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This is my latest large-scale woodburning, (50″x40″). It is from the same photo as the previous post.

The normal technique for rendering a photographic image onto a surface is to project the image and trace the major locations with a pencil. The next step would be to turn off the projector and begin drawing – referring to the photo and using the pencil marks as location guides. This technique is impractical when the image is as complex as this one.

Here, I left the projector on for the full 11 hours it took to burn the whole image. I adjusted the room lighting so that the projected image was just visible, like a ghost, and I could also see my marks as I made them. I used the hottest setting so that the tip of the burner glowed yellow in the dark. The marks look like scribbles up close because  it was necessary to work fast.

It wasn’t a perfect set-up. I would occasionally have to turn the lights on to see what it looked like. The projected image was great for accurately locating where to put marks, but it made defining tone more difficult. Below is a similar size work that preceded this one.


I took the photo at Le Fleur’s Bluff in Jackson.

Here, the technique inhibited the tonal variety within the different forms of the trunk. I’ll work on it some more and get the tones more like the photo, seen below.

This is the current state where I have added some more tones to better define the forms.