Spelling Animals - chickens

How to spell with chickens

That’s another species trained up and added to the lexicon of Spelling Animals: Spelling chickens. You wouldn’t think it was possible, but I think they came out quite nicely. They will be available on commission soon, but for now I’m taking a break for a week. Any enquires: please email me! (see menu at the top).  

The print so far

Mezzotint done improperly

Printing ‘The Spiky Cat’… I promised this post was coming! While I was making the printing plate in the previous post it occurred to me that the mezzotint rocker – the tool that is used to put the texture on the plate first, produces a rather interesting line which might be reminiscent of the spiky hairiness of cats just on its own. The individual lines made by this tool aren’t usually seen in the final print – the idea is to ‘rock’ all over the plate in 8 different directions until you have an even texture of burrs and pock-marks,…

The finished mezzotint print

Mezzotint done properly

‘Stripy Cat, Washing’ I do not claim in any way to be an expert in mezzotint, the title of this post is to contrast with the post coming next, which will be ‘Mezzotint done improperly’. I have two new prints to show you which I did very differently from each other, however you will have to wait for the ‘improper’ one. This is a print inspired by the many cat drawings I have been posting on my other blog, Cat-of-the-day. A few months ago I posted a series of photos of the last mezzotint print I made – ‘Percy Cat’….

Thoughts on Winter - in pencil

Thoughts on Winter

These are a few very much work-in-progress (or even work-barely-started) sketches as I think on a picture for en exhibition entitled ‘Winter’. I wouldn’t have posted these so early, but if I don’t post something else soon, this blog is going to look as if all I do nowadays is Spelling Animals! (There are more of those to come…) I am thinking around naked winter twigs with just a few red berries hanging on after the leaves have gone and, because I like people-things, translating them into the idea of a gathering of Dryads. Stark black against a winter white…

The Pilkington Shield

Mock Heraldry

The Spelling Animals have been popping up with a nice frequency for commissions, but here’s a new idea. I was asked to do this by a friend: a mock heraldic shield as the image on a Kindle cover, as a present for the man who has everything (except for his own family crest!). Suddenly the phone I have been using for the Cat-of-the-Day sketches came into its own, because all that was needed was a .jpg file, not an original painting on actual paper. So I had a go. This had to be done almost instantly, so it has a…