What Lies Beneath

I was visiting my local Michael’s craft store awhile back and discovered a new item in one of the aisle kiosks that caught my eye. Mixed in with the various coloring books for children and adults was a single book with an etching theme around all types of gardens. I was intrigued and wanted to try it.

Because it was poly-wrapped I wasn’t sure exactly what I would be getting and have been delighted with the variety of images that ranged from a greenhouse garden to an exotic rainforest full of flora and strange insects to an arid desert full of cactuses in all shapes and sizes. The book contains a total of 10 artworks.

Designed and written by the British illustrator and print maker Jacqueline Colley, each etching page provides a black background with the basic outline of the image you’re working on, as well as a cover sheet that shows all the etching marks. This cover sheet can be used as a guide or copied directly. The author also gives helpful tips on how to use the wooden etching stylus tool. As you use the tool, one end stays sharp and pointed and the other end wears down to a square tip. The two tips allow for creating different line thicknesses which give the artworks texture and depth.

The book is entry level etching and I really enjoyed working my way through it. It provides just the right amount of challenge for a beginner and gives an idea of what more sophisticated etching might be like. For those that are highly skilled already, this book may prove too simplistic.

The Butterfly Garden
The Vegetable Garden

But as an easy craft item, it’s a relaxing pastime and provides enjoyment as the image comes into relief after the black is scratched away.

The Alpine Garden
The Desert Garden

So if you’re looking for an option beyond a coloring book, etching may be the answer. And it’s always a treat to see what lies beneath!