Pyrography, Woodburning, Art, Craft, Timber, unique, Gift, special, memories, QLD, NSW, New south wales, Victoria, Tasmania
Pyrography, Woodburning, Art, Craft, Timber, unique, Gift, special, memories, QLD, NSW, New south wales, Victoria, Tasmania

Michelle and Nick love to share their knowledge of natural building, and are building their own cottage as a way to teach people about natural building and the connection to nature it creates.

This photo was taken during the building of their cottage.

The frame was pyro-carved with my version of tree bark. I had a look at some of the fruit trees in our back yard, to see what the branches looked like when a riser grows after the branch has been pruned. Thus the inspiration for the corners of the frame.                                                The border was created to separate the main picture from the frame, otherwise the overall effect would have been too 'busy'.

An adage in completing portraits is "finish the face first, as this will be the hardest".   I should have listened, but I was engrossed in doing the frame, then the darkest part of the shadows, then the foot, dress and back wall......the face and hands were the hardest, mainly because the whole picture is slightly smaller than an A4, thus the lines and features are delicate and very small, especially when the pyrography nib is large in comparison (it felt like drawing a small picture with a wooden spoon!!).

In trying to burn on timber the fine delicate features of the face and hands, resulted in my sanding back and re-doing these about 8 times!! The dress (only re-done 4 times!) was a matter of reproducing the pattern of the material with reality vs. artistic licence.

The facial features however, had to be as accurate as could be (given my limited talent/experience with portraits), so starting with a picture this small was going to be challenge.

Especially as the light shining on Michelle, with her head looking to the side, reduced the detail of her face, so I had to try to convey the correct features (or lack thereof due to the light) without looking as though it was not finished.

Equally so was the issue with the hands - the smaller the picture - the more crucial will be each line and shadow.