Following on from my last post, the next thing I did was darken the background. It needed to be dark to create the right contrast with the daisies, which I will be painting white and yellow.
Shading in the background can be difficult especially if you try to go too dark too quickly. Also you will find that when you go around the edges of the flowers you will have to take your time. The trouble with taking your time with pyrography means that you will get a very dark burn and a dark black line around the flowers which looks ugly.
To overcome this issue, I turn the heat down on the pyrography iron and work quickly around the flowers. I also try not to go in straight lines when doing the shading because this produces straight dark lines which don't look right.
I do the shading by burning in a circular motion and vary the speed at which I move my pyrography iron. By doing this I can give the wood a mottled effect that gives the flowers a nice background. It took me quite a while to burn my way around all the flowers and fill in the rest of the blank wood, but like I said in my last post, I find it quite therapeutic. Below is the box after I'd burnt in the background.
The box was beginning to take shape at last, and although the background looked good it needed something to make it special. I decided to paint over the pyrography work with a light oak varnish which provided a luxurious finish. The varnish gave the whole thing uniformity and gave it a walnut sort of look. At this stage I also painted the inside of the box with the same varnish.
Once I was satisfied with the background, it was time to tackle the daisies. Every petal needed to be painted individually and that was a big task. In total there are approximately 460 petals on that box. I used acrylic paint, a very fine brush and a skip-load of patience. If you ever use acrylic paints on a subject like this, wash your brush out after completing each flower because if you don't, you will soon find your brush is ruined. Only dynamite can wreck brushes faster than acrylic paint.
Once the petals were done, I also gave the centres a coat of white acrylic. I would later paint them yellow, but I find that if I use an undercoat of white first, it helps the colour to shine through.
When you are using a pyrography iron or paint brush on an odd shaped thing like a box, it is easy to get the wobbles. So I use a couple of blocks of wood to rest my hand on while doing the work. If you haven't got wooden blocks just stack up a few books and rest your hand on them.
Despite being as precise as possible when doing the painting, I find that I make the odd mistake and go over the odd pyrography line on the petals. We're all human and it doesn't matter because I just wait until the paint is dry and burn the line in again. This needs to be done quickly or you will find that the white paint soon becomes brown and I've never seen a daisy with brown petals.
At this time I will also touch up a few of the petals by giving them another layer of white paint and then paint the centres yellow.
Once that was done, I gave the whole thing 3 separate coats of clear gloss varnish.
Lastly I stuck a layer of felt on the bottom of the box, both inside and out, and also put a layer inside the lid. Here is the finished box. I think it looks great and I had a relaxing time whilst doing it.
By the way, all of the pyrography work done on this box, was done with a spoon tip. In fact I rarely use anything else.