I brainstormed for a while trying to figure out what to base this Rose on and I thought a Jester's Staff would be pretty cool. I figured it would work for a castle map or something along those lines.
I then sketched one up on paper, scanned it in and began the journey to bring it to life. I have not really done any vector art before so my intention is to create it as I usually do in Gimp and then use the trace function in Inkscape. Not sure if that does what I think it does but we will see. Even if it doesn't work like that I can always just use my end product from Gimp.
I start with a rough sketch, scan it, touch up and paint. I figured I would attempt a blow by blow account of how I did this in case anyone can learn from it or anyone sees a way I can save myself a step or two. I hope I don't bore anyone.
Step 1 - (scanned image - This is scaled down because, due to pixels I guess, it always comes out huge when scanned at 300dpi and for posting purposes I didn't think that was necessary.)
Step 2 - I then desaturate and duplicate the layer a few times until it is the right darkness to work with. Merge the layers and then clean them up a bit (get rid of stray marks using erase or layer masks).
Step 3 - I add textures and color on separate layers of course. In fact the image at this point consists of 8 layers give or take.
Step 4 - It needs more and I wanted to include a nod to the Harlequin Motley often worn by Jesters so I created a background pattern. I also put a drop shadow for the Jester's Staff to give it more depth. Oh yeah, this needs to be a png for the transparency.
Step 5 - Let's try using Inkscape to see if I can figure out how to vectorize this baby. (Well, after the trace which seems pretty straight forward, I have lost the transparent background.) I'll have to see if I can figure that out but here is the full blown deal out of Inkscape.
This last image is the full size that I am working in but as you can see taking it into Inkscape I lost the transparent background. I'll have to figure out how to fix that.
I am also thinking about creating a borderline around the diamond pattern.
All in all, I'm pretty happy with how this is turning out, it's pretty close to what I imagined. I may play with the colors a bit more but that's just the little stuff.