OFFICE HOURS: MON. - FRI.    9 am - 4 pm Central Time

SHIPPING: I ship  Mon. -Fri. To avoid delays please provide a VALID EMAIL & PHONE #.

CAN'T FIND SOMETHING?  Use the Menu below, Search Box or Sitemap



Follow us on Facebook.

Pyrography Gourd Art group on facebook.

Join our Pyrography 101 Facebook group.

Pyrography Tutorial "Blaze" - Pyrography Animal Portrait Tutorial Work in Progress

Pyrography Tutorial Work in Progress by Nedra Denison

Please click on each thumbnail for a larger version of each photo

Blaze step one. Blaze stage two. Blaze stage three. Blaze stage 4. Blaze neck area almost finished.


Blaze neck area finished. Blaze starting face and nose. Blaze nose finished now working on mouth and side of face. Blaze's finishing the mouth and face. Blazes face is almost finished.


Blaze finishing face and detail work.


Finished burning of Blaze done on a basswood plate.

This was my second doggie commission and another challenge. Oh gosh that mouth was one challenge after another. Maybe I can find a dog with a better mouth for my next one. Is that possible????  Ok, so I'll settle for a dog with a closed mouth!

Since this commission was for regular price I decided to send my client more blow-by-blow photos. It was a gift for her friend so I wanted to be sure she liked it. No complaints were ever heard and again another happy customer. 

How I Completed This Project

I start with a very basic outline to get the proper placement of eyes, nose, mouth, etc. This is the method I use for most of my work.  I use the photo as a guide to do all the lines, wrinkles, shading and fine detail as I burn. 

The burning is done in layers, just like you get dressed in the morning - start with the bottom layers and add the next layer on top of the previous layer. By doing the burning in this manner I create the depth so the burning looks "alive" rather than "flat". 

When burning fur I lay in the tone, or add a base color with my gradient shading and then add the texture on top. I use the side of the bent spear shader to add the fur in layers, bottom layer first and then work toward the top layer, just as it grows. This makes it look more natural.

I normally convert the photo to black and white so it's easier to see the tonal values (lights, mediums and darks). It's essential to make sure that the lights are light and the darks dark. A common mistake people make is that everything is the same tone. 

I always look closely at the highlights to make sure that they are added in the right spots and if necessary I will use a straight-edged razor to lighten up any spots that are too dark. 

My goal is to make my work look natural and life-like, capturing the essence of the animal/person on the wood, rather than just creating a "flat" portrait without life. I believe that the eyes are the windows of the soul, so I do the eyes first because I feel that if you don't capture the eyes properly, you might as well throw your work in the trash. If you were to look at my work in person, you might even feel those eyes following you....

This work in progress is intended to help you learn how to create depth, layering and make a natural, lifelike burning. It may not be copied. It is an original artwork is copyright protected.

Happy Burning ©!

Nedra Denison signature.


No portion of the printed book "Pyrography 101©" or the web pages containing "Pyrography 101©" or any of the "Gourd Crafting 101©" Tutorials may be copied, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior permission of the publisher and copyright owner, Nedra Denison. 

Material from this site may not, in part or in whole be distributed, redistributed, published, republished, copied, reproduced, altered or modified and sold; posted on websites, blogs or other internet sites or otherwise made available to others in any form for any purposes whatsoever without prior permission.