Category Archives: ARTS PRACTICE


Image Use Inquiries –  Lynette welcomes all inquiries – please use the form below.

All inquiries seeking permission for the use of Lynette’s artwork are most welcome. Lynette’s work is at times available under license for projects – there is a fee for licensing and image use. Please use the form below. Lynette has supported some charity organisations by allowing them permission to use her artwork for special projects or educational purposes, but you do need to seek and gain permission.

Please be aware if you use my images/artwork without permission you will be required to pay a licensing fee.

It is always better to ask than take.

Due to the increase in requests by businesses to use Lynette’s images in their ventures for free or for exposure, there is a need to state that if you are a commercial venture please be aware that there is a fee for the use of her artwork.

Requesting Permission

Disclosure is required, if applicable, of any affiliations to any other organisations the requesting person may have. Lynette’s artwork should not be used to promote organisations that have or have had, links to other organisations with a social/political agenda whose views Lynette does not support. Any use of my artwork by an organisation or individual without Lynette’s permission or undisclosed to her should not be seen as supportive of them, nor of any or all views expressed within that organisation.



Tutorials – Art Bytes from Lynette Weir’s Studio Practice


Linocuts, design, drawing & illustrations by Australian Artist – Lynette Weir

These ‘tutorials’ are an insight into the working methods of Australian Artist – Lynette Weir.

All images, tutorial content on this site unless specified otherwise, are copyright to Lynette Weir and cannot be used without permission.

This tutorial site is a compilation of posts I have made to my Studio Diary – Soulsong Art. They are not a definitive way of producing a linocut or drawing. They are simply a guide based around my own working methods.

I have posted the tutorials here in an order that hopefully will make it easier for you to find information about linocuts or drawing.

Although a largely static site I will be posting additional tutorials and updates from time to time.

So if you want to keep up with these updates please follow this blog or any of my other links – SoulsongSoulsong Art, Lynette Weir

The linocut tutorials here are based on my own working methods. Artists/printmakers all work differently – some may work in a similar way to myself and others completely different. So the tutorials contained here should be seen within this context and as a guide to working or just as an example how one artist works.

All information is a guide only and is based on Lynette Weir’s own arts practice with Linocuts and Drawing – individuals should take their own due care in working with these and other artistic endeavours and mediums.

I would encourage everyone to take a look at how I work but develop your own style and way of working.

Copyright – Lynette Weir

Art diaries, journals, sketchbooks…where to start…

  I believe it is important in developing your arts practice to use art diaries/journals/sketchbooks/notebooks even online blogs to keep track of your ideas, thoughts, sketches, make notes of things that interest or are important to you as an artist. These are useful to look back on and in developing your own ‘voice’ or style of art or providing technical notes of how to do things. These can also provide valuable back up for you as an artist and establishing copyright of your work.

In trying to represent the idea we have in our mind and then take that idea in our chosen media, we can have feelings that range from frustrating to ecstatic (when it actually works!). By keeping track of these things you can always backtrack and find them. If your filing system is good – mine is average – you could simply keep a catalogue of your sketchbooks and find them instantly!

Many, many times things just do not go well for a variety of reasons and as frustrating or disappointing it may be ‘starting again’, backtracking a little or even discarding the whole idea is also part of the process of creating artworks.

The most important aspect of all of this is the process of learning and developing your arts practice – even if the work is discarded it is important to note ‘why’ and perhaps ‘how’ you’d do it differently – this is the most important aspect!

I was told many times in art college – keep all your drawings so you can see the developments. This becomes impractical but I do actually still have ‘selected’ drawings from that time – just to remind me.

The development of art diaries, journals or sketchbooks are extremely important and are a more ‘contained’ way of keeping track in developing your arts practice – it also gives insights into the thinking and working behind your works. It also gives you the opportunity to document mistakes, the learning and hopefully moving forward in ability.

It was said to me 10 years ago by an experienced and well-known artist that “if you continue in your arts practice, you will look back in 10 years and you will be able to do so much more than you could back then and be able to see your development”. This is just so true! It is clearly illustrated by my HSC major works from 27 years ago…and my more recent initial new work in the field of pen and ink illustration.

These are my old HSC Drawing Major Works from *cough* years ago…(1981). They are a mixture of watercolour pencils, coloured pencil and (rotring) pen and ink. I must say looking back some were more successful than others…and I kind of itch to just ‘fix’ some of them or in the case of the seal – get rid of it!


The illustrations using pen and watercolour washes below were completed around 2009/10 – a definite development and improvement I would hope!!




Processing, thinking, practicing and even making mistakes can at times be even more important than producing the artwork…

Copyright – Lynette Weir

The Art of ‘Creative Art-Thinking’ – designing linocuts

In describing some of the processes I that go through in designing my linocuts I have not talked a lot about the ‘art-thinking’ processes. This is probably because they are often complex and hard to describe.


For this piece  and many of my pieces I will often start with the idea of a ‘framework’ – of working within/without of a particular shape – rectangular, square, circle etc. Starting with the framework – drawing up thumbnail sketches of different shapes, sizes, ideas – some people hold their hands up together to create a picture frame to limit their vision and provide a frame to work within for designing the edges of the artwork and what they want in it. It narrows the visual field and helps an artist ‘art-think’ what they are trying to achieve/include within an artwork.

A framework can also be suggested by the actual subject matter. So the first step in working in this way is to consider the subject matter – in this case I look at my extensive file of photographs that I have taken. But for me this process means taking one step back again – it begins with the plant/flower ‘in the flesh’.


I take the photos I work from, so for me my designing starts with ‘seeing’ and photographing, for me a lifelong interest and passion of seeing and representing through taking photographs and filing and preserving family photographs. So in the case of the above design I look at the plant and take numerous photos (thank goodness for digital it is a lot less expensive these days).

The designing and looking is part of the photographing process for me – I was taught a long time ago about the importance of ‘seeing’ through your lens as you take the photo instead of ‘cropping’ later. Not to say I don’t crop but I try to ‘frame’ the photograph in the lens these days. I consider the shape, size and special features of the flowers, buds, leaves, stalks, overall ‘effect’ of the plant. These can be quite quick and spontaneous images – even at this stage I am considering the artwork and what information I may need from the source plant. If I have time I sketch the plant or do quick sketches of ideas to refer back to. Somehow for me it involves a different ‘vision’ and thinking – that for the process of this tutorial I am calling ‘art-thinking’. It is like I go to another place that is entirely visual and yet pragmatic about collecting all the info I need, or producing the image/design I want. I am often unaware at this stage of much going on outside this little ‘visual world’ – ask my family who now seem to know that taking a good book and ensuring a coffee shop ‘sanctuary’ is nearby to disappear from their ‘weird wife/mother’ who is off in another head space, and often gets quite excited about a particular plant flowering!


Even before I get the photos I need printed I am often already ‘art-thinking’ – processing visual ideas often making a number of quick thumbnail sketches of my ‘art-thinking’, making notes of ideas in my journals or even on a scrap of paper that I later stick int my journal. These can lay around for even years – I have many in sketchbooks and will often flip back through and find these sketches. They are a rich source of inspiration even years later and often I can then flip back to the process of taking the photos and remember the time and what was significant about the image. Sometimes it feels like a ‘visual memory filing cabinet’ and the actual physical photos (catalogued and filed) help provide finer details and trigger more visual memories that I can use.


In designing a piece like the DESIGN ART – Emblems – it is quite complex in the amount of visual material I am wanting to include within the overall design. This means it will be overall quite a ‘busy’ design unlike the DESIGN ART Waratah which is a simple single graphic image relying on this for visual impact.

However in creating the overall design for the Emblems I needed to bring some sort of order to the ‘busyness’. I have done this by providing the top central waratah echoed by the Sturt desert pea below. The golden wattle flowers/leaves and kangaroo paw provide framing and visual movement around the design with the Tasmanian gum blossom leaves stabilising the image at the bottom. The other plants of heath (at top either side of waratah), Sturt desert rose on right and Cooktown orchid on left are all pink shaded flowers and seem natural to provide a circular movement  around the work.

Whilst drawing all of this into a design I can revise the overall and minor details of the plan as I go along. This includes spending often large amounts of time ‘art-thinking’ visually assessing over and over what I am doing and where I am placing the elements within the design. I stick photocopies of the images on the walls – even in the bedroom so I can look at when I first wake up. Often I do nothing but look at the progress, source material, or framework and do nothing – it is all in this process of creative ‘art-thinking’. This includes the inking in of the design – again it is returning to this visual head space where I don’t like to be interrupted – it is like switching my brain into another space. It can be frustrating when I cannot get into this zone and things just don’t work – best to go and do something different. Equally it can be extremely frustrating to have this background zone sitting there with ideas and not the time to actually get it happening!


Not everyone understands the process of stepping back and thinking through things – of sorting through ideas, images, assessing, re-assessing and thinking of alternatives and possibilities. Many people are ‘doers’ and impulsive and many artists work this way and create amazing works. I work more spontaneously in the initial stages of thumbnail sketches but then I get tend to move into this more detailed way of working. Funny my house can be disorganised, messy and spontaneous but my artwork processes are often detailed organised and ordered.

Copyright – Lynette Weir

Oil based ink for printing & watercolours for handpainting Linocuts

42Blue Mtns Wildlflowers Lino - handcolouring 5The reason for using oil based inks is so that when I handpaint with traditional artist watercolours the oil based ink of the printed area repels the watercolour. If you were to use a waterbased ink (which dries quickly and cleans up with water) then when you come to handpaint it also dissolves the water based ink. Also you get such a lovely lustrous black with the oil based ink which highlights the colour of the transparent watercolour which I also like.

I always start handcolouring by taking a less successful print (one with flaws such as overinking, underinking, missed patches etc) and use this as a ‘working handcolured proof. It is where I experiment with colours and make notes on the colours I have used. It is a working proof which means I record the colours used on the print (just by penciling them in on the border and sometimes painting a little square of colour) and note any changes I would make on the final editioned prints. That way I can remember what colours I have used, how I have mixed the colours & keep a record of the actual colour I used for matching later.

Drawing – mistakes, learning and practise

Looking at this drawing “it is not quite right!” – it is a bit off centre and ‘wonky’. I can see that it isn’t and have posted it to highlight that things go wrong – not everything drawing/artwork you produce will be a success nor should it be. If you have that everything should be prefect then as in life you will be disappointed. So if it doesn’t work, file it in you arts journal etc, make some notes & maybe even have another go! The old saying is ‘practice makes perfect’ – well maybe not perfect but hopefully an improvement!

The secret is to be able to see the mistakes and then either fix them – or as in the case of this drawing which was beyond ‘going back’ noting what was wrong and possibilities in ‘fixing’ it. You can be sure that the next time I draw an emu I will take the ‘wrongness’ on board and seek to remedy it.

On the other hand, the wonky ‘wrongness’ goes with my image of these quite odd and unusual birds! This could be exploited to emphasise the ‘personality’ of the bird – especially from an illustration perspective. That being said, the purpose of the image and what an artist was trying to achieve is important – if you want to have a scientific illustration of an emu’s head this drawing simply would not do!

My aim was simply to draw an emu’s head and play around with a few ideas – there are aspects to this drawing I like but I also do like to ‘get it right’ in relation to things like his beak!

This is such an important thing for art students to understand – many students give up with the cry “I can’t draw” because they instantly want to be able to create realistic lifelike drawings around the 10 – 15 years age group without any practice. They will often carry this notion throughout their lives. When this just doesn’t happen then the “I can’t draw” and the giving up happens.

I always say if you can put a mark on a page you’re drawing! You may not be a Picasso but drawing is a skill that you can learn if you choose to pursue you can improve and sometimes may surprise yourself by actually succeeding.

I believe that drawing can be a process of visual memory – the more you draw a particular subject and commit it to your visual memory the easier it becomes to draw each time you approach the same or similar subjects.

I make the analogy with learning the scales on the piano – they can be boring, definitely repetitive but absolutely necessary – understanding scales and keys in music is a core skill in playing any instrument. Repetition with ‘intention’ – in other words you are paying attention and actually seeing to improve – is essential  no matter the task. In drawing a subject matter repetition with intention gives you an ever-increasing knowledge and ease with the subject matter.

I believe repeat drawing a subject matter and the ability to draw is a core art making skill. That is not to say that those who have not pursued this skill are not able to still produce wonderful work but having a strong base of drawing or draughtsmanship generally gives you a greater toolbox to draw upon in developing arts practice. It is also a lifetime skill that I don’t think ever ends – improving ones ability to represent a 3D subject in a 2D form and then being able to extend beyond the representational into abstraction or design work is intriguing and endlessly challenging!

I strongly believe the developing drawing skills is the single most important skill an artist can develop. Going to drawing classes with others just to draw – either guided or unguided – is a great way to increasingly develop your ability. Whether they be life drawing, still life, plein air, botanical or whatever subject takes your fancy, so long as you are drawing and working on developing your skills by practice you will find it increases your skills as an artist. Even if it takes a while for your eye to hand to paper co-ordination to develop the first step is actually ‘seeing’ more. All the great artists – Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Degas, Monet, Norman Lindsey, Arthur Boyd, Brett Whitely, Ken Done, Margaret Olley, Maragret Preston etc…all began with drawing and all are absolute master draughtsmen (people). Drawing skills underly their work even if that work is abstract – the ability to see more, be able to represent the image and take it into abstraction in a valid and spectacular way over a sustained lifetime of work is what underpins all these great artists and makes them timeless.

So quite simply – draw.

Copyright – Lynette Weir