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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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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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A Simple Wood Burning Stencil For Mother’s Day

Mother's day quote

In a few more weeks it’s going to be that day where we all have the best excuse to get a little cheesy and tell our moms how special she is! Mother’s day!

I may have started a little too early on this but I couldn’t stop myself from feeling inspired so I went ahead and searched for a very simple yet very meaningful stencil for her, which I hope you will like. Use it as you see fit or let it inspire you to create your own. Tell me what you think about it!

My only problem right now is how to work on it without her knowing about it until the big unveil…

You can also find more free downloadable stencils for various occasions here. Have fun!