Unbelievable Cactus In Stippling

Now are these cactus unbelievable because no one can believe such cactus exists or because they are unbelievably cool cactus.

I love words almost as much as I love drawing and painting and it gives me joy to come up with a title that can have more than one meaning. No doubt though – these cactus were done with the stippling – little dots – technique.

Thank you Alice for giving me this Cuttlelola dotspen. It IS unbelievably cool!

I’m taking off from posting, the rest of the week so Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate and I hope everyone has something wonderful to be thankful for whether they celebrate or not!

A Peculiar Perspective In Insomnia

Artwork – Miya Arts Guauche, Zebra Zensations Calligraphy Pen and Zebra Pen Sarasa Clip Gel Retractable Pen in a Hahnemühle Cappuccino Book.

Note: I’ve been extremely disappointed with WordPress Premium and decided not to renew it. It ends today, and I’m not sure when I’ll get the chance to go online, so I apologize for any wonkiness on my blog that occurs before I get the chance to clean things up.

I get the occasional insomnia, and sometimes I do artwork because it helps stop my brain from firing on all pistons. The results are often peculiar.

Finding a page in my Cappuccino book that I had started drawing on, and abandoned, I covered it with gouache. The little that showed through suggested buildings, but cast shadows that didn’t go in the right direction.

I decided to just go with it. It’s peculiar, but who cares at 2:00 am?

Unicorn Hill

Artwork – Cuttlelola Electric Dotspen and White Uniball Signo Gel Pens in a Hahnemühle Cappuccino Book.

I love the rich tones in the Cappuccino Book and it’s perfect for the subtle textures made with a Cuttlelola dotspen. Add a little Uniball Signo white pen and magic happens – or it could just be the unicorn causing that!

This is one of those drawings where I just started with no plan beyond drawing a landscape. It’s always fun to do those.

Hahnemühle Cappuccino Book ( review)

Cuttlelola Electric Dotspen (review)

Overgrown Forest for Inktober

Artwork – Cuttlelola Dotspen on Hahnemuhle Nostalgie Postcards

Have you been entering the Zebra Pen Zensations Challenge for a chance to win a Zebra Pens prize package worth $250? If not, be sure to scroll down to read all about it!

I love stippling – the method of drawing with dots, but it’s hard on the wrist and takes so much time. There is an electric pen, the Cuttlelola dots pen – with a nib that moves up and down – you draw, just as you would with a regular pen but the line comes out in dots.

Back in 2016, I wrote a review of the pen. The pens are fragile, and mine died less than a year after I got it. Recently, my friend Alice Hendon sent me another one. Thank you, thank you, Alice!

  • Official Inktober Prompt: Overgrown
  • Doodlewash Prompt: Forest

Today is the 14th day of Inktober, where anyone who is interested is challenged to do an ink drawing every day!

The official Inktober Prompt List.

And the Doodlewash prompt list for the month.

Zebra Pen is joining the fun with a month-long challenge, giving you the chance to win $250 dollars worth of pen products! Just follow zebrapen_us and zebrapen_canada on Instagram, and when you post your Inktober drawing there, use the hashtags #zensationschallenge #Inktober2019 and #Inktober.

Review of the Cuttlelola Dotspen World’s First Electric Drawing pen

Once upon a time, I used to stipple my drawings from start to finish.  If you are unfamiliar with the technique, it’s done by applying dots, dot by dot, onto the paper.  It’s time-consuming, eventually painful, and quite beautiful.  After a year or two, I could no longer use the technique without considerable pain in my wrist and shoulder.

So I was ecstatic when I received a Cuttlelola Dotspen World’s First Electric Drawing pen as a birthday present from my brother and his wife, .  After using it for a while, I knew I had to review it because, if you are like me, you are very curious about this pen, but hesitate to buy it without knowing more.

Look & Feel
The Cuttlelola Dotspen Electric Drawing Pen is 6.6 x 0.6 x 0.6 inches (16.764 x 1.524 x 1.524 cm), which is a bit large in my small hand.  Nonetheless, it isn’t very heavy so I don’t find it uncomfortable.  It is an electric, chargeable pen that uses gel-based ink cartridges.

You probably wonder what it’s like to use it.  My first thought when I started was that I felt like I was tattooing the paper.  No sooner did I think this, then my husband said, “It looks like you are tattooing!”  I’ve never been tattooed or tattooed anyone, so the real experience is probably quite different, but I suspect it has similarities.

I had no problem getting the hang of using the pen.

I want to get the biggest problem (at least if you are in the U.S.) out there from the beginning, which is the cost of shipping & handling.  The pen is $58.00 USD and comes with 20 cartridges.  The S&H is $7.50 USD. A refill pack of ink cartridges is $3.50 for a 5 pack of cartridges.  The S&H is also $7.50.  I know I won’t be able to use the pen very often with refills at that price. I’ve written and asked whether that cost would be combined if you ordered several packs, and I’m hopeful that will be the case.

Edited to add Cuttlelola’s response about S&H: We are actually working on with new distributor in US, so that in the near future you can buy easier from US directly, if you buy serveral packs on our Amazon the postage for at once of $7.5 I think. We much appreciated your supporting.

Looking at the tip, you’d think the pen was just a ballpoint, and in many ways it works the same.  The ink is advertised as waterproof, but only after it sits for quite a while. If you wet it too soon, it will run a little.

You hold the pen tip slightly above the paper (actually having the tip on the paper can damage the pen).  When you push the red button at the top, the tip begins moving up and down about as fast as a person could go.  If you push the red button again, two times, the tip speeds up considerably.  This second speed is the main one used to fill in large areas and draw lines.  The slower speed is for detail.

The pen does make a slight whirring sound and thump as it dots the paper. The surface you are working on makes a difference.  It’s not very loud, but might be annoying for some.

The Cuttlelola is electric, and you plug the USB cable into a slot at the top of the pen. You charge the DotsPen by connecting it to your laptop, mobile device or any 5V DC power supply.  Once charged, you can use the unconnected pen for 15-30 minutes, depending on the speed you are using.  You can also use the pen while it is connected to the power supply.  The cord is about 3 feet long (91.44 cm).

The pen is easily unscrewed, and you just push the ink cartridge into the pen gently until it connects.  I’m pretty clueless about that sort of thing, but I had no problem with it.

The instructions included are sparse, but adequate.

The cap does not fit on the end of the pen, which I dislike, because it means I will probably lose it eventually.

The packaging is worth noting.  The pen comes in a tin with a cardboard sheath.  You don’t need to keep the cardboard, but it’s pretty, so I will.   The tin is decorated with a cuttlefish illustration.

The pen fits nicely inside, and it has foam padding to keep the pen secure.
The USB cable fits in a corner, or you could put a spare cartridge in there for travel.
I’ve had no problems so far, but the company warns outright that rough handling can cause damage, so it is obviously fairly delicate.  They also caution that the pen is not for use by people with cardiac pacemakers.I do have arthritis, and while using the pen causes far less pain than stippling by hand, I do feel the size and jarring after about 1/2 hour.  It’s easy enough for me to just set it down for a little bit before continuing and I’ve had no significant pain.  Still, it’s something to consider if have any kind of hand or arm problems.

All three of my examples were done in a Laws Sketchbook, which has a smooth cardstock like paper.  It is 7.1 x 9 inches (18 x 23 cm).  After these three, and some random testing and light shading on a couple of watercolor painting of similar size I had run the first cartridge out of ink.

I found that it’s a little difficult to get a strongly defined, straight line, so you get a soft, diffused look overall.  On the first example, I used a Pigma Micron for the basic linework, and did all the shading and fill (even the darkest areas) with the Cuttlelola.

On this second example, everything was done with the Cuttlelola, so it has a softer look.  It takes a little time to get those darker areas, and of course, uses up those precious ink cartridges.  I think it is worth it though.

I wanted to try something that would force me to work at the values and textures, so I did this cat.  It was done entirely with the Cuttlelola.
The Cuttlelola is the coolest toy I’ve had in quite a while.  While the initial price is reasonable, the refills may be expensive, depending on where you live.It definitely beats stippling by hand, but there is still some wear and tear on the arm.  If you can take the size, weight and motion, you’re able to create some fantastic works.  Even if you only use it for shading, it will give your work a beautifully finished look.

The pen is delicate, so not for young children, or the irresponsible.  It should not be used around people with cardiac pacemakers.

Video Ad for the Cuttlelola

Another review of the pen at the FrugalCrafter

Disclaimer: I received this pen as a birthday present.  Cuttlelola did not ask for this review, and probably won’t even notice it.  All opinions are my own.