The Art of Pyrography

Practical Pyrography & Wood-burning Teachings

One of the fun and challenging things is to creating a wood-burning from photos. While the concept is very similar to taking a coloring page there are a few more steps involved, especially if you’re just starting out with pyrography.

This photograph is from a lily that I had in my garden some years back and presented a nice challenge to create a wood-burning because one of the key steps is to turn it into a grayscale or sepia image so that you know exactly the depth of the shading in different areas.

Of course, you don’t have to change the photo and can just dive in but I found that when I change the color of the photograph it just makes it easier to use as reference. And the good news is you don’t have to use an expensive editing program to make this happen.

While I use photoshop for all of my editing needs, you could just as easily use Canva to change the filter on your photo as seen blow!

Using Canva for your wood-burning photos
Whimsical filter on Canva
Using Canva for your wood-burning photos
Grayscale street filter on Canva

If you are using a Windows computer, open the image and then click edit – from there you can choose the filter that will work best for you. On a Mac you can open the photo in preview and then under tools click on adjust colors and play with the settings to find the grayscale or sepia settings that will work for you.

Creating a Wood-burning from Photos

Once you’ve found your setting that will help you create a wood-burning from your photograph, it’s time to print it out and transfer the pattern on your choice of wood.

Using graphite paper, and tracing it lightly leaving a fine line just to see where everything is will do. If your line is darker and heavier, you are burning on graphite and that ruin your wood-burning. If the line is darker, just take an eraser and get it to the point where you can still see it but almost not.

I started with the stems and the pods on top and then worked one flower petal at a time around. If I were to do this again, I would probably start with the petals – I tend to work from the easy parts towards the hard parts – one section at a time.

Some of the shading could have been done better – I no longer have this piece but, again, if I were to do this gain, I would take a bit of a different approach and work from the petals inward and refine the shading in the process.

But for the sake of this tutorial this is how you can be creating a wood-burning from photos.