Tag Archives: drawing

The Making of a Bowl

I often get asked how long it takes me to finish a piece. It really depends on the design and the method I am using, but pyrography is a time-consuming craft. It takes a steady hand and a lot of patience. With a normal day job and a young child, it takes longer.

Take this bowl for example

I have been working on it, when my schedule allows, since the end of last year. It is a large bowl, 15 inches. It took me probably 2 hours just to draw the inside of the bowl and 1.5 hours to draw the design on the outside of the bowl. After drawing in pencil, I go over my lines with my pyrography tool. for most lines I use a writing tip.

This goes quicker than the original drawing, but it still takes a while. All together it was probably 1-2 hours. Next, I make adjustments to the lines, making some thicker than others. Then comes the really time-consuming part. Shading. It involves burning layer by layer. To avoid burning to deep or getting an undesired darkness, I keep the temp fairly low and just build up the burn.

I have put in another 6 hours of shading and I am nearly done with all of the inside designs. I still have the knotwork on the outside to shade, so there is probably another 6-8 hours of work left to do.  But because my larger pieces are slower sales, I have to find time between working on magnets, tiles, and pendants.  Here’s my current progress –

Sketch Fest and New Work

Last weekend I participated in Sketch Fest for the first time.  Sketch Fest takes place once a month and is, as described on the site, a “24 hour creative jam session with artists across the world, brought to you by Ellen Million Graphics.”  The artists pick prompts and do a 1 hour sketch of the subject.

Here are the two sketches I did for it.

Prompt – Prehistoric Cave Art (sold)

copyright Christina Kester 2011


Prompt – Pocket Frog (for sale on the Sketch Fest website)

copyright Christina Kester 2011


In other news, I have been doing a lot of pyrography this past month. Here is a look at my newest pieces. Most can be found for sale on my Art Fire shop here

copyright Christina Kester 2011

copyright Christina Kester 2011

copyright Christina Kester 2011

copyright Christina Kester 2011

copyright Christina Kester 2011

copyright Christina Kester 2011

copyright Christina Kester 2011



Dog Nouveau Steps

Here is a walk through of my current progress on the pet portrait I am working on.I will be adding more as I continue working.

Edit 4/18/2011 – Here is the final walkthrough.

Copyright Christina Kester 2011

April 11 Update

Here’s my finished tattoo commission –

A character sketch for a really long term project –

Practice sketches from my sketchbook –


Commission Status –

Dog Nouveau – transfering drawing to canvas

Knotwork tattoo – finished

Anniversary Spoons – finished

Eagle Spoon – on hold, spot open


I have one spot open for commissions right now. It has to be something small and simple. I can do a decorated spoon ($15-30) or a 5×7 painting ($45-60). Please let me know if you are interested by sending an email to fireoakstudio@gmail.com

Dog Nouveau and Smoke Bowl

Dog Nouveau

One of my current commissions is a pet portrait of  two adorable Boston Terriers. And since my client is open to it, I’m going to share my steps in completing the painting.

Here is the sketch I will be working from

copyright Christina Kester 2011

From this point, I will be transferring the drawing to the canvas. There are a few things I want to address while doing this, so it wont be exactly like this sketch. For example, I want to make sure I get the dogs’ likenesses down a little better. I also want to make the circle between the dogs a little bigger and add a border of sorts on the top and bottom of the painting.

Smoke Bowl

Here is an in progress shot of my latest bowl.

copyright Christina Kester 2011

This is a companion bowl to my Cloud bowl

copyright Christina Kester 2011

Commissions and Other News

I am closed for commissions currently, but I am accepting commissions for late May and June. If you are interested, please send me an email fireoakstudio@gmail.com.

I’m still gathering photos of my older work that I will be selling at discounted prices to help fund my move. I anticipate that they will be up by mid next week. I’m also having a sale at my Art Fire store, so please stop by and take a look.

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade

News and Spring Commissions


I am moving across country at the end of April. My move has been brought on by a lot of drama in my personal life and is unexpected.  I need to raise some funds quickly. To do this, I am having a 20% off sale at my ArtFire store (http://www.artfire.com/users/FireOakStudio) and I will be auctioning off some of my older work and prints that I still have in stock on eBay. I’ll provide an update with more details on the auctions as they are set up. Please note that if you buy something close to the end of April, it might take a little longer to ship than usual due to the move.  I am looking forward to the clarity a new beginning will bring.


I am currently full on commissions, but I am going to be accepting again in mid May. My spots have been filling up quickly, so if you are interested, please send me a note and I will save you a spot.

Current Commission Progress
Tattoo – final sketch
Dog Painting – Gathering references
Anniversary Spoons – finished
Eagle spoon – spot held


Here are some drawings and finished ACEOs. The Fairy Tale Glyphs will be painted soon. The Tricksters are finished and will be added for sale (as open edition prints) on my ArtFire shop sometime in the next few days.

Fairy Tale Glyphs

copyright Christina Kester 2010








The Tricksters

copyright Christina Kester 2010

copyright Christina Kester 2010

copyright Christina Kester 2010

Wood Bowl Design Preview

Starting in late September to early October, I will be decorating wood bowls using pyrography (wood burning) and offering them for sale. Here’s a sample of some of the designs I will be offering.

copyright 2010 Christina Kester

By the time I start production, I will have many more designs to choose from. I have already received a lot of interest, including some pre-orders. I will be posting final designs and prices when I start production. If you are interested in purchasing a bowl with one of my designs and would like more information (including prices), please e-mail me at fireoakstudio@gmail.com.

Plans and Ruminations

I’ve been wanting to make a serious go at switching careers and making art a full time gig for several years. I have consulted books, blogs, tweets, and podcasts on how to do it. I’m ready to act now and I am going to write about the process. This will include both my successes and my failures. Hopefully, someone else out there who is thinking about making the shift can gleam something useful from journey and apply it to their own.

For all intents and purposes I am pretty much a beginner with book knowledge and a portfolio.  Here is more detail on where I stand.

  • I have a very modest presence on the web, which includes a blog, a web gallery, a twitter presence, a facebook presence, and some activity on art forums.
  • I have some sales under my belt, but not enough to quit my day job just yet.
  • I have thought about what I want to focus on and I have a plan in the works.

So what is my next step? Paperwork. I am going to take stock of what I art I have, what I feel is ready for sale, prices, supplies and equipment.I am using an excel spread sheet from the SciFiFantasyHorrorSpace_ArtShows yahoo group. There are some good resources here, particularly for anyone interested in selling art at convention art shows.

One market I want to explore is art fairs. I need to find out what equipment I’ll need and how much it (and entry fees and travel) will cost. The Boulder Creek Festival is Memorial Day weekend. I plan on going and doing some research and networking as my first step. Ultimately I’d like to do several art fairs and possibly a renaissance festival or two a year.

I also want to submit work to publishers. I have done some research and picked five to start with ( I’m going to keep you all in suspense as to which ones for now). It is a small number, but I still have a full time day job and a toddler. I need to be able to keep track of who I  have contacted. After I finish my inventory, I will be putting together submissions for these companies. I will post more about this when I get to it.

And with that, the little one just woke up from his nap. Please feel free to leave a comment, give advice, or ask questions.

Two More

copyright 2010 Christina Kester

The Queen

Pen on paper

Another in my Arthurian legend series, Guinevere.

Somewhat referenced [link] by :iconlilbittydemon-stock:

copyright 2010 Christina Kester

Deep Rising

Pen on Paper

This one is for Charlie, who has been trying to get me to draw something to fit the horror/macabre category for a long time now.

The pose is referenced from :iconartrenaimuse: