Portrait made from 3 million pen dots

[Video Link] Amy Seidenwurm says: "Miguel Endara used over 3 million dots (and only 1 Micron pen!) to make a beautiful ink on paper portrait of his dad.


  1. I’m glad I am putting all this money away for college so my kid can grow up to be a mid-level manager at some widget factory. 

  2. The fact that it’s such a silly portrait puts the video over the top. I’ve done pointillism before; by the end, my neck hurt worse than my wrist did. 

  3. I’m disappointed. When I saw “1 Micron pen”, I thought “Wow! That’s one really fine point! Want!”  And then, I saw it was the model name :(

    Currently writing with a 25 micron spot size CNC laser OR a 300 micron Pentel.

    1. I’d guess it’s a 0.1 mm pen. I have a couple 0.5 mm pens I use, but I’ve never seen a 0.1 mm one.

  4. Very impressive! And the pointillism is properly done, e.g. the little dots end up forming nice, smooth relief instead of looking like the drawing has chicken pox.

  5. Awesome. I have very fond memories of how rewarding pen-n-ink pointillism was for the artist, and done like this, it’s supremely rewarding for the viewer.

  6. Can I just take a moment here to mention: Vimeo has the worst video hosting service player EVAR.

    Okay, thanks. I had to get that off my chest. Their player still sucks, though. A LOT.

    1. Can you expand on this? I was thinking about getting the pro account for my business. I’ve always been impressed by Vimeo. Your comment makes me wonder what I’m missing?

      1. About a quarter of the time, Vimeo videos will load for me, but won’t even play. This is the same behaviour across three machines that I use. Also, the playback resolution options are either small or full-screen. I guess I’m spoiled by YouTube.

        Judging by the multiple ‘likes’ on my comment above, I’m guessing I’m not the only one. *shrug*

  7. Clearly there’s something wrong with my Micron pens, because I can never get the awesomeness to flow from them like that.

  8. That was inspiring. Love those pigma micron pens. (I’m surprised that none of the pencil lovers  have weighed in on his pencil.)

  9. The portrait is awesome!  Shades of Virgil Finlay…

    I hate using markers, I feel like a chump throwing away 95% of the pen just because it runs out of ink. 

    For this kind of work I use Rapidograph technical pens, usually with technical pen ink, though I’ve been known to play with water soluble ink.  No dipping, and when you run out of ink, just refill it.  I also use Rotring pens with a fountain pen converter, which behave a little more like a traditional pen, but quite stiff.  If you want an expressive line, there’s just no getting away from a dip pen … and the best ones seem to come from Japan these days.

    I do use Pentel brush pens for cartooning, the kind have real bristles and that take a fountain pen cartridge.  I refill the cartridges with either waterproof technical pen ink or water soluble sumi ink (the kind that stinks like fish and comes in a green bottle.)  Occasionally I use fountain pen ink. A syringe with a large needle is essential here.  Careful, it sucks to get stuck!

    Also, Kuratake makes a “brush pen” that is actually more like a high grade felt tip marker that takes fountain pen cartridges.  I use Sumi ink in them. (I’ve moved away from the Japanese grocery store that sold them and I can’t find a local to the U.S. source.) They also work well with colored inks like Dr. Martins.

    1. There are also Copic Multiliner SP pens, which are like the Micron pens shown, except they’re refillable and have replaceable nibs. Copic markers are also refillable. I love my Copics :D 

      1. I was at an anime convention this lask weekend and a young woman was showing a group of us Copic markers at a panel.  Very interesting, but fairly expensive.  For color work I use a pan watercolor set and a Japanese water brush.  The Copics did look like fun, maybe I’ll buy a few to try out.  Can you fill the Copic markers with your own choice of media?  Could I use Dr. Martin inks for instance?

        1. Well, they are alcohol-based markers (and blend wonderfully) but I don’t know about using other types of ink in them. Copic does  sell blank/empty pens so that you can blend your own colors from the inks they sell and make your own markers. It might be an interesting experiment to try using the Dr. Martin inks instead. I haven’t heard of anyone trying it before. The sketch and ciao markers have a nice brush nib that would probably work well. 

  10. 210 hours.  That’s some dedication.  That’s about ten times the amount of time I spent converting a Jaguar to a Chevy drivetrain and getting it smog-legal to boot.  I definitely don’t have anything approaching that level of patience.

    There’s a guy loves his old man.

  11. Alex Colville did pretty well for himself with pointilism.

    Technical pens can make you write or draw with such care.

  12. I’m surprised no one has commented on the subject matter. It’s a portrait of his dad, yes, but it is a copy of a xerox of his dad’s face smushed up on the glass. I recognized it instantly from the ones I have made of my face  (I have also used cats, puppies and an iguana once as subject). You can do some really freaky things with a copier, but my favorite thing is hard to do now. Most copiers a digital now and use a bright flash and a CCD  (similar to a digital camera) so you can capture one frozen instant in time. Many older copiers ( specifically the Xerox 1065 and its derivatives) had a scanner bar that worked like a flat bed scanners for computers, so you could move the object on the glass as the scanning bar moved and thereby bend or manipulate the image. My favorite thing to do was using, 11″x17″ paper, make a copy of my face where I started out with my left ear down, then rolled my head in time with the movement of the scan bar, ending up with my right ear on the glass. The resulting image was my entire face  ear to ear, flattened out. Everyone in the office wanted to do one of them self once they saw one of mine. Oh, I do prattle on.

  13. What I think I’m most impressed with is that someone actually kept track of the number of dots.

  14. Scan…convert to Floyd-Steinberg dithering…DONE!

    Seriously, very well done.  Many years ago I did a series of three pen (Rapidograph) & ink drawings, counting each stroke.  I forget the number, many tens of thousands for each one.  I’m far less obsessive now.

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