Deer & Fish on Leather Pyrography Artwork wood burning

DEER & FISH ON LEATHER PYROGRAPHY ARTWORK wood burning

I became obsessed with burning on leather this last fall and the images above, deer and fish, are my latest attempt.  I have been crafting simple leather projects and then burning designs onto them.  This project was supposed to be a credit card holder, but my design didn’t work out.  Instead of completely wasting the leather, I decided to burn a couple of simple images on the holder as I needed the experience.  As I already knew this project wasn’t a keeper, I decided to burn images that I’m pretty familiar with since I did a lot of them on cribbage boards; a deer & a fish.  This blog is going to talk about the deer and fish artwork I created on leather.

Pattern Transferred

Transferring an image to leather works just like it does wood in that I coat the back of the image, place on the leather, and then trace the design.  I did discover that it’s important to keep the hand pressure pretty light as the leather embosses very easily.

 

 

 

burning the trace lines

 

 

Burning the trace lines went well and was probably a touch easier than wood since the leather is so much softer.

 

 

 

starting on the fur

 

I started rendering the fur with my normal zigzag burst, and, since I wasn’t burning very dark, this actually went pretty well.  I did notice that it was easier to burn in some directions versus others.  What I don’t know, as I’m too unfamiliar with leather, if it was easier when I was burning with or against the grain line.  Yes, leather has grain line or growth direction; not sure what the proper terminology is here.

Continued work on the fur

 

 

In this photo I’m continuing to work on the fur on the body and I like how the fur is looking.

 

working on the face

 

 

The face was challenging as the area was so small and I was still learning the proper heat setting to get the color I wanted.

 

 

 

 

writing tip for the eyes

 

 

I had to switch to the writing pen tip for the eye, nose, and mouth because the area I’m working in is really small. 

 

 

 

continued work

 

 

In fact, a good portion of the facial features were done with the writing pen tip.

 

 

 

working on the antlers

 

 

 

 

With the antlers I was able to use the micro shader which I thought was easier to use on leather than the writing pen tip.

 

 

continued work

 

 

 

In this photo I’m continuing to work on coloring and adding texture to the antlers.

 

 

working on the ears

 

 

 

Working on the ears.

 

 

 

fine tuning the fur

 

 

Fine tuning the fur on the body. 

Now I will admit that this artwork did not turn out very well as the face looks off.  Part of the problem was that I didn’t try real hard as I just testing out the different techniques I use to create fur.  Another contributing factor is that I haven’t done much burning on leather.

 

Deer on Leather

 

 

Here’s a photo of the final deer artwork. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burning in the trace lines

 

The fish, on the other hand, turned out well, at least I thought so.  Granted it is a more simplistic image compared to the deer.  In this photo I’m burning in the trace lines.

 

working on the tail

 

 

In this photo I’m using the razor edge of the shader to draw in the lines on the tail.

 

 

working on the mouth

  

 

Next I defined the upper edges of the fish and I’m currently working on the mouth.

 

 

coloring the body

 

 

Coloring the body of the fish went very smoothly.  This style of pen stroke was very easy to do on leather and the direction didn’t seem to matter.  I think a large part of that was due to the fact that I wasn’t burning darkly, so the heat setting was pretty low.

 

 

Continued work

 

 

 

Continued work on the body.

 

 

 

working on the face

 

 

Coloring the face.

 

 

 

 

Continued work

 

 

 

Continued work on the face.

 

 

working on the fins

 

 

 

In this photo I’m adding the final touches to the fins. 

 

 

 

Adding spots

 

 

I switched to the writing pen tip to add all of the spots (dots) on the fish.

 

 

large dots in place

 

Here’s a photo showing how I went overboard with the larger darker spots.  I really disliked how dark they were.  What I should have done was had a piece of scrap leather nearby to test out the pen heat.

 

fixing mistake

 

If nothing else, It gave me an opportunity to try and fix the mistake.  I used the tip of my X-acto knife to very gently scrape away some of the coloring on the larger spots.

 

Below is the before / after photo side-by-side to compare my repair job. 

Before / After fixing

 

Fish on Leather

Here’s a photo of the final fish artwork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN CONCLUSION

Even though the credit card holder design didn’t work out, I at least learned a lot during my test burning.  The artwork definitely turned out a LOT better than either of my previous leather burning attempts, so my skills with leather burning are improving.    Like all things, with practice I will continue to get better. 

Lastly to answer a few commonly asked questions.   The artwork measures 3 1/2 x 2 5/8 inches (8.9 x 6.7 cm), was burned on leather.  The deer took me 1 1/4 hours and the fish took 3/4 hours to complete them.

  

Until the next blog,

Brenda

Dec 29, 2017

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