1. Sand your plaque using 220-grit sandpaper, working the paper in the direction of the wood grain to avoid cross-grain scratches. Remove the dust with a tack cloth. Repeat using 320-grit sandpaper. For a pristine, smooth burning surface you can work a third sanding with fine grade steel wool.
2. Center your pattern over the plaque. Tape one side to secure the paper. Slide a sheet of graphite paper under the pattern. Using a fine point ink pen, trace along the outer pattern lines. Do not trace the inside detailing lines.
Use light to medium pressure when tracing to avoid scoring the basswood with the pen point.
3. Take a little time to examine your pattern, establishing where each element of the pattern lies in the overall design.
Establishing your light source
Since this pattern is a line art pattern, not a shaded drawing, you need to establish where your light source will be.
For this pattern I placed the light source at the 11 o’clock position, which puts the darkest shadows at 5 o’clock.
You can mark both the light and darkest shadow points directly on your paper pattern. With a #2 pencil circle those areas that will be in direct light source – the whitest, palest tones of the burning. Lightly mark where no light will reach an area – these areas will be your darkest values. You can refer to the paper pattern as you work your burning.