Category Archives: Life drawing

Printing digression

I’ve produced my very first woodcut print. Hadn’t really planned to. I saw a lovely photograph of a black-headed seagull in the Café on Brownsea Island. Took a photo of the photo.

I wanted to do a sketch of the photo and just thought that it would fit nicely on the chunk of plywood I had in my studio for some other purpose. Having sketched it in black chalk, I thought, “I could just cut around that and print from it”. So I did. Carved the outline with lino cutters (probably to their detriment) and then hacked out the background with carpenter’s chisels. Is a horrible material. It doesn’t chip out, it just rips. I lost part of its tail and nearly lost its head.

But in the end, I like the print. Just lively and perky, like the original bird. I will try it again, but not with shuttering ply. I have a nice block of lime wood which I think will be much better.

Shelduck, finished at last

The final layer is added (blue), sealed and I have signed and numbered all eight. 


Overall I am pleased with the result, as I am very new to this medium. This is only the third reduction lino print I have created, and the first multi block one. I am planning a series of prints of Poole Harbour birds, with this the first. Overall size is 270*380mm and the image size is 150*180mm.

I am planning to sell these prints at £60 each, unmounted but including UK postage. If you are interested, please contact me at julian.swindell@gmail.com 

Yet another sketch book (this should have been published about a fortnight ago)

I like making them more than using them at the moment. This one incorporates ideas from the first two. The covering paper is some wonderful wrapping paper from the Bodelian library. Linings are two lino cut prints i had lying around. There is now room for a pen. It is bound with proper book tape from the wonderful Vintage Paper Company in Orkney. Where you can also get unsold watercolour paper made in the early 20th century.

Pursuit of a subject

I want to produce a series of lino prints, and the old question is, “of what?”. I like birds and I like watching them when I’m sailing in Poole Harbour. So I’ve decided to do a series of “birds I like at Poole”. This is not a rigid list, but it will certainly include oyster catchers, cormorants, shell ducks and gannets. I’ve started by sketching gannets from Web photos. It is just the loveliest thing. It also christens my new sketchbook.