Up until now we have both used the sliding glass door for our light table when we needed to trace from our master pattern. This works pretty well for most projects. A positive is that you can have a very large design on one surface, but there are some negatives with this method. The first is, don't get inspired at night. There is no way to get it back lit enough for tracing a pattern. The second (and third) negative is keeping the pen at a good angle for the ink to continue flowing and it is tiring for shoulders to keep your arms raised when tracing.
We had a much smaller and a much thicker light box, but this was very difficult to use for larger pattern drafting jobs. Enter the Artograph LightPad 950! The LightPad 950 measures a whopping 17 x 24 inches, but it comes in several other sizes. I was at a local store (Sewing Machines Plus in San Marcos) and saw one of smaller LightPads. Not only is it nicely lighted across the whole surface, but it is very thin. This makes it very easy to move a larger pattern across the panel. David is currently using it for a new project and declared it a huge asset for his work. Since the LightPad lights with LEDs it does not get hot like our other light box. There is also a battery pack available so you can use it without a socket being available. The battery pack can also be used for charging other 5V products like a phone or camera. How awesome is that?
The Artograph LightPad is very sturdy and extremely well built. Artograph has a video of someone standing and jumping on it, driving over it, and throwing it off a building. Do not try this with the other brands. The LightPad is not inexpensive, but I do feel it is worth the extra dollars if you are serious about your art and having a product that will go the distance.
Does this product sound like a perfect solution for you? If you are like me, I first try to buy local to support my neighborhood businesses. Depending on where you live, the Artograph LightPad might be hard to find. If you don't have a local store that can order one for you, you can shop online. Check out several options as the prices can vary depending on the retailer. Your local dealer may not be able to match the internet price, but don't forget you will have to factor in shipping in the total cost. Even if the price is a little more locally, I will pay it. I consider this the convenience factor of having a store I can count on for last minute supplies.
Of course you can always find these types of products on Amazon, but don't overlook dedicated online art supply stores like The Fine Art Store in New York. I love looking at all the available art products and wondering what else I can do with them when it comes to fabric.
Do you own a LightPad? What is your favorite thing about it or how has it made your art easier to create?