I’m burning !

woodburning rose 1

Following on from my post about pyrography I am happy to report I have mastered the use of the potentially deadly device. I have not burnt myself or the house. I have, however, burnt stuff onto a piece of wood .

I came home from a woodburning workshop a month or so ago with the beginnings of an outlined rose.


A little bit more testing with different tips led to the rose looking like this. More texture and depth but still in need of added layers of shading and detail.

Lots of black blobs all over the place. I decided they needed to form part of the picture as some of them were dictated by the nature of the wood. Others were just my heavy handedness and novice approach.

I watched some YouTube videos on woodburning techniques.

I had also received an instructional DVD I ordered online. So I  read that.

Armed with this new information, I added more layers of shading. Softened some of the edges so the shading flowed together more naturally.

And then I decided to add a touch of colour. For this, I used oil pastels smudging it with my fingers. It was a brave move as  I had no idea how it would look or work together with the burning. It sort of worked, but made the subtle shading less subtle again. It’s all a learning curve!

I have used oil pastels for drawing many times and like the subtlety of smudging the colours together. It gives a soft, velvety look to the work. For the wood burning, I softened it further with the rounded nib. Being oil based, of course it melted and spread quite evenly and well.

When I took the photo and looked more closely at it I noticed  that there was something missing*. Can you spot what it is?

A little more work, a correction here and there, a touch more colour, addition of the missing bit – and here is the final draft. Still have a bit more touching up to do, but for a first effort, I’m pretty chuffed with the result.

©  Raili Tanska

Steps for Peace

Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees – John Muir

*The stem of the rose is not complete



42 thoughts on “I’m burning !

  1. Raili, this is totally brilliant! I didn’t know this existed as a workshop what an excellent idea! Wow! Well done! I’m not a workshop kind of person but I wish I were because it’s important to learn new things and that’s the very best way. I admire you doing that very much. But right now I still have kangeroos in my head I wonder why 😉 xoxo (talented lady / but this I already knew! So did Mighty she says hello!)

    1. Actually to call it a workshop is a tad over-reaching it – it was more of a personalised lesson in the corner of a hardware shop 🙂 When you come to Oz, I can provide private tutoring!

      1. You mean the ribbon or whatever it was sitting on? I just thought that was window dressing. The art was in the flower. The colors were so gorgeous. Man! You sure pick thinks up fast!

      2. Not, it was the stem of the rose – if you look closely, it looks like it’s floating in air… I’m glad you like the colours. I was worried it would spoil the effect of the burning.

    1. You should try it! It’s fun, relatively easy to pick up – lots of tutorials on YouTube. And we bought the wire nib burner on-line for under AUD100.

      1. Maybe I’m just not that bright right now 😩. I swear my list of next projects is about 3 pages long and I never know which is the top or bottom. But you’re right, I should just order myself a kit and jump in.

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