My husband, Todd, loves to take pictures. He’s been known to get up early, so he can reach his photo destination as the sun is just rising. One day he was at the Ilwaco marina, it was a touch foggy, and he took several pictures of the moored boats. One of the pictures I just loved, so decided to create a pyrography rendition of it. This blog is going to discuss the creation of the Misty Marina pyrography artwork.
Here’s the photo he took. I loved all of the detail in the photo and how the distance boats and docks are faded from the fog.
I had a piece of basswood that had lots of character to it. Most of the time basswood is plain and uniform in color, but this piece broke out of that mold. I had been holding onto this piece of wood waiting for the right project to come along, and I finally found it with the marina photo. The super pale blotches or streaks in the lower left corner would become part of the water reflection area. The grey and tan streaking in the upper portion of the board would become my fog.
It took me several days working an hour or two at a time to get all of the trace lines drawn onto the board. In this photo I’m starting to burn in the anchor logs along the dock.
In this photo you can see some white charcoal lines that I’m burning dark around. I had debated on whether to emboss (carve the lines down into the wood) or try to avoid burning on the lines. I obviously went with the avoidance method.
I quit working on the log I started on because I couldn’t decide how dark to make the log. I wanted it dark, but not as dark as the boat, so burning in a good chunk of the boat allowed me to compare the contrast between the two better.
I exercised my artistic license and created my own texture for the log and I think it turned out nicely. The log in the reference photo was pretty dark and you couldn’t see much texture on it.
I liked my version better and used it on the other anchor log, piling, or whatever the thing is called that was attached to this dock. I’ll warn you now that I’m not very versed with nautical terms, so I’m sure that I will call many items the wrong thing in this blog.
With the second log done, I’m starting on the underside of the dock. After writing numerous blogs about my artwork, I’ve discovered that I have a fondness for burning in the darker areas on the art first.
Now I’m starting on the dark dock area in the next boat slip. I hadn’t burned in the trace lines, so I was starting to get a little concerned that my hand might smear or erase the lines of the dock in the foreground.
Now I’m starting to burn around the plastic pipes that run along the side of the dock. I’m guessing that they carry fresh water and power lines.
I’ve got the area around the piping burned in on this section and now I’m working on the wooden planks on the top of the dock.
Now I’m burning another water reflection. One thing I loved about this piece of wood was the super pale streaks along the bottom. As I mentioned before, they are going to become part of my water reflection.
Continued work on the water reflection.
With the lower left corner mostly done, I felt safe to work on other areas. The reason is that I’m left handed, so my hand was resting in the left corner a lot. Now I’m burning the funky thing with a handle. I want to say it is a motor for hauling in the fishing net or something like that.
There was a LOT of stuff on this first boat, so here I’m using a micro writer to burn in the trace lines. I’m sure that all of the stuff has a purpose, but while I was working on it I keep thinking he/she needs to clean out some junk. 🙂
Behind the fishing trolley was a white boat and that’s what I’m working on here.
The white boat had white railings around the front deck, so I’m burning the fog around the railing to make the railing look white.
The front of the fishing trolley had a deck protrusion with metal railing around it. I’m working on the metal railing. The railing had mesh sides, so I was letting my brain ponder how I was going to handle that.
This picture shows me working on the hand held dipping net. I wasn’t joking when I said there was a lot of stuff on the fishing trolley.
Now I’m back to working on the side of the dock. This area I’m working on is in the lower right corner of the artwork, and is where the dock is the closest.
Continued work on the dock side. (no star wars pun intended) 😉
I’ve got almost all of the dark dock areas done. Until I did this artwork I didn’t have a clue how much stuff was on a marine dock like all of the piping, metal tie-offs, etc.
Even the side of the boat had a lot of stuff hanging from it or intersecting it. There were bumpers and lots and lots of rope. Some of the rope was thin, some was thick, and some was made of metal links.
More work on the water reflection area. The super pale streaks really worked wonderfully to convey light reflections on slightly choppy water. Ironically those streaks were only in the lower left corner.
In this photo I’m working on the water reflection in the area between the two empty boat slips.
Here I’m working on some sort of power junction or at least I think it’s a power junction.
Now I’m working on the cab of the fishing trolley.
I will admit that all of the rigging lines were a pain in the butt to deal with. I loved the complexity their lines gave the artwork, but I didn’t enjoy burning around them.
Burning in the little windows on the boat.
Now I’m burning in the canvas sail that was down and lashed to the bottom pole.
I decided that the white railing needed a little more contrast and that the bottom edge of the railing needed to look shadowed. To accomplish this I’m using a knife edge to burn a thin semi-dark line along the bottom edge of the rails.
This photo shows that I’ve gotten a good chunk of the left side of the artwork done.
I’m continuing to work my way along the fishing trolley burning in some of the stuff on it.
In this photo I’ve used a white charcoal pencil to mark a pale rope that I want to avoid burning on. After the line was draw I carefully burned around it to get the cab to the final darkness it needed. I know I said it before, but I’ll say it again. The numerous ropes were a pain to deal with.
The charcoal line has been erased and you can see a hint of the line. Currently I’m burning in the dark wood around the upper deck on this boat.
I had mentioned before that the front of the fishing trolley had meshing along the sides. Well so did this section of the boat and I’m burning in the lower edge of the meshing.
I decided to burn the meshing a few shades darker than the white of the boat, and hoped that this would be enough to convey the impression that something was there.
Now I’m working on a storage locker on the dock. There was another locker near the empty boat slip, but I found it distracting and left it out of the artwork.
Continued work on the dock.
More work on the front of the boat.
Now I’m starting on the dock that is in the distance and a bit obscured by the fog.
Here I’m burning along the bottom edge of the second sail.
In this photo I’m working on one of the distant vessels.
Using a knife tip to burn in the rigging.
Back to working on the second sail. The front of the sail was lashed down with lots of rope to keep it from moving, so I used a micro writer to burn them in.
Now I’m burning in the canvas on the sail.
Burning the ladder on the second sail.
Back to working on the fishing trolley and all of the lovely ropes dangling off if it.
The top deck of the fishing trolley had a lot of stuff on it, but most of it was covered in tarps or canvas.
Using a micro writer to burn in the rope railing along the side of the boat.
Finishing up the stuff on the top deck of the fishing trolley.
Below are progress photos. Each time I stopped burning I took a picture of the artwork.
Here’s the reference photo.
Here’s the artwork after it was sealed with lacquer. The lacquer brought out a beautiful golden color in the wood and made it seem like an old sepia tone picture.
That’s it for this blog. I did enjoy working on this project and I’m rather proud of all of the fine detail I got into the art. To date this is the most complex piece of artwork I have created. It is probably my best work that incorporates the features of the wood into it. I was very fortunate to have this particular board on hand when I decided to create the Misty Marine as the unique features of this board really enhanced the look of the water and fog.
Now to answer a couple of questions I get asked frequently. This artwork was burned on basswood that measures 11 x 17 inches (27.9 x 43.2 cm). It took me 29 hours to complete the artwork.
Until the next blog,
May 18, 2018
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