading tip as that is what I prefer in 99% of my wood-burnings.
And here’s the final piece and I am pleased with how it turned out – even with the one cub giving me a bit of a challenge.
The horse pyrography turned out really well but did present a few challenges I want to go over. When working with wood and burning dark, creating contrast is important or everything is just going to blend together.
As with all of my wood-burning projects, I use the tracing method to transfer all my patterns. It can be a bit time consuming but it’s easy, inexpensive and gives me more control of what to include.
Once the pattern is printed, I tape the pattern to the piece of wood to eliminate movement and I can check what I did or didn’t trace. Once it’s taped, I lay down the graphite paper and begin tracing the pattern with my stylus.
I started with the fence to lay my foundation of creating the dark contrast I wanted to do the horses. Again I prefer to work in sections as that helps me stay in the rhythm of burning.
When making fence look like wood on a wood-burning, it’s important to have light and dark sections so you can see where the bark is or if there’s knot or a hole. I work from the edges inward as that allows for the middle to be a little lighter and create the shape.
In this section I started with the mane and tail hair and filled in the shrubs, rocks and some of the grass. In order to keep it as real as I can, I never outline my work unless it’s a building as they tend to have sharper edges but in general outlines can actually diminish the work.
Adding layers of different colors make the muscles and other areas stand out. If you were to outline this it wouldn’t look quite as good. In some instances, I create a small burn line and then work off that to create the shading.
And here you can see what I mean, on the back legs of the second horse, I created simple lines for the definition of the muscles – sometimes that works out while while at other times, adding layers of shading work best.
And here’s the finished horse pyrography piece before adding the frame that this piece of wood came with. Initially, I wanted one of the horses to be a lot darker but that makes the definitions really hard to stand out.
I’ve been going through some of the wood supplies I have on hand and found a stack of Rotation Wood Board with Glass Insert. And found myself in the throws of being inspired and adding a few designs of the quite boring looking rotating boards.
These wood boards are not meant to be used as a cutting board but as a serving platter – think cheese, cold cuts, vegetables and fruit for when you have company over.
I loved the Cheese pattern from Walnut Hollow Pattern Books. The style of the patterns feels vintage – which I actually love quite a bit, that old school craft feeling.
And how cool would this be when you have friends over?
And then I thought, how cool would it be if I used one of my Mandala designs for one of those wood boards. I originally created the Mandala for my Calm Yourself Colorful Book! And it did turn out better than I expected.
I have a few more designs that I think will do really well.
Shortly after, I was commissioned to do a wood-burning but it was a bit of a secret and I only released snippets here and there on what I was working on which looked something like this:
Part of the challenge was trying to figure out how to approach the feathers – and I ended up using two different techniques.
As you can see here, I first burned the feathers and then my handy dandy knife and I had a bit of fun.
But I still couldn’t show it off – and here I was just doing some detailing and finishing before sending it off to the new owner.
Since we decided to go see the band in North Carolina, I thought we’d just bring it with us for handoff and the evening was absolutely amazing. Not only did I get to share my artwork with everyone there, but Through all this Time gave me a shoutout for the wood-burning – which is really cool.
Here’s the display with all the Black Plague Merch.
It was an epic evening seeing amazing bands – and hanging out with them.
I am honored for the connections and the commission I was able to create!