Friday, July 25, 2014

Project: Foam Printed Seashells

Foam plate printing is so fun and super easy. It's a great printing project to do with small children. We've used this technique for many things including thank you cards and gift tags making them much more personal. The beauty of this type of project is that any drawing looks great when it's printed. 

Step One: Gather materials. Seashell(s) of any variety, paper, scissors (these are the greatest ever!) ball point pen, rubber brayer, inking plate (or a cereal box works well), block printing ink, foam printing plates, newspapers. 

Step Two: Sketch a rough draft of the seashell. I told my 5 year old, Gio, to draw what he sees. He asked me where he should start and I told him to think about it himself. After some time, he figured it out and just started drawing. I reminded him to look at the seashell more than the paper. 

Step Three: Loosely copy sketch onto foam printing plate using a ball point pen. Gio figured out that it's important not to press too hard otherwise the pen will not move so smoothly over the foam.

Optional Step: If you like, draw another sketch to create another printing plate.

Optional Step: Transfer sketch to foam plate.

Step Four: Get the printing materials together, including the prepared printing plates.

Step Five: Squeeze about a quarter sized dollop of ink onto your inking plate and roll with the brayer. Be sure to lift the brayer after each roll to ensure even ink coating. Also, roll in both directions, horizontally and vertically. 

Step Six: Roll the inked brayer over the plate. Roll it both ways, horizontally and vertically. After the initial rolling, use short, quick rolls to evenly distribute the ink onto the plate. Careful not to touch the plate, only touch the edges.

A well inked plate.

Step Seven: Move the plate to a clean part of the newspapered table. That way the outside ink will not transfer to the paper. 

Step Eight: Carefully line up paper and press down. Use the flat side of your thumb and move it carefully over the entire plate. Be sure to press the edges well. 

Step Nine: Lift the paper to reveal the print. 

Step Ten: Let the finished print dry!

Step Eleven: Repeat.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Prints: Sea Creatures: The Beach

Seahorse, foam print, copyright Nina Leung, 2014
I love doing these little foam prints. They're so simple and easy to do. I'll have to do a tutorial sometime and have my kids do it as they always turn out looking great. Sea creatures make such a great subject since they can be shaped or designed in so many different ways. Maybe it's their simplicity that makes the design so much fun and easy to adapt.

Octopus,  foam print, copyright Nina Leung, 2014

Cute Little Octopus,  foam print, copyright Nina Leung, 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

Links: The Beach

Eamon and Gio on a typical day at Muir Beach. Cold!

How to bring the beach to your home.

To drink at a beach party.

dreamy beach holiday.

My favorite beach movie.

Great beach-y read.

Sit outside and enjoy flipping through this and then this.

Perfect to take along to the beach.

Wear this to the beach, but in the San Francisco Bay Area it would more likely be this.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Paintings: Shells: The Beach

Bright Shells, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2014

Iterations, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2014

Watery Conch, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Research: The Beach

Continuing with the beach theme, I've found a few books to help consume me with images and words about the beach. I've been looking at Picasso: Bathers which is a wonderful tome full of Picasso's paintings of the beach. Most exciting are the paintings he did when hiding his affair with Marie-Therese. Noa Noa is a journal written by Paul Gaugin while visiting the islands of Tahiti. It's a fascinating look into a Frenchman's view of island life over a hundred years ago. A great daydreaming books is Seaside Style from Taschen. I like imagining myself in all of these rooms. And, one of my favorite books in the world, A Cabinet of Curiosities with lots of great illustrations of seashells. I can't get enough!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Beach Paintings

Dotted Starfish, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2014
 I didn't realize how much I was going to love this theme. The beach has so many great shapes, colors, objects, animals, etc. I'm overcome with ideas. This is the first of a batch of sea related paintings and drawings. There will be more!
Pink Jelly, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2014

Clownfish, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2014

Dark Jelly, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Beach: Italy

On the Cinque Terre Trail

Continuing with the summer beach inspiration with some pictures of Italian beaches. They are so beautiful they deserve their own post.

Monterosso, Italy

View from Cinque Terre Trail

View of Amalfi Coast

View of Minori, Italy

View of Capo d'Orso