Storm at Sea


The contrast between dark storm clouds at sea and the sparkling sunlit sand, the sense of life and movement in the water, and a gradient of colour from rich orange sand to green/blue water, were what inspired me to create this artwork. The view is of Mona Vale Beach, in Sydney’s north. Nearly all my art works so far have been local landscapes in Southern Tasmania, however this one is a composite of some snapshots sent to me by my brother. While I lived in Sydney for a total of nearly ten years I only ever visited its northern beaches a few times, as I never owned a car during that time and the public transport out there was tricky. Also, I was based on the other side of Sydney close to the more urban beaches of Coogee and Bondi. I couldn’t resist working from these snapshots however – a great reminder that Tasmania does not have a monopoly on stunning natural beauty!

Composition sketch
Composition Sketch

This art work will be a composite of aspects of the scene shown in the set of snap shots. The emphasis will be on the patterning of the white areas on the water and sky, in contrast to the darkness of the storm clouds. I’ve changed the angle of view to make a better composition, as well as shifting and combining cloud patterns from the different photos. The jetty is made more prominent and I have moved the swimmers around.

Set up for drawing using reversed image
Drawing Reverse Image on Lino Block

Relief printing will produce a mirror image of the drawing on the lino surface, so once I have planned my composition I use the computer to flip the snapshot images before I start drawing from them. Here is an image of my setup – this art work will rely very much upon the white areas which are drawn in first and carved out before the first printing stage. I have it set up so that I can listen to audio books as I draw!

First (huge) carving stage

I’ve just finished carving out the white areas for the first stage of printing. It’s been a massive job this time, as the full detail of most areas of this artwork will be defined by the patterning in white, with underlying colour gradients. This effect is a particular strength of relief printmaking and I plan to take full advantage of it here.

Printed layer two

The first layer was the lightest warm orange areas in sand and sky. I experimented with the light banding at the margin between the wet and dry sand. The second printing involved the colour gradients in the water and light blue patches of sky.

Printed layer three

All of the lower part of the water is completed now, and I have started on the mid tone areas of the clouds and distant headland.

Completed artwork

Finished artwork – I think it turned out well.

To see the gallery page for this completed artwork, select the button below: