How to Trace Your Pattern on to Wood

How to Trace Your Pattern on to Wood

Preparation – Begin by cleaning, and sanding your wood to create a smooth surface on to which you can transfer your pattern.  Remove all sanding dust using a dusting brush and clean, dry cloth.

Chose Your Tracing Media – There are three primary tracing products which are graphite paper, carbon paper, newspaper, and a soft #4 to #8 artist pencil.

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tracing your pattern to the wood with graphite paperGraphite Paper Graphite paper can be purchased through both office supply and craft stores.  It comes in several colors, including gray, white, and blue for easy tracing onto different colors of wood.  Graphite leaves a very fine line on the wood and can be erased with a white artist eraser after you have completed your project.

 

 

 

 

how to trace your pattern to the woodCarbon Paper Carbon paper comes in 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheets and has a very dark, heavy layer of tracing media on the back surface.  It is available in deep blue and black colors.  Carbon paper lines do not erase easily and should be carved or scraped away as your work your project.  Use this media on projects that will receive excessive handling or for long-term projects as it holds up very well.  Because carbon paper was primarily used with typewriter to create multiple copies, you may need to do a little searching to find it.

 

 

 

how to trace your pattern to the woodPencil Rubbing – My favorite way to trace my pattern to the wood is to rub the back of the pattern paper with a #4 to #8 artist pencil. This creates a layer of graphite that will easily transfer to the wood surface as your copy the pattern lines with an ink pen.  Pencil rubbings work extremely well for wood, gourds, and even leather.  Woodless pencils work wonderfully for tracing.

 

Newspaper – Heavily printed sheets of newspaper works wonderfully as a tracing media.  As you trace along the pattern lines the printer’s ink from the newspaper will leave a dotted line on the wood.  This process is especially good for extra large projects as out door signs or long, wide mantel boards.  The ink is easily erased with a white artist’s eraser.

 

tracing your pattern to the wood1.  Adjust your digital pattern as necessary to fit your project piece.  Print several copies of your pattern – one for the main tracing, one for cutting and tracing small areas of the pattern, and one for a reference to the detail lines of the design.

You will need a ruler, a small t-square or right angled triangle, a pencil, painters or masking tape, scissors, and several colors of ink pen.  Of note, my ruler is cork-backed to grip the wood surface and keep the ruler from sliding.

 

tracing your pattern to the wood2.  With a right angle triangle or small t-square mark the center vertical line of your project’s surface.

 

 

 

 

tracing your pattern to the wood3.  Use your ruler to find and mark the center point of your vertical line.

 

 

 

 

tracing your pattern to the wood4.  With the t-square or right angle triangle, draw a horizontal line across the project surface at the center point of the vertical line.

 

 

 

tracing your pattern to the wood5.  Fold your printed pattern into quarters, matching the outer pattern lines on the sides of the pattern. Place the folded pattern on to the wood, aligning the paper folds to the marked lines on the wood.

If you will using a pencil rubbing for your tracing media, open the folded pattern and rub the back of the pattern to completely cover it with pencil graphite.  Refold your pattern and begin the positioning steps.

 

 

tracing your pattern to the wood6.  Unfold your pattern, continuing to match folds in the pattern paper with your guidelines.  Cut several small strips of painters tape.  Use the tape to secure two sides of the pattern paper to the wood surface.

 

 

 

 

tracing your pattern to the wood7.  Use a colored ink pen to mark any changes you want to make in the pattern, so that you will follow your changes during the tracing process.

 

 

 

 

tracing your pattern to the wood8.  Slide your tracing media – graphite paper, carbon paper, newspaper – under the printed pattern with the tracing surface against the wood.  Trace along the pattern lines with a colored ink pen.  Use a light pressure, just enough to transfer the pattern line without leaving an indented score line from the ink pen’s point.  When your tracing is complete lift the pattern paper at one of the un-taped corners.  Check your work before you remove the pattern paper and tape.

 

 

tracing your pattern to the wood9.  Trace only those lines that you really need for your initial working steps.  For my Beta Fish relief carving I needed only the outlines of each area of the fish and the outlines of the grass to work the rough out carving steps.

 

 

 

tracing your pattern to the wood10.  When your project work is done, remove any remaining tracing lines using a white artist’s eraser.   Avoid colored erasers that can leave dye streaks on your carving or pyrography work.

 

 

 

 

tracing your pattern to the wood11.  Click on the small image on the right for your free full-sized, printable Beta Fish pattern – a design from Relief Carving Workshop, by Lora Irish.

 

 

 

how to trace your pattern to the wood12.  This second example is from the Wood Spirit Carving project posted on the Wood Carving Illustrated Forum.  The pattern was transferred to the wood using typewriter carbon paper because the project would require intense handling.

Relief Carving Wood Spirit Grape Man WIP – Over 250 detailed, close-up photos with step-by-step instructions of relief carving the wood spirit, green man face. This thread has had over 69,000 views!

how to trace your pattern to the wood13.  After the levels where established in the carving I cut my paper pattern into small sections that could be easily re-traced to the project.

 

 

 

 

 

how to trace your pattern to the wood14.  Click on the small image to the right for a free full-sized printable pattern.

 

Leather Purse Pyrography Project

Leather Purse Pyrography Project

Leather Purse Pyrography, Greenman Face, Project

Leather Purse Pyrography, Double-Needle Stitching

Plus our Your First Carving Project is towards the bottom of this post.

Because of all the interest from our FaceBook fans I have posted two more
free e-Projects on my pattern website. Levels in Releif Wood Carving PDF,
and Pyrography Pen Tips are posted on our home page at
ArtDesignsStudio.com

New seven page, in-depth, step-by-step instructions project on creating your own leather burned purse, with a Greenman face on your front flap. Plus an indepth look at how to do the double-needle stitching pattern on leather.

Leather Purse Pyrography, Greenman Project by Lora Irish

To often I am so serious about our pyrography work, carefully planning each layer of burning, examining every stroke for even thickness and tonal value, trying to create as perfect as possible a realistic reproduction.

But once in a while I just ‘wanna have fun’.  And this is the perfect, just have fun project.  Because this was created as a text run for my new book, The Art of Leather Burning, I wasn’t concerned about absolutely matching ever corner or seam, or carefully measuring the distance between every stitching awl hole, or even about how the fill patterns I chose matched the ones I had already burned.  The entire idea behind this leather burned purse was to just see what I could do, and how I could do it.

creating a pocket flap for a leather purse
I am a strong advocate of practice boards.  Usually this is a small scrap of the same material from which you will work your main project upon which you can experiment with your temperature settings, pen tips, and fill patterns.

Well, this time, when I began my work with pyrography on leather, my practice board got a touch out of hand.  I began my text project with a 10 lb. scrap bag of vegetable-dyed leather from Springfield Leather Co.  which contained a variety of weights, textures, and species of leather pieces.

creating a pocket flap for a leather purse

What came out of this practice session was a Greenman Slop Bag!  This rough and rugged purse measures 7 1/2″ high, 9 1/2″ wide, and 2 3/4″ thick.  The front of my purse has a double pocket and the back has one large pocket with a hidden pocket inside of it.  Its constructed using an awl to create the stitching holes and the simple double-needle stitching pattern.

wood burning on leather

I’m not done with this purse yet.  To date I have only gotten the front flap, top roll over, and front of the purse body burned.  So I still have the entire back, the sides, and the should strap on which to play, and experiment with more fill textures, shading ideas, and even miniature patterns.

Play, practice, experiment, and create … that is our goal!

So, please visit my newest pyrography project, which has the free greenman face pattern, at

Leather Purse Pyrography, Greenman Face, Project

and … there’s more!

Your First Carving by LS Irish
Free PDF e-Project download for Wood Carving

This free PDF takes you through the basics of wood carving, including woods, supplies, cuts, and tools.
Download now by clicking on the link above.