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Ross Hines
The Northman

pyrography & acrylic
14″ x 9″


Casey Roonan, Comics Artist & Cartoonist

Casey Roonan
Cartoonist & Comics Artist

Artist Statement
“I’m an art educator with ten years of experience in the high school setting who also makes art on the side.  I’ve been drawn to pyrography (wood burning) and have been doing it for a few years.

I saw a photo of a friend of mine who is involved in historical reenacting and knew I just had to do a pyrography piece of it. I really enjoy history and being able to explore a kit that could have possible existed in seventh century Sweden was too good of an opportunity to pass up.  I wanted to capture the subtle aggression and confidence I felt the figure radiated.

The armored helmet adds an air of mystery as well as a historical and cultural context that would be missing without it.  While the details were mind numbing, they really helped to bring more interest to the piece and invite the viewer to figure out what they are looking at!

I began using white paint a year and a half ago to help bring out the highlights of the wood and have been pleased with the results every since.  Finally, I chose a natural wood ’round’ for my work area as I felt it had a more historical, less modern feel and helped to accent The Northman!”

Video Transcript

“It’s hard not to be impressed by the level of detail and the excellent chiaroscuro value range you’ve managed to accomplish in this piece, simply by burning into wood. What’s really encouraging to me however, beyond the level of just that technical accomplishment, is how much intention you’ve put in so many different aspects of how you’re presenting this piece.

I love that you’ve maintained the natural look of the wood itself, including the bark and sort of working within that ovular composition. But I do want to see you put more intention behind the reference material you’re using. Have this friend of yours with the suit of armor sit down for a photo shoot were you can yourself manipulate the lighting and get even more out of that value range.

Because one element of this composition that I don’t see you taking advantage of is the background. Even in portraits by Rembrandt and Caravaggio for example that seem to just have a black background, actually have a lot more nuance and complexity than that. Your skills in pyrography are up to that challenge.”

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