This is the one question I get asked the most

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Wood burned wedding bouquet art- by Amanda Stores

“I don’t see any pencil marks… did you do that freehand?”

 

Every time you see a bouquet, it was done freehand, with a wood burner. Let me break that down (because it is quite scary). I have a piece of wood, I break out my wood burner and burn directly onto the wood without pencil markings. I will confess that I don’t freehand my letters (praise the Lord for graphite paper), but I do freehand my flowers. One day, I realized it was taking me so much longer to draw it with a pencil and then burn it with the wood burner.

I completely understand that some detailed pieces have to be sketched. Pet portraits have to be sketched out and that takes a while. Sometimes, your sketch determines how the entire piece will turn out.

The one thing it comes down to is finding the area you can draw well, cover mistakes easily and have practiced with.  Flowers are not something that is perfect. The petals don’t have to be shaped in a certain way and once you get towards the center, everything is layered anyway. If you are confident with drawing, you would probably be confident with a wood burner. 

Freehand wood burning is not something I started off doing. In fact, it scared me to burn directly on a board without a sketch. What if I mess this wood up? What if I put time and effort into it and it looks like a kindergartener did it?

Practice on spare pieces of wood and then move on to your better pieces. The great part about wood is that you can sand the wood down and completely get rid of what you burn. The only part about that is knowing you can’t erase part of a wood burning, but all of it. The sander is usually too wide to simply erase one part. 

Last but not least, don’t turn the heat up too high if you’re not comfortable with freehand yet. Start off on the lower heat while also taking your time. The moments  I try to rush are the times I completely mess up a piece. I promise you’ll get more confident with freehand the more you do it, but for now, take your time. It’s easier to sand out a lower heat wood burning than a deep, high heat burning. 

 

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Surface Designer &  Wood Burning Artist

peachtree Corners, GA