Here it is everybody. My stamp is finally finished! I carved my logo design into a rubber block to make it. I may or may not do a neater one again as I came across a better design transfer method, but until then, its done.

It’s my nan’s birthday pretty soon, so I decided to create a bookmark for her. I didn’t have any ideas to begin with, so I decided to trawl the internet. As I did, I saw some beautiful Chinese and Japanese sumi paintings of koi carp and bamboo among other subjects.

“Bingo!” I thought. “Why not do that for her?”. I’ve always been a big fan of oriental artwork, especially Chinese brush paintings. (although I’m not really a painter, I like to draw rather than paint).

I got to work, and using line and wash, I made the bookmark design below. It’s entitled “Calm Water”, and this was the perfect opportunity to use my stamp on the back of the piece.



Top: Calm Water bookmark artwork.

Bottom: the reverse of the bookmark stamped, signed, and finished.

From then on, I got a huge burst of inspiration. The brush painting videos and images I saw gave me an appetite to try to experiment with similar techniques myself. I began to see that this sort of art, was almost like drawing, but with brushes. There are so many impressive things that can be achieved, I’ve only just touched the surface…and this is just all for the fun of it.

I took a photo of one of my cats, Murphy, and decided to do a 5 minute spontaneous brush painting of him, just for the laughs. Before I even thought of the idea, I brought some authentic Chinese sumi brushes and liquid ink… I was dying to practice this using the real typical materials.

My cat Murphy

This is Murphy. (bless him 😛 )


And this is my spontaneous 5 minute sketch of the little rascal, entitled, “Murphy Sitting”. I’ll be brutally honest: I’m mildly outraged at the amount of errors here, ( even the chinese lettering I did, which says the title, is stiff and plain), but that isn’t the point of this piece. I wanted to just bury myself in the fun. I find it an achievement that I managed to just let go for once and find solace in playing with the art.

In the image above, you can see the Chinese brushes I brought. And I absolutely love them, you can manipulate the brush, and to some extent, it will keep its shape! The liquid ink I got is totally amazing as well. It has a rich, nearly clingy sort of consistency. Furthermore, the amount you can paint with just one brush stroke is gorgeous. Only a little is needed for excellent coverage, and you can add as little or as much water as you need. Excellent stuff.


And with the finished piece, I put my stamp on the bottom right hand corner. The stamp in this instance, believe it or not, was stamped using the same gorgeous Chinese ink. It really is impressive and versatile in my eyes.

That’s all for now. What do you think? Have you done any similar projects to clear your mind before? What do you do different to unwind? Feel free to comment as usual.

Bye for now all. Have a great weekend!


2 thoughts on “Stamp!

  1. I’d first like to apologize for the late check ins! I’ve been so busy with some classes lately. But I’ll definitely be here tomorrow to check in for posting day!

    With that cleared up, I can’t tell you how big a smile lit up my face after reading through the entire post. It’s like 3 in one!

    As far as the stamp goes I think it turned out lovely! The translation from logo to stamp seems fairly seamless. It does it’s job well for sure either way. If I may ask, how is it you transferred the logo to the rubber? Was it carved out by hand? (Excuse me should that sound ridiculous.. I really don’t know the first thing about how such a process would go)

    Then comes the Chinese style painting… Oh I tell you right now, the second I saw it, it stole my heart. I would love to hear about your nan’s reaction to it! But for the moment allow me to describe mine.

    The first thing you notice is the strong prominence of the bamboo. You put in a very expressive stroke style, which I must say reflects your powerful overall style. Very well defined, the leaves shooting out some over the others really lets your eye pick up more depth, and then the farther out bamboo guides you eye out, into the vast watery expanse.

    As you move down from the bamboo you notice those beautiful Koi, of which I also must mention I really love the facial characteristic and expression on them. As you already know, I’m really a big fan of Elegance, as a particular trait in artwork, and this is no exception. I’ve always found that koi have a very refined and majestic shape. Seeing one move down and in front of the other also expresses the flow of their movement. You can even see the slight whirlpool effect of their stirring (Which also adds more layers for the eye to perceive) I like to see that theres just abit of color moving out of the lines, I think it’s a very nice trait for ink and watercolour.

    Your own expressive style really merges with the traditional Chinese brush style, you know immediately what type of painting is being emulated, yet in the strokes and details you see your own flair. But then I had heard somewhere you can tell a lot about someone in their brush strokes haha.

    Finally, coming down to the replication of murphy in ink (Which is incredibly adorable by the way ^-^) Perhaps it’s simply my amateur eye, but I think it’s very very well done for a five minute quick painting! It captures his expression and position brilliantly, and theres a lot of texture in the fur and shading. For the very least, I personally think it’s wonderful.

    The paper is slighty cream colored, and powdery soft in the untouched spots I’m going to assume this is a sort of rice paper, or something designed for these traditional oriental type works. Sticking to that though, I have to say it’s a very nice touch. I can understand you liking this type of watercolour, of what I’ve seen so far the artist will want to put down a stroke and touch it as little as possible as to keep the painting fresh. I think that the paper is also designed for minimal movement, though I have yet to try any myself. Regardless, this much more fits to the characteristics of someone who enjoys drawing, so I’m glad you could just let loose and have fun with the projects!

    I look forward to seeing your new post tomorrow! And lovely work on all of these projects here, I would love seeing you let loose and having some more fun with brush painting! Never hurts to explore different mediums, and it allows you to break from the usual. Oh! A fun side note, I was nearly jumping when I saw your brushes! I have one just like ithem I bought from a local Japanese store that opened not long ago, I’m not sure if I’ve discussed the particular brush with you before, but I love it as well! It carries a lot of water/paint for it’s small size, and has become my main fill brush. Good and loyal a brush like that, very soft on the bristles as well so it’s gentle on my watercolour paper, so I don’t get a scrubbed paper.


    • It is wonderful to see that you appreciate my work mate, and I really do thank you for all your compliments. Your support is very much valued.

      That’s completely fine about seeing my work late, as far as I’m concerned I feel privelidged that you like to see it at all, so don’t worry at all! I do hope school is going well for you.

      I created this stamp by printing out a reverse image, and then using my own copy paper, drew on the design to transfer the image onto rubber, and then I carved it by hand using a lino cutter.

      My nan was ecstatic to receive the bookmark and I’m really glad you like it too. Cheers.

      That was not Chinese paper I used for the Murphy sketch I copied from the photo, but rather it is watercolour paper. If you look closely, you can see its from a ring bound pad. Also, I used card for the bookmark.

      I’m used to aiming for high quality in my artwork, so I can see all the errors in the 5 min Murphy sketch and that is why I think it is poor, but you are right, realistically for a 5 min sketch, this isn’t the worst sketch in the world.

      Yep, those are Chinese pony hair sumi brushes, and I love them. Nice to know you you have similar ones! I’m glad that made you happy, that’s wonderful.

      The best of luck with what you’re doing, and thanks so much for having the time to look at and comment on my work.


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