View Full Version : Belgian Shepherd Dogs Woodburnings

02-02-2002, 08:43 PM
This is my first time posting in this forum...actually I guess I never noticed there was an alternative medium forum! My most common medium is pencil, however I also love scratchboard and just started woodburning (pyrographics)! Here are my third, fourth and fifth woodburnings ever. All will be turned into coat/leash racks. They are burned in pine (reportedly one of the most difficult woods to burn, due to the grain). Some do not have the pegs yet, and the bottom one has not been stained yet either.

Belgian Tervuren Pyrograph on pine- 16"x7"

Belgian Groenendael herding Pyrograph on pine- 18"x7.5"

Belgian Groenendael Pyrograph on pine- 17.5"x7.5"

All coments welcome and appreciated!

02-03-2002, 06:28 AM
I think these are great, and Im sure they will be a best seller for you.
I would REALLY be interested to know more about the process, what do you use for the burning, the only thing to come into my mind would be a soldering iron, am I correct?
I would love to see a step by step, on one of your pieces

;) ;)

02-03-2002, 08:31 AM
This is lovely work! I like the herding one. :)

02-03-2002, 02:16 PM
I have always been fascinated by burning also. These are all wonderful pieces. I know they will go over big where you decide to show them. Pine is hard to work with in woodcuts because of the grain, but I never considered that burning would also pose a problem. Makes sense though. If and when you try other woods let us know how they work up in the burning. Also please tell us what kind of tool you use for the burning.

I like the herding one also. The way you set up your compostion along the grain is beautiful. You really made it work for you. The knots and grain make a wonderful landscape for your critters to be traipsing across:D

02-03-2002, 09:05 PM
I am a real novice to burning (and all self taught), so I can't tell you if my process is standard, or unusual. I don't have any plans to imediately work on another burning, so I will try and describe my process.

I start out by drawing a line sketch of the final piece on regular paper, and then use graphite to transfer the drawing to the wood. After I have my line drawing I begin burning. I like to start with the darkest areas and burn them first...I start with the darks in my drawings too. After burning most of my darks I begin on the mid and lighter ranges. All of this is done with a cone shaped tip. I use this tip for the eyes and nose too, as it is the smallest point I currently have (I am hoping to get an even finer one soon!) The shading is varied by the amount of time you leave the tip in one spot. For darks you let it burn a while, and for lights you move it quickly. I prefer to use a curcular motion than straight lines, as it creates a more even burn. After I have the basic burn I change to a tip that has a ridge on it, which creates deeper lines. I use this tip for hair textures, grasses, etc. It has a sharp point on it, which is useful for stippling some areas too. I use this tip mostly for finishing touches. I can use one side of the ridge to also do some shading, but not as well as the cone tip. So that is pretty much my process. They take anywhere from two to four hours to burn.

Unfortunately wood burning is not as cost effective as many other art mediums because you have to spend time not only burning the artwork, but also working the wood. There are also more expenses, such as the wood itself, any tools to work the wood (sanders, saws, drills, etc.) and pegs and hooks. Some people burn on 1/4 inch plywood, which they frame just like a regular art peice. To me one of the great things about woodburning is that it can be applied to useful/practical things, such as these coat racks, so the plywood does not attract me much. I do not know if I will try to sell them, or rather just do them for special donations. Two of these that I have done above will be donated to breed clubs to be used as items in a raffle, where all of the money goes toward rescueing dogs in need of rescue from shelters.

The tool that I am currently using cost about $14 US and came with four different tips. It is a tool designed especially for woodburning. There are professional grade woodburning tools that sell for several hundred dollars too (which I can not afford). Mine is a Walnut Hollow Creative Burner. Apperantly in the US the best wood for burning is basswood, as it burns evenly over the grain.

The herding burning was in many ways the most difficult one for me to do, as I was combining two images. You may notice that the dog in that one is the same as in my tiny-head. That is my puppy, Madisyn. Then I couldn't find a good sheep picture, and the one I did find had the light coming from the back of the sheep, while the picture of my dog had light coming from the front! I had to guess at where the lighting would be coming from the front on the sheep. I guess I must have done pretty well at figuring it out!

Thanks all for your comments!

02-09-2002, 10:27 AM
Thank you for such a detailed account on how you do this.
I found it fascinating.
I still think you should sell these, they are great !!

;) ;)

02-10-2002, 03:29 PM
Thanks for all the information.
These are wonderful pieces and is is good to know how much time and work go into them.
My favorite is the herding one.