Tag Archives: Design for commissions

Designing for a Commercial Commission – Part 2 – handcolouring

It took over 50 hours of solid work to get to this printing stage from the final original design drawings, through the carving and printing processes .

The oil based ink takes a couple of days to dry – although I do hurry a not so successful print along a bit with a heater and use this print to do the first handcoloured sample – about a day instead of 3-7 days depending on the weather. The first colour ‘proof’ is simply a chance to work on colours and experiment – making notes (usually on the actual print edges) for future reference.

This waiting time can get a bit tedious – I’m sure you all know of waiting on paint to dry…it sometimes, if it is cooler wet weather take at least a full week.

So when you have a tight schedule or deadline make sure you allow time for the ink to dry – be aware of the weather and the fact it takes longer to dry in cool moist weather.

Fortunately with printmaking we are using thin even layers (well hopefully – many a print has been discarded due to uneven inking of the block…frustrating at times, and costly) but it still takes time to dry.

The 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. You get such a lovely lustrous black with the oil based ink which highlights the colour of the transparent watercolour which I also like.

Anyway…in the meantime I have usually completed a colour proof of the heater dried print – probably not the best for the paper but it is only a working proof (see above for the partial image). 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. Below is the ‘proof’ colours.

Copyright – Lynette Weir

Designing for a Commercial Commission – Part 3 – Final Design

This is the final result from the Drink Coaster I was commissioned to design using Australian Floral Emblems for the Hanna Group.

The coasters have been produced and are now available!!

This is the design – the design brief from the client was to include all the Australian State and Territory floral emblems featured or surrounded by the Australian floral emblem – the golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha).

The other part of the brief was that there was no real ‘up’ and so the coaster can be swung around in a circle to reveal each of the emblems.

It was a more rushed job than I would usually take to design with only 2 weeks from start to sending the final print to them. Looking at it I would usually take some time to ‘live’ with the design and tweak it over a few weeks at least until I was really happy with the final result. Unfortunately I didn.t have this luxury which is the downside of this type of commission work.

Design work – value adding with commercial projects

As many of you know it is extremely difficult to survive on just income from being an artist. Essentially when people have spare money they will buy work and when money becomes a little more difficult to come by pictures for walls become a luxury. So I have tried to ‘value add’ to me work a little.

I have done this largely to this point with quality commercially print wildflower card designs. They allow people the luxury for a small amount of money to have an image of your work – in fact many people who cannot afford the artwork buy the cards and even frame them. You could extend this buy producing posters but until this point I have not done this. there is enough confusion over individually hand made and editioned linocuts and commercially mass-produced prints.

Here are the two sets of prints I have sold over the past 10 years – I am about to organise and produce a new line of cards this year.

Through developing a website and blog I have managed to get a few extra projects, commissions or have had my work used for various projects. I do get a number of project offers a year but do not always take them up due to a number of factors including time restraints or the project is not in line with how I want my work represented.

Following are some examples of how my work has been used – some income producing and others are for charity.


Advertising you can take commissions is a good way to boost extra work I have done this in the past but due to time restraints for caring for my family have put it back on the backburner for the time being. You do need to eb disciplined with your time and work to a schedule and to the clients request but it can be an interesting challenge to set yourself.

The two below were for an exhibition I was invited to present at Hazelhurst Regional Community Gallery – Sutherland Shire.

Kurnell – An endangered ecological community

Flannel Flowers for a 40th Birthday.

Hanna Group – Drink Coaster

I have produced a design for a drink coaster for the Hanna Group

Eat Chocolate and Cry – Australian Flute Music – CD Cover

One of my designs – Paperbark– was used on the cover for a new CD by musicians Christine Draeger, Lamorna Nightingale and Jocelyn Edey-Fazzone. It is called Eat Chocolate and Cry – Australian Flute Music 199-2009 featuring Australian contemporary composers.  As part of the HSC Music course students must study this content and so this CD is designed a a resource as well as for highlighting contemporary composers and musicians.

The CD was launched at the Australian Music Centre in The Rocks Sydney at the end of September – more information about the cd can be found here.

The Sturt’s Desert Pea design below was using in an English Textbook.

Some of my tutorials on linocuts and working methods was including in this WA Visual Arts high school textbook.

Last year I was contacted by Lynda Kuntyj and asked to contribute to a resource textbook to help support the new Western Australian Visual Arts Curriculum for Primary/Secondary students.

I am very interested in promoting the visual arts and in teaching/tutoring, having a degree in art education. After speaking to Lynda, who is obviously passionate about teaching, I contributed some of my images, working arts practice methodology and tutorial text.

Impact Publishing released this book early this year and you can find out more about this book here. There is a pdf file with sample pages from this book that you can download – this includes 2 of the pages with some of the information that I contributed.

This is one of the textbooks from of a series of three. They all look quite helpful as resources for art teachers and students even though it is the WA syllabus the information looks like it would be useful generally.

Charity work includes: the Big Ride for the Big Issue

My ‘Emblems’ design was used on some bike shorts for the charity event ‘The Big Ride’ for The Big Issue.

Here is a photo of the participants wearing their new jersey’s with my Australian Floral Emblems design on them!

Wildflower Print Designs

The designs below are a selection from wildflower print designs I have been playing around with. At one stage a fabric designer for quilting fabric was going to produce a range of my work in fabric but that was placed on hold.

The difficulty with these designs is the start-up capital needed to produce them myself which is why I have not proceeded with them at this point.

…wattle…waratahs…flannel flowers…gum nuts…

…fabric…paper…design…still deciding….

…and some black and white designs as well…


Copyright – Lynette Weir