What have sea monkeys got to do with Christmas? Well, the sea monkeys won't officially come out in a book until next autumn. (Have a look at past artwork updates for Oliver and the Seawigs.) But the little blighters keep popping up EVERYWHERE. Worse than jumper-eating moths. They've already knocked over our Christmas tree and set it alight.
I created the artwork as a lino cut print, and here's a little peek into how I made it. First I started with a rough pencil sketch, then simplified it to make the picture easier to trace onto the linoleum square.
It's difficult to draw backward, so I scanned the picture into the computer and flipped it in reverse, so I could trace it backward. There's nothing worse than cutting a whole block, printing it and realising the words are all backward. I used carbon paper to trace it onto the blog, then these tools to cut out the bits I wanted to leave white.
Then I used a roller to roll ink onto the block, put paper on top of it and rubbed the back of the paper with a wooden spoon, to press the ink into the paper. (If you have a printing press, this is much faster, but I just have my spoon.)
And here's the final print! I let it dry, scanned it into Photoshop and added colour digitally. But I sometimes think I like the black and white version best.
And I printed one more monkey a smaller print, which I'm using as my Twitter avatar.
But what has the rest of the Fleece Station studio been up to this winter? Lots of exciting things! Have a peek over on the Fleece Station blog. Go on, right this way...