Category Archives: pen and ink

Dali doily

I got to thinking that what I needed for my shrine was a doily. I have seen then on other shrines, cut outs with skulls and skeletons on them. So I thought I’d make one of my own.


Salvador Dali portrait that I found on Wikiart.

I started with Salvador Dali, because of course. And then I used a sharpie to turn him into a simplified, cut out-able skullitized silhouette. This required multiple passes through my brain to find something that made sense and wouldn’t be impossible to do with a pair of scissors or an x-acto knife.


Multiple passes. I love tracing paper.


Close enough to scan.

Then I took the final version, scanned it, cleaned it up in Photoshop, imported it to Illustrator, traced it and then selected all the parts that would be cut and made them black. Then I printed it out a few times and cut out the black parts. I used a hole puncher for all the little dots around the outside. When I set up my shrine I’m going to string the doilies all around it. Cool!


Here’s a version that you can download and print for yourself, if you like.


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Digitized sugary goodness


This is the digital file, directly from my computer.

Here you can see the original line drawing and a test print.

Today’s sugar skull girl is digital.

I began with a line drawing from my sketchbook, scanned it, imported it to Adobe Illustrator, traced it, then filled her with frosting colors, added a pattern behind her and voila! Sugar skull deliciousness!

I’m going to frame her up and bring her to the Starving Artist gallery in St. Augustine, Florida in time for this weekend.

It’s fun to do art this way. It satisfies my craving for a smooth line drawing and it lets me adjust the sizes and colors with a mouse click. I can make her fit into any size frame that I have handy. Because I’m adding final touches, like the shading on her bones and glitter on her dress, each print will be a little bit different.

I love her bright colors and I love that she’s dancing. She makes me happy!


Here I’ve changed her colors and printed her out in three different sizes.


Isn’t she sweet?


Doodle iterations

I got to thinking about the faces that I used to draw all the time and the couple of cement blocks that I did with those faces on them and wondering how I could incorporate some of this sugar skull-duggery into them.

So this morning when I got up I doodled some of what I was thinking, which naturally led to an actual skull and then I thought, I wonder what would happen if I drew it in Illustrator? So I did that, and it was okay, but lost some spontaneity in the translation, I think. This could have been due to the very cheap mouse I was using, now lying in pieces at the bottom of my wastebasket. But I thought I’d also try it with a stylus on my iPad using the ArtStudio app. I liked this better and feel like I should do more digital drawing/painting.

Of all of my iterations, I liked Doodle number 4 best. Do you have a favorite?


Sugar Skull in time-lapse

black and white line drawing of a woman's face

Heather Sugar Skull, 8.5×5.5, black sharpie on sketch paper

Hi Heather! Here’s your sugar skull girl. Thanks for requesting it! It’s given me all kinds of ideas to try out so you can expect a few more along this line. Line. It’s a line drawing. Get it? I know, I know… It’s the coffee, as my sister would say. Someone oughta apply for a government grant and do a study.

Here’s a time-lapse video of the drawing. (Click the image to play the video.) Enjoy!

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