Thank You and Pyrography Challenge 1 (Sept 5, 2021)

At the end of July I announced that I was taking a break from YouTube and my website.  My plan was to return sometime in September.  In this short post I will tell you what have I been doing my time away, and share when I plan to return.  More importantly this post contains a thank you gift for your patience and understanding; a free pattern for the long haired rabbit.  Consider it a pyrography challenge.  In fact, I have set up a couple more challenges that will go public on a set schedule for this month.

First off, what have I been doing?  Well, I spent the month of August getting caught up on things around the house.  Yardwork, minor repairs, and things like that.   I also spent a considerable amount of time reading books.  Basically, it has been a time to relax, recharge, and not feel stressed about creating content.

After a couple of weeks of just relaxing, I started feeling creative again.  I started some new projects, worked on designs for future projects, thought about different types of videos that might be helpful to those wanting to learn pyrography.   In fact, my brain started popping out so many new ideas that I started writing them down in my ideas notebook so I wouldn’t forget.  Keep in mind, that I haven’t touched this notebook in a number of months.   I mentioned on a YouTube community post that I have been finding it difficult to stay motivated this past year.    I must say it felt wonderful to have the creative energy start to come back.  

Now the question you are probably more interested in; when do I plan to return?  I’m not sure.  Todd and I are going to take an actual vacation.  Maybe go camping for a few days, or take a road trip, or do a bit of both.  We are waiting until after Labor Day so that the parks will be less crowded.  There are some wildfires going on, so that may impact where we decide to go.    

Basically, I can’t tell you when I will start creating content again.  Now for the challenge and thank you gift; the rabbit

This is an image of my artwork based on a photo of Nova, the black long haired pet rabbit belonging to my niece. 

This link will open the pdf pattern for the rabbit:   Black Rabbit pattern 

I haven’t created a written or video tutorial yet, but it’s on my to-do list. 



I have done a time lapse video, and that can be seen by clicking on the image to the left.   





Here’s the reference photo for the rabbit. 

The other thing I will do to help you with this challenge is provide some of my progress photos.






The face has short fur. I created the short fur texture using the zigzag burn stroke.  I have numerous videos and tutorials covering animals with this sort of fur texture.   The bobcat tutorial is one example and here’s a link to that blog:  Bobcat








In this photo I have started to re-burn over the facial fur, burned in part of the ear, and I’m starting on the longer fur adjacent to the face.   








More of the long fur is getting blocked in.  As I create this longer fur, I’m concentrating on the shadows.   I burn a wide tan band of fur and then burn the shadows around that band or lock of fur to make it show up.   








The technique for the rabbit fur in the previous photo is very similar to the techniques I’ve used on both of these hairdos.  The rabbit’s fur is just more wavy.  Here are links to the hairdo tutorials:  Blonde hair

Dark hair



As the fur transitions to the body, the clumps or locks of hair increase in size.  This makes it easier to burn in because there are fewer shadows to contend with.   I thought of each clump as a lock of hair to burn in.  That meant I burned thick bands of color that varied a little in tonal value.  For each lock the bands are all burned in the same direction.   





I want to point out how lightly I’ve burned in the long fur.  What I have done is block in it.  This means I’ve burned the fur in to a light color to get the shape or locks of fur in place.   

It is very helpful to burn lightly as your block in the area because if things are looking right, it is much easier to make changes.    Light burn strokes can be sanded off fairly easily allowing you to start over. 

I DO NOT RECOMMEND doing a lot of sanding on plywood!  The top layer of plywood is very thin.  If you sand off the top layer, then you’ve exposed the glue.   Burning over the glue can release some toxic fumes!


Once the fur is blocked in, then it is a matter of re-burning over the individual locks of fur to darken them up.   






Take your time and slowly build up the color or tonal value.   I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to fix mistakes because I was rushing to get something done or I was burning at too dark.   






This rabbit took me a little over 9 hours to do.  That time didn’t count the frame or the background.   


I hope you like my little thank you gift, and I hope that you’ll try it.  Some of the biggest improvements in pyrography I have made is when I pushed myself to try new and challenging things.  


Sept 5, 2021


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