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Halloween Skull Wood Burning Design

Halloween skull

One of my favorite images to burn is the Halloween skull. I love the way the burned marks give the skull image an aged and tarnished look. I also love the look of the various tonal values that you apply to the skull to give depth and dimension to your burning. In this tutorial, I will also provide you with a template that you can use to create your very own skull.

Let’s get started!

You will need:

  • Halloween skull template (found at the end of this article)
  • TRUArt pen
  • Carbon paper
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Magic eraser
  • Tape
  • Fine-sanded wood

 

Step 1:

Take your wood, template, carbon paper, pen and tape. Tape your paper to your wood and begin the tracing process. For instructions on how to complete this process, please refer to my previous post here.

Step 2:

Once everything has been transferred, start your shading process. I started in the nasal cavity. Be aware of where light will hit and cast shadows. I started working on the darker end and slowly lightened my shading as I moved up. This is not an easy skill to master. For shading tips, please view my shading tutorial here.

 

Step 3:

Once I completed the shading in the nasal region, I began the same process in the eye sockets of me Halloween skull. The template should be used as a guide to indicate where areas should be darkened. Don’t worry about your tracing being visible through the shading, you can remove those lines once your image has been completely burned.

 

Step 4:

Start shading around the jawline. Remember to burn in a light tone here. We do not want our darker tones to blend with the lighter. We need to decipher what parts of the image are further away than the rest or what area has more depth. The shading around the skull is only meant to indicate where the shadows lie.

 

Step 5:

Begin working your way up the skull. Notice the crack lines on the template. At a lower heat, trace the lines to show cracks on the skull. Be sure your heat is not too high or you will create splotches instead of crack lines. You can always increase your temperature if needed. Add more lines if you wish.

 

Step 6:

When outlining the skull, the shading should be a darker value around the top portion of the head. You still don’t want this to be a dark shade, just a tonal shade darker than the bottom of the skull. Slowly fill in the center of the skull with a lighter value as you go inward.

 

Step 7:

Once you have completely burnt your skull image, start burning the background. This is an extremely time consuming process. You will also need to use high heat so this step must be done with caution. An alternate option would be to use paint to fill in the blank space or just leave it untouched. I personally love the look of the background burned. If you choose to do this, start on one spot and work your way down keeping your strokes as uniform as possible. This prevents an uneven burn and makes the completed piece look more polished.

Now that your burning is complete, take a dampened magic eraser and erase the lines that are visible from your tracing.

I hope you have fun burning a skull of your own. Remember, this takes time and practice. You stick with this and it will get easier every time you try. I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Halloween.

 

See you next time,
Andrea Pate
Pate’s Pyrography

 

Template

 

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Christmas Wood Burning Stencils

Christmas is literally just around the corner now and what better way to spruce up your decorations with little pyrographed projects with your TRUArt pens? With free stencils of course!

Inspired by Andrea’s latest article, “Holiday Gifts”, I’ve collected some images across the web to help you all out. These were picked especially for their simplicity. and elegance – where a single picture conveys an unmistakable message of Christmas.  It would be pretty tough to start burning big Christmas-themed projects at this point in time. Then I thought instead of going through the agony of waiting for that day to come, why not get the whole family involved in burning little decors to hang around the house and on the Christmas tree?

What’s more, these would be a perfect fit for those scrap pieces of wood lying about. You could create discs from small branches or others. Perhaps use that old scrap rectangular plywood in the basement as a warm greeting board or a little signage greeting everyone who sees it somewhere within the house.

Whatever the case, the important thing is that the whole family gets in on it – sharing the Christmas spirit as it were.

 

So hurry and click on the PDF files below and download your stencil. If you need help on transferring images to your work, check out Andrea’s guide.

  1. Angel
  2. Bare Christmas tree
  3. Bells
  4. Conifer cone
  5. Christmas quote
  6. Christmas quote 2
  7. Christmas quote 3
  8. Reindeer
  9. Reindeer 1
  10. Santa
  11. Santa 2
  12. Snowflake

Have a great Holiday Season everyone!

 

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Cactus Stencil Wood Burning with TRUArt Carbon Paper

 

 

What you will need:

 

Sometimes, in pyrography, trying to find the right image to burn can be extremely tricky.  When you are an artist, copyright laws can make it challenging to find a great image to burn.  Fortunately, now TRUArt has FREE printable stencils available.  Once I came across these stencils, I couldn’t wait to get started.

There are several unique designs available to download but, ultimately, I decided on this cactus stencil.  This stencil is available under the clock category.  I loved the pattern so much that I modified the stencil to make it my own and decided not to trace the numbers.

I found this stencil to be a quick and easy burn. This is a great project to do with your family.  My children had fun picking out the colors of the various pots and helped me find the right shade of green for each plant.  We spent the day going over different stencils and both my children found something that appealed to each of them.

Once the image was burned and colored, I decided to give the background a nice, thick solid burn.  This technique gave my burning some depth and made my image pop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was extremely happy with the ending result.  This was a fantastic family project that is exciting for children to do. These prints are also a useful tool to help you practice your pyrography skills. My children loved working with these stencils and they are both excited about working on our next burning together.

 

 

See you next time,
Andrea Pate
Pate’s Pyrography

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“Welcome Home” Woodburning Tutorial

If you are looking for a way to create a very beautiful and professional looking wood burning, I have some tips to assist you along the way.

What you will need:

  1. TRUArt pyrography pen
  2. Wood of your choice
  3. Colored ballpoint pen
  4. Carbon tracing paper
  5. Tape
  6. Image/design to burn
  7. Magic eraser
  8. Sand paper
  9. Stain
  10. Varnish

 

Take the time to find the right image to burn.  Make sure the size of the image works well with the piece of wood you choose.  Be mindful of the type of wood you choose.  Try sticking to a softwood such as birch wood, basswood or even simple plywood.  Sand your wood surface down prior to use to ensure that the image you use will burn evenly.  Do not burn on treated or painted wood as fumes inhaled from these can be harmful to your health.

 

 

Get some tape, carbon paper, and a colored pen.  Find the center of your wood and place your image on the desired location.  Tape the top of your image onto the wood to prevent it from shifting.  Slide the carbon paper underneath your image (glossy side down). Take out your pen and trace the image.  I like using a pen because I feel like I don’t have to add as much pressure while I’m tracing the image.  It is useful to use a colored pen so that you can see the area that was already traced.

 

 

 

Once the image has been completely transferred, gently lift the bottom portion of the design to ensure that you have traced the whole image onto the wood. If so, remove the paper.  When burning the image, start at a lower heat and slowly increase the temperature as needed.  If you start too hot, you will get an uneven burn and possible burn marks outside your design.

Do not press down hard while burning. If you feel the need to push down hard on the wood with the pen in order to get the desired darkness/shade, your temperature is too low and needs to be increased.

Once you have completed the burning, you may have some marks left on your wood from where you traced your design.  These markings can’t simply be erased with a regular eraser. Get a magic eraser.  Add only a little water to the eraser and gently rub in a circular motion evenly across the wood.  If it’s not done evenly, you will have splotchy marks on your wood when you stain.  When that happens, simply sand the wood down on those areas. Rubbing too hard may cause smearing of the image.  Gently rub the eraser on the smudges until they’re gone and let the wood dry completely.

To give the wood a finished look, add a little stain on it.  Be sure not to add too much stain or too dark of a stain or the image will fade into the wood. To protect the image from darkening over time, varnish the wood with polyurethane or resin.

Now, all you have to do is enjoy all your hard work.  Keep practicing and be patient with yourself.  Hang in there, you’ll get it.

I wish you the best of luck and I will see next time with some more tips to help you along the way.

If you have any questions regarding the whole process, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll get to them as soon as possible.

 

Andrea

Pate’s Pyrography

 

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Create Your Very Own Carbon Transfer Paper

One major problem all commercial carbon transfer paper have is that its not easy to get rid of the accidental lines and smears made during transfers. If all those lines are going to be covered by your pyrography pen, that’s all well and good. But what if they don’t get covered with your design?

 

The best way to get rid of them would be to sand off the affected area. Naturally, the darker the lines, the more sanding is needed. Furthermore, you can’t just sand that affected area if you want your whole work piece to be level. You would need to sand everything down.

 

We don’t understand why transfers made from commercial carbon transfer paper cannot be erased by a simple rubber eraser. However, we have found an alternative that works quite well and is completely erasable – not to mention reusable too. Think of the savings! You probably already have all the materials in your house right now too so this is going to be an easy few minutes of a little elbow grease.

 

Check out the short video clip below, see if it works for you or not and share your experience with all of us through the comments below.

 

 

All the best,
Pavel Karoukin
[email protected]