Weekly Sketch – Cactus Collage – 26/03/2017

I’ve been playing around with painting textures and patterns on paper; then used them to make this cactus collage. The very bright green small cactus arm is one of those coffee cup cardboard holders; I used it to print the green zig-zags on the cactus arm behind it, then decided I quite liked it just as it was painted.

(© Catherine Cronin)



Little Cactus Photo Etching

I took another printmaking course at City Lit taken over 3 weekends; the course aim was to support you in your own printmaking projects. As I had just completed one course on photo etching; I wanted to continue and create another print through photo etching. The first attempt at photo etching for me was successful; this second attempt was full of frustrations. I used the wrong type of transparency for image exposure to plate; an inkjet rather than a laser jet transparency; and when I finally got the plate exposed and etched, I had problems printing it. I’m still not sure what went wrong, but printmaking is all about trial and error and practice. So for my second photo etching I was only able to get a couple of good artist proofs rather than an edition as I would have liked. Here it is with chine-collé and hand inking for the background.

Little Cactus © Catherine Cronin

(© Catherine Cronin)

Weekly Sketch – ‘Conzuela’ cactus – 19/05/2013

I thought The Don was looking a bit lonely; so I acquired him some company yesterday, let me introduce you to Conzuela. She is tiny, only 1 inch high, and about to blossom a crown of red flowers. Here is a quick 3 min pen sketch of her; and then as a reminder The Don underneath.


Weekly Sketch – ‘The Don II’ cactus – 06/10/2012

(All work & images © Catherine Cronin)

Weekly Sketch – Cacti Garden – 11/05/2013

I have spent many happy hours at Kew Gardens and I especially love the cacti that can been seen in their glasshouses. Obviously being in the UK I don’t get to see large cacti growing naturally, so I am always impressed when I visit the cacti at Kew. I love their foreign, strange, bold, humourous and when in flower, colourful aspect. Here is an A3 black line drawing trying to reflect their shapes and how they are planted at Kew, so that you can easily see the specimens. I have used different weights of black pen and different mark making techniques for each different cacti species, so each species is portrayed in a unique way. It is easy to see the difference in the marks in the detail picture. I have then added colour, changing the mood of the garden in each version.

(© Catherine Cronin)

Weekly Sketch – ‘The Don II’ cactus – 06/10/2012

In my Weekly Sketch posts I will share the good and bad scribbles that I undertake…

I am not doing very well keeping up with my weekly sketch, sometimes life just takes you away from the things you would rather be doing. Anyway, after sketching my new cactus ‘The Don’ and being dissatisfied, I thought I’d give it another go. I am a bit happier about this drawing but it still isn’t quite there for me.

I used pen, felt-tip pens, watercolour sticks wet and dry, and a little graphite pencil. I like this better than the first sketch as there is more definition of form on the cactus.

(All work & images © Catherine Cronin)

Weekly Sketch – ‘The Don’ cactus – 16/09/2012

In my Weekly Sketch posts I will share the good and bad scribbles that I undertake…

I have been away on holiday in the Bay Of Naples (more on that later on), and so I haven’t posted any weekly sketches. All around the Bay Of Naples cacti and succulents grow splendid and huge, they are a treat to see. I have only seen comparable specimens in Kew Gardens glasshouses. On coming home I decided that I wanted my own little catus, a reminder of my trip. So here is a drawing of ‘The Don’.

So for this drawing, I thought I’d draw on red textured paper as the cactus pot featured red glaze. I normally always draw on white paper, so this was a bit of an experiment. I started off drawing the form with felt-tip brush pens, immediately though I realised I couldn’t carry out the whole picture in this medium as all the light colours just turned dark on the page. So the felt-tip pens were used to draw the form and for the darker areas. For the greens and yellows I used watercolour pencil which sits on top of the red paper. The red paper is textured and so when the watercolour pencil is used dry it lets spots of red paper show through. The blue background is oil pastel as I wanted a good depth of blue.
I must say I am not overly pleased with the result, the watercolour when used wet became blotchy on the catus, whereas I would have preferred more definition of form.

(© Catherine Cronin)

Desert Cactus

Lovely desert cactus; a vibrant illustration of a bold desert cactus standing proud in a blazing red sunset. This print is actually made up of 3 plates, an etching plate featuring the lively drawn cactus, and collograph plates featuring the green body of the cactus and the second adding the desert scene.







(All images and works under copyright © Catherine Cronin)