I’ve done several woodburning projects and they have turned out pretty well. Not sure where I got the idea but people seem to like it.
For the owl and the mosaic, I used coloring book pages that I traced onto the wood using transfer paper. I learned that graphite transfer paper doesn’t erase from wood so you have to keep that in mind. The birds were premade rub-on transfers that I got at Michaels. I don’t think they sell them anymore. And the flower pattern in the last picture (also seen in my watercolor pencil post) came from a process where I traced a series of photos and then transferred the drawing (and the names) onto the wood using transfer paper.
I’m never a true master at anything so I only used the basic point tip of the wood burner. I just used any old woodburner. I got one from Menard’s and I think one from Michael’s (I only got 2 because I lost one). It takes some getting used to because you can’t hold it like a pencil because that area is hot. You have to hold it high up on the handle. I came up with some support for my wrist that also helped control the tool better. It was just a towel or something, but it helps to have your wrist on something. I think some of the time I also wore a heat protection glove.
I always like the smell of woodburning. One thing I noticed was that when you are going across the grain you might get a bumpy line, and you’ll get differing lines and ease of burning in general as you traverse the grains. For that reason it’s nice to get wood that doesn’t have a lot of grain, although it’s not like there are a lot of choices for wood surfaces. You’ll usually just find birchwood or basswood if you’re looking at the plaques that look like tree slices. You can tell on the bird pieces that I had a lot of trouble with grain because there are a lot of blobs on the lines. Those slices also had some knots in them that you can see on the goldfinch and cardinal ones. The mosaic box was just plain wood with no grain so I didn’t have a lot of trouble with it.
For color, I’ve used several methods. The mosaic box is glass paint. The background on the owl is plain colored pencil and the owl itself is I think just various markers. On that one I also recolored the lines with a Sharpie. The birds and the flower one were watercolor pencils.
Then, I covered everything with Mod Podge. I like to use the furniture hard coat but mostly anything will work!