I like the varnished look Maria. They almost glow in the photos.
Thanks for your thoughts Kathleen, you are right they kind of glow. I like your description!
I just found your site. I so love your work. Do you use nib pens for the white? What do you use? I've tried with markers. I have some drawing pens.But the white? I have Bombay black and white. But I don't get how to use the nib pens. Should I use a tiny brush?Oh Thank you. x0xJanet
Welcome to my site Janet and thank you for your lovely comment. Yes, you can use a very fine brush. I prefer the dip pens because I'm better with them than brushes but you can choose whatever you feel comfortable with.
How sweet of you to answer. You so "rock". Ha Ha Thanks. I'm gonna rock on, this afternoon and see what happens.Blessings.
I love to reply when people take the time to visit my blog and leave me kind comments!!! Enjoy your afternoon plans!
Super Dooper Fabulous!!!
Thank you Jane!!!!
I love your beautiful pebbles. Why exactly do you mean by varnish.ThanksRuta.
Thank you very much! By varnish I mean a transparent protective spray finish I applied to these pebbles before painting them to make them smoother and after I painted them to protect the acrylic ink. Does it make more sense?
These are so stunning. I love the varnish. You mention a few different white inks in your previous blogs. Is it Pergamano Tinta White that you use most with your dip pen. Sorry if I've got that wrong...I'm a complete novice!!
You got it right but these days I'm using more Dr.Ph Martins Bombay ink and Daler-Rowney FW acrylic artists ink which are easily to find than the Pergamano. Any of these three are very good inks. Thank you for you comment!
I love your work Maria! I have a ton of these kind of rocks I had collected for hot stone massage use but I think I will start to "mandala" them :) I'm trying to locate supplies online. Just a couple of questions for you. I'm leaning towards a dip pen but you mentioned not to use acrylic ink in dip pens. Is that correct? Would that mean I'd have to use a fine brush or is there another alternative to using a dip or technical pen with an acrylic ink? I'd like to have the option to varnish my rocks and I saw a note in one of your replies about needing to use acrylic ink if one plans to varnish or seal the rock afterwards. So, I'm trying to figure out what would be the best ink and pen to purchase to be able to do that. What tools/ink did you use on the rocks that you varnished in the beauties above? I've looked at a Speedball brand pen handle and a very fine nib. Is there a certain sized nib you prefer? I'm having some trouble determining from the pictures online just how fine the nib points are. Do you recommend a nib with a built on reservoir? Also, can you recommend a brand of varnish. I'm curious as to the specifics on the sealant you used so I can try to locate it for purchase. Sorry for so many questions. I've read through a ton of your replies to comments to try to find answers but I'm totally new to this and appreciate any help! Thanks again for sharing such beautiful photos of your work!! Very inspiring! -Jill
Hello Jill! Thank you for your comment! I'm not sure if you have seen this two posts where I share all the supplies and tools I use http://www.magamerlina.com/2011/12/pebble-mandala.html http://www.magamerlina.com/2012/02/two-painted-pebbles.htmlAcrylic inks don't have any problem with dip pens, my favorite nib is the speedball Hunt 512. Technical pens on the other hand, need lots of care and constant cleaning.Some of my pebbles have a varnish but most of them not, sorry I can't remember the varnish I used. I bought it at a hardware store and it was for outdoor use, non glossy.If you have any other question please feel free to contact me!
I really am awe-struck by your art! I've followed you on flickr, pinterest, facebook and now here! I feel like a stalker! lol! Your rocks ROCK and your mandalas are flawless! You really are an inspiration! I haven't touched my art journal in a month and you've inspired me so bad that I will be sketching and doodling tonight for sure! I also live very close to the beach and next week I will be going camping next to a river so there will definitely be awesome pebbles, stones and rocks and I will be collecting the prettiest and I'm going to give it a shot. I was thinking of turning them into jewelery; probably a couple of rings and necklaces. I'll have to find me some light ones though. I do have a dip pen, not sure how thin the nib is, I'm gona have to check. I do not have acrylic ink tho. I'm not sure it's available in my country. See, I live in Beirut, Lebanon and we do not have craft stores here. I worked SO hard and searched SO effing hard to find and collect all my art tools and craft supplies to finally make the craft room/studio that I needed. And the worst part is I cannot order anything online because the shipping fees are ridiculously expensive to Lebanon-they are usually triple the price of whatever I'm ordering so it's definitely not worth it. Anyway, point is, I probably cannot get my hands on all the tools...Do you think there are alternatives? Do you think I could use the dip pen with acrylic paint, for example? Can I prime the pebbles with laquer? or matte mod podge? :/ I would really appreciate the help.Sorry for the long message, I got carried away.And again, thank you for sharing all that you share.Keep up the AWESOMENESS that you do and that you are!xxx
Your comment is very sweet, far far from being a stalker!!! hahahaha.Thank you for you beautiful words about my work Sabine.I can relate to the trouble of getting art supplies, when I was in my other country Colombia, it was the same for me.You could try "thinning" the acrylic paint to an "inkish" consistency or try to use a very fine brush. I have prime some of my pebbles with mate finish spray outdoors varnish but never used mod podge or laquer, sorry not very helpful...Experiment and see what works best for the things you have there, have fun trying!!
Hi Maria, I recently purchased your book and found it interesting and helpful. I am using a dip pen for the first time in my life and it's so easy. I did find that the Dr Martin's Bombay ink colors don't always show well especially the blue (I'm filling in the design with color), but I love how they go on the rock. I don't want to paint the background white. So a couple questions for you - Do the FW ink colors work better (I use the white which does a great job on the design)? Also, you mention on this post you often spray varnish before painting and after. Do the inks or the acrylics work better after you do that? I would think the rock would be too slick to even hold the paint. Thanks. Love your designs.
Hi Lynda!!Sorry it took me so long to find your comment, thank you so much for your beautiful words.The Daler-Rowney FW Acrylic Inks are a little bit more opaque but some colors don't show well directly on the stone either so, I mix them with white or I paint with white before applying the color, you can use white gesso for this too (not for the mixing though).I have used the varnished but I find it "flattens" the paint so I don't really like it.I hope this helps :)