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  • Pheasant On Birch

    Smile Hi All:
    First totally all pyrography effort 6" x 9 1/2" birch panel.
    Critique Please!
    I used my Razor Tip burner and a skew and writer pens. I found that I relied on the writer pen the most. Waiting for my spear shader to arrive in the next few days. Lot's to learn but I really loved the experience.
    Suggestions, comments, thoughts most welcome.
    Kathy
    y Note: I remember while working on this piece how much the landscape reminded me of Northern California (my old home) and pheasant season.

  • #2
    Re: Pheasant On Birch

    Looks good, Nice job.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Pheasant On Birch

      Well done Kathy! Makes me want to grab my shotgun and go pheasant hunting! Around here wild Pheasant are a challenge to hunt, they walk and hide so well, flushing only when at too long a distance for a shot. Reserve raised Pheasant are no challenge, they flush to wing at perfect gun range.

      Great effort for your first burn! We shall be expecting great things from you in the future! Smile

      Bob
      Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Pheasant On Birch

        Nice work. I don't use pyro, except to enhance carvings so can't critique a piece like yours.

        As for tips (pun), just took a class in using burners to enhance relief carving from Fred and Elaine Stenman. Elaine gave me what I thought was a good tip, and I'll pass it on/ She took my new skew tip, and sanded the sharp point down to a blunt tip, but kept the sharp edge on the straight portion of the tip. The darn thing can now be used both in the draw and push strokes, laid slightly on it's side as a calligraphy tip, and even as a shader. So, with one tip I can burn lines, add items like grass going both up and down, write, and shade! If you have a replaceable type tip, I'd suggest trying this. She did this to my new fixed tip pen (shudder), but donated another tip for my replaeable pen. No sum-loss there, I guess, and the instructional time spent was well worth the cost of the pyro pen.

        Al

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Pheasant On Birch

          Hey Al, any chance of you taking a pic(and upload here) of the two pen tips, like a before and after? Smile

          Cheers.

          OG




          Originally posted by AlArchie
          Nice work. I don't use pyro, except to enhance carvings so can't critique a piece like yours.

          As for tips (pun), just took a class in using burners to enhance relief carving from Fred and Elaine Stenman. Elaine gave me what I thought was a good tip, and I'll pass it on/ She took my new skew tip, and sanded the sharp point down to a blunt tip, but kept the sharp edge on the straight portion of the tip. The darn thing can now be used both in the draw and push strokes, laid slightly on it's side as a calligraphy tip, and even as a shader. So, with one tip I can burn lines, add items like grass going both up and down, write, and shade! If you have a replaceable type tip, I'd suggest trying this. She did this to my new fixed tip pen (shudder), but donated another tip for my replaeable pen. No sum-loss there, I guess, and the instructional time spent was well worth the cost of the pyro pen.

          Al

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Pheasant On Birch

            Kathy,

            Beautiful work! The design is excellently balances with the dark in the grasses behind the pheasant cock. You have maintianed his body profile and proportions wonderfully. Just great!

            If I were going to work a little more on this I might check the main tail feather to see if you can see the center shaft. I think that the shaft is fairly evident in pheasants. Plus you might want to add a few fine feather line details in that tail working from the center shaft out to the edges.

            I don't know which burner you are using. If it's a one-temp then the fine lines are done just a sthe burner is heating up to keep them thin and pale in tone. If its a variable temp setting try turning the thermostat down for very pale colors.

            A little shading where the breast tucks under the wing could also be added using those fine lines.

            I seldom use a large flat shader! I have worked with it but don't like the finish that I get. Tends to come out patchy and more controlled by the grain of the wood then by my determinations. Instead I use fine lines and random textures to build up my shadows.

            Great Job!

            Susan

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Pheasant On Birch

              Gord, here's a sketch and really bad photo of the "rounded" tip, compard to the pointed one. with the ip rounded over you can push the tip away from you while burning, and not dig into the wood. Works pretty well.

              In the photo, rounded tip is the one on the top.

              Al

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Pheasant On Birch

                Thanks Al, thought that was what you meant but just wanted to be sure.Smile
                Cheers

                OG

                Originally posted by AlArchie
                Gord, here's a sketch and really bad photo of the "rounded" tip, compard to the pointed one. with the ip rounded over you can push the tip away from you while burning, and not dig into the wood. Works pretty well.

                Al

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Pheasant On Birch

                  Hi All:
                  CustomsBurns: Thank you, I appreciate your compliment.
                  squbrigg: Thank you for the big vote of confidence now if I can only live up to it. LOL Out in Sacramento County in California there are both open game land and what I call game farms. Guess some like knowing their going to come home with pheasant--and some who like the challenge of finding their own.
                  AlArchie: Thank you, for the tip and for taking the time to draw a before and after picture. I did they to use my skew on it's side to see if I could shade with it. Minor success--maybe more testing needed.
                  Old_Gord: Thank you for asking Al to give us an example of modifying the skew.
                  Irish: Susan, Thank YOU so much for critiquing my pheasant and for your kind words. I'm including my updated pheasant along with the actual image I drew from a Dover copy write free publication. I should have taken the time to research my subject then I would have seen more detail. I plowed though my books after your suggestions and found what you were talking about. I know it could even be improved upon more. I blew one area at the top of the wing should have left that area lighter. This has been a really good learning lesson for me...I was surprised at the amount of shading that I could accomplish with the writing tip. Also I like seeing some wood grain in the work. I'm sure there are times maybe you wouldn't want the wood grain showing. But I do think in this composition it was effective.
                  Again Thank you All for your comments much appreciated.
                  Kathy
                  Question Hummm, having trouble uploading my two images??? But wanted to at least leave my thanks to you all. Will try to upload images later.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Pheasant On Birch

                    Hi All:
                    Hammer Upload error on Mrs. Bumble I messed up somewhere between scan and save image. Re-saved images and did it right this time......LOL All went well!
                    The first image added some additional lines and shading after Susan's suggestions. Thank you Susan
                    The second image is of the actual picture/drawing I used for the pheasant. I did change the composition so as not to totally copy. The pheasant was drawn from a Dover copywrite free publication. I really like to use my own designs but as this was only practice I felt OK with it.
                    As always I value your thoughts, comments, suggestions for improvement.
                    I'm anxious to get started woodburning on my hubby's grandpa's antique lantern. It will be a real challenge but well worth the effort it's a terrific old lantern and I love that kind of thing.
                    Kathy

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Pheasant On Birch

                      YES! Good Lady, That one is a keeper!

                      The wing now just pops forward of the body and that added line in the tail give him the final detail. Wonderful! Now - Rush to the nearest frame shop and get that pheasant properly hung on your wall.

                      Isn't Dover a treasure trove ... don't know how many Dover's I have stuffed into my book shelves.

                      Susan

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Pheasant On Birch

                        Susan, thank you for your excellent suggestions and for writing the article on woodburning in the WCI. I read it over several times to make sure I understood the technique. Working from dark values to the lightest value works for me readily. I started painting with oils and we are taught to work from dark to light (big help). Hope you will be doing more articles I loved the old car really nice work. I have two paintings I did of old cars from a for want of a better word Ghost Town in California. After I saw your car I thought of how terrific they'd look woodburned. Oh boy I think I'm hooked! LOL
                        Kathy

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Pheasant On Birch

                          Kathy,

                          When plotting out my tonal values on the photo or design I work dark to light ... not on the actual burning though. I find that I can easily pick out the very darkest area of a photo. Then I can find the next darkest. On really complicated photos I will sometimes work back and forth ... what's the darkest and what's the whitest ... then work towards the middle.

                          Another EASY trick is to open your photo in a graphics program. Gray scale the image then reduce the image to 16 colors (shades of gray). The images below are from a still life that I set up and intend one day to burn. I chose all white toned objects, put them in a shadow box, focused my light source then took the pic. The second image is the gray scale and the third is the 16 color gray scale. Notice the pitcher and candle cup especially and see how the 16 color maps out the changes so wonderfully. Now, how'w that for cheating

                          When I am burning I work from the background towards the foreground. I find it easier to burn the foreground over the background then to try and cut around individual areas in the design. I also work up the values very slowly by burning light/pale layers then adding more burning, and more as needed. So the black tones are the last to go into the work. For me it's so much easier to add more as needed. This also lets me work the entire design as one unit instead of different areas.

                          A small round gouge is just great for lifting fine lines out of an area that becomes to dark. You can lightly shave off the tip layer of the birch, do a little sanding and then re-burn if you need too!

                          Susan

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Pheasant On Birch

                            Originally posted by Irish
                            Kathy,

                            When plotting out my tonal values on the photo or design I work dark to light ... not on the actual burning though. I find that I can easily pick out the very darkest area of a photo. Then I can find the next darkest. On really complicated photos I will sometimes work back and forth ... what's the darkest and what's the whitest ... then work towards the middle.

                            Another EASY trick is to open your photo in a graphics program. Gray scale the image then reduce the image to 16 colors (shades of gray). The images below are from a still life that I set up and intend one day to burn. I chose all white toned objects, put them in a shadow box, focused my light source then took the pic. The second image is the gray scale and the third is the 16 color gray scale. Notice the pitcher and candle cup especially and see how the 16 color maps out the changes so wonderfully. Now, how'w that for cheating

                            When I am burning I work from the background towards the foreground. I find it easier to burn the foreground over the background then to try and cut around individual areas in the design. I also work up the values very slowly by burning light/pale layers then adding more burning, and more as needed. So the black tones are the last to go into the work. For me it's so much easier to add more as needed. This also lets me work the entire design as one unit instead of different areas.

                            A small round gouge is just great for lifting fine lines out of an area that becomes to dark. You can lightly shave off the tip layer of the birch, do a little sanding and then re-burn if you need too!

                            Susan
                            Hi Susan:
                            Thumbs Up Thank you, so much good information and interestly not unlike preparing for a still life in painting. I knew about using a photo program to take your color phote to gray scale and have done it many times. I have two adult students who I'm teaching oil painting and when they bring we a color photo they want to paint from I scan it to gray scale. As you have mentioned getting the color out just makes everything clearer doesn't it. Also it's like turning a light bulb on all of a sudden they understand what you mean when you say gray scale. Or color value in a painting and how to get it!
                            Thumbs Up I love the tip about using the round gouge to reclaim fine lines that become to dark. I had been wondering how I might lift an area or line if it became to dark.
                            Wonderful visuals and your three still life examples displaying all the dark to very lightest values. I was studying the pitcher the transition from one value to the next looks like it might be a little tricky. But I have no doubt that you will take it on and have a successful work. I hope when you do you will share your progress with us. By the way excellent composition!
                            Kathy

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Pheasant On Birch

                              Hey Kathy,

                              Now, oil painting is totally off subject for a carving forum Sad but I still have a passion for oils. Talking I think with every other form of art there is that terrifying moment when you have to make the first cut or put down the first brush stroke and spoil forever the clean fresh canvas or wood block. But with oils that moment is pure fun. I was taught a mix of ochre/cobalt/umber mud for an wash over the entire canvas then turp/oil to lift out the image so you end up with a sepia painting. Maybe thats the connection between wood burning and oils for some of us artists. Wood burning goes right back to that sepia work!!! With oils it can be very hard for me to cover up that sepia so that I can move on to the color.

                              Now, I know that there are many styles of wood burning and each of us have our own preferred method. For me, as I noted earlier, I seldom use the "shader" tip to create my shading. This tip may work wonderfully for other but in my hands the burning ends up just a little blotchy or mottled. I don't get enough control over the coloring or over how the shader tones the changes in the grain and density of the wood.

                              So I much prefer to use a cross-hatching technique with the 'writing' tool. Lots of fine lines and lots of layers will gradually build up the tones. So if you apply the images below to the changes in the pitcher it really shouldn't be that hard ... it's just going to take FOREVER to burn all those cross hatch lines!

                              I would love to see one of your oils (maybe the Admin wouldn't object since we are talking about values versus color here ) so posting one WOULD be on subject.

                              Susan

                              PS ... In editing I forgot to note that the sample cross hatch is only half way to black, so there are about six to seven more tonal values that can be delevoped for that strip.

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