I’ve done a few more Celtic knotwork ink illustration Artist Trading Cards (ATCs):

Card #010 - Knotwork and Bare BranchesCard #010 - Celtic RotationCard #012 - Celtic Knotwork Afire

I’m a bit worried however. [Warning – long, detailed, potentially boring discussion of black ink pens next! Run Away!] See, I have one specific pen that I’ve been using for these illustrations. It’s a pen I bought at a dollar store and haven’t seen anywhere else (PaperMate Gel Roller XF, 0.5mm). It’s got a wonderful extra fine point, nice matte black ink, and the ink doesn’t get absorbed by the card stock I use (which would create blotches of black ink anywhere the pen hesitates for more than a split second.) But it’s not going to last forever and I’ve certainly been putting it through its paces.

I’ve tried to find replacements, but since most of the office supply stores around here don’t let you try out the pens anymore, it’s kind of a crap shoot everytime. I’ve tried the Staedtler Liquid Point 7 (.3mm) – I bought it because it said superfine point. Nice pen, but the ink absorbs like crazy. Then recently I bought Pilot VBall GRIP Extra Fine. Those are CLOSE, but they still bleed. And the Pilot Precise Pens bleed too much too. (So now I have a bunch of pens I love writing with, but can’t draw with – alas!) I’m guessing I’m going to have to search in the ‘gel pen’ category more (although ultra fine tips seem rare) or just try to find something like Micron pens (just heard good things – never used them myself) or another good art pen. Staples had some really fine technical pens, but they were essentially felt tip despite their teeny tip size, and with the pressure I put on them they’d be mashed down to nothing on the first project. Anyway, so that’s my current dilemma – if you have any pen suggestions – superfine tip, thick ink that doesn’t skip or bleed/flow, etc. – feel free to drop a comment! (Keep in mind that the closest thing to an art store is an hour away – not that I wouldn’t drive it, just that it’s one reason I haven’t tried there yet.)

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