Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What is this blank-ness of paper that I see?

Ah ha!  An experiment is happening!  An adventure into a new technique... a fanciful flight of mixed media splashes...

Or, could it possibly be the beginning of a large mess in the sink that will feed the round file?

Well, follow along with me and see what you think...

First step is to securely tape some 140 pound watercolor paper to a sheet of plexiglass - well, at least that's what I did.  If you try this technique, you will want a nonporus surface that can be soaked in water and a paper that can take the soaking and will work well with mixed media.  I like a sized surface, so 140 pound watercolor paper was my choice.

The second step is really fun.  Take some permanent ink - Dr. Ph. Martin's Black Star matte waterproof India Ink was my choice - and, using the little dropper deal in the lid, paint the ink thickly on your paper.  It will look something like this...

Wait a little while until the ink puddles start to dry up a little bit.  Then, take your board and your paper and dive into the third step - literally - as you spray or pour water over the paper to wash off part of the ink.  How much ink stays depends on how dry you let the ink get before you wash it off the paper.  Don't forget to wash it all out of your sink, too.  *ick*  When the ink is washed off, it should look something like this...

I think I may have let my ink get a bit too dry before I washed it off of this one.  On some of the others, there is a more dramatic difference in the line quality, whereas this one is a bit more subtle. 

Step four is where I added a bit more line work using the same ink - keeping my lines very sketchy and resisting the temptation to make this a detailed drawing.

And, step five, I *literally* spashed color all over in a very loose style - using a big brush so that I could not be tempted to put in any tight little details.

I think the result is a very bold and exciting little painting.  The expressive line quality and bright colors blend nicely to create the mood that I wanted.  For those of you who like a bit of the "element of surprise" when you create artwork, the unpredictability of the ink washing away will be fun.  This is very different from my usual painting style, but I like it.  What do you think?

Have you tried something new in this New Year?  *laughs*  This was lots more fun for me than making a list of resolutions!

Happy Creative New Year!

PS This was a challenge from the Blogging Business Artisans - a fun group of creative bloggers!


  1. Love it! I'm too much of a controlled, "coloring inside the lines" type to paint in such a carefree way (if I could even draw!) but on you it looks good!! Hope to see more!

  2. I love the finished product, Kathy! Thanks for sharing all of the steps with us. I look forward to seeing what else you create with this technique.

  3. I think it turned out wonderful! Seems to me the reverse of what the usual watercolor process would be. Helps if your know how to draw... {:-D

  4. It is terrific, and sounds fun to do. Who doesn't like making a creative mess.

  5. beautiful and expressive - great technique! Looking for more, Kathy :D

  6. Wow, I love this! This was your challenge project, right? I'm a former art teacher and my first thought was that this would be a great tutorial for students! I agree with you- the expressive line quality here really gives it a punch.

  7. this is a really cool technique! Im not artistically inclined in any area except for knitting.
    Knit, Nicole, Knit!

  8. Lucy, the bird is fantastic. I hope you New Year is a fine one.

  9. Kathleen, not Lucy. What was I thinking?

  10. Thanks, Sarah - I am usually a very detailed artist - doing something like this is really different for me!

    Thanks, Rose - sharing the steps was lots of fun =)

    Thanks, story - It can go either way. I know artists that start with the ink and those who start with the watercolor.

    Thanks, Marlene - totally right! It was a very fun mess ;-)

    Thanks, Lee - I think I'll have to graze through a few photos and see what fun things I can find to paint!

    Thanks, Nancy - It would really be a great project for students - as long as they were old enough to handle the india ink!

    Thanks, Nicole - it was lots of fun to share.

    Thanks, Steve - LOL - don't you wish blogger had an edit comment feature? I have posted a few 'oops' comments, too =p Thanks for stopping by - glad you enjoyed my painting. All the best in the New Year to you and yours, too!

    Thanks, Pam! Glad you like it =)

    Thanks, Erika - I appreciate the compliment!

  11. I love it! You are so talented! I enjoyed seeing your process!

  12. Awww - thank you, Beaded Tail!

  13. making new art is definitely more fun than making resolutions! I love the way your painted turned out! What a cool technique!
    I work with dye and there are lots of elements of surprise, even when I "control" the process. I think that makes it fun, well, most of the time.

  14. Splendid - that is why I really like the fluid waterbased media. There is so much movement of the paint and ink and there is a lot of spontaneous adventure. I agree - it does make it more fun!

  15. I have a feeling that if I tried this technique, it would look vastly different...and not nearly as professional! Interesting process, though.

  16. Thank you, Judy! One of the fun things about this technique is that it turns out differently for everyone... and sometimes it turns out differently every time it's done!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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