Butterfly Book Pyrography Tutorial wood burning for beginners

In this tutorial blog I’m going to explain how to create the colorful butterfly pyrography artwork that I put on a wooden book.  The wooden book was nothing more than a hinged box that was designed to look like a book.  I bought the box at a craft store and when I saw it I had this instant vision of a butterfly on a flower. My vision was that the book covers would show the same image, but opposite versions of it. The front looks down on the butterfly and the back looks up at the butterfly.  This is one of the few times where I had a clear vision or concept of what I wanted to do.  Plus the project was a lot of fun, and it’s very easy to do.

This photo shows a bit of the binding or side of the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this picture shows the book angled to shows the “pages” and the back cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a picture of the front of the book before I started burning on it.  I actually like the grain lines it has, and seems like a waste that I will be covering up most of them.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like it said, the book was nothing more than a hinged box.  I did line the inside of the box with velvet, and I will explain that step too.

 

 

 

 

 

This photo shows more of the left side or ‘binding’ of the book.

Now, let’s get to work. 

SKILL LEVEL: 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

MATERIALS NEEDED:  

*Note that you do not have to use a wood book to do this project. Instead you can place the butterfly on a regular lidded box, or a flat board and hang it on the wall.

Colored Pencils used:

Black – Prismacolor 935

Cadmium Yellow – Polychromos 9201-107

Cobalt Violet – Soho 138

Dark Chrome Yellow – Polychromos 9201-109

Dark Green – Prismacolor 908

Indigo Blue – Prismacolor 907

Light Green – Prismacolor 920

Moss Green – Soho 182

Orange – Prismacolor 918

Pale Sage – Prismacolor 1089

Parrot Green – Prismacolor 1006

Peacock Green – Prismacolor 907

Permanent Green Light – Soho 181

Permanent Green Deep – Soho 184

Prussian Blue – Soho 161

Ultramarine Violet – Soho 155

Violet – Prismacolor 932

White – Prismacolor 938

Yellow Chartreuse – Prismacolor 138

Pearl Ex pigments use:

Antique Gold

Carbon Black

Interference Blue

Interference Gold

Interference Green

Interference Violet

Sparkle Gold

Sunset Gold

Super Copper

DESIGNING THE BUTTERFLY

I always draw my designs on paper so I can test out ideas. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this photo you can see that I had little decorative lines that curled out from some areas on the wings.  I was envisioning a mythical or fantasy type of wing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the revision process, I left the curling lines out.  This photo shows the inked in portion of the butterfly with a piece of tracing paper over the design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I copied the lines onto the tracing paper so I would have a mirror image of my butterfly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I aligned the tracing paper so the lines matched up and taped it down onto the page.  My pattern was ready to be copied and used.

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 1 – PREP THE WOOD

Smooth the wood surface by sanding it with at least 220 grit sandpaper. 

Then thoroughly wet the board by misting it with water.  I only wetted the outside surfaces of the book box.  Let the wood dry and then sand again.

This will produce a super smooth surface, and the smoother the surface is the better the burn results will be. 

 

 

 

 

The wooden on this box was VERY DRY.  Unfortunately, the front cover or lid of the box bowed; a lot.  I had to re-wet the front and back of the lid (very liberally), place a weight on the board, and let it dry.  I was hoping this would flatten the board back out and it did.  I would recommend that if you use a box similar to mine, that you place a weight on the box after wetting it out to make sure it doesn’t warp when drying.

 

 

STEP 2 – TRANSFER PATTERN TO WOOD

There are several patterns for this project and I started with the Book Border pattern.  Coat the back of the pattern with a good thick layer of graphite and align the pattern near the edge of the book.

Be aware that you can align the pattern with the edge of the book or not.  That is your choice to make.  If you place the pattern similar to how I did, make sure to measure and mark a straight line on the wood to line the pattern up with.  Afterwards, trace over the design to transfer the lines to the wood.

 

 

 

 

Before removing the pattern, pull it back a bit and check your trace lines.  If you missed any spots then let go and trace over the missed spots.  As you can see, I do apply a very generous layer of graphite to the back of the pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now coat the back of the Book Binding pattern with a layer of graphite, position it onto the side of the book, and trace over the design.   I did mark the center of the binding and drew a line down the center of the pattern.  I matched up the lines to ensure the pattern was positioned in the center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again check for any missing trace lines before completely removing the pattern.

 

 

 

With the butterfly you can decide how you want it positioned on the board.  I wanted part of the wing to wrap around onto the side of the book.  I also wanted part of the wing to overlap on the design along the edge of the book, so I placed the butterfly on the board at a bit of an angle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Always check for missing trace lines before removing the pattern. 

 

When you secure the butterfly pattern to the board, make sure to avoid placing the tape on the design along the edge as the tape will lift the pencil marks from the wood.

 

 

 

 

Here’s how the front of the box looked once I was done.  Yes, I know the pencil lines are hard to see against the grain lines.    The last thing to do is put the trace the back cover pattern on the back of the box.  For some reason I didn’t take a picture of this step, but I’m sure you understand what needs to be done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 3 – PYROGRAPHY TIME

Now let’s burn in the butterfly design.  

I want to mention that when I create any pyrography artwork that I plan to add color to, I ALWAYS do the pyrography portion first.   I never burn over paints, colored pencils, sealants, stains, etc.  The reason is that all of the products contain chemicals, binders (glues), pigments, dyes, metals, etc.  Most manufacturers don’t list what they put into the product as they fear the completion stealing their formula.  Some items, like cadmium, can release toxic fumes when heated/ burned over, and the health risk isn’t worth it to me.  Safety lecture done, so let’s start burning.

 

 

 

Begin with the book binding side and burn a dark thick line along the trace lines.  I’m using a medium ball pen tip for two reasons.  1) It produces thick lines that have the same width.  2) It glides over the uneven surface of the wood better than my writer pen tips did.  I’m not sure what sort of wood was used for the side of this box, but it was very grainy and a number of sunken grain lines or missing thin lines of wood.  Those depressed areas in the wood kept snagging my writer pen tip.

 

 

Notice how I place a finger on the wood.  This helps steady my hand and I get better or more consistent burn results.  If you look close at the burn lines, you’ll see round “dots” here and there.  There’s where even my ball pen tip is snagging a bit on the sunken lines on this wood. 

After you are done, use a standard pencil eraser and rub over the area to remove any residual graphite.

 

 

 

Then burn in the trace lines on the front of the box.  This time I started out with ball pen tip.  

 

 

 

 

 

At some point I switched to the standard writer pen tip.  I feel like I can see where I’m burning easier with the writer pen tip.  Plus I like to use this pen tip to burning in the smaller or finer lines that were on a few areas of the wing.

 

 

 

 

 

As you are burning in the trace lines on the wing, so ahead and burn in the dark areas on the wing to a very dark brown or black color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo shows that I’m almost done burning in the trace lines on the front butterfly.  Also, I’ve burned in some of the thinner dark markings along the way. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To finish the dark markings, I switched to a smaller shader to burn in the wider or larger ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the butterfly is burned in, then use a writer pen tip to burn in the trace lines on the flower.  I used a writer pen tip on a lower heat setting to ensure the lines weren’t very dark and remained thin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also burn in the trace lines on the book border. 

Notice how I kept the pattern nearby.  Some of my trace lines were tough to see, so I could look at the pattern and make sure I was burning the line more accurately.

 

 

 

The front cover or lid of the wooden box I was burning on was very grainy and pitted, so I had a very difficult time trying to burn straight lines with a writer pen tip.  I switched to a shader and used that instead.  

If you positioned your butterfly wing so it overlaps onto the border, make sure to burn in the border a few shades lighter than the wing.  This will you will be able to easily tell wing from border.

 

 

For anyone who has read a few of my tutorials, this instruction shouldn’t come as a surprise.  Keep your pen tip in optimal position when burning along the edges.  This will keep the edges crisp and clean.   If you are unfamiliar with my terminology, I have a blog that explains them:  Using The Shader

 

 

 

Here’s how the front cover looked at this point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I forgot to trace in the antennae on the butterfly, so I drew them in with a pencil and then used a writer pen tip to burn over the pencil lines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fill the center of the flower with lots of little circles.  Also, the circles do not need to be perfect or burned in concentric rows as I did.

 

 

 

 

 

I decided I didn’t like the pale end of the book that was showing past the border pattern, so I’m burning it to match the color on the thin band on the other side of the pattern.  

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s how the front cover looked once I was done burning on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo shows the book at an angle, so you can see the binding.  In this photo the front cover isn’t completely done yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip the book/box over and burn in the trace lines on the back.  Again burn the dark butterfly wing markings to a very dark brown or black color.

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s how the back of the book looks at this point. Since this was supposed to be the underside view of the front cover, I angled the butterfly to match the angle on the front cover or top of the box. 

What I didn’t like with the back was how boring the left edge of the book looked (red arrow). The tan band along the right edge (yellow arrow) is the wood from the book binding or side of the box.  I didn’t want to use the fancy book border from the front cover the back. 

As I contemplated what I do I rubbed over all the burned areas with a standard pencil eraser to remove any residual graphite.  I just didn’t take a picture of this.

 

 

After I was done removing any residual graphite, I decide to keep the back border simple bands of color.  I began by drawing some lines along the edge to create the bands.  I mimicked the front cover in that I created a thin band and a wider band that extended to the edge of the book.  Then I burned them to a uniform brown color making sure they were several shades lighter than the wing.

 

 

 

In this photo I’m finishing up the border along the edge of the back cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is how the back looks.

At this point we are done burning, so now it’s time to add some color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADDING COLOR

I highly recommend using a print out of the pattern and testing out colors.  Make sure to write down what color(s) you used, and how you layer your colors, so that you have an easy to follow instructions when it’s time to work on the box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I mentioned that you should write down HOW you layered colors.  The reason is that depending on your starting color, you can get different results.  For example, if I start with white and then use purple over it, I will end up with an overall lighter color than I would get if doing the opposite.  So it’s important to note the order you applied the colors. 

Another thing to write down is how you used the color.  Did you cover over the entire marking, only half of the marking, just around the edges of the marking?  Whatever you did, write that down next to the color.   For example, if I used white to color in the entire area I wrote down “fill with white.”   If I only colored a portion, then I’d write down “fill left half with white” or “fill the right side with a 1/4 inch border (0.64 cm).”  If I only colored around the edges or border of the marking then I wrote down “edge with white.”  Once I was done I had a detailed list of the colors I used, in the order that I used them in, and how I applied each color.  This made replicating my results easy to do.  I also wrote down each time I used the blending stump.    

Each and every time I tested out a color design, I made a detailed list of what I did.  I only kept the lists for the color designs I liked.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will discover that I use white a lot in my butterfly design.  The reason is that it helps keep the colors soft and semi-translucent appearing.  Also I used white as a way to blend and even out the colors.  

Blending stumps or tortillions were also used to help blend the color and push it down in the grooves or depressions the wood on this box had.   If you don’t have a blending stump, you can use a piece of paper towel wrapped around your finger. 

 

 

 

 

If using a blending stump, make sure to clean it before using it to blend new colors.   What I mean by that is once you are done with the flower petals, clean the stump before using it to work on the wings.  Each time you have a major color change clean it again.  For example, I started on the ice green ovals along the outer wings of the butterfly.  The next row of markings on the butterfly was purple in color, so I cleaned the green from the stump before using it to blend the purple.

 

 

STEP 4 – FRONT COVER

We are going to start with the front cover beginning with the flower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First use an orange colored pencil to color in the border design.  The brand and color number is listed at the top of the blog in the “colored pencils used” section.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apply as many layers of color as needed to get good coverage. Use the blending stump if needed to smooth out the color.  Depending on the wood surface, it might help to alternate the direction you color in the layers.  For example, the first layer is applied vertically and the second horizontally.

 

 

 

 

 

Next start on the flower.   I used Cadmium Yellow, Dark Chrome Yellow, Violet, and White on the flower.

I started with white and filled the entire petal with an even layer of it.  Make sure to color one petal at a time.  Don’t use horizontal strokes and color across several petals at one.

 

 

 

 

Then switch to Cadmium Yellow and fill the entire petal with that color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next use Dark Chrome Yellow and fill the entire petal with color, but apply a light layer along the top half of the petal.  Concentrate the color along the lower half of the petal.  The lower portion is the area closest to the flower center.

 

 

 

 

 

Now blend the color using a clean blending stump, tortillion, or blender of your preference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use Violet to draw a line that runs along the dark area or streak of a petal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used red arrows to mark the dark streaks I created on one petal in this photo.  I put 2 dark streaks on each petal to give it some shape and color variation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now switch back to Cadmium Yellow and color over the purple lines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rub the stump over the petal to blend again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use a white coloring pencil to color along the top, the edges, and the center of the petal.  Basically everywhere but the dark streaks we’re creating on the petal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then use the dark chrome yellow to further define the dark streaks.  Also, if needed or desired, use dark chrome to darken up the base of the petal.

 

 

 

 

 

To darken up the streaks a little more, apply another layer of violet over them.  How dark you want the streaks is really up to you. Heck you might not even want the dark streaks on your flower petals.  Again that is your choice to make.

 

 

 

 

 

Blend one last time and you’re done with the petal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now color in the remaining petals on the flower using the same steps you did on the first petal.

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a progress photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now color in the remaining petals that appear on the front cover.  Keep in mind that you barely see some of the petals.

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s how the cover looked after the flower was colored in.  Now let’s start on the butterfly.

Note that because a lot of the coloring involves layering the same colors a number of times, I will show fewer and fewer pictures and just provide written instructions to follow with.

 

 

 

 

 

We’ll start with the Icy Green Ovals on the wings.  For the ovals I used Moss Green, Light Green, Pale Sage, and white.   Begin by using Moss Green to color a thin line around the outer edges of the oval.

 

 

 

 

Then fill the oval with white.

 

 

 

 

 

Afterwards, switch to Pale Sage and fill the oval with that color.   Then blend the color using clean blending stump.

 

 

 

 

 

Now color along the edges with Light Green, and follow this by filling the area once again with white.   Then apply another layer of Pale Sage over the oval.  Blend the color and you’re done.

 

 

 

 

 

Repeat the color sequence on the other ovals. I circled the oval markings with red on this photo.  If you placed your butterfly so part of the wing is on the binder of the book, don’t forget that oval that is on the binder.  I used a yellow arrow to indicate its location. 

Keep in mind that it’s much each easier to do one step for all of the ovals and then move onto the next color.

 

 

 

 

Now we’ll work on the gradient purple markings that run along the outer wings.  For those markings I used Ultramarine Violet, Violet, and white.   I began by using a white colored pencil to fill the 3/4 of the first marking.  Concentrate the color along the left or upper side of the marking, and stop coloring before reaching the right or lower side of the marking.

 

 

 

Then use Violet to fill 3/4 of the marking, but this time concentrate the color along the right or lower side.  Stop coloring before reaching the left or upper side of the marking. I applied a couple of layers of violet to really build up the right or lower side of the marking.

 

 

 

 

Use a clean blending stump to blend the colors.  Afterwards, apply more violet to the marking, and again concentrate the color along the right side of the marking. 

 

 

 

 

 

Then use a white colored pencil and fill the entire marking with a layer of color.   After filling the area with white, switch to Ultramarine Violet and color in the right half of the marking.  Blend one last time and you’re done with this marking.

 

 

 

 

 

I used red to highlight all of the gradient purple markings on the wing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now we’ll work purple streak near the center of the wing using two colors; violet and white.  Begin by filling the marking with a violet colored pencil, and then blend the color. 

 

 

 

 

 

Then color over the area using a white colored pencil.   After that switch back to the violet and apply a layer.  Follow this with one last layer of white, and then use a blender of your choice to blend and smooth out the color.

 

 

 

 

 

Again I drew a red line around the markings to color in during this step.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a progress photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now we’re going to take care of the Green and Yellow markings.  For the assorted markings I used 3 colors: Light Green, White, and Yellow Chartreuse.  Start by filling the dumbbell shaped marking with a Light Green color.   

 

 

 

 

 

Then move over to the markings next to the outer edge of the purple streak we just finished coloring.  Use the same light green color and color in 1/4 of these markings along their outer edge.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next switch to Yellow Chartreuse and fill in the markings.  Don’t color over the dumbbell shaped ones.

 

 

 

 

 

Now apply another layer of light green to all of the same areas we did before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then use a white colored pencil and apply a layer over all of the markings including the dumbbell shaped one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go over the yellow and green markings with of yellow chartreuse, followed by light green, and then white.  Afterwards blend the colors.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Switch back to the yellow chartreuse and apply a layer over the green and yellow markings.  Also apply a layer to the very center markings next to the butterflies body.

 

 

 

 

Use white to color over all of the green/yellow markings including the dumbbells and very center markings.

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s another progress photo. 

You may or may not agree, but I think the butterfly is looking very striking.  I’m not a big fan of yellow or green, but I think they look great on this butterfly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To finish up these markings, apply another layer of the yellow.  Follow the yellow with the green and then the white colored pencil.  Afterwards, blend out the color and you’re done.

 

 

 

 

Once again, the areas we worked on are circled with red in this photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a progress photo.  The colors are a little darker or richer; especially the yellow center marking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now we’ll start with the upper blue marking which uses the following colors:  Cobalt Violet, Prussian Blue, Ultramarine Violet, Violet, and white.  Begin by filling the area with Prussian Blue.

 

 

 

 

 

Then color along the edges of the marking(s) with Ultramarine Violet. For this marking, the edge is actually a band of color that is approximately 1/8 – 1/4 inch wide (0.33 – 0.64 cm).     Afterwards blend the color with a clean blending stump, and apply another layer of Prussian blue over the entire marking. 

 

 

 

Then color along the edges with Ultramarine Violet and blend the color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Switch to Cobalt Violet and apply that color along the edges of the markings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now fill the marking with white.   As I said before, I use white to blend and help soften the color.   Apply more Prussian blue.  Then color along the edges with Cobalt Violet and the lightly color over the center of the marking with the same color.  Afterwards apply another layer of Prussian blue along the edges.  Blend and then apply a layer of white over the entire marking to finish up.

 

 

 

Here’s the photo showing the markings to color circled with red.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now let’s color in the blue-purple markings. These markings use the same colors as the last ones: Cobalt Violet, Prussian Blue, Ultramarine Violet, Violet, and white.   Begin by filling the markings with Prussian blue

 

 

 

 

 

Then color around the border or edges of the markings with Ultramarine Violet.  Afterwards blend the color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use a white colored pencil to apply a layer of color over the entire area of the marking(s).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next use the Prussian blue to apply a layer of color along all the edges except in inner or lower edge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Repeat the same thing with ultramarine violet, followed by cobalt violet, and violet.  All three are applied just along the edges.  Blend the colors using a blending stump.

 

 

 

 

 

To finish up, apply a layer of white over the markings and a little more Prussian blue along the outer edge. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once again I’ve circled the markings in red that we just colored.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last area on the wings to do is the spot where the blues fade to green.  For this area we will use Light Green, Prussian Blue, White, and Yellow Chartreuse.   Use a white colored pencil and apply a 1/4 inch (0.63 cm) wide band along the inner or right edge of the markings.

 

 

 

 

Fill the rest of the markings with a thin layer of light green, and just slightly overlap the green on the left edge of the white band.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a progress photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Switch to the yellow chartreuse and color over the light green.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use Prussian blue colored pencil and color over a small amount of the green color on the lower end of it.  Where the pencil is in the photo is where I stopped with the blue.

 

 

 

 

 

Next apply a layer of white over the entire marking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blend with a clean stump and the wings are done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now we’ll color in the butterfly body and I will tell you that I wasn’t overly thrilled with what I did.  I used Black, Dark Green, Indigo Blue, Violet and white. Begin by applying a layer of violet.

 

 

 

 

 

Follow the violet with a layer of indigo blue and blend.  Then apply a layer of dark green.   I was trying to create a dynamic dark color. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use a white color pencil to draw in lines for the body segments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a progress photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blend the white a bit and then apply black along the edges of the body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apply more white to the center of the body and blend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s how the body looks at this point.  I should have stopped here as I think this looks decent.  At the time I didn’t think so, and continued on.  I scraped away color to create little “hairs,” added more color, and in general made it look worse.  Because I really dislike how my butterfly body ended up looking, I will stop the instructions at this point. 

 

 

 

 

 

The very last thing to cover with the front, is the center of the flower.  I first applied a layer of violet.

 

 

 

 

 

Then I applied a layer of dark chrome yellow.  That was it.  I kept it simple. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo shows the front cover with the light striking so that the Pearl Ex shine is minimal. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I’ve angled the cover a bit towards the light and the butterfly is getting a metallic sheen to it.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This final picture shows the cover angled so that the metallic sheen has become opaque and very pronounced.  I have to admit that I love how Pearl Ex can do that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 5 – BINDING and BACK COVER

With the front done, let’s color in the binding.  Use orange to color in each of the designs.

 

 

 

 

Then apply a layer of white over the design.

 

 

 

 

Finish the binding designs with another layer of orange.

 

 

 

 

Now we’ll do what shows of the butterfly wings.  I kept this super simple and did the exact same thing that was done on the front side. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start with the Icy Green Ovals.  Coloring a thin line around the outer edges of the ovals using moss green.  Fill with white.  Fill with Pale Sage.  Blend with a clean stump.  Color along the edges with Light Green.  Fill with white.  Fill with Pale sage.  Blend one last time and you’re done.

 

 

 

 

Now color in the other pale ovals. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next we’ll work on the gradient purple markings along the outer wing.  Use a white colored pencil to fill the 3/4 of the marking starting on the outer edge.  Then fill 3/4 of the marking starting on the inner edge.  Blend.   Apply more violet.  Fill with white.  Use Ultramarine violet to color in the lower half of the marking.  Follow this with a layer of violet.  Blend and you’re done. 

 

 

 

 

 

I used red to highlight all of the gradient purple markings on the wing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now we’ll start with the upper blue markings by filling the area with Prussian Blue.  Use Ultramarine Violet along the edges.  Blend.  Fill with Prussian Blue.  Color along edges with Ultramarine Violet.  Blend.  Use Cobalt Violet along the edges.  Fill with white.  Fill with Prussian Blue.  Use Cobalt Violet along the edges.  Apply Prussian Blue along the edges.  Blend.  Fill with white and you’re done.

 

 

 

 

This photo has the markings circled in red. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The remainder of the markings get the same treatment. Fill in the markings with Prussian Blue.  Use Ultramarine Violet along the edges.  Blend.  Fill with Prussian Blue.  Color along edges with Ultramarine Violet.  Blend.  Use Cobalt Violet along the edges.  Fill with white.  Fill with Prussian Blue.  Use Cobalt Violet along the edges.  Apply Prussian Blue along the edges.  Blend.  Fill with white and you’re done.

 

 

 

 

 

The markings are circled in red.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now let’s color the flower.  Use Cadmium yellow to color in the petal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow this with Dark Chrome Yellow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use Violet to draw two gently curving lines on each petal.  Also color in the back of each petal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fill in the petal with another layer or two of Dark Chrome Yellow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add a touch of Cadmium Yellow along the outer edges

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apply a little white along the light areas on the petal and blend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now color in the remaining petals on the flower. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made the underside or back cover flower darker than the front.  So I used more dark chrome yellow to layer up the color and less white and cadmium yellow.

 

 

 

 

I also applied the violet more liberally on the back cover.

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a progress photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you made a border like I did, then use orange on the thin band between the two burned bands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the stem apply a layer of Peacock Green.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then apply permanent green deep around the edge of the center circle.  The circle represents where the stem would connect.  Blend the color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apply permanent green deep over the leaves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow this with permanent light green. Blend and you’re done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 6 – SEAL

It is very important to seal the wood with some sort of finish at this point.  I use one with either a matte or satin finish.  Todd uses Lacquer to seal the wood, but Polycrylic is another product we’ve gotten great results with.  I mention these two because they haven’t discolored as much as other sealants.  To read more about seals read my blog:  Wood Finishes.

The reason it’s important to seal the artwork now, is that the matte or satin finish will remove the metallic sheen of Pearl Ex.  I learned this the hard way and I had to reapply the paint after Todd was done sealing it.   If you prefer to use glossy sealants, then you can seal the box now or wait until after step 7 is done.  

If you plan to line the box with velvet, then do not seal the inside of the box.  Do seal the underside of the front cover as it won’t get covered with velvet.

 

STEP 7 – PEARL EX

Pearl Ex is a powdered pigment.  The pigments provide a metallic sheen to surfaces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of you are probably wondering why bother applying Pearl Ex to the butterfly since it already has color.  The simple answer is that I love the metallic sheen.  Plus, the metallic sheen from the Pearl Ex pigment is very dependent on how the light strikes it.   In this photo I’ve applied some paint to a board and then applied a layer of Purple Interference Pearl Ex over it, and the Pearl Ex is very translucent in this photo.

 

 

In this photo I’ve started to angle the board and the Pearl Ex layer is getting easier to see or less translucent.

 

 

 

 

This photo I’ve angled the board a little more, and once again the metallic sheen is becoming more pronounced.

 

 

 

 

When angled so the sun strikes full on, the Pearl Ex becomes almost opaque.  Depending on how thick of a layer you apply, it will be opaque. 

 

 

 

 

 

Pearl Ex’s ability to be translucent or opaque depending on the light reminds me of butterfly wings.  In certain lighting they look metallic.

 

 

Since Pearl Ex is a powder, it must be mixed with a binding agent.  I use Pearl Ex varnish for this. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use a clean paint brush and load up the brush with the varnish.  Put the varnish into a small mixing tray.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then get a small amount of Pearl Ex

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put the powder into mixing tray with the varnish and mix well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now the paint is ready for use.

 

 

 

 

 

You can buy large jars of Pearl Ex, and you can also buy sampler kits.  The kits will have anywhere from 10-30 different colors in mini jars and are available on Amazon and other websites.  Note that It doesn’t take a lot of pigment to get fantastic results and my jars have lasted me a very long time.   

 

I mix a little pigment with the varnish and apply to the lid of the jar.  This way I know how the color will look.

 

 

The reason is that some of the powdered pigments, like the interference colors, are very hard to tell what they will look like just from viewing the pigment.   This photo shows Interference Violet and the powder looks white; it’s tough to see any of the purple pigment it has.  Interference colors are pigments what will display a different color depending on how the light strikes it.  With interference violet, you will get either a white or violet color depending on the light.  As this photo shows, you can also get areas of both colors.

I applied a glaze (thin coat) of Super Copper over the orange border design on the front cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This composite photo shows the powdered version and the mixed paint version of Super Copper.

 

 

 

 

The bare wood areas of the border were painted with Antique Gold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the pale yellow center wing markings I used Interference Gold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of the Pearl Ex interference pigments I used change from white to another color depending on the light. Obviously the interference gold will shimmer either a white, gold color, or a bit of both depending on how the light strikes it.

 

 

On the Green and yellow markings I used Interference Green.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also used Interference Green on the icy green ovals along the outer edges of the wing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The purple markings were glazed with Interference Violet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The blue markings received a glazing of Interference Blue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I angled the board so show the metallic sheen of the pigment.  I only painted the wings markings, and you can see that I got the pigment onto the black areas on the wings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I can’t paint really thin lines and you shouldn’t dilute the pigment/varnish mixture I used a permanent fine tip marker to draw over the thin lines on the wings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the black markings I used Carbon Black mixed with a little Antique Gold. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I added the gold as the carbon black doesn’t have much sparkle to it.  I’m actually very disappointed with this pigment.

 

 

 

 

Here’s how the butterfly wings looked after I applied the black and fixed the thin lines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo shows a close up of the border and part of the wing on the front cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the book binding, I once again used Super Copper to glaze over the orange.

 

 

 

 

Here’s a photo of the binding angled to show the metallic sheen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The back cover border received a super copper glaze over the orange band along the edge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wings received the exact same treatment as the front butterfly did.  In this photo I’m apply Interference Green to the icy green ovals.   The gradient purple markings received a glaze of Interference Purple.  And the blue markings received a glaze of Interference Blue.

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a close up of the border and part of a wing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since I wanted this to look like one of those old ornate books, I decided to treat the sides of the box.  I started by drawing lines down the side with a fine tipped permanent black marker.

 

 

 

Here’s how it looked once I was done on this side. 

 

 

 

 

Then I applied a layer of Sparkling Gold.

 

 

 

 

 

I thought the sparkling gold was a little too bright, and I didn’t like how much the lines stood out.

 

 

 

 

To fix this, I applied a layer of Sunset Gold.

 

 

 

 

 

This I liked as you could still see the lines, and the color was darker.

 

 

 

 

Obviously you need to do the same steps on the two sides of the box.  And, as you can see, I didn’t worry about drawing the same number of lines on each side of the box.   

 

 

 

Here’s a photo of the front or long edge of the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 8 – VELVET LINING

Let’s do the last step and line the box with velvet.

 

 

 

 

 

Begin by using a watercolor paint that is a shade or two darker than the velvet you are using.   You only need to paint along the corners.  The reason is that this will hide any small areas if the velvet is missing. 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t use flocking because it’s a lot more expensive than velvet.  If you use flocking, then paint the entire inside of the box.  It will help hide any areas that didn’t receive a lot of flocking. 

 

 

I’m not using anything fancy or expensive to paint with.  This set of pan paints by Loew Cornell was something I picked up at a craft store in the discount bin for half off.

Can you use acrylic paints?  You can try it.  I don’t like to use acrylic paints because when create a plastic film over the surface they are applied to.  I worry that the glue might not bond as well to plastic as it does to wood.  Water colors, on the other hand, absorb into the wood and don’t interfere with the glues bonding properties. 

 

Speaking of glue, I didn’t think to scrape away any glue residue that occurred when the box was manufactured.  Water colors will not cover glue, so I ended up with some ‘white’ areas in the corners.

 

 

 

To fix, use a permanent marker that is a shade or two darker than your velvet or flocking to cover up the glue.

 

 

 

 

 

Next use a rule to measure the inside dimensions of the box.

 

 

 

 

Transfer those measurements to a piece of paper to create a pattern or template to use with the velvet.

 

 

 

 

Make sure to test fit the paper template.

 

 

 

 

 

It should fix in the box without bowing or leaving lots of gaps around the edges.  If it bows, trim it down until it does.  If there are a lot of gaps, then create a new template.

 

 

 

 

Pin the template to the fabric and cut around the edges.

 

 

 

 

 

Rotary Fabric cutters work great for straight lines as you can use a straight edge to guide the cut.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you’re done cutting out fabric, you should have 1 large piece for the bottom of the box and 4 pieces for the sides.

 

 

 

 

 

Of course you should test fit your fabric before glueing it into the box.

 

 

 

 

 

After test fitting and assuming there weren’t problems, apply a thick layer of glue to the bottom of the box.  I use permanent stick glues for this.  The reason is that if you get liquid glues too thick, the glue can soak through the fabric.  When the glue dries it is VERY noticeable that the fabric has dried glue on it.

 

 

 

Make sure to get the glue into the corners of the box.  Use a tool if needed.  I’m using a silicon brush for this. 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a picture of the silicon brush I use.  You can purchase these online and in craft stores.

 

After applying a glue over the bottom of the box, place the large piece fabric into the box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rub over the fabric to smooth it out and make sure to firmly rub along the edges to ensure the fabric is making good contact with the wood.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Repeat this process for the sides of the box.

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, I apply another layer of glue on the corners.  I want to make sure the fabric is very secure along the corners of the box.

 

 

 

 

 

Apply the fabric and press over it to smooth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the fabric is in place let it sit undisturbed for several hours.  I let it sit overnight.  

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see the fabric along the sides is sticking out over the edge of the box.  That is ok as we’ll trim it down.

 

 

 

After the glue has had time to set up, gently tug along the edges of the fabric.  You’re looking for any loose spots.  If you find any, apply glue to the area and press the fabric firmly into the glue.  Then let it set for a couple hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the fabric passes the tug test, then trim any excess fabric.

 

 

 

 

 

I had to use small scissors to get into the corners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the side that is on the book ‘binding’ edge, I used an X-acto knife and a straightedge to trim the fabric down. 

 

 

 

 

IN CONCLUSION

We’re done.   What did you think of this project?   I said at the beginning that this was an easy project to do, so hopefully you agree with that statement.   This project was more of a craft project versus pyrography art, but I had a lot of fun creating it and I hope that you will too.  For me I was an opportunity to use my Pearl Ex pigments which I love using.  I thought the colors on the butterfly were beautiful and the metallic sheen is very striking.  

One last thing I will mention is that the “book” measures 9 3/4″ tall x 7 3/8″ wide x 1 7/8″ deep (24.8 x 18.7 x 4.8 cm).  It took me 3 3/4 hours to do the pyrography portion, 5 hours to color it with the colored pencils, and another 2 1/2 hours to apply the pearl ex pigments.  More importantly is that I think it turned out well and I had a lot of fun designing and creating this project.

Until the next blog,

Brenda

Oct 25, 2019

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