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Experiments are such fun

Experiments are such fun! I just spent two afternoons playing with alcohol inks, trying them out on gessoed canvas, Yupo and some kind of square tile given to me by the Art Students League in exchange for feedback on how well it worked. Well, the results are mixed but I’d forgotten how much fun experiments could be.

First, on canvas. I had trouble getting the ink to move around the way I wanted. I kept blowing on it with an angled straw, but all I got were these fingers of paint blowing randomly out from the center.

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Next I tried the alcohol inks on Yupo, because I thought the inks would move around more smoothly. Well, they sorta did, but I still ended up with those fingers of paint. So far no cigar.

On Yupo

So I spritzed it with alcohol and started tilting the paper and blowing on it with the straw. Well, parts of this I love, but other parts are just interesting. Still no cigar.

Alcohol plus, still on Yupo

And then I decided to try adding alcohol inks to those tiles from the League.

On tile

Well, I’m starting to learn how to get what I want: those lines moving upwards in the upper right corner, the blurring of the yellow in the middle right. Spritzing alcohol on after the ink is down creates those lovely little dots. But overall, this isn’t thrilling me. I couldn’t get that yellow sun in the upper left to blur out (like a wet-on-wet watercolor) to save my soul.

Okay. So let’s try again on another tile.

On tile

Finally, it’s starting to look like what I want, like wet-on-wet watercolor. To get this effect I have to spritz on a lot of alcohol, so the ink swims in it. I’m already forgetting the details: I think I put the alcohol down first and then added the ink. But I’m not sure, so I’ll certainly have to do it again. And again. And again. The hair dryer certainly came in handy.

But this is giving me some ideas for the work I’m doing at the Art Students League with acrylic on raw canvas.

Experiments are such fun!

Posted by ruthhurd on July 8, 2019

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