Learning to linocut

Did you make any New Year's resolutions? I did - just one - to acquire new skills. So, armed with £30 of Cass Art gift vouchers (lucky me) I set off into Liverpool and bought myself the Essdee linocut set and some system 3 acrylic block printing medium.


I seriously expected that cutting the lino would be the hard part, but no - with lovely sharp tools and special soft cut lino, that part was easy. Keeping a steady hand and a shallow angle, and going slowly is the key here.

The hard part was getting a decent print. I learned that the Essdee brayer is a good starter tool, but the tray they supply for preparing and rolling the ink is not flat enough.

Here are my first attempts printed into my journal, a cheap thin paper. Patchy to say the least!

With more time rolling the ink I began to see an improvement

On day three I switched to a glass table mat for rolling the ink rather than the plastic tray, and made much better progress. I also began to experiment with colours, using the block printing medium and my acrylics.

I discovered that the smallest amount of ink on the glass becomes ready to print quite quickly. Waiting for that sticky velcro sound with a lot of ink takes a lot of rolling!

Today I experimented with vintage dictionary paper, which is thinner than the Bristol board and heavy weight cartridge paper that I had been using. I've found that with the heavier papers there is more texture in the print, and with the lighter papers the print is smoother. That was a surprise.

Prints are available for a limited time on  Stephanie Guy Fine Art on eBay
and StephanieGuyFineArt on Etsy

I do hope these links work for you. Alarmingly I couldn't find myself on Etsy when I searched for my name! That's something to tackle another day.

Sketch Journal Tenerife November 2018

I'm back from a super restful time hiking and (of course) sketching in Tenerife. I always take a travel journal with me together with pens and paints. This time I took my sailor fude pen (the green one), a grey Pitt pen, my mini Cass Art watercolour quarter pans, my home made W&N gouache pan set , glue, kitchen paper. I had prepped a few pages of my extremely cheap journal with Daniel Smith watercolour ground, and also brought along a few ACEO sized pieces of tinted watercolour paper. Lots to play with, and it all fits inside a pencil case 😁 Two waterbrushes and bottle lid for extra water complete the set.

First up, in the airport waiting for our gate to open, and layla, on the 4 hour flight.

These were sketched with my water soluble sailor fude pen (hehe it's obviously the ink that's water soluble, not the pen - that would be tricksy to use in the extreme). If you haven't seen one of these pens in action, search for the White Rabbit on YouTube, she does some amazingly inspirational work with one.

This next one was the view from our hotel balcony in Los Cristianos. The surface I used is kitchen paper glued down with PVA. It's very absorbent so the paint moves around super quick, which makes for a lovely loose sketch.

Water soluble pen and Gouache.

On the left is another view from our balcony. Here the surface is kitchen paper that has been glued down with PVA, then coated with Daniel Smith watercolour ground. This makes the surface much less absorbent whilst keeping the texture of the kitchen paper.

Watercolour and grey pen.

On the right is a sketch of the local beer 😁
The paper has been prepped with Daniel Smith watercolour ground.

Watercolour and pencil.

On the left: on white watercolour paper, this was painted at sunrise using watercolour and white gouache, wet into wet to get a lovely soft and hazy look.

On the right: on tinted watercolour paper with watercolour and a touch of white gouache added at the end. A group sat down right in front of me as I was part way through this sketch so I was bobbing up and down quite a bit 🤣

On the left: Sunsets were so dramatic, with the beautiful colour cast on to the local caldera. Watercolour and gouache and water soluble pen on tinted watercolour paper.

On the right: our last day. I found a really good art shop in Los Cristianos where I bought a new watercolour from the Rembrandt range. I've never tried these ones before, and so far I'm impressed. I also bought a beautifully creamy bright white sennelier pastel, so if course I had to try them out on this random couple who were sat on the bench on the promenade.

I hope you enjoyed my sketch journal! I certainly enjoyed making it, and would encourage each and every one of you to have a go. These sketches mean so much more to me than any photos of my trip.

Watercolour Painting for Children: A Summer Meadow

How's your summer going? Here in the UK it has been HOT HOT HOT! I't's been fabulous fun for us, but the poor meadows have not been happy - however now we have some rain and they're starting to recover. Maybe we can help them to feel better again by painting a lovely colourful one? Worth a try, yes?

Yes, let's begin.

Tutorial: Arthur Rackham's A Night Before Christmas in Miniature

Christmas in July is a thing, right?  That's lucky, because this tutorial is all about Arthur Rackham's A Night Before Christmas.

Tutorial: Paul Gauguin's 'Harvest: Le Pouldu' in miniature

In this tutorial I show you how to recreate this famous painting in miniature for your dolls house of miniature collection.

Watercolour painting for children: The Magical Unicorn

Who would like a pet unicorn? 

Me too! I have never seen one, have you? I'm not sure they'd like to be kept as pets, but maybe one day I'll be lucky enough to have one come for tea.

Meanwhile, we can paint one.

So let's begin.

Watercolour painting for Children and Parents: Let's paint a Snowman!

Do you have snow where you live? It's January in the UK and there's no snow here, again. I live quite close to the coast, so even when it has snowed inland, it we rarely get any near me - isn't that sad?

But I can pretend it's snowed and paint the snowman that I might have made, right?

So let's begin.