Linoleum is for block prints, not flooring!

So, Valentine’s Day was this month, and so was my sister, Brianna’s, birthday! Recently, my family has been appreciating presents I make for them, as opposed to buying something. Also, my boyfriend and I don’t really do presents for Valentine’s, instead we make each other something (he usually makes something in the form of food. WOO!). And since these two dates fall close to each other, I made them the same things…one of my favorite mediums…linoleum block prints!

For Bri, I recreated a picture of us from a vacation in Hawaii in which we had just gotten henna tattoos on our hands. I love this picture, and we had a great time in Hawaii together, so bingo!

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For my boyfriend, he loves Pittsburgh (who doesn’t), so I took an idea I saw when I was browsing on the web and recreated it into a skyline of Pitt.

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I sketched out the buildings, taped it to the linoleum block, and scribbled all over the back to transfer the image to the block.

I didn’t use different color inks, and I only used white or grey paper because I wanted to keep it simple….BUT I could’t resist playing with watercolor, which is what I did with the print below.

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There is a lot that goes into print making: sketching out the idea, transferring it onto the block, carving, and inking. I spent many hours hunched over these blocks carving out the images, and the linoleum shaving are still on the apartment floor. But the work is worth it. I love the feeling of peeling the paper from the block (after using the Speedball baren to transfer the image) to see the new image you created. And each print is one of a kind. Sure, the image is the same, but there might be an ink smudge here, or not enough ink transferred there, and it makes the prints different and cool! I get excited about block prints. You should too!

Have a good week!

–Christy :)

Lana Del Sufjan Weekend

Lana Del Sufjan Weekend

I think album covers are very cool, and these are a few that I like, which I combined into one piece! Of course, we all know Lana Del Rey- Born to Die, then Sufjan Stevens- Age of Adz, Vampire Weekend- Contra, and then the two in the background are Beach House- Teen Dream, and The Strokes- Is This It. I’m a fan of all the artists represented, but Suf is probably my favorite.

I painted this on a 4×6 inch with watercolor postcard. I first sketched the faces and major details lightly with pencil, then I proceeded with light washes, and eventually layered more and more details, letting the paint get thicker as I went. I didn’t measure out the facial features, so obviously, the proportions could have been better, and I wish I would have done this on larger paper so I could get more of the details, but oh well, hind sight is 20/20!

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Merry Christmas y’all!

Throwing Pottery

For the past 6 weeks, I’ve been taking pottery classes…and I love it! I had never thrown pottery on the wheel before (I had just done hand building), so there was definitely a learning curve. My teacher, Kyle, made everything look so easy, but it’s actually really challenging. But I loved learning a new skill!

Here are few of my pieces from the class:

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These are two little “tumblers.” I’m not very proud of the structure (my mom said they look “charming”), but I think the glazing turned out nicely. I did a dip in a layering glaze, another dip in pink, and the last dip in seaweed.

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The first picture was taken right after I threw it on the wheel.  I put a cute little lip in it and decided it would be a batter bowl :)  And the next photo is after I pulled a handle for it, carved some details, trimmed a foot into the bottom, the first round in the kiln, and after a coat of underglaze.

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Here’s the finished product! After the yellow underglaze, I put a blue glaze on the inside, and a clear glaze on the outside. I’m happy with how my batter bowl turned out! My sisters and I bake a lot, so I’m sure this will get some use :D

In the spring, I will be taking Stray Cat Studio’s intermediate class, and I’m so excited! Who knows, maybe this will be a lifelong hobby.

- Christy :)

Study of Noses

study of noses 1

Who doesn’t doodle all over their notebooks? I’m with you. Although, I start to feel kind of creepy when I stare at someone’s nose for 5 minutes trying to get the shading right.

I don’t have any art classes in my schedule this semester, which is a real drag. So sometimes my fingers just need a little drawing release, even if that’s in the middle of my communications class…maybe I should start using a sketchbook! Anyway, these were done with a regular HB pencil and a deep shade pencil.

OH, I almost forgot! I became a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators today! I am one step closer to becoming a published illustrator, go me!

Have a good week all :)

Donuts and Cigars

Donuts and Cigars

For my dad’s birthday, I decided to paint him something that I thought represents him. I did these with watercolor and pencil, and simply mounted them on back and white papers. I put it in a $4 frame from JoAnns, and boom, there’s his present.

Thinking of what to paint is the hardest part, of course. I think any artist would agree with that. I restart a project probably 3 times before I get the best idea, which is usually the simplest one, actually.

Anyway, I hope he likes it! Happy Birthday Dad :)

things I love

written by Don and Audrey Wood, illustrated by Don Wood

written by Don and Audrey Wood, illustrated by Don Wood


written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney.

written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney.

Pikmin 3, the video game

Pikmin 3, the video game


I love children’s book illustrations. They’re whimsical and captivating, that’s why I want to make it my profession! These two illustrations are just some of my favorites not only because the illustration is beautiful, but because I knew them as a child. My older and younger brothers loved “The Little Mouse,” and I loved “Miss Rumphius.” ah, nostalgia.

On the flip side, I love love love these little characters. They are from a video game called Pikmin (this one in particular, Pikmin 3). My boyfriend plays this game and I fell in love with these guys. From an art perspective, I know why they are so successful. Their design and color scheme are simple. But also, if you saw these little guys in action, your heart would melt. Go watch a youtube video of it. You’ll see what I mean.

Both the illustrations and the pikmin are inspiring. I hope my work can charm people like these works charm me.