10 Natural Landscapes that You Should Try to Wood Burn

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Written by Jared Watson

Jarred Watson is a pyrographer with 10+ years experience and has worked with brands like BOSCH & FORD. He is always looking to learn and share his passion of wood burning with others.

Wood burning, also known as pyrography, offers a unique canvas to create distinctive artwork, drawing inspiration from a wide variety of subjects. One such rich source of inspiration is the earth’s natural landscapes. Their majesty, diversity, and organic connection to the medium of wood makes them particularly appealing. Let’s explore ten such remarkable landscapes and provide you with insights on how to capture their spirit through wood burning.

Why Choose Natural Landscapes for Wood Burning

Wood, the primary canvas for pyrography, is a product of nature, making the art form intrinsically tied to earth’s landscapes. Each natural scene, with its unique elements, textures, and forms, offers a canvas for creative expression. The quiet stillness of a forest, the vast expanse of a desert, or the jagged peaks of a mountain range can become the basis of a stunning piece of artwork.

10 Natural Landscapes that You Should Try to Wood Burn

    1. The Grand Canyon, USA

The Grand Canyon, located in the state of Arizona in the United States, is an expansive chasm renowned worldwide for its visually overwhelming size and intricate, colorful landscape. Carved by the Colorado River, the canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and reaches depths of over a mile. The landscape’s beautiful layering showcases a geological chronicle dating back millions of years. Its bold reds and oranges contrasting against the cerulean sky create a stunning visual spectacle.

To capture this majesty in wood burning, focus on creating depth and layers by manipulating the gradients of burn. Pay special attention to the play of shadows and light across the canyon, enhancing its rugged appearance. The contrasting elements, such as the serene sky against the dramatic chasms, will add a striking balance to your artwork.

    1. The Amazon Rainforest, Brazil

The Amazon Rainforest is a lush, dense forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America, spanning several countries but most extensively in Brazil. It’s a rich tapestry of biodiversity, teeming with a wide variety of trees, plant species, and wildlife. Its sprawling tree canopy, winding rivers, and the myriad of fauna provide an exciting and challenging theme for pyrography.

When translating this vibrant landscape to wood burning, embrace the complexity of the scene. Use different textures to depict the varied elements of the rainforest. Highlight the dense canopy with deep, rich burns, and use lighter burns for distant elements, providing a sense of depth and perspective. The key to successfully capturing the Amazon Rainforest in pyrography lies in celebrating its vibrant and diverse ecosystem.

    1. Mount Everest, Himalayas

Mount Everest, located in the Himalayas, is Earth’s highest mountain above sea level. Known as Sagarmatha in Nepal and Chomolungma in Tibet, its snow-capped peak reaches a staggering height of 29,031.7 feet. The mountain’s formidable stature and harsh, icy conditions have made it a symbol of nature’s grandeur and a challenging goal for mountaineers worldwide.

In your pyrography project, depict the mountain’s icy peak with smooth, lighter burns. For the shadows and crevices, use darker shades and detailed strokes to highlight the rugged terrain. The play of shadows can help emphasize the mountain’s majestic height and the sheer scale of its slopes. Don’t forget to include the contrasting sky that encases this majestic peak. The simplicity of the sky can balance out the intricate detailing of the mountain, creating a stunning piece.

    1. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland in northeastern Australia, is the largest coral reef system on Earth. A spectacle of underwater life, it comprises over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands, sprawling over 1,400 miles. This marine habitat is teeming with biodiversity, housing countless species of colorful fish, mollusks, starfish, turtles, dolphins, and sharks.

Translating this vibrant underwater landscape to a wood canvas requires a unique approach. You could create a top-down view showing the reef’s expanse and the scattered islands or a cross-section of the ocean, showcasing various aquatic species. Intricate patterns can depict the coral formations, while varying burn intensities can capture the different colors and textures of marine life. Remember, the ocean’s play of light adds an extra layer of depth to the scene.

    1. Aurora Borealis, Arctic Circle

The Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, is a celestial phenomenon where natural light displays appear in the Earth’s polar regions. Caused by disturbances in the magnetosphere due to solar wind, these lights are usually visible in the late evening and night times. They present a mesmerizing dance of colors across the sky, ranging from green and pink to shades of red, yellow, blue, and violet.

When attempting to capture the Northern Lights’ dynamism in wood burning, remember that the scene is all about movement and color. Mimic this ephemeral spectacle with swirling and flowing patterns of various burn shades. Creating a sense of fluidity and gradation of tones can bring out the Aurora’s magic. While this scene presents a unique challenge due to its fluid, constantly changing nature, the result can be ethereal.

    1. Sahara Desert, Africa

The Sahara Desert, the largest hot desert in the world, stretches over 3.6 million square miles across North Africa. Known for its golden, sandy landscapes, the Sahara is home to a variety of life adapted to the harsh conditions. The vast expanse of sand dunes, sculpted by the wind, against the often clear, stark sky provides an awe-inspiring view.

Wood burning the Sahara offers a chance to explore the theme of minimalism. Use fluid, sweeping burn lines to mimic the curves of the sand dunes. Play with gradients and shadows to give the illusion of depth and scale, making the viewer feel the expanse of the desert. The simplicity of the landscape allows for focusing on subtle details, like the play of light and shadow or the texture of the sand.

    1. Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe

Straddling the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is one of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls. It’s known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, “The Smoke That Thunders,” in the Lozi language. The waterfall, over a mile wide and 355 feet high, creates a spray that rises up to 1,300 feet, forming a rainforest-like ecosystem nearby.

To depict Victoria Falls in wood burning, you need to capture the water’s movement and power. Use a variety of burn techniques to emulate the cascading water, the rising mist, and the lush vegetation surrounding the falls. Directional strokes and varying burn intensities can give the impression of water tumbling down, while lighter burns can be used to portray the mist and spray.

    1. Redwood Forest, USA

Located primarily in Northern California, the Redwood Forest is famous for its towering redwood trees, the tallest living things on earth. These ancient trees, standing straight and reaching heights over 350 feet, create a majestic and serene landscape. The forest floor, dotted with ferns and shrubs, and the diffused light filtering through the high canopy, add to the magical ambiance of these forests.

In your pyrography piece, emphasize the Redwoods’ immense height and straight trunks with long, consistent burn lines. Use shading to create the depth and quiet of the forest floor, and experiment with lighter burns to depict the sunlight filtering through. To give viewers a sense of the trees’ colossal scale, consider adding smaller elements, such as fauna or a human figure.

    1. Milford Sound, New Zealand

Located in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island, Milford Sound is a fjord renowned for its stunning beauty. With dramatic cliffs rising from dark waters, numerous waterfalls cascading down, and lush rainforests, Milford Sound presents an ethereal landscape. It’s the interplay of rock, water, and greenery that makes this place genuinely enchanting.

When working on a Milford Sound inspired piece, consider the landscape’s reflection in the still waters. Use different burn intensities to mirror the above scene, creating a sense of symmetry. The cliff faces offer an opportunity for detailed work to showcase their rough textures, while the waterfalls and forests can be depicted with flowing lines and varied shades of burn.

    1. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni, located in Bolivia’s southwest corner, is the world’s largest salt flat, spreading over 4,086 square miles. It’s a surreal, other-worldly landscape – a vast white expanse under the clear blue sky, often described as where heaven meets earth. During the rainy season, a thin layer of water transforms the salt flat into a gigantic mirror, reflecting the sky perfectly.

In pyrography, capturing Salar de Uyuni provides an opportunity to play with the concept of vastness and reflection. The flat, featureless terrain can be rendered using uniform, light burns, giving the impression of the endless expanse of salt. To depict the rainy season’s mirror effect, consider incorporating the sky’s reflection in your artwork. Use a symmetrical design to convey the perfect reflection, creating a stunning, dream-like piece of art.


These are just ten of the countless natural landscapes that can be brought to life with wood burning. Each one presents its unique challenges and opportunities, but the resulting artwork is sure to be breathtaking. So don’t hesitate. Pick up your burning tool, find your inspiration, and start creating. The beauty of nature combined with the warmth of wood offers an unparalleled artistic journey. Happy burning!

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