Thursday, April 26, 2012

IF: Return

This Illustration Friday topic was awhile ago, but I took it as an opportunity to do a few little studies to try a technique where you paint a painting in guache, really THICK.

Then comes the scary part... you pour waterproof ink ALL OVER IT and let it DRY!  It's a pretty freaky process.  Oh, I forgot to mention that you leave all the areas that you want to be black free of guache so the ink will adhere to the working surface rather than the paint, like everywhere else.

Then comes the Magic part!  You run tap water over the whole thing and the ink will fleck off of the painting wherever there is thick paint.  The magic of this process is in the nature of guache paint.  Because it reactivates when there is wet medium, or water, over it the ink on the paint sloughs of as the top layer of the guache painting reactivates.

You can do an entire finished painting underneath or more of an underpainting to set the stage for the finished product.  This is kind of what I did.  I did a rough, simple underpainting, did the guache-ink wash off technique, then did some refining in Photoshop. It was a really fun little painting.  It was even more fun because Jamin, my husband, and I listened to "A Princess of Mars" the first book of the John Carter of Mars series, from  We've had a lot of fun listening to them.

Before this happy resolution to this painting came a few "learning experiences."

Experience 1

This one was going to be a cute little painting, but it was not meant to be.  The paper of my illustration board was rubbing off before the ink was.  Confusing....

Experience 2

Same story, the ink wasn't magically washing off, so I stopped to preserve what I could.

After awhile I was able to carefully scrape off a lot of the ink, but it's still in process.  I learned that the problem was the ink I was using.  It was ACRYLIC ink.  Big, bad no no in the ink off process.  I'm not entirely sure why, but ye be warned!  Higgins india waterproof ink is the stuff to use.  It has been time tested by many in my acquaintance and they swear by it for this technique.  It worked on my 3rd Experience, so it made a believer out of me. :)

1 comment:

  1. Frustrating ink... I have only ever tried it with the Higgins India Waterproof ink, and it has worked for me. I am always completely surprised by the outcome. It is kind of a scary experience not being in complete control of your painting. Although I think that people who do this often learn how to control it. Your final painting turned out cool though. I love the stylization and that green is awesome :)


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