Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Couple of Commissions

Silly Fish Bulb Toes
5x7 inches
Pastel on Pastelmat

2.5 x 3.5 inches
Coloured pencil on drafting film
There are never enough hours in the day, and the weeks are flying by. These are a couple of the commissions I completed this week. The cat was blessed with this unusual name because it has extra toes on each paw (7 toes per paw), and apparently it has something to do with the Simpsons as well (never having watched the show, this is a mystery to me)
On a different note, I purchased a dip pen for ink last week and find that I can only use it for about 30 seconds before I have to redip it in the ink again, (even though the nib still appears to have ink in it), which doesn't endear me to this tool. If anyone has any pointers as to how to get the ink to flow better and for longer, I would love to hear about it. I really like how it is possible to get very fine lines with the dip pen, but don't have the patience to stop every minute or so to dip the pen again. :(


Priti said...

Wow Karen, this is my first visit to your blog. Love your work- so fun and whimsical.

Miniature Art by Karen Hull said...

Thank you Priti for your lovely comments - it's always a joy to meet a new blogger!!! :)

AutumnLeaves said...

Both of these commission pieces are beautiful, Karen! No hints from me on the nib pen. I think I have one too that I am afraid to even try using!

Barbara A. Freeman said...

Karen, your work is always fantastic. I like your work on this surface. It looks so velvety. Beautiful eyes!

I've not used a dip pen yet and have them so I'll be interested to hear what you find out.

Miniature Art by Karen Hull said...

Thank you Sherry and Barbara - I'll let you know if I find a solution to the dip pen :)

Artoholic said...

Great pieces Karen - fantastic character as usual!

Ahh, the pleasures and pain of dip nibs!

It all depends on the nib and pen, but as a calligrapher, constant dipping is something you get used to, unless you've made the switch to parallel pens.

As you've probably guessed, I have a massive collection of nibs. Speedball, Mitchell and Brause make up the majority - and all 3 are good solid workers.

Speedball - great for beginners, have their ink resevoir on top. You can tease it away from the floor of the nib a little for greater ink holding capacity, but go too far and it won't spring back and you've killed it.

Mitchell - great for fine work - have their very generous resevoir underneath. You can adjust the tongue of this resevoir as well, and take it off completely when it's time to clean your nib.

Brause - really great for fine work, although the top holding resevoir is quite small.

As with any new nib, sometimes the writing ability is a bit stop/start and scratchy. You can fix this by using a match flame to "burn off" the lacquer on the brass nib, and by running the writing edge over wet and dry sandpaper (holding at 45 deg angle)
about 5 times top and bottom.

Ok - time to talk about the wonders of the Parallel Pen. Pilot make this gorgeous calligraphic instrument in 4 sizes, the smallest being 1.5mm. It is a self inking pen, meaning that it holds an internal cartrdige of ink, so you never have to dip aagin. BUT, it can also be used as a dip pen, or both simultaneously. You can touch 2 nibs together to get different coloured inks on either side of the nib - it really is so versatile.

But wait, there's more! You can turn the nib sideways to write and get the finest of fine continous lines - long, long whiskers, hair and calligraphic flourishes no problem!

Do I sound Parallel Pen obsessed?

Anyway, may be worth a try, have a great weekend - I'm off for a weekend calligraphic workshop on canvas. Paint will be spilled!



Miniature Art by Karen Hull said...

Oh Wow Cindy - you are dynamite - thank you. I have printed that off so I can really study it and take it on board. That would make a great tutorial for the Fine Arts and Decorative Painting magazine too. Have fun at your workshop - I look forward to seeing what your produce!!! :))

DEB said...

Karen, I don't know HOW you do it all! Two more commissions since I last bopped in here. And you keep up with red bubble and so many other groups. It's all I can do to answer email most days! Beautiful animal portraits!!

Miniature Art by Karen Hull said...

Thank you Deb - I know just what you mean. I usually do all my emails first up at 6am, before the kids all surface, after that I don't get much time either LOL :)