Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Etching: Lake Edge

A print from tonight's etching and print making class:

Gamblin ink on Fabriano, 15 x 15cm (6 x 6")

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Field Paintbox

In a recent forum post I showed my outdoor paintbox, so I thought I would add the same information here.  The metal paintbox is from Natural Pigments, and has been a favourite of mine for a couple of years:

These are the colours I've used above, from the back left. (All colours are M. Graham & Co unless otherwise noted.)
  • Back: Payne's Gray, Raw Umber, Winsor & Newton Caput Mortuum Violet, Terra Rosa, Maimeri Avignon Orange, Quinacridone Rust, Trans Yellow Iron Oxide.
  • Middle: Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Prussian Blue, Holbein Cerulean Blue, Maimeri Turquoise Green, Cobalt Teal, Daniel Smith Undersea Green, Winsor & Newton Perm Sap Green.
  • Front: Winsor & Newton Quin Magenta, Daniel Smith Quin Fuchsia, Daniel Smith Organic Vermilion, Indian Yellow, Naples Yellow, Daniel Smith Monte Amiata Natural Sienna, Nickel Azo Yellow, Azo Yellow.

Friday, May 21, 2010


I have recently added etching to my long list of current creative endeavors! :)

This week saw me preparing some stylized landscape drawings to use as the basis of my plate image. They were all drawn in tight detail using 1.8 and 2.0 technical pens. I picked two suitable drawings to be etched onto my plates, one can be seen below:

A closeup of my linework:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Watercolour: Police Creek

Today our painting group went to a local park to take advantage of the beautiful weather and paint en plein air.  I was rather pleased when I produced the following:

Sunday, May 2, 2010


A couple of weeks ago I attended a 2-hour bookbinding class. It was rushed, slightly stressful, and showed a very quick-n-dirty approach. No written instructions, no precise cutting or time to take care, just 18 people frantically trying to keep up with a harried instructor who had a plane to catch. At the end of it, though, I had an intriguing little book, and had learnt (more or less) how to do a multiple-needle coptic bookbinding stitch.

I went home with another bookbinding kit in my bag, and googled around for some instructions I could work along to (the multiple-needle coptic / chain stitch *is* complicated at first). This time I carefully cut everything with unerring accuracy, worked at my own pace, and found the whole process throughly enjoyable.

I made some mistakes, and will be re-stitching the book with different thread, but for my second attempt at making a book from scratch, I was very pleased. I had decided to make a fabric-covered book, as I have some taupe suede which makes very pretty fountain pen cases, so I figured a matching book would be nice. I also stitched on some little floral motifs using contrasting thread for some added interest.

The cover:
Detail of the spine, showing the braid formed by the coptic stitch:
In the class, we used a heavy black 5-ply Barbour waxed thread and darning needles. It is incredibly strong thread, but very thick and a bit unwieldy. I won't be using it again for any projects, as I have found nicer 3-ply and 4-ply threads in a bigger colour range that are better suited to the finer finish I like for my books. I have also invested in proper bookbinding needles.

Some helpful links:
Instructions vary, but I prefer to start with the front cover first. This way, your final tie-off knots end up inside the back folio or section, rather than in the front.