Monday, August 29, 2011

Linocut handstamped cards

I finally got around to doing a mass print of my linocut stamps and they turned out really well. I´m now working on the envelopes. I´ve worked out a great envelope pattern and I´m working on some homemade remoistable glue recipes and on making some stamps that fit in well with the envelope size (stamped beside the address).

Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand

Friday, August 26, 2011


I´ve read about monoprints in my Print Workshop book by Christine Schmidt and in the Drawing Lab book by Carla Sonheim. So I gave it a quick go with some texture designs based on tiny snippets of some Art-deco pictures I like. Above is a monoprint of stones & water obviously (or perhaps not obviously...).

Above is a monoprint of a wave design. I think if I did it again I´d leave out the tiny wave at the top.

Above: a monoprint of some kind of swirls...

I also did one of a New Zealand fern, but my red ink stained hands got red ink on them, so I didn´t take a close up. The monoprinting was quite fun, turning a fairly ordinary design into something a bit more arty. It is hard to see in the photographs because you can´t quite catch the texture added by the block printing ink, but the monoprinting adds something to the design that wouldn´t be there if I had just drawn it with india ink. Monoprinting does take quite some time to do, and you have to try not lean on it while drawing. I think I will also add watercolours, however, I wanted a pic of them uncoloured, just in case I mess it up...

Dunedin Harbour, South Island, New Zealand

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Watercolour cards

I´ve been experimenting with watercolours and working my way slowly through Nina Leland´s colour books Exploring Color and Confident Color. I didn´t quite mix the colours for these cards and bookmarks that I meant to, but I´m generally happy with them. They are for my mum´s birthday.

More ruru feet wheat packs

I´ve done some more ruru hand-stamped feet wheat packs as presents for Playcentre people finished their training. I haven´t done the inserts yet though. I stamped these ages ago, so its great to get them finally made up.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sketchbook: cup of tea (sort of)

Another entry in the Sketchbook Challenge on this month´s theme of everyday objects. I´ve done my cup of tea (sort of).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Linocut of Pinehaven Road

This is a linocut hand-carved stamp that I have been working on for ages now, finally finished.  It is done with sepia-coloured block printing ink and a rubber brayer. I´m not sure whether I´m pleased with the actual printing. On the one hand, I like the texture and the roughness of it. I wasn´t wanting it to be precise and exact. However, the road is meant to be pure colour. I may have to look at diluting the block printing ink and using a foam brayer.

Anyway, here are the various steps it went through.

One of the original sketches above. No people planned in the picture.

The final sketch, with the outlines blackened with a 6B pencil, ready for transferring in reverse to the linoleum.

Above: the linoleum with the design transferred from the paper. I´ve just started to do the cutting and am wondering whether this is all such a good idea after all. The cutting of the stamp took me months. There is only a very small window of time each day where the natural light on our kitchen table is perfect for cutting AND my baby is asleep.

Above: the first draft of the stamp. I felt the picture was too dark. The trees needed to stand out more - you can´t really see them swaying in the wind. The grass was too dark. The sidewalks needed to be white and the people needed to stand out more.

Below: is the final print with these changes made. I think the lines of the white spaces of the asphalt below the hall, and the white sidewalks kind of draws the eye in towards the road, and then follows the road. That´s kind of a confused line for the eye to follow maybe. But, on the other hand, it is a windy day, with the trees being blown this way and that. Maybe having the eye follow a this-way-and-that line could be a good thing? Mmmm. It may have been better to leave the asphalt square as it was. Bit late now...

I´d initially planned doing a series of six of these, of various scenes around Pinehaven / Silverstream. I´m not too sure whether I´ll do this. The whole project really took a very, very long time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sketchbook: Still life

Still on the everyday objects theme for the Sketchbook Challenge online. This is an india ink drawing of my son´s train set in our living room. I was initially going to make this a still life as one of the watercolour exercises from the Water Paper Paint book, which I am working through at the moment. However, I kind of liked just leaving it as an india ink drawing. I like how it turned out. I think I actually feel better about tackling some ¨real¨ buildings now.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sketchbook: spoons...

This month´s theme in the Sketchbook Challenge is everyday objects, and this made me think of spoons... It is quite an inspiring topic for SAHM, because I had always thought I had to put off learning watercolours and drawing until my kids were way older. Its nice to try looking for things around the house for inspiration.

Another gratuitous picture of the view from our old house, Wellington Harbour, Wellington, North Island, New Zealand.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chickens and socks

I´ve stumbled across the Sketchbook Challenge webpage, and decided to have a go at that, time permitting. It fits in nicely with my working through the Water Paper Paint book by Heather Smith Jones, and the Drawing Lab book by Carla Sondheim. Above is a picture of one of today´s entries.

If I´ve understood this month´s Sketchbook Challenge theme correctly, it is about everyday things. So I´ve chosen socks. Or more precisely, in our house, our collection of individual ¨sock¨ singulars. Our washing machine never eats a pair, only one of each. Mustn´t want to get fat or something. I´m currently working on the ¨Working Wet onto Dry¨ exercise in the Water Paper Paint book, and this made me think about socks too (overpainting different colour socks).

Whanganui River, North Island, new Zealand

Pen and Watercolour drawings

I got the Water Paper Paint book by Heather Smith Jones for my birthday, so I´ve been experimenting with some india ink & watercolour sketches.

I´m still trying to find my own style for drawing kids. I´d also like to draw in a way that is translatable to linocuts. In the meantime I´ve had a go at drawing in the style of some of the kid´s books I´ve seen.

The plant on our table outside. Not sure what kind of plant it is. Some kind of succulent or other...

A small attempt at the Working Wet onto Dry exercise at the top from the Water Paper Paint book.

River near Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand

Monday, August 1, 2011

Stone Dominoes

My good friend Jellyspec lent me the magazine Good Things for Kids and it had painted stone dominoes in it. So I collected some pebbles from Otaki Beach and had a go at it. The pebbles are very tiny and flat, only about 3/4 inch long, if that. The white marks are made with a white paint-craft pen.

Porangahau Beach, North Island, New Zealand