Skull Flower/Mandala - WIP

Here's a new project I am working on.  It is very similar to my owl flower - it is made the same way.  I start out with a drawing and estimate how many times I want to repeat it.  I then size and photocopy the drawing, create a flower center, and make a mock up with lots of tape and cut out photocopies.   Then I place it on my Lighttracer II light box to trace the final drawing.  Here is a photo of this step with the skull flower.

The next step is to trace the outline of the flower with a pencil.  I also add on to the drawing if I feel it is necessary.  I added a little heart tip to the petals of the center flower and some tiny flowers on the outside to make the drawing a little more full, and to tie the skull nose design in with the center flower.

When I am done with the pencil drawing I start to ink the entire illustration, starting with the outlines then filling everything in.  Before I would use a Staedtler pen set to do this, and I would burn through a set with every drawing.  Now I have my Koh-i-noor 7 pen Rapidograph set and I get more even lines, better details, and I don't have to worry about buying a $15 pen set for each drawing.  The pens were expensive ($70 at Hobby Lobby after a 40% off coupon), but they will pay for themselves after 5 drawings, and I really prefer them.   Here are a few pictures of the inking process. 

I am not quite done with this one, but when I get done I will post a picture for you to see.   I was hoping to have this one displayed in my house, but my good friend Julie has already spoken for it.  I do plan to make another one for our home, especially since hubby really likes it.


Cloth Paper Scissors Pages - My Art Published!!!!!!

So excited to share with you guys that my art has been published in the premiere issue of Cloth Paper Scissors Pages!  I just received my complimentary copy of the magazine today!

I have been reading Cloth Paper Scissors since the first issue in 2004.  I love the magazine and it has been a dream of mine to have my art featured in it.  These books were originally sent in for the Mini Book challenge that was published in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue.  I was sorta bummed to find I was not published with the challenge until I found out that my books might be published in Pages.

The magazine is awesome!  It is so bright and colorful and features tons of books and art!  My favorite article so far is "Vintage Inspiration" by Renee Rogers.  I can't wait to get some of my vintage papers and books out and give it a try.  If you need inspiration, Pages is packed with 144 exciting pages of it.  You can order it from the Interweave store here, or check out your local bookstore to see if they carry it.  I know the Books-A-Million in our county does.  


New Pens!!!! - Koh-i-noor Rapidograph Set

Wow guys, I am super excited!!!!  Hubby is pastor at a local church called Faith Tabernacle, and we celebrated pastor appreciation Sunday.  We had a guest speaker (Brother Thrasher) and a nice dinner.  The church not only gave hubby a love offering, but me one as well.  And do they know me or what?  They got me a Hobby Lobby gift card!  I was so touched I cried.  They knew I love to make jewelry, but I decided to use the card on something I have wanted for a while but have not had the extra money to invest in - a set of Koh-i-noor Rapidograph pens.  There happened to be a 40% off coupon running this week, so I did not have to wait long at all to get this set of wonderful pens.

I read online for a couple of days to make sure this was really what I wanted.  After reading about 100 reviews I found there was basically two types of people - those who love Rapidograph pens, and those who hate them.  Really.  Here is a basic set of complaints:  the pens are hard to fill, the nibs break too easily, the pens clog easily and when they do the pen is ruined, too expensive, the components are too fragile.  But most people who enjoy the pens have used them for years and have found with proper care and maintenance the pens can last for years.  One reviewer had a set of pens for nearly 30 years!  Basically if you clean your pens often, use them regularly or clean the ink out of them between uses, don't draw too hard with them (they require only a light hand), and don't shake them, they will last for a long time. 

I read reviews and watched videos of people using the pens.  I also did a Google search and a Flickr search of illustrations and drawings done with Rapidograph pens.  By the time I went Tuesday to pick them up I was practically drooling!!!!! 

I got them home, opened them, scanned over the directions, and started filling.  I found that could not get the reservoir off the pen.  I tried but couldn't open any of them.  I reread the instructions and they said to remove the reservoir with a "slight twist."  I tugged and strained for a moment, then went back to the instructions.  Duh!!!!  I had really just glanced at the pictures - which are in black and white.   I was forgetting to unscrew the colored clamp ring from the holder.  So simple once I figured that out.

I got my pens filled and started doodling.  Here is an illustration I did with the .25 and .50 sizes.

And one I did using just the .30 size.

I love how much detail I can get with these pens.  So far the performance is far superior to any of the pigment liners I have tried.  The line width is consistent, and the ink flows easily.  My pen set came with Trans-Mix Media Brilliant Ink which I like, but I would like to try Koh-i-noor's india ink as well. 

One thing I did not find was a close up of the tips or nibs of these pens.  So I thought I would post one of the smallest and one of the largest tips.  Click on these pictures for a full view.

Wow, so far these pens are awesome!!!!  One thing I did notice is that one of my pens leaked a bit.  It was the one I used the most yesterday, but I also notice that the clamp ring was loose.  I cleaned it and tightened the clamp ring.  I will keep you guys posted on these pens and their performance.