Sunday, January 31, 2016

Another Alcohol Ink Painting

Sue Clinker, from the Pencil Pix blog, asked how the alcohol inks were applied.  I mainly poured, or dropped the ink with the last painting I posted here but did use a brush to push the ink where I wanted it.  I also sprayed the inks with plain alcohol which gave a lot of the texture.

The following painting was mostly done with a brush which gives a little more control but I don't think it's nearly as pretty.

The background was done by dropping different inks onto the Yupo, then the painting was sprayed with plain rubbing alcohol.  I don't have a lot of colors so the coneflower center didn't come out as dark as I'd wanted but I was able to darken it some with some Bic colored markers that I had.  However, I think that ruined it so I'm not posting the revised painting! 

There are tons of tutorials for the inks out there with a lot of them on YouTube.  Some I'd like to try are:
The above shows what can be done.

And I definitely want to try this one:

Hope these show a little of how to work with the inks.  If none of these appeal to you, just look around the internet!

So many things to try and so little time!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Art Supply Junkie

Alcohol Inks On Yupo - 5x7"

I said in my last post that I was fickle when it came to art media but I think it's more that I'm an art supply junkie.  The truth be told, I like experimenting with various arts and crafts supplies and yesterday I finally got around to playing with the alcohol inks.

It was the perfect day for it as we've been pretty much iced in since last Friday as the so-called big storm hit us before making it's way further north and east.  Since we knew the storm was coming, we went out on Thursday and I was able to buy some Adirondack inks at Michael's.  Fortunately, my DH & I both had a coupon and I still had money left on the gift card the grandchildren gave me for Christmas.  I still didn't get all the colors I wanted but got enough to play with and I also had the homemade inks from last week.  I didn't use them much in this painting but they seemed to work as well as the purchased inks.

Not great by any means but I had expected it to be a whole lot worse.  These inks are somewhat like watercolor in that they have a mind of their own plus you rarely do well the first time out of the gate.  It didn't help that the Adirondack inks were marked with esoteric names like "Stream", "Wild Plum", "Citrus" and looked different on Yupo than they looked on either the label or in the bottle.  I need to make a color chart so I'll know what's what!

This is my first alcohol painting and I'm fairly pleased with it.  Can I see room for improvement?  Definitely! But I hope to learn how these inks work by practicing and hopefully a masterpiece will eventually emerge!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Just Plain Fickle!

I've not done much painting lately as wood carving (yes, wood carving!) caught my fancy and I tried my hand at that for a while. 

I really like learning new things, seeing if I can 'conquer' a new craft and, well, just being a very fickle woman!

But wood carving!  You all know how much I like working with wood so carving would seem to be a natural progression but I have to admit - I totally suck at it! 

This is what I accomplished after many days and several sliced fingers!

This Santa figure was from a beginner tutorial that I found on the internet.  Notice I said beginner tutorial!  Who screws up with a beginner tutorial?  Well, I did.  I admit I don't have the best or most in the way of carving tools, but still, I shouldn't have all the fuzzy wood fibers left after carving.  Unfortunately, the tutorial didn't tell you what to do about them or even how to avoid them in the first place. 

And this is my excuse for neither painting nor updating my blog.  Sore, bleeding fingers aren't the best for either painting or typing!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Alcohol Inks

I've been wondering about alcohol inks for some time and have read a bit about them in the past.  They seem to be a favorite with crafters, especially those who scrapbook or make greeting cards but are not really used a lot by fine artists so I haven't pursued using them.

One of the reasons that I haven't tried them is that I need to mail order just about any art supply I use as most art stores with any appreciable inventory are at least 30 miles from us.  Frankly, by the time I order just paper, canvas, paint or other painting supplies, I'm over-budget and trying something new is put aside.

But I ran across someone who makes her own alcohol inks from 91% rubbing alcohol and "empty" printer cartridges so I decided to try making my own just to see what all the hype is about.

Making alcohol inks is relatively easy - once you get the printer cartridge open, that is!  My cartridges have a sponge-like rectangle inside that still contains quite a bit of ink.  Just open the cartridge and place that sponge into a small jar and pour 91% rubbing alcohol over it and shake.  Let it sit for several hours or overnight and you have alcohol ink!  And I've found that most people make the inks from Rit dye and even Kool Aid so there are less messy options if anyone wants to try it! 

I had no problem opening the yellow cartridge I tried first even though I did get some small spatters with it.  It was the black cartridge that gave me fits and black hands!  I started this project yesterday in the early afternoon and have washed my hands so much the skin is red and the ink is still very visible!  It's reassuring that the ink should last though!

I guess I need to go ahead and do the cyan and magenta cartridges then give these inks a trial run.  I don't know what I'll use them for but I did see some metalware with some very pretty alcohol ink designs on it.  I've also seen some really nice paintings on Yupo with them and I definitely will try that as I have a pad of Yupo that I've barely used.

And if I like working with these inks, I may just have to invest in a set from the art store.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

More Woodworking

Well, Christmas is over and New Year's Day has come and gone and I'm back into my routine (more or less!)

I started the new year working on a new frame for one of the paintings I submitted to the Core Sound Museum/Wildlife Artists Society exhibition.  I had put it into a relatively narrow black frame as that was the only frame I found at the time that looked halfway decent with it and I had to frame it in a limited time frame.  However, I was dissatisfied with it then and stayed that way so decided to find a frame that really did it justice.  I couldn't find one that didn't cost much more than I wanted to spend so I made one.

Swallowtail on Swamp Mallow - oil on board ©Jan Gibson

I actually purchased a plain, unfinished wooden frame and painted it black.  Then I cut some trim molding to fit around the opening of the frame and painted it the same red color as the swamp mallow.  It may not show well in this photo, but the end result is like night and day compared with the old frame.  This is why I like to make my own frames when I have the time and the right materials to do it right - the frame can make all the difference in enhancing or detracting from the painting.  Hopefully you all like this one as much as I do!

And I don't think I've shown you this painting before.  I sort of rushed to get it ready for the exhibition and didn't think to post it back then although you could see it in the photos I posted of the exhibition.

The painting was done in the alkyd oils and is from a photo I took of a black swallowtail on one of our Swamp/Marsh Mallows.  And, yes, that delightful confection, the marshmallow, was originally made from the sap of the Marsh Mallow plant!  I guess that's why I'm so enamored with the mallow plant family - they produce gorgeous flowers and gave us that sweet treat, the marshmallow!