If you’ve recently discovered Pyrography or the art of woodburning as a hobby, besides the basic tools you need for this prehistoric craft, you also need to delve into the basic strokes and techniques. There are myriads of pyrographic art styles out there. However, this article will focus on the most common ones as an introduction for beginners.
Thin line fills are best created with a ball tip or loop tip pen. These two pen tips burn a slightly wide, even line so they are perfect for tight scrubbie stroke fills, solid touch-and-lift dot pattern fills, and packed line shading.
The spear-shaped shader has a spoon or spear shaped burning tip that is bent at an angle from the pen handle. This places the flat, wide area of the shader directly onto the board for long, pull shading strokes. You can use this pen tip on its edge, giving you a wide area of the tip for your burn strokes. As you pull the spear shader edge across the board it naturally starts the stroke at a dark tonal value that slowly pales as you pull away from the starting point.
Some invaluable technique samples are also available on the same site.
The primary use of a pyrography tool is to create detailed burned lines, patterns, and images in a craft project.”
Using a ball tip or looped tip pen and a mid-range heat setting any pattern can be worked by burning just the outlines of the design. Outlining is perhaps the most basic style of wood burning and easily accomplished by tracing your pattern to the wood then following the patterns lines with the tip of your pen with an even, controlled speed.
Furthermore, one of the fastest ways for you to get immersed in pyrography and master the basics is to watch videos on YouTube. There are very informative and practical tutorials by Belle Perez de Tagle on her YT channel Super Woodburning Tutorials.
Now before you can actually do woodburning you have to learn some basic line techniques… When you are an artist the first things you learn are the basic line techniques. And these are the lines that you start with, the line between two points… So when you are holding this woodburning tool, it’s good to learn first how to control by doing a few of those straight lines.”
Before grabbing your tools in excitement, here’s another helpful and insightful site on pyrography by one of the most popular woodburning artists Sue Walters with her website suewalters.com. The good thing about her site is the different galleries which showcase her shop, school, art shop, newsletter, etc. She has featured a techniques gallery that shows some pictures and brief descriptions of different techniques on different kinds of wood.
Burls can make an interesting canvas for pyrography, especially if the subject is carefully chosen to suit the characteristics of the wood.If the burl is of a pale wood, then [color] won’t need to be used. Most burls however, seem to need a little [color] to help define the picture and contrast with the wood.
Indeed, pyrography can be overwhelming at first. But as you dedicate ample amount of time to it, you get to appreciate the challenge and of course, enjoy the art itself. Now, equipped with the basic know-how and techniques, and that fiery enthusiasm you’ve found on your new hobby, start applying these as soon as you can so as not to lose that fervor!