Tag Archives: iron lacework

Happy 2016!

Well, hello in 2016! I’m wishing you a peaceful, joyful, healthy and creative year.

I took advantage of the overcast morning and started my first day of the year by sketching the sunflower in the garden. Sunflowers are such cheerful, solid, vibrant flowers. I planted two varieties this year (this one is Giant Single or Helianthus annuus), but I think next year I’ll plant few more.

Ink and watercolour sunflower sketch

Lamy Safari pen with DeAtramentis Archive Ink and Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour in Strathmore 400 Series sketchbook (21.6 x 27.9 cm)

Afterwards I retreated into the coolness of the house to finish something that I wanted to get done last year, but frustratingly got sick & had to put on hold for few days. My daughter asked me to create a colouring page for her. She is very specific in what she wants, so I thought I’ll have a practice run first with the existing sketch to figure out the best way to go about creating colouring pages. Ta Da!
Goldfields New Year Colouring Page
As you can see I used the sketch for my Christmas cards. I retraced it with a Staedtler pigment liner pen. (My first attempt at using the pencil sketch didn’t work too great, because the scanning process turned the colour of the thin paper & pencil lines in too many shades of grey and was too hard to clean up.) After scanning the pen drawing I played around in Photoshop with various adjustments to try to get background as close to white as possible and the lines as close to black. My knowledge of Photoshop is very basic, so this step took the longest. I suspect that it would be faster to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator & my Wacom tablet (a birthday present from my sis) and trace the pencil drawing digitally in the Illustrator instead of by pen.

Anyway, if you feel like doing some colouring, you can download the PDF by clicking on the link Goldfields New Year Colouring page. My kids already had a go at colouring it in.
My kids go at colouring

Iron lacework Paintings

When I moved to Bendigo, I fall in love with the decorative iron lacework on the buildings. It makes even the most plain of them look elegant and festive, ready for high tea or a party. Slowly the idea for a series of paintings featuring ironwork & native plants started to form. Therefore I started taking photos and painting small studies attempting to figure out the best way to capture the filigree nature of the iron lacework. Since I haven’t posted them here previously, I thought I’ll share them with you now.
Iron lacework compass sketch

10 February 2015 Ironwork Compass – Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour in Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook

The Bendigo Discovery Centre, local Science Centre for the kids, was exploring the science of shadows during the winter school holidays and put out a call for the local artists to create shadow boxes. I couldn’t resist the temptation, since iron lacework creates gorgeous shadows, and attempted paper-cutting for the first time.

Goldfields Tea Break shadow box front
Goldfields Tea Break shadow box back

1 June 2015 Goldfields Tea Break – Winsor & Newton watercolour on Arches Paper; paper-cutting

Did you notice that it is the same iron lacework image that I later used for my Christmas cards?

After the paper-cutting I went back to the familiarity of painting, though I have some ideas for combining them both together.
Iron lacework & Eucalyptus sketch

5 August 2015 Iron lacework & Eucalyptus – Winsor & Newton watercolour on Saunders Waterford CP (not) paper

Iron lacework & Eucalyptus sketch

8 August 2015 Iron lacework & Eucalyptus – Winsor & Newton watercolour on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard

Iron Lacework & Cherry blossoms sketch

30 August 2015 Iron lacework & Cherry Blossom – Winsor & Newton watercolour on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard

Iron Lacework & Cherry blossoms sketch

31 August 2015 Iron lacework & Cherry Blossom – Winsor & Newton watercolour on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard

I want to continue to experiment with the iron lacework and compass imagery and there will be more iron lacework paintings next year.