Let Your Roots Show

Let Your Roots Show

“Let Your Roots Show” Pyrography on Pine 7×7. An original woodburning inspired by a digital composition I made with an iPhone.

There are all sorts of ways to come up with ideas for a composition. Part of why I chose the name Uberdoodles was because I tend to mix and match at my discretion. For the past year or so, digital doodling on the iPhone and iPad has taken a greater focus than woodburning. Even though I know a lot of folks appreciate my pyrography, I make no apologies for following a different stream of creative thought. Sometimes an artist needs to allow his voice to come out as it wishes, not as he wants it to.

A little while back the woodburning voice finally called out! “Let Your Roots Show” has quickly become one of my favorite works. I’ve long wanted to allow my work to be more gestural and stylised, but I tend to migrate toward technical precision. That’s where doodling on the iPhone has really helped my art. Working with a finger tip or stylus in a free form environment, but also having the safety net of the all powerful undo option has really freed me up.

And what’s more, this was kind of a unique creative process for me as it was fleshed out entirely digitally. Usually I sketch out ideas in pencil then bring them to the computer to clean up and refine before going to the pyrography. In this case I started out on the iPhone, playing with photographs and the apps “Tiny Planet Photos” and “Sketchclub”.

pyrography macro

Macro photo of some pyrography detail used to make the Tiny Planet

Tiny planet pyrography

Tiny Planet effect applied to a macro photograph of some pyrography art.

Tiny Planet creates a wrap around of an image. I use it a fair bit to make abstract and quirky images. In this case the source of the tiny planet was a macro photo of one of my woodburnings making the process all the more interesting. Using Sketchclub I composited the tiny planet over the tree photo (which had also been processed with Tiny Planet Photos) then added a quick silhouette sketch to add a little personality and action to the piece.

I was happy with the result, but to my surprise it became my most liked image on Instagram. I let it sit there for several months until one day I wondered what it would look like as pyrography.

Let Your Roots Show Digital version

The original digital composition combining photographs, pyrography, sketching and iPhone apps. It still remains the most liked image I’ve made on Instagram.

I seized the moment and started immediately, foregoing the usual process of printing out a sized out image then using graphite transfer paper to trace a loose form of the image. Instead I did a light pencil sketch of the main shape, then went in burning hot. I’m very pleased with the result and the process. I hope this has turned a significant corner for my pyrography. Excelsior!


About Chris Wulff

I like to make pictures. Sometimes they move across the screen, sometimes they move you. I draw with fire on wood, with my finger on a phone, with a keyboard and fancy filters and sometimes even with a pencil on paper. I use a camera to capture what I see and my imagination to capture what I can't see.

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