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The Art Of Woodburning and Mixed Media

Updated on February 27, 2014

Woodburning Is Not Only For Boyscouts

It seems there was a time when the craft of wood burning was practiced mostly by 10 year old boys.They got out the burning pens, plugged into the electricity and waited for 10 or 15 minutes for the element to heat. A small board of pine in hand and a pen hot enough to make their mark, they slowly torched a crude design into the wood, enjoying the process of drawing with a piece of hot metal. It was an awesome way to play with fire.

It was awesome but, also on the boring side, as the method was slow and not favorable to the natural energies of young boys.The craft required one to sit still and wait for the heating metal to do its' magic. That took much of the fun out of what would otherwise be a certain blast. Technically the proper name for the craft is PYROGRAPHY but I call it wood burning so that everyone knows what I am talking about.

Artists Enjoying This Hot Medium

Today there are so many artists using the method of Pyrography in the artwork they are creating it makes a body feel good. Here is an example by accomplished artist, Tom Vogler that shows how he mixes it up in a very wonderful way. I love this craft and truly enjoy seeing some very talented artists mixing their Pyrography up with other mediums to design some great works. That is what makes artwork so enjoyable and appealing. The thing is, anyone can use a wood burner with a little practice. It does not cost a lot to get in to the craft and it is a lot of fun.

Pyrographics And Acrylics On Driftwood

Contesting The Demons by C.S. Alexis, 1997
Contesting The Demons by C.S. Alexis, 1997

Do A Woodburning and Add Some Paint

You can spice up a nice wood burning by adding a bit of color to the work. I like to use acrylic paint because it dries very fast and because it fits my style. Much of the color I use is in blocks or sections divided by the lines of the drawing. I like the way acrylic can be altered by adding white or black or gray to get different shades from the same color. I have developed my own style over the years. Every artist sees things from their own eyes and acrylic might not be for you. I suggest giving them a try to see for yourself.

Use Wood Stains to Add Color

Sometimes when I am looking for a lesser contrast I will use different colors of wiping stains to add some variety to the wood burning. I used this medium in my skyline wood burning of the city of Chicago here.This is something the artist will have to play with in order to see what they can do with the medium. It involves using your creative abilities and experimenting with the medium until you create the desired affect. You can use wood stains to create all kinds of change in the wood you are burnings color and tone. Stains might be the way to go for some artists so give them a try too.

Crayons On Wood

Did you ever find yourself in a situation where you were trying to finish a piece of artwork and you just did not know where to go with it next? That was how I came across the idea of using crayons to add color and texture to a wood burning I was making. I wanted something real different. By using crayons and a hairdryer I was able to add color and texture by melting the colors with the hair dryer. I also used the wood burning pen as a melting devise and used the hair dryer as a way to polish the colors when I finished them up. This is getting very experimental for some. It is a lot of fun and excitement when you get real daring and try something offbeat. That is what separates the artists from the people who tend to copy others. Experiment with the mediums and crafts. I promise it will pay off in the finished artwork.


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    • creativespirit63 profile image


      7 years ago from Omaha, Nebraska

      You made me want to get out my tools and burn some stuff! Too bad I'm in a hotel room. Thanks for a great article and inspiration.

    • C.S.Alexis profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from NW Indiana

      Yes I can see where it would be boring, especially with the old fashioned simply wood burning pen. BUT, with a modern, high tech pen, the speed is so increased it really changes one's attitude about the boredom.

    • skellie profile image


      7 years ago from Adelaide

      I love dabbling in all types of art and have attempted wood burning but it was not my forte, lol. I did find it very boring myself and there is a knack to it for sure.

      Beautiful art work when you are able to do it well!

      Great hub

      Cheers skellie

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks I am definitely going to try

    • Mothings profile image


      9 years ago from Another Day In Paradise, Florida

      Ooooo nice art.

    • SweetiePie profile image


      11 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Nice introduction to the technique of woodburning.


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