25 October 2016

A new blog!

I've started a new blog for my nature journalling/photography/general ramblings - pop over and have a look. Not much on there at the mo, just a 'hello' post and some nice piccies!


30 September 2016

Wood mouse studies

I had another opportunity, via the cat, to study some local wildlife - this is a wood mouse.

Wood mouse watercolour studies

Wood mouse watercolour study

Wood mouse watercolour study

Wood mouse pencil studies
Pencil and watercolour in the Stillman & Birn zeta journal, which is slowly but surely being filled up!

01 September 2016

Scrumptious succulents

A couple of months ago I had a lovely afternoon with a couple of pals, visiting gardens in an 'Open Garden' event (Moseley in Bloom, in Birmingham UK). The gardens were, of course, just beautiful, and a common theme seemed to be succulents - people had them planted in pots, planters, kitchen sinks, and all sorts of places. They looked fab, and inspired me to try a reduction linocut, and this is how it turned out...

Scrumptious succulents reduction linocut original hand-made print

This was the first chance I've had to use the Ternes-Burton registration system (available here in the UK) - suffice it to say I will be using it forever more, it's that good!

I started off with some sketchbook research. On the left-hand page I have made cut-out shapes which I played around with until I found a composition I liked.

Some in-progress pics...

There's now a gap where I didn't take any pics. We did have a few weeks of hot and humid weather when the ink was taking forever to dry, so I think this was the reason...

I printed an edition of 6, on Hosho paper, and for one of the prints I tried the reverse, slightly rough side of the paper. You can see how the ink coverage is patchy (I don't have a relief press, these are printed using a baren and/or wooden spoon). Always useful to know!

Coverage was much better on the smoother side of the paper.

Finished print: Scrumptious succulents, reduction linocut, edition of 6 on Hosho paper with Caligo Safewash inks.

21 August 2016

Couldn't resist a bunch of home-grown beetroot that someone was selling at their garden gate. Ink and watercolour sketch of one, before they all got turned into beetroot houmous...

Ink and watercolur sketch of beetroot
Lamy Safari fountain pen with Platinum Carbon ink, watercolour, on Saunders Waterford CP watercolour paper, 9 by 12"

13 August 2016

Indian running ducks

Ink and watercolour sketch, Indian runner ducks.

Ink and watercolour Indian runner ducks
Fun to draw, with just a splash of colour too...

27 July 2016

Cherries and a bullfinch

More ink and watercolour sketching. There are a couple of cherry trees on the green area near our house, but the birds usually get to the cherries first. Our next door neighbour managed to pick a bagful and gave some to us. And while I was sketching these ones (and before I ate them) a bullfinch was calling from the top of the rowan tree at the end of the driveway. I could hear him, but took a while to spot him!

Ink and watercolour sketching cherries and bullfinch
Lamy Safari pen with Platinum carbon ink and watercolour, Stillman & Birn alpha sketchbook.

23 July 2016

Kestrel study

I was out cycling the other day when I noticed this unfortunate juvenile kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) dead at the side of the road, presumably a victim of a collision with a vehicle. As soon as I got home I grabbed a plastic bag, jumped in the car and went back to retrieve it. What a beautiful bird. Don't feel like I've done it justice really.

Watercolour study of a kestrel

Watercolour and pencil, in a Stillman & Birn zeta sketchbook.

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