Introduction: How to Woodburn an Eagle Part 1

About: I am a third generation artist with a background in oil painting and watercolors, I fell in love with pyrography in 1984 and have won numerous awards, written 6 books, am a regular contributor to major print m…

In this video I share with you how to

woodburn an eagle. This first of two videos covers burning the torso and also beginning to lay out the basic structure of the wing where it stretches out from the body.

The reason this is important is because creating form in a subject with dramatic whites and blacks can pose a challenge. So in this video I show you how to approach this project without confusion.

First I lay in the basic structure of the wing then move into the torso. Using my special pyrographic smudge technique (which you can see in the video) I “undercut” the white feathers of the eagle’s head. This undercutting technique serves to create a bold contrast with the head of the eagle without confusing the viewer with unnecessary detail.

I then proceed to curve the strokes around the form of the body. As I work through the body of the eagle I angle my burns to show the direction that the feathers are growing. I don’t want the torso to look flat. Using my pyrographic smudge technique I lay in the feathers. This technique allows for a variety of values.

It is important to watch where you are going when you do this because the direction of those feathers will make a really big difference. You will notice that I curve around the form as if there are concentric lines that show me the shape of the eagle’s torso.

I also fill in the body with somewhat random strokes. You don’t want to use a stiff rhythm but want the feathers to appear natural and stagger from row to row.

After filling in the torso I go over the eagle’s body and darken the feathers that are in shade. This adds richness to the overall composition.

As a woodburning pyrography tool I am using a Colwood SRS shader fixed tip pen for this project with a Colwood Galaxy woodburning unit. Any good quality shading pen can be used, simply adjust your approach to get the desired effect.

In this little video I’ve shared with you how to woodburn an eagle torso. Watch for my second video where I will share how to woodburn the feathers.

This pattern is available for purchase in my Burning Academy Store. This pattern is included in my Eagle Majesty Volume 1 Workbook at along with other projects and comprehensive step by step photos and instructions on how to woodburn eagles.

I hope you enjoyed this little video for more information on pyrography and learning to burn be sure to sign up for my free burning video series at