Tutorials

This is a collection of free tutorials (with patterns) on how to create an assortment of pyrography artwork. 

The tutorials are grouped by difficulty level, and they begin after the group of articles that cover some general information stuff.        

GENERAL INFORMATION ARTICLES

Getting Started in Pyrography.  This covers the equipment you need to get started in pyrography and where to find it.  I also cover the little extra things I find useful like sanding pens.   Last updated Nov 2015

My Pyrography Studio SetupThis article discusses how to create the easel, pen tip holder, and reference holder that I use in my studio.  Last updated Oct 2017

Transferring Patterns to Wood.    Learn about different ways to transfer a pattern to your working surface.  Last updated Dec 2015

Wood Types and Prepping Wood. Read about how to prep the wood surface for optimal burning and the pros/cons of the assorted woods I’ve burned on.   Last updated Sept 2018

Finishing / Sealing Wood Projects.   This explains the different sealants, how to apply, and our recommendation for sealing artwork.  In March of 2019 I added a section to each finish that explains when we would use the finish.   Last updated March 2019

How to use the Shading Pen Tip.   This tutorial explains how I use this tip to create different looks.  Completely re-written July 2018.  Last updated July 2018

The Colwood Pen Tips I Use.  This tutorial explores the different pyrography pen tips I use in wood burningLast updated Sept 2019

How to prepare and burn on leather.   This tutorial explains how to prepare the front and back of leather for burning and some tips to get better burn results.  Last updated Apr 2018

How to Clean and Maintain Pen Tips.   This Tutorial explains how to clean pyrography pen tips and provides preventative maintenance tips to prolong your burner.  Last updated May 2018

Resizing & Tracing from Photos.   This tutorial explains how to resize photos and pdfs.  It also provides some tips about tracing from photographs.   Last updated June 2018

Colwood Super Pro II Review.   This explains the features on the Colwood and the pen tips I recommend.   Last updated Nov 2018.

How to get Gradient Shading.   This explains how to get smooth uniform color and gradient shading.  Last updated Feb 2019.  

Fixing Mistakes & Hiding Grain Lines.   This blog covers the different ways that I fix mistakes and remove grain lines from my artwork.  Last updated April 2019.

How to build a pen tip holder.  This blog covers how to make a pen tip holder made out of 2 x 4 lumber.  Last updated August 2019.

 

PROJECT  TUTORIALS

The tutorials below are grouped by their skill level.  Clicking on the image will take you to the corresponding blog.  The blog has links to patterns, videos, etc. 

Skill Level 1 :  Beginner Tutorials

Trout Lake
Stylized Rose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Covered Bridge – Importance of Contrast
Grapes – Study of Light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 different textures
5 different textures

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using watercolor grounds in pyrography
Denim Fabric

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterfly Dreams – – KitKraft tutorial

The link for the Butterfly Dreams tutorial will take you to Kit Kraft’s website.

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain Lake
Holly Candle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween Sign
Leather Bookmark – make and burn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trillium Flower
Jingle Bells

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Create a Mandala pattern
Mandala Flower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating Water Drops
Transforming a store bought box – including lining it with velvet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Apple
The Feather

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3D Stone
wood buring of the gingerbread house
Gingerbread House – done with a writer pen tip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Skill Level 2 : Beginner-Intermediate Tutorials

Crashing Ocean Waves

 

 

 

 

Bobcat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ornamental Glow
Lizard Face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Heel
Dewy Leaf

 

 

 

Seashells

 

 

 

 

Wrapped Up

 

 

Water Lily flower

 

 

Valentine Sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star Bright
Mandala III

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celtic Knot and Roses
Ranunculus Flower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apple Blossoms
Seahorses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mandala II
Gazania Flower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Snowman
Cratered Moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rose flower wood burning pyrography by bmj
The Rose
Abstract Dragonfly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Skill Level 3 : Intermediate Tutorials

White Crowned Sparrow bird
Crow bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purple Iris Flower
Northern Flicker Woodpecker bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purple House Finch bird
Nuthatch bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrub Jay bird
Eagle Owl on a craft box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ilwaco wa lighthouse wood burning pyrography
Cape Disappointment Lighthouse
Cherub of Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Candy Canes
Vista House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Petunia Flower with Raindrops
Wagon Wheel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Skill Level 4 : Intermediate – Advanced Tutorials

Bengal Tiger
Yellow Lab Puppy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine Hearts
Venison - black tail deer
Venison – female deer

 

29 thoughts on “Tutorials

  1. Hi Brenda

    Just wanted to say how great your tutorials are, i have been doing pyrography just over 2 years and fell out of love with it for a while as i attempted something out of my comfort level and never managed to finish it but after watching your tutorials and seeing your amazing work it has ignited my fire again and i really want to produce high quality burns, they would never be on your level but if i could get close i would be extremely happy as your pyrography is seriously amazing!
    Thank you for your great tutorials, i have been using a Burnmaster Hawk burning unit but they don’t have the greatest shading tips so i have ordered some colwood pens and tips like the ones you use as they look really good for shading etc and shading is something i really want to master and with your tutorials i feel i could start producing decent work as they are very informative.

    Thanks again

    Glen

    1. Hi Glen,
      I’m super glad that I’m helping inspire you. Don’t say never. What I do is something ANYONE can do if they are willing to put in the ‘practice’ time to continually improve their skills. It takes time to learn how to use your pen tips and what heat setting works best with the pen tip. Which is also dependent on the material you’re burning on.
      I haven’t used anything but a Colwood, so I can’t comment on the value of the Burnmaster pen tips. I will say that there are people on youtube, like Minisa Robinson, how are using a crafter burner (soldering iron type) and producing AWESOME artwork! Minisa invested the time it took to learn how to use the burner to get the results she wanted. Really, practice is the key to improvement.
      Thank you for the fantastic comment and I hope you will enjoy pyrography as much as I do!
      Brenda

      1. Thank you Brenda, i have never been more motivated to practice and practice, my new colwood pen and tips have arrived and i have started to burn the bobcat, i am burning it on a piece of basswood plywood as i am waiting on an order of planks of basswood to show up, i have burned all the reference marks and will now spend a few hours practicing the zig zag method before i start burning the fur, really excited to see how it turns out.
        once again thank you so much for motivating me to start burning again as this is a really cool style of art!
        Thanks
        Glen

  2. I am mesmerized with your work. I am just beginning to start trying this art form. I bought a razortip burner and can’t wait to start. Your work is wonderful and I love it. I hope I can do something half as good as yours. Keep up the good work showing us how to do pyrography.

    1. Hi Willow,
      Welcome to the world of pyrography! I hope you will love the artform as much as I do. I haven’t ever tried a razortip, but I’ve heard great things about them. I hope your burner comes in soon and you have a lot of fun creating pyrography art!
      Brenda

  3. Brenda,
    I have been carving walking sticks, canes, tomahawks, and knives for several years and have done some burning with a cheap burner. I got tired of doing lettering on the knives especially, so I bought a Coiwood Detailer with the 3 basic tips and found your website and read some of your tutorials, and watched a few on youtube. I did an owl pattern(not yours) and burned it onto a piece of scrap plywood. It is pretty lacking in many ways, but since it is my first project, I framed it with some maple limbs and will hang it on my wall. I really enjoy your instructions and work. thank you for what you do. John

  4. Hi Brenda
    I am so excited to watch your tutorials and get all your wonderful information. I have been a photographer for most of my life. Seriously my first camera was a Brownie. I have a photograph with me holding my camera at 3 years old. In 2015 I decided to teach myself how to draw. I am doing pretty good with that and now I am delving into Pyrography. I am having loads of fun with all my Art. Thank you for your tutorials, I love them. I would be glad to share some examples of my work with you.
    Sincerely,
    Kathy Coleman

    1. Hi Kathy,
      I do not consider myself a photographer, but I love to take pictures to use as reference photos. I keep my camera in auto mode on everything, so it’s really nothing more than a point and shoot. I did have this OLD camera as a teen that I don’t remember the name of, but it was a big boxy thing that you looked down through the top to take the picture. Used enormous fim too.

      I honestly think that pyrography is very much like drawing. Bit slower, but a lot of the same techniques I used in drawing I use in pyrography. Sometimes if I’m unsure on how to burn something, I’ll practice drawing it. If I know how to draw it, then I can burn it.

      I would love to see your work! Send me a picture: PyrographyME@gmail.com
      Brenda

  5. Hi Brenda
    I have been doing woodworking for 30+ year, Furniture, Intarsia Scroll sawing ect.. I Decided to look into wood burning couple weeks ago and came across your site for Pyrography. WOW! you do some beautiful Pyrography work. So I watched some of your videos and read some of your tutorial and thought I would like to try this. Man is this fun stuff. I did one of the Golden Eagle and one of the Vista House this weekend. The house came out great, not nearly as good as your but not bad for a first timer. The Eagle looks very good but I have a lot to learn yet to get the quality of your but maybe with some practice one day I will get close to yours. Anyway just wanted to say THANKS so much for spending the time you do to share your talent and tips. Your are very kind for doing this and helping others to learn this art. AGAIN THANKS!!! Doug

    1. Hi Doug,
      Thank you for the compliment. I really appreciate it. I saw your work and I have to say that I thought you did awesome on your artwork! I still can’t believe that you haven’t been burning for a much longer time!
      Brenda

  6. Would you do a tutorial of a portrait please trying to improve my skill and I love your methods I have an older model colewood

    1. Hi Ramona,
      I would love to help you, but portraits are not my strong suit. I often erase (sandpaper out) features several times before I get them right. I will give serious thought to a portrait tutorial. In the meantime, send me a picture of your work and the reference photo and I’ll see if I can make some helpful suggestions.

      One thing I suggest to try is work upside down. For example, by working upside down your brain doesn’t see a nose anymore, but instead sees a shape. It can be a lot easier to replicate the light dark areas of a shape instead of trying to burn a nose.

      Anyway, as I said, send me a picture of your work (straight on close-up) and the reference photo to PyrographyMe@gmail.com
      Brenda

  7. Just discovered your site. Great job!f I’ll be a follower. I haven’t explored all your site but my interests now are Christmas (tis the season) and lettering. On the later I’m looking for templates for upper and lower case letters of the old style but not so old or fancy that its difficult to read. Something in a more script form vice block. And need to understand shading of letters… any rate look forward to exploring your web site more fully. Thank you. Frank

    1. Hi Frank,
      Thank you. Pyrography is a very fun medium to work in. I have to tell you that I use a word processing program to create the letters on the few times I use them. Most word processing programs have a LOT of font choices, so I type out the message I’m after and then see how it looks with the different fonts. When I get one that I like, then I just print out the document and trace the letters onto my project.

      As for shading them in, I almost always do the same thing of using pull-away strokes along the edges. This leaves the center paler than the edges giving the letters a rounded look. I did this technique on both the Halloween Sign and the Valentine Plaque that I did.

      Have fun burning!
      Brenda

    2. Hi Frank,
      I wanted to add a follow comment. I recently discovered that there are online font generators on the internet. Just search for “font generator” or you can search for more specific types of font. Then you type in the message you want and the generator reproduces the message in numerous different font styles that you can print or copy/paste as needed.

      Hope that helps.
      Brenda

  8. Hi Brenda. I have been recently looking at your wonderful website and am picking up great ideas and techniques. My wife and I live just outside of Tillamook, Or. We are surrounded by nature.
    I am seventy nine and love woodcrafts and teach them at a youth camp every summer. I am somewhat new with pyrography but introduced it to family campers this summer and it went over very well considering I have never taught it before. I am interested in what type of camera you folks use for your wildlife photos and do you get the photos onto a printer then make patterns from the prints?
    My burner is an Optima and it seems to work well for me.
    Thanks again for your wonderful work in teaching others through your website.
    Neil Hall

    1. Hi Neil,
      Heck, I was in Tillamook about a month ago. Had family from Alabama here and they wanted to visit the Tillamook cheese factory. Welcome to the world of Pyrography. It’s a wonderful hobby and I’m glad you’re enjoying it. My husband has a Nikon d500 he bought many, many years ago, but I don’t have a clue about the lens he has. I just know both of them are what I consider as expensive (over $1000 each). I have a Nikon d3400 with a 70-300mm lens. I bought it on Amazon and it was part of a package deal that cost around $500.

      Yes, I print the desired photo on regular printer (copier) paper and use that to make a pattern or use it to trace directly onto the wood. I use a word processing program to size the photo on a piece of paper that matches the wood size I plan to use. I wrote a blog that discusses how I resize photos if you’re interested in the process: https://wp.me/p8j0lZ-35M

      Happy burning!
      Brenda

  9. I have watched a lot of tutorials on this subject as i am going to try and learn this great art, i have to say that you are very talented, and thank you for sharing i am now going to watch all your videos and tutorials and hopefully i can learn something from you.

    1. Hi Martin,
      That’s awesome. I love pyrography and find it to be a very relaxing and rewarding artform. I wish you much success on your endeavour and keep me posted on your progress. Brenda

  10. Thank you for taking the trouble to post all this information. As someone new to pyrography I have found it extremely useful. Thanks again and a happy New Year!

    1. Hi Paul, You are welcome and thank you for the comment. It is wonderful to hear that my website is helping you learn the art of pyrography. Happy New Year to you too and may your year be filled with beautiful pyrography art! Brenda

  11. Brenda, these tutorials are better than all the books I’ve bought so far. Your talent as a pyrographer and teacher are truly appreciated. Hopefully you will do a book and a DVD in the future.

    1. Hello Mario, Thank you so much! You are very kind. I have started working on ideas for a book, but it takes times. My more immediate goal is to add tutorial videos to my YouTube as I think an in depth how-to would help show what I’m trying to verbally explain. Thank you again for the compliment. Brenda

I love hearing from you, so leave a comment.