Monday, 30 May 2016

Another Project.

 Usually I hate to have more than one thing on the go at once, preferring to finish one project before starting another. However I did want to try another acetate etching, so here is a starting photo of a very small guitarist with her quarter size instrument.
I needed to have texture for the engraving, so I have converted the photo in Photoshop to more of a sketch with lots of texture. Now comes the hard part, to engrave the picture onto a sheet of acetate. I will use an electric engraving tool for most of it, but since I'm new to this technique, it might be a bit of a disaster!

Sunday, 29 May 2016

The Next Stage.

 Here I've stamped the stone blocks, but standing back from it I think that I've spaced them too far apart. Oh well, I'm sure I can fix that down the track.
 I've used a heat tool on the stamped blocks to give them some texture, I've cut out the doorway and started to paint some of the vegetation.
 I've added some foam strips to the back of the doorway to strengthen it and to lift the artwork inside the doorway further back from it.
                            Background painting of the walls and vegetation in front of them.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

New Project.

    Working on a canvas box board I sketched out a wall and gateway looking into the area beyond.
 Here I've chosen sponge pieces with which to stamp a mixture of paint and Xpandaprint to give the wall texture.
                                       First a layer of paint before I stamp the stone blocks.

Friday, 27 May 2016



        I managed to squeeze in a few more flowers and to add some leaves to this test piece, and to have my usual fiddle with Photoshop. I can't say that I have ever seen purple leaves, but I like the colour of the flowers on the black background.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Still in Brisbane.

 This beautifully serene face belongs to the extraordinary chair in the photo below. Located in the Fern House at the Mt Coot-tha Botanic gardens, it seems to fascinate all the visitors, young and old. Fern House
Unfortunately I didn't photograph the notice to the left listing the artist and the date. It was made in the 1980s I think.
                               No, not the skin of some reptile, but a close up of a fern leaf.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

More from Brisbane.

 What every well dressed sheep should be wearing! Gloria the sheep is an amazing sculpture of welded metal. See the accompanying signage below for more details.
Gloria in close up.
                                          I saw the sign below at a market and had a smile!

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Brisbane Break.

 Taking a break of a few days in Brisbane at this time of the year was a very good idea, with temperatures there of 28°C every day.  Melbourne has been experiencing above average temperatures for this time of the year too, but winter can't be far away. I spotted this sign on a walk along the river.
 Visiting the Queensland Art Gallery I was amazed at this full sized elephant, unfortunately I forgot to note the artist's name. She, and it was a female artist, used a fibre glass model of an elephant and covered the whole thing in patterns of 'bindies', the adhesive stickers used by Indian women to mark their foreheads. What a time consuming thing to do, but the effect was very pleasing.
                                                       A close up of some of the stickers.
                   A very nice collection of Pelican sculptures outside a window of the gallery.
 I noted this lovely leadlight window on an old block of flats as I was walking back to our accommodation. I loved the subtle colours and the very interesting geometric pattern.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Grass Igloo!

   From a distance these formations in the grass look just like igloos, I wonder who made them.
 Closer up they could just be natural shapes formed when the clumps of grass bent over in the rain.
                 But I prefer to think of them being made by some little animals, Bandicoots perhaps.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Proper Stamps.

I've been adding to my collection of hand carved stamps recently and not only wanted to test them out, but also to test out some new stamp pads that I have bought.  By the time I had finished my testing I thought that I had rather a nice garden of flowers. I wonder if I can squeeze any more in.

Thursday, 12 May 2016


A comment yesterday got me to thinking about making a Photoshop brush from the Banksia design.
Here I've used the brush to 'stamp'  Banksias of varying sizes and shades of green all over the page.
Of course the cones are also green, but as I was just playing around it just doesn't matter!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Finished Detail.

This piece that I have been working on for quite a while is now finished.  This is just a part of the whole panel, but you can see the insects that I have added. I had to glue them to the acetate as they were just too small to sew on and I thought that I might split the fine fabric and be left with needle holes in the acetate. I like the way that the shadows of the elements appear on the 'sky' panel behind, though it's not very obvious in this photo.

Sunday, 8 May 2016


I couldn't resist having a fiddle with the Banksia image in Photoshop. I quite like the result even though it's more of a poster image than an original stamped one.  I like how the immature cones have turned out different colours and the leaf veins and seed pods are more prominent being black. It's certainly different from the original. Now, I wonder what steps I took to reach that end result!

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Banksia Again.

Here is the second attempt at a Banksia study, this time with the addition of 2 immature cones. In a way it's a pity that the leaves show through the cones, but I wanted translucent looking leaves to be able to overlay them, so that's just what happens. I'm not sure about the large cone being tilted, but it seemed a good idea at the time!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Not an Orchid.

These flowers are really tiny, but zoom in closely and they're so beautifully marked. I think that the plant is some type of Plectranthus.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Banksia Study.

 I found this small Banksia cone a day or so ago and set about drawing it to try and get a feel for how to make a rubber (Soft-Cut) stamp of it and the leaves. You can see with this first test print that I've missed carving out one of the seed pods right in the middle.
 Now that's better for the cone, and the leaves have printed out quite well too. I started out by drawing the leaves, but then found that I could of course trace around them. Note the insect nibbles to the edges of some of the leaves.
 This is the cone in situ with it's leaves and stems and below is my simplified stamped version.
It would have been better if I had lined up the cone stamp more accurately! For a final print I will make the cone dark brown and vary the tones of the leaves.