Current Projects

Below are assorted projects I’m currently working on.  

1/20 – Hi.  Well it’s been a couple of weeks since I updated this page.  I’m not very good at managing my time and I tend to work on just one type of thing at a time.  Lately that was video editing and blog writing.   I got the video tutorial for Lizard Face done, and it will go public Jan 28.  I’ve started working on the second portrait tutorial which will be released as both the written and video format.    Also, I wrote up a written tutorial on the Cheetah artwork and that will come out this Friday, Jan 24th.   Today I got back into burning and worked on several projects, so those are updated below.

Chipmunk – 1/20

The chipmunk has a layer of fur over his entire body, but I do need to add more layers.   I’ve also gotten more of the log and the dark background burned in.     

There is a pattern available for this artwork on my Etsy page:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/749249415/chipmunk-pyrography-pattern-wood-burning   

 

Yawning Jaguar – 1/20

I also worked a bit more on the Yawning Jaguar.   Mostly I’m just burning in sections of the dark markings, but I did work on the mouth area a little bit more.

This is the 4th installment in my big cat series.  All of the big cats for this series are burned onto cradle boards.  Cradle boards are artist grade plywood that has a wood frame from stability, and it makes it look a bit more finished.    I had written a blog testing out different cradle board and now I’m doing the final round of testing by filling each board with a different big cat.    

 

Mt. Shuksan – 1/20

For some reason I just can’t seem to make myself sit down and get this finished up.  Instead I work on it for 30-40 minutes and put it aside.   I only have a few more mountains ridges to burn in, so most likely they will get finished up during my next burn session on this one.        

The sun drawing in the corner is my indicate of where the light is coming from.  This helps remind me where the shadows need to be.

 

 

Young Businessman – 1/20   

I also worked a bit on the 6th installment of the portrait series.  This particular paper I’m burning on is my favorite so far.  It has a really nice smooth surface and handles being erased and burned over much better than the other papers I’ve tried.   I still have several other brands of paper to try, but I do really like this one.

You may have noticed that the portraits don’t include the hair.  The series is about the facial features, not the hair.  Hair can look so different depending on the length, style, color, thickness, etc., so I just didn’t want to get into that realm at this time.   Maybe at some point down the road I will work on a hair series.   

 

 

 

The paper I’m burning the Young Businessman on is 140lb, hot pressed, 100% cotton paper by Winsor & Newton.  Here’s a link to the paper on Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N7UAFQ7/ref=twister_B079SZZ3N5?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

 

 

 

Geranium – 1/5

For some reason I have felt the desire to get this artwork finished up.   I’m down to one large leaf and the flower to burn in.   

This is my second burning of the Geranium.  The first one I burned on paper as a demonstration to help illustrate my talking points in the blog When Is Art Done.   I really did like the composition of the flowers and leaves, so I decided to add this to my Wallflowers series.

 

HA Snowlady – 1/3   

I had a Christmas Postcard drawing contest back in October of 2019.  The Snowlady is one of the entries I received but didn’t choose as the winner.  I really did like the design, so I’ve decided to create a postcard featuring it.  I had bought some decorative die-cut or maybe laser cut plywood a while back at the craft store.  I thought the snowlade would look great one of the boards.  I did torch the border to made it nice and dark.

 

 

 

 

 

Bighorn Sheep – 12/22

Did a bit more work on the Bighorn Sheep artwork.  I’ve decided that I will have to add some color on the horns, but mostly in the form of trying to hide the dark grain lines that run through them.

Here’s a link to the pattern:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/696981937/bighorn-sheep-pyrography-pattern-wood

 

 

 

 

Kestrel – 12/12

I’ve started working on the Kestrel’s chest feathers, but I barely got started on them.

The pattern for this bird is for sale on my Etsy page.   Here’s a link to the pattern:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/742330405/perched-kestrel-hawk-pyrography-pattern

 

 

 

 

 

Abstract Swirls – 11/22

I’m starting to block in the many assorted shadows on this artwork.  It’s one of those images that is very appealing to me because of all of the small detail and how 3D it looks, but replicating it is challenging.  

 

I’ll try to provide another update in a few days.

Brenda

36 thoughts on “Current Projects

  1. Brenda,
    I created my 1st woodburning in the spring of 1967. it was of a cactus seen, it was for a girl that I had a crush on. She and I still to this day remain friends. Oct 18th 2019 will be our 45th class reunion and I’ll see her again. 10 years ago I tried to buy it back, her response was that there wasn’t enough money in the entire state of Texas to buy it. It is one of my most treasured items. The last piece hangs in the foyer hall of Malakoff, texas High School. It is an abstract of a Tiger, the school mascot. It is all done in stimple, millions upon millions of tiny dots. It stands 5 feet tall, eand 9 feet long. If you stare into the eyes as you walk by, the eyes will seem to follow you. That was made in the spring of 2000 for my daughters graduating class and school, a labor of love. Watching your videos on YouTube has started a fire in me to get back into the game. I am disabled,as is my wife, but I spent 50 years as a custom cabinet maker and custom trim carpenter, one of the very best, and most sought after in our area. I would like to know what tools I need to buy to get back in the game. What I had back then was one of those Ohio Arts cork handle type that I can’t find any longer. Well I’ve talked enough and just want to thank you for giving me that spark back, now lets see what I can do with it. It’s been almost 20 years I hope I remember how, thank you!
    Jerry Allen

    1. Hi Jerry,
      I’m glad you have your spark back! Pyrography is a wonderful artform and very relaxing.
      As for tools, you just need a burner and something to burn. There are several artist on YouTube who use a craft or hobby burner like the Versa-Tool by Walnut Hollow. I do not have experience with it, but it has a temperature control on it and I think that is essential for getting realistic art results.
      Two people on YouTube I’d recommend who use a craft burner are: Super Woodburning Tutorials and Minisa Pyrography.
      Super: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNX5H-Xd-3G5_z5G-Rhmebg
      Minisa: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmD-U5CYsIWx2OPODsxETwg

      The versa-tool can be found on numerous websites including Amazon and I believe most craft stores carry it. It runs 20-30 US dollars.
      As for something to burn on. Wood is obviously a great choice, but so is paper. Paper is less expensive. I’ve only recently started burning on paper, so I’m still learning about it and in the process of discovering which brands are best. I can tell you that Hot Pressed 100% cotton paper that is 140# works well. Once I’m done testing I’ll write a blog about burning on paper.
      Brenda

  2. Dear Brenda. I am so inspired by your work. I really love pyrography and i enjoy expressing myself as an artist through pyrography. Kudos for your amazing art carrier.

    1. Hello Isaac,
      That is such a sweet and wonderful comment! Thank you so much for that.
      It is always so exciting to me to discover others you love pyrography. You picked an excellent medium to work in. I love pyrography too. The great thing is that the number of pyrography artists is growing, and it’s a lot of fun to see how create people are!
      Thank you again for the wonderful comment. I really appreciate it!
      Brenda

  3. Hi, i have just recently found you.i made the mistake of buying a soldering iron type burner last year , its cumbersome and being left handed the cable keeps getting in the way and sometimes almost pulls the iron out of my hand. Needless to say i have burnt my fingers several times.. after watching a couple of your youtube tutorials i searched and found a store in the uk selling razortip burners plus the tips / pens to go with it. So last weekend i became an owner of this machine. I am hoping to have ago with it this afternoon whilst trying one of your tutorials. I have high aims , i want to be as realistic as possible.. yes, i aim high and every time i have a break through towards my aim it encourages me to try even harder.

    I just wanted to introduce myself and thank you for your kindness and willingness to teach.. take care

    1. Hi Liz,
      Very nice to meet you. That’s a shame your craft burner (soldering iron type) didn’t work out. There are some artist, like Minisa Pyrography, who create amazing work with them. I really hope that the new burner will work much better. If nothing else it will be a lot easier to switch out pen tip and the heat up / cool down time will be considerably less.

      It’s great to hear that you are creating pyrography artwork. It’s a medium I love working in. Some of my most difficult projects really challenged my skills and I learned a lot from them, so I hope you are getting the same results. More importantly, I hope that you are enjoying yourself.

      Thank you for the wonderful comment and happy burning!
      Brenda

      1. Hi Brenda,
        Thanks for reply;
        Yes, i believe she uses a walnut hollow which has a long cord with an inline heat control . The one i have doesn’t have any heat control , gets very hot and the problem with the cable is its on the short side which is why it tends to pull away from the hand the other problem is the nib unscrews during use and of course they are too hot to tighten if you use pliers as i have seen others use the nibs can bend! I have done alittle but really found the cable annoying and painful , lost count how many time i burnt my fingers.
        I had a play with my razortip yesterday pm . I only have balsa wood which is not that good its too soft really but i was surprised how high i had to have the setting to get it to burn the balsa wood. My feeling was the razortip is much easier to control the pens are light and the cable stays where you put it. The unit does hum
        But then i have very keen hearing so it may well be a normal thing for it to do. I think my keen hearing is to compensate for my very bad eyesight lol.
        I don’t know if i am talking rubbish here but i was thinking – which is a bad thing for me lol. I need to learn heat settings for various tones etc so i was wondering about making a swatch similar to colour swatches. Make a grid and mark each square with the nib being used and what setting etc. What do you think? Is it a good idea or a waste of time? I have four pens that came with the machine 2 have a fix nibs not sure yet what the nibs are called and i have another 2 pens that can take any nib as long as they can attach to the 2 screw contacts -these i believe will be good because you can buy the nibs cheaper than the fix pens.so far the razortip has ticked the boxes..
        Looking forward to having ago at some of you projects.
        Take care

        1. Hi Liz,
          I tried a soldering iron style once and absolutely hated it. I haven’t tried a Razortip, but have heard that they tend to run hotter than other brands. I really don’t know if that’s true or not. My burner has a high pitched hum to it too, so it’s probably a characteristics of them all.

          Creating a grid is an excellent idea. Especially when you’re still trying to figure out what setting you need. After a while you’ll learn that what setting is needed for the different woods you burn on. Just takes time.

          Hope you have a blast with your burner.
          Brenda

          1. Hi Brenda,
            Just a quick question about your workstation. I have just ordered an A2 drawing board which will allow me to set up to 5 different angles to work. Please what angle have you found suits you when burning?
            Take care
            Liz

          2. Hi Liz,
            I have my easel close to a 45 degree angle. For me that angle is fairly comfortable and still allows the artwork to be videoed taped pretty clearly.
            Brenda

    2. Hi Liz,

      You’ve made a good choice. I’ve been able to pick up a lot of useful tips, tricks and information from Brenda that she uses during her burns, which is why I was able to dive straight into complicated wood-burning projects. I spent a few months just watching YouTube videos and practising before I started and to date I’ve completed three relatively complicated projects.
      Could I also ask where you bought your Razertip equipment? I purchased mine from Yandles but I’m is desperate need of new pens and tips, however, they’re not the greatest at having a huge, or even decent size of stock, so they run out relatively quick – then it takes a few months til they replenish.
      Finally, Brenda is a star and you will learn a lot from her tutorials – guaranteed 🙂

      1. Hi Pete,
        Nice to meet you.
        I to bought mine at yandle’s and yes i am on a waiting list for some shader tips etc. The only other option was a firm in The states who offer to compile a kit but the import duties were too expensive.. if you want to see how much the pens /nibs are from the them speak to val of burning with fire its her contact..

        Yes, i have only just found Brenda hoping for good things.. now i have a machine thats more comfortable to use..
        Be a while before i do anything worth while though i think..
        Take care

  4. Hi Brenda I’ve just recently purchased the Peter child’s pyrography machine and and impressed with it,then I came across your website and YouTube channel,I have to say your tutorials are the best around very clear and informative I am loving all of your work and so looking forward to what the future holds,exciting times ahead,many thanks.

    1. Hi Lee,

      Welcome to the world of pyrography! I hope that you will love creating pyrography artwork. It’s a lot of fun!
      Thank you for the wonderful comment and have a lot of fun create art!
      Brenda

  5. Hi Brenda, Just thought I’d pay your website a visit and see what you’ve got coming up next for tutorials.
    I’m looking forward to the lioness, bobcat and raccoon videos, they look amazing. As always, I expect you’ll deliver a top-quality tutorial.
    I’ve finally finished my first major project after months of practice on scraps of wood. I’ll probably upload it to my Facebook page in the near future. I sent it to Val (Burning with fire) for a critique which she reviewed on her April video.
    I love your work, keep it up.

    Pete

    1. Hi Pete!
      What a pleasant surprise to get a comment from you on my website. Congratulations! How exciting to finish your first project. I love watching Val do art critiques. It’s interesting to see the art she gets in and her suggestions. I had to go rewatch it and pay attention to names (I don’t normally). OMG! Pete your unicorn is amazing. I can’t believe that is your first project! I’d love to see how the final artwork turned out. I’m not on Facebook, but if you’re ok with sharing, please send me a picture to: PyrographyME@gmail.com

      My next tutorial, the bobcat, is becoming quite the endeavour. I’ve been working on it for hours every day, and hope to get it finished in the next week or two. It’s going to be considerably longer than my normal tutorials are, so it will be interesting to see what everyone things of that.

      Thank you. I’m having a lot of fun with the racoon even though I haven’t worked on it lately. I absolutely hate the board I’m burning on with the Lioness artwork, but it’s part of a review of cradleboards, so has to get done.

      Thanks again for your wonderful comment!
      Brenda

      1. Hi Brenda,

        I will definitely send you an email with the finished Unicorn and thanks for your wonderful comment. I’ve just added the final spray coat so it should be fine to scan later tonight. I forgot to add my moniker to it though but I’ve just bought a tool similar to a Dremel so I might contemplate having a go at engraving it – after a few practice runs of course 🙂

        I must add that it’s because of the help from yourself, Val, Richy and Jack that I was able to confidently finish the project. Without watching all your tutorials on techniques, hints, tips and watching how you put all those into practice, I don’t think I’d have got even close to way the Unicorn finally looks – so thank you!

        There are a couple of things that I noticed that I now think I probably could’ve done better, but, as you always say, ‘practice makes perfect’. I’ll be starting another one tomorrow than I’ll having an attempt at one of the projects that you have available on your site – It will be interesting to see how it ends.

        One of the reasons I’m looking forward to the bobcat is the shadows cast by the ears and how you’ve captured that in amazing detail, so I’ll be paying particular attention to that. Also the whiskers. The next project I decide to do might involve such a challenge.

        Thanks again for the nice comment and I will email you a scan of the completed project (with or without the moniker depending on how I manage with the drill).

        Pete

        1. I’ve sent you an email Brenda but afterwards I wondered if your email address was all in lower-case letters?

          1. Hi Pete,
            the case of the letters doesn’t matter in the least. I’ve been taking days off from the computer so I get some burning done, drawing patterns, etc., as I noticed I was spending more and more time playing (watching videos, reading the news). The day you sent an email was one of those days.

            Brenda

        2. Hi Pete,

          I saw the final product and I’m so amazed at how fantastic your first project turned out! Wow. You must have done some serious practicing on scrape wood or you’re one of those people who picks up new skills very easily.

          That’s a great idea to watch and learn from multiple people. All it takes is for that one person so say something in just the right way or a slightly different way and the concept becomes clear.

          I hope you continue to enjoy pyrography. It really is a beautiful artform and a lot of fun to do!
          Brenda

  6. I absolutely love your website. Thank you so much for sharing your talent. Your work is awesome and I could only wish I could produce something half as good as your work. The one thing I appreciate most is your written tutorials with pictures. I use both and find it the most helpful.

    I have read through your Bengal Tiger tutorial and still have concerns or questions. I guess I am one of those slow learners. I favor animal wood burns and doing the white fur is still difficult for me. I tried reading and watching carefully but I am still not sure I know what to do.

    I have tried burning tigers more than once and I do not like my outcomes. I can’t seem to get the hang of making my pictures realistic. I have absolutely no artistic talent. If you could maybe dummy down what I need to be doing to get my fur to be more animal like and not flat burned pictures.

    Thank you again for all the long hours you must put in on your website to provide us wanna-be pyrographers some help.

    1. Hi Lorraine,

      I’m glad to hear my website is helpful. As for the Bengal tiger, that’s a tough tutorial. For one thing I was still recording the videos at an angle over my shoulder. That didn’t produce great close up shots. Also I didn’t zoom in enough so it was hard to see the detail. The tiger was done during my learning curve on writing tutorials and videotaping. It would be great if I knew now what I didn’t know then! Because of the angle and lack of detail I put the tiger tutorial as a level 4 (intermediate to advanced). I don’t think you are a slow learner, you just picked one of my not so great tutorials.

      Also, I will be honest and admit that the thick white fur is a bit difficult for me to do, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
      I am currently working on a tutorial for a bobcat, and my plan is to gear this for beginners. This means lot more pictures and the corresponding video will have a lot of real time burning in it. I think it will be a good tutorial to learn how to create realistic fur. I just started working on the tutorial, so that means I’m still gathering photos, writing the draft, doing the video editing….. Long story short, it will be several weeks before it’s ready.

      By the way, you are a pyrographer. Maybe you aren’t producing the detail you desire yet, but don’t get discouraged. Also, when you look at my work please keep in mind that I did pencil/graphite drawings for 40 years. Pyrography is very much like drawing, so all of my drawing history helped me with my pyrography learning curve.

      Brenda

  7. After watching your tutorials over the last three weeks or so and completing my first Pyrography, the feather! I’m hooked. Thanks for sharing your expertise in such a way that enabled me to suprise my self with the result of my first effort, this has encouraged me to go on.

    1. Hi Roy,
      Welcome to the world of pyrography! It’s a fun medium to work in and I hope that you will continue to enjoy it. I do have to say that your first piece of artwork was amazing and I can’t wait to see what you’ll produce with a little more practice.

      Brenda

  8. I really like the idea of pyography. I am starting out this week. Loooking forward in this new adventure, your pics are inspiring. What wood do you mainly use for your drawings?

    1. Hi Alex,
      Congratulations and welcome to the growing community of pyrographers. I love pyrography! Hopefully you will too.

      As for wood, the majority of my work is done of basswood. It’s my favorite and I purchase it at wood stores. Not to be confused with home improvement stores or lumber yards. The easiest way to find the type of wood store I’m referring to is to search for exotic wood stores. The boards have to be cut and sanded (a lot) before they are ready to use though.

      After that would be maple or poplar. Those woods can be found at home improvement and lumber yards. Some of the boards come in very wide widths. I’ve seen 14″ (35.6 cm) wide. I use a lot of birch plywood too, but I mostly for educational pieces.

      I hope you have a lot of fun with your new hobby!
      Brenda

      1. Hi my name is Kevin I just started pyrography 2 months ago love it the only problem iam having is with the liner tip doesn’t want to burn at a medium temperature 🤒 i have the galaxy box any suggestions love your work. Thanks again Kevin

        1. Hi Kevin,
          welcome to the wonderful artform of pyrography! I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it!
          First off, make sure the pen tip is securely pushed into the handset. Also you have to adjust the setting to find a spot where it will produce the color you’re after. Each one of my pen tips has a different setting I use to get a tan burn result. And the settings change depending on the wood I’m using. Harder woods mean a higher heat. Another factor is whether or not the pen tip is polished. My experience with polished tips is that they require a higher heat to get the same color result as an unpolished one.

          I do know there is some sort of adjustment that can be done on Colwood burners (how to adjust the trim pot). I have zero experience with it, but read about it on their website. The article can be found at: https://woodburning.com/pages/woodburning-classroom

          Now if you’re saying that the pen tip has a range of settings it won’t work at (example you get zero burn results between 3-5, but get results from 1-2 and 6-10), then that sounds like a manufacture issue.

          Hope that helps,
          Brenda

  9. Hi Brenda,

    I’m looking forward to your upcoming tutorials You make pyrography very accessible by clearly explaining and showing details of techniques.

    Do you offer specific feedback on follower projects? I’ve burned two projects, which look okay to me, but would really benefit from having an experienced artistic eye give a critique.

    Thanks for all you do!
    Dawn

    1. Hi Dawn,
      what timing. I was busy working on a tutorial when I saw your comment come through. I can only try to offer advice on your projects, but I have to warn you that I don’t have any experience with this so I can’t promise how helpful I will be. Send me photos to: pyrographyme@gmail.com If you are using any reference photo it would be very helpful to see that also.

      I know that Valarie Connell of Drawing with Fire is working on adding new segment to her channel where she makes suggestions on how to fix or improve user submitted artwork. She’s done one on her youtube channel before, so I’ll ask her if I can refer people to her.
      Brenda

  10. I’m so glad I found your site! It really is digital gold. Your wood burning is absolutely beautiful and a true inspiration.

    Thank you, Brenda. Keep up the excellent work!

    1. Hi Dudley,

      I’m happy you like my website and thank you so much for the super nice comment about my wood burning. Wood burning (pyrography) is so much fun for me and I’m always learning something new. My ultimate goal is to inspire, encourage, and, if needed, browbeat others into trying to wood burn too! Ok, only joking about the browbeating.
      Thanks again and I hope I’ll continue to meet or exceed your expectations!

      Brenda

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