Tag Archives: australian native flower

Sturt Desert Pea Linocut 2

'Dancing Peas' Sturt Desert Pea 2      Linocut 617mm x 240mm July 2013

‘Dancing Peas’ Sturt Desert Pea 2 Linocut 617mm x 240mm July 2013

I have started my second printmaking course, this one is where I get to learn how to use the studio and print my own work.  Once I have completed this course I will be able to use the studio and print my work when ever I want.

I made this lino a few weeks ago on holidays, see the other Desert Pea post.  It is large of course, I don’t often do small works.  It was fairly difficult to get to print well, but I am pleased with it as it is only my third attempt at printing.

New Desert Pea lino

New Desert Pea
The lino being cut

It has been taken from a drawing I did in 2012 Sturt Desert Pea 2, this is one of my favorite works and I wanted to reuse the image again in a different medium and push it a bit further.  The image has been flipped in the printing process.

Sturt Desert Pea 2 Coloured Pencil & Acrylic April 2012

Sturt Desert Pea 2
Coloured Pencil & Acrylic
April 2012

I, of course, will be colouring in some of the prints and I am going to experiment with printing it on different papers and coloured backgrounds, so you will see this image in a number of different guises.

Although this print looks rather clean, I was far from it, some how in the course of the 2 .5 hours it took to print this lino, I manage to cover myself in ink.  As my hands were covered I unconsciously touched my face (a lot of times) and had been running around the studio with an almost black face.  My fellow students were most kind and didn’t laugh at me and only mentioned I had ink on my nose.  When I looked in the mirror I couldn’t stop laughing, it really was covered.  Lucky I checked before I walked out!



Relief Printing with Linocuts

Spotted Pardelote Lino Design

Spotted Pardelote Lino Design

I have started my relief printing course and have done the first two sessions.  So much fun!  It combines a whole stack of processes that I love and my style of art really lends itself to this medium.  You get to draw, carve, print and colour in, plus you have prints to keep, sell and give away.  Happy sigh.

We started out with a single colour linocut on a very rubbery lino, which was easy to carve.  especially as I have memories of trying to carve old, tough lino at school.  I used an image from a earlier drawing of the sturt desert peas, love recycling and trying images out in another way.

Sturt Desert Pea

Sturt Desert Pea

We did another lino print using proper lino and it will be a two colour reduction print.  For this one a drew this lovely little pardelote, a tiny spotted bird that used to visit our property when I lived in Castlemaine.

Variations on Pardelote Design

Variations on Pardelote Design

As my prints are still drying at school I have my drawing to share with you, next week I will have images of the actual print to share.

Talk soon Karen

Grevillea 5 – Anatomy of the drawing Part 2

Grevillia 5

Grevillea 5 Finished painting

I have finished the drawing so here is the second installment of the Anatomy of the Drawing.


I decided to do a dark background for this painting as the flowers where so light, and went for complimentary colours to make the painting zing.  As the main colour of the flowers are yellow I went for a muted purple background.  I never use just one colour and this background is made up of dark greys (darkest at the bottom prisma colour cool grey 90% up to 50%), a great colour called dark grape and dark purple.

Grevillia 5 8

Background of painting before solvent

The background under painting showed through too much for me so I used a solvent (orange zest) to dissolve the colours and give a more even tone and then went back over it again in pencil.  I don’t like to use solvent often as it takes away all the life of the pencil strokes, but occasionally when I want better coverage or am trying to fix a problem I find it very helpful.  Here is a picture that shows how the solvent changes the work.

Grevillia 5 Solvent on the background pencil

Grevillea 5 Solvent on the background pencil


My last step is to outline the picture.  I do this to really emphasis the forms and make the shapes and colours pop.  I also really like a good outline, always have, ever since art school which drove my lecturers crazy.  It gives my work a graphic, print quality that I enjoy.

Grevillia 5 Ink Outline

Grevillea 5 Ink Outline

I used to use fineliner pens, put the wax in the coloured pencil would clog them up very quickly and kill them.  So I am now using old-fashioned nib pens and my Sennelier Ink.  This is sooo much better and I love to use these lovely pens, such a link to the past and the lines are much more alive.

So there my friends you have it.  This is my process in making my art, I hope you enjoyed your second instalment and others are also inspired to share their processes , it is so interesting and informative to see how others work.



Grevillea 5 – Anatomy of the drawing Part 1

Grevillia 5

Grevillia 5

This is the current drawing that I am working on, and as I always find it fascinating to see how others go about constructing their paintings I thought I would show you how I work.

The Photograph

Australian Garden

Grevillea Australian Garden Nov 2011

Most of the time I work off photos that I have taken.  I am not a good photographer and a lot of my photos are taken with the iPhone, but as I am not a botanically correct artist, I don’t require the level of detail that they do.  I am looking for interesting shapes and colours.  I will take a lot of photos of the flower and then play around cropping it until I get a composition I like.  Some times I will join together a couple of bits to get what I want and other times it works in the photo like this one did.

Cropped photo

Cropped photo

The Sketch

I then do a rough sketch on thin paper and get an idea of the shapes and composition of the painting. I like to take particular care on the shapes and the curves of the plants so that painting will have lyrical lines and the shapes are pleasing and give the feeling of the flower that I want to convey.  I also like to show people parts of the flower that they might not take the time to see.

Sketch Ready to transfer to good paper

Rough Sketch

Transferring the Image and Inking up

Once I am happy with the image I will transfer it onto my thicker good quality rag paper.  I like to use heavy paper around 300gsm.  Mostly because I enjoy the feel of this heavier paper and because it handles the paint and doesn’t buckle.  I use the highly technical method of holding the two pieces of paper up onto the window and tracing the back image onto the front.  Once the image is transferred and touched up I usually ink it.  I find if I leave the HB pencil lines they often bleed into the paint and colour pencil work, dulling and changing the colours.

Inking in outline

Inking in outline

Under Painting

I like to under paint my colour pencil work, it gives it more intensity and makes the pencil work quicker, which is helpful in the size of work that I undertake.  Most of my paintings are either A1 or A2 size.  It also gives me a chance to check on the colours to see if they are working and if the overall composition is ok, before I embark on the colour pencil shading.

Under Painting

Under Painting

Shading with Colour Pencils

Now the part I like best, but also the most time-consuming part, shading with the coloured pencils.  I really enjoy taking these flat objects and making them into living moving flowers, bringing out the lovely shapes and colour, it is a little bit of magic.

But this is where I am up to at the present so you will have to wait until I finish before I can show you the last step and how this painting will turn out.


2013 to begin, 2012 to remember

Happy New Year to all the lovely readers of this blog.

Melbourne FireworksHerald Sun Website

Melbourne Fireworks
Herald Sun Website

This is the fireworks in Melbourne last night, I had the privileged position of being on the top of one of the south bank apartments in town, 28 floors up.  We were right in the midst of all these fireworks, an absolutely spell binding view.  We were literally on the roof which was a little scary, but worth it for the show.


My favourite paintings 2012

2012 was such a great year for me, I have restarted my art, which is so exciting in itself and this blog and the generous support of my readers, the comments, likes and views have been wonderful.  When I started I did not know if any one would see it and now I have over 70 followers.  It has kept me going, even when my energy levels have been low and I do not post as often as I would like, this blog and its supporters have made me get back on track so thank you. I still battle with Chronic Fatigue and sometimes I  do not have the energy to draw, paint or write.

I also had my wonderful trip to France which I shared with you, and again because of the blog I was committed to keeping a journal of the trip and it has been so fantastic on many levels.  I did some lovely, quick, loose drawings of the scenes that caught my eye, I have the best keep sake of the trip, I was able to share it with not only my friends and family, but with so many of you out there.  It enriched the whole trip so much more than I had thought.


I am excited for what 2013 could bring, I have a few things on my agenda for next year.  They include

  • Starting to exhibit my work, this is my major artistic goal, though I am not sure how to go about it,
  •  I will start an Etsy Store and see what that brings.
  • I am going to do some relief printing classes, so look out for some prints.
  • Just be grateful to be able to continue to create and share the results and the journey with you.
  • I might even finally figure out Facebook and get my work out on it.

As always I have a great many plans, we will see how the year and the energy goes, but I am hopeful and content with how things are improving.  So thank you for your support and my family who give unstintingly in their support and understanding of me.

Karen x