Woodburning - Old New Art

Julia Friday

Woodburning - Old New Art

More recently, wood burning - pyrography - has found a second life. Perhaps this is due to the emergence of new professional devices for work. Or maybe people began to pay more attention to hand-decorated items. In any case, the burning technique for wood is simple enough so that even a beginner can master it!

Wood burning: materials

Each woodworking master is faced with the problem of choosing wood for the background. Use several parameters to choose the best background stock option.


The brighter your background, the better the picture will contrast with it. If desired, you can use darker varieties. But when covering the work with varnish, the image will become less distinct.


Many masters prefer to work on the background with the smallest texture. Smooth surface without streaks and protrusions makes it possible to easily perform any pattern.

Wood texture

But if you show imagination and apply texture in your work - the result will exceed all your expectations. For example, you can use texture stripes like ripples on water.


Wood burning directly depends on the power of the device used. The more powerful the device, the more solid the background you can handle.


And yet it is better to give preference to soft woods, which is easy to work with any burner.

The form

The shape of the background workpiece must be selected depending on what you want to do with the work in the future. If the workpiece will be framed, choose the workpiece of the correct geometric shape. Such can be found among the building boards and unnecessary parts of old furniture.


Sometimes in specialized stores appear original cuts of irregular shape. The bark that surrounds them can be a wonderful frame.

Base frame 

The best varieties for burning wood are linden, beech, aspen, cedar, cherry, cypress and maple. All trees have a fairly light wood, smooth or fine-grained cut without streaks.

Wood burning: tools

The main device of the woodworker is a specialized pyrographic device with a pencil-pen for burning.There are 2 main types of such devices:

  • pencils with solid feathers;
  • pencils with wire feathers.

Devices with solid feathers, as a rule, have a constant heating temperature. In spite of the fact that additional feathers are attached to them, such devices perform background burning better because of the width of the nozzle.

Solid feathers

Wire feathers are more convenient - thanks to the subtlety and the ability to control the temperature, you can perform different types of work: from subtle and inconspicuous to wide contrasting strokes.

Wire feathers

Both solid and wire feathers are represented by 3 main forms:

  • oblique feather;
  • writing pen;
  • retouching pen.

The oblique feather has a bevelled straight surface. Use it to draw thin, clear lines. Pen rounded at the end: it is also convenient to draw lines and words, for example, to write poems on a tree. Unlike the first two, the retouching pen has a flat, wide surface and is designed to burn out the background or wide elements.

Performance techniques

Burning wood is not limited to one technique. If you get acquainted with at least a few high-quality works, you will find that each of them differs in the use of some special artistic technique!


Below you will see a list of basic burning methods for wood.


This is the basic method from which beginners begin to master pyrography. A drawing is applied on a wooden base with a graphite pencil or carbon paper. After that, the wizard begins to burn the image along the contour, giving it a contrast to the background.


The negative pyrography method is based on the selection of a light-colored pattern by contrasting background burning. This method can be performed by two techniques: by adding a background and adding a picture.


At the first, the background is burned around the prepared pattern. The second method provides for the complete burning out of the background, after which the master cuts a design onto it, forming light areas.


You can combine these techniques, giving your product additional volume.


Masters use this method so that, as in the case of the negative, the drawing becomes embossed. To do this, the image is cut on the basis of the previously transferred sketch and only then burned in certain places.

Wood carving 

In addition to these methods, there is also the burning of wood with a hot metal and sunlight through a prism. But due to the complexity of implementation, few people use such techniques.

Master class for beginners

If this is your first encounter with burning wood, try a simple drawing. To do this, select a simple stencil in the form of an image contour without fine details and complex patterns.

  • You should clean the surface of the background workpiece with a sanding or blade.
  • Apply a freehand drawing with a graphite pencil or redraw the finished sketch through copy paper.

Stencil for burning

  • Begin to burn the image along the contour. If you can’t do the job in one go, the finished outline will tell you where to do the retouching.
  • After the contour, finish the background - darken it evenly with a retouching pen or gradient, using different types of feathers.
  • Wait for the drawing to cool. After work, brush away the excess and wipe the rest of the pencil with an eraser.

Cover the finished product with clear varnish to fix the result and slow down the aging process. After mastering the basic techniques, try burning wood on a more difficult pattern, as in the master class of this video.



While working on the picture do not forget about safety.Try to work for a limited time to avoid overheating of the burner. And do not touch the heating elements - this is fraught with burns.


If you have not chosen your hobby, burning wood can be an excellent option for spending your free time!

Take it to yourself, tell your friends!
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  • Woodburning - Old New Art

    Woodburning - Old New Art

    Woodburning - Old New Art

    Woodburning - Old New Art

    Woodburning - Old New Art

    Woodburning - Old New Art

    Woodburning - Old New Art

    Woodburning - Old New Art

    Woodburning - Old New Art

    Woodburning - Old New Art

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