Book Binding

Iโ€™ve been working on a small Artistโ€™s Book the last few days or so. The artwork is from an old sketchbook, an en plain air graphite sketch I did while holidaying on South Stradbroke Island, back in the early ninties. I had the sketch copied to acetate at the time for another project. A couple of years ago I used the acetate copy for a cyanotype. Here I have copied the acetate black line image onto rice paper. I’ve torn the paper to create a new concept.

I snapped this photo while I was contemplating whether to glue these pieces in this position or to the left. Choosing to the right. I am enjoying learning bookbinding techniques through the Domestika Online Course.

Having the iPad for watching, and replaying … and replaying :), the instructions has made it easier. I am surprised at the fine detail required for the different steps of professional bookbinding. The tape was hand-made as I wasn’t able to get Tyvek sheets. I dyed some fine cotton fabric with thinned acrylic paint (Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, and white) to match the natural toned cardboards I’m using. Attached to the pages with double sided adhesive. All very fiddly but satisfying. This little book will be a concertina style with an environmental concept.


My hubby sure has grown a lot of roses over the years. They are always absolutely beautiful. I have photographed so many of them, usually in the garden, sometimes as studio shots. And I have often painted them, usually in a traditional Still Life composition with a vase etc.

The Work in Progress

This is the first time I’ve painted them on such a large canvas, 100 x 100cm stretched linen. I’m working with acrylics and using the traditional oil painting technique – give or take a little artistic license, and a few complementary flowers ๐Ÿ™‚

Some of my photos of my husband’s gardens and roses

So this week – I’ve still been painting them – there’s a lot ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m not a gardener. To me – a rose is a rose is a rose! So I had to number the rose/photos and create a legend as I was quickly getting lost LOL!! I have scattered several pretty Montville Roses through the artwork and I’m picking these fresh from our new garden to paint directly.

We live in the sub-tropics, so although it is Autumn here, the weather is still in the high 20’sC and the paint is drying quite quickly, but I prefer not to use drying retarders. The only medium I add is Atelier Binder Medium diluted with water, 1 part in 4. Occasionally I add a light spray of water if it thickens. For large areas I mix the colours and store in jars, and just take out a little at a time to spare the paint drying too much.

WIP – Detail picture (also cover image) of roses so far with the darker tones painted

Sketching up a Design

This tip is for working on canvas with a smooth primed finish:

To keep the colours fresh for acrylic painting I usually sketch the composition in pastel. The colours blend in easily with the acrylic washes…. and the best part is that it can be wiped off with a damp rag should – there be an error ๐Ÿ™‚ whereas charcoal may stain and graphite is difficult to remove.

The two images below show the pastel and acrylic washes as I constructed the painting, and then the finished oil painting Rununculi Medley.