I drew this Koi Fish design about a year ago for a client to get as a tattoo however, sadly this client fell though and never actually got the tattoo done. I was always so disappointed that I never got the chance to give life this custom & original Koi Fish design that I had spent so many hours drawing; then the opportunity finally presented itself in the form of Pyrography!

I couldn’t wait to get started! As soon as the realization dawned on me, I immediately raced for my “drawn but not forgotten pile” and began digging for that long lost Koi that never made it to the outer calf of my clients leg. Finally revived, I began adjusting the image to be better suited for the 3/4   8×11 inch poplar board that I had spent so much time sanding to a beautifully smooth 220 grit.

My liner was still rough looking but sized and adjusted to be well suited to its new wooden canvas; I was ready to transfer the design from paper to Poplar using my trusty “Craft Smart Graphite Paper” (found in the fabric section of most art supply stores like Michael’s). I placed the Koi liner on top of the graphite paper and then secured it to the poplar board using tape and begin tracing the image (be sure not to press too hard because the graphite transfers quite easily and unused dark lines will not erase fully if it is done too dark).

Now it was finally time to begin burning. I used my Razer Tip Pen for the line work and my small shader for the fill. I found this worked well however the razer tip proved a bit more difficult to maneuver around the sharper curving lines than I would have preferred especially when I was lining the scales. This inspired me to order a micro ball tip pen so that I could avoid this difficulty on future pieces.

I took a short video of some of the process in completing the lining and shading to share with you I hope you enjoy it.

After approximately 11 hours of burning, my Koi Fish Pyrography piece had finally come to life after its long hibernation in my stack of abandoned tattoo designs. I am very happy that I have finally gotten to enjoy the process of completing this custom Koi Fish; I hope that you enjoyed going on this journey with me!