Curlews in the Estuary

No. 1 Curlews in the Estuary

 Curlews in the Estuary


Hand printed woodcuts

Due to the restrictions of COVID-19 this series has not been exhibited yet. Their first outing will be at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge when the exhibition is rescheduled.  So hopefully these curlews will get to fly out of my studio soon.

I cut several wood blocks for this series of Curlews in the Estuary so I can swop them to achieve different results.  I only mix small batches of ink at a time and apply this to the woodblocks using either a roller or paint brush.


You can use the same block multiple times on each print so you can apply different colours and build up textures. I press the paper onto the blocks by hand so I can alter the pressure and create different textures. It is impossible to produce the same effect twice so every print is different from the last.

Curlews in the Estuary portfolio

Gallery 1 – the colours of the salt marsh are generally quite muted, after all this is no tropical paradise, especially in winter! I used more thalo blue than black to give a bluish hue.


Gallery 2 is still muted but with more raw umber for an earthy pigment.


Gallery 3 – sometimes I fly curlews across the margins so it adds to the sense of movement and reflects what I see on the marsh.

So I wanted to recreate this impression on some of the prints. It is always a bit of a gamble printing in the margins as you can so easily smudge a curlew or two and spoil the entire piece. But sometimes it is worth the gamble.


You can see more woodcuts on my Hand Printed Woodcuts page