Thursday, December 3, 2009

Whidbey Sketchers

We've started our own Whidbey Island Sketchers group. Sketched at a couple locales on the island. Here's a few more drawings from our last get together.

I've also started a strictly sketching blog Called 'Drawings from Life' where I share my sketches and thoughts about drawing and journal-ing. It's such a rich topic to explore.
All of my drawings and sketches will be posted on that blog from here on out.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Woodcut Snowflakes Test

As soon as I had the first block cut I had to do a little test run on some scrap Rives BFK buff colored paper. It's a lovely color. The texture of wood is so pretty and fascinating. I did a quick cutout with veneer to see how it would print on top.
Now cutting the second block. Making a bit of a mess out of this one. I want lots of textures, so the more mistakes, the merrier!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Woodcut Christmas Card in the Works!

Snowflakes and no snow... yet. I think a simple three block image for this year. Finding wood much easier to cut than I thought it would be. Enjoying being able to get good detail. Though it'll definitely have a hand cut quality to it. If anyone wants one, email me your address: and I'll make sure you receive one!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Urban Sketching

I'm getting in touch once again with my love for sketching on location. Usually I prefer outdoor scenes of land and cityscapes, but need to work on drawing people so decided to join a friend and do some group sketching. Watercolor is fast and can be treated in a gestural fashion. Blocking in areas then getting more detail later. It's easy to get caught up in facial features and watercolor forces me to be less descriptive. Here are a few done today...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Registration Method

Registration was a complete mystery to me, so I experimented with various methods. Heck, sometimes I just make marks on a piece of paper showing where to put the block and line up the paper. Here's some photos of my funky registration method. I glued down L shaped pieces of mat board onto MDF. A carpenters square was used to square it up. It's kinda goofy, but is quite accurate.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Transfering the Keyblock to Blocks

When doing a multi-block print I cut the keyblock first then transfer the image to all the blocks per color/s. A sheet of acetate serves as the transfer medium, but I'm sure any coated paper such as glassine would work too. Speedball water based inks is my preference for this process since it dries the fastest and prints nicely on acetate. I make sure my registration system is set up for easy and accurate registration so that I don't have to figit with it later. After the ink dries I wash the it off the plate, leaving a stained-in ghost image. Also, the image on acetate, when laid over each print in progress helps me to know where to cut.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Extending Relief Prints

A year ago I had the honor of creating 6 different linoleum block prints for American Flatbread Pizza sold at Whole Foods Markets. They've decided to change the format of the images from square to horizontal, giving me the opportunity to make these images bigger and better, I'm delighted to say. They are wonderful clients with a great product. All pencils are approved and printing is underway. Yeah!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Morning Glory Block Print

Had this simple idea for a greeting card. More of an excuse to play with line and shapes. And my new Akua Kolors. This isn't done yet. I may add another block. It needs something, not sure what. I'll sleep on it and work on another image.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Three variations, and moving on

Variations of the Headlands image.
Two top are brushed on ink, the third is rolled on ink.

I'm done with it and am writing it off as experiments with inks and layers. Playing with brushing on Akua Kolor verses rolling on Graphic Chemical inks to see the outcomes. When I cut the blocks I knew less than I do now. I usually do reduction prints so am used to lots of layers with water based inks. Graphic Chemical inks don't work well for it. They're gooey and saturated. The consistency of honey. I'm rubbing by hand, so a light application of ink is much harder to get down. Now I'm adjusting my process by using less overlapping layers of ink and more blocks, one or two colors per. Oh well. I learned allot. Onward.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Akua Kolors on Bikini Beach


Just got my new Akua Kolor inks so I created this image as a quick experiment. I also dusted off the blocks of the old Headlands piece (in earlier posts) and just started brushing on color and printed a few layers. I'll post that piece in a day or two. I love the transparency and watercolor quality of these inks. Akua inks are delightful to work with! Unfortunately I ran into some problems with the linoleum on the bikini image. I didn't seal it so the linoleum absorbed the ink and created too much texture when printed. I'm using two kinds of lino, gold linoleum was used for the Headlands piece, brown linoleum for Bikini. I always sand the surface to make it smoother and found gold takes Akua Kolor better than brown. I did some tests sealing it with gesso and that works very well. The brown linoleum must have a high clay content which makes it very absorbent if the surface is removed. But the cuts are nice and crisp, so it's worth working with. I'm a little bummed that I have to do one more step to prep the surface. I love the consistency and easy clean up of Akua Kolors. They're much like oils and I'm applying it with brushes. Livens the surface nicely, making them a bit like Monoprints.


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