Saturday, May 21, 2016

Back to the Drawing Board

Sorry for the lapse in updates. My flamingos fell by the wayside when my COPD flared again this Spring. Seems it's become an annual event. While recovering I needed to avoid the alcohol ink fumes so I completed a commission for a long time friend, a watercolor painting of a lady slipper I've been promising her for yeeears, and also a few pencil sketches for myself. I forget to simply draw something for my own pleasure. I enjoy it and don't know why I don't do it more often. I need to remedy that.
This gal is strickly from my imagination.

The receptionist at my doctor's office.
Lovely girl.
She has a perfectly oval face.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Feeling Flamingos

I feel like painting flamingos, that is. I've been mulling this idea over all week and finally did a quick line drawing. I found a few references photos on PaintMyPhoto and worked with those as best I could. My plan so far is to work on Yupo with alcohol ink and collage. I'll be making my own collage paper so I'll have to sort out my colors, etc. The birds will probably be done with acrylic paint similar to the cats on Lunch Rush at Chez Dumpsta'. 

I'll be posting updates so stay tuned.....

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Something Different

A little something different from me. I dreamed this one up...literally. The composition and the colors. I just wish I could get the colors to show true. For those that are familiar with Adirondack's 'Willow' alcohol ink that's the color in the sky, not Pesto green. I hate when these things happen. It's the funky 'Willow' green that makes the painting work IMO. Ah well....

This is another small work...5" x 7" on Yupo. I added some cut paper collage and flexible modeling paste. For the patterns in the white and red areas I painted over the alcohol ink when it was dry with black acrylic paint, then used an old credit card I had notched and dragged that through the wet paint until I was satisfied with the results. Voila! 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Varnish Day

It finally warmed up here at long last, warm enough to spray varnish outdoors. I sprayed my latest ink paintings including my bug series in batches and they are now curing before they will be mounted, matted and slipped into acetate envelopes. I belong to an inking group on Facebook and there seemed to be some confusion as to what varnishes work best on alcohol ink. Up until just lately I was using Krylon Gallery Series UV Archival gloss spray but I've found that Krylon's UV-Resistant Clear gloss works just as well and cost much less. One member of the ink group had heard that the gloss spray would disturb the ink but I found that it's simply not true.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A B. C?

Here is the repaired painting. I stenciled a honeycomb pattern on the background to finish the piece.

Hopefully this image will allow you to see the area of damaged Yupo I circled. When I'm working on certain insects I will cut away only a few sections of frisket at a time. In this case I saved the bee's wings until last so the Pitch Black and Yellow Sunshine ink wouldn't get on them. When I attempted to remove the frisket from the left wing I accidently dug into the surface of the Yupo and peeled off a thin layer leaving a rough area. I managed to solve the problem by cutting a piece of the glossy backing paper from the frisket into the shape of the damaged wing and gluing it in place with gel medium. Another solution could've been another piece of Yupo but I decided the backing paper would work best for this purpose.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself. I think I'm losing it and if winter doesn't end here soon in northern Michigan I'm going to completely lose my mind. Anyhoo, this is my latest bug, the wonderful bumblebee. I love to hear their deep throaty buzz in the garden on a hot summer afternoon.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Fly

This one took two tries and it still could use some grounding with a few shadows now that I see it on screen. I used Ranger Pearl mixative on the wings to make them look more fly wing-y and I added the veining with a Prismacolor colored pencil...Violet Blue, I think. A waxy pencil on Yupo, you say? I know but I'm fairly certain it'll be permanent after a good spray or two of Krylon gloss varnish.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Which Came First?

The cocoon or the bug? Well, in this case, the chrysalis. I used Adirondack Copper mixative on the bark of the branch. It has great texture that works well for this type of application. When the inks were dry and the frisket film was removed I went over everything with a wash of Da Vinci green gold fluid acrylic thinned with a little water and let it puddle and dry. That produced some nice texture in the background.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

More Bugs

Here's the latest efforts, hot off the easel. I may have to redo the yellow moth. If you look closely I forgot my own advice and cut into the Yupo too far. It's easy to do. I should have another update tomorrow but there may be a very short break while I wait for more frisket film and liquid frisket to arrive from Blick. I was surprised how quickly I ran out!

FYI, if you want perfection don't work with these inks, at least not in this manner. There will invariably be imperfections here and there. As Vivi at the gallery says, "it's the hand of the artist". Much like watercolor, these inks work best if left to go their own way to some extent.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Bug Me ~ a new series

Spring is coming and it looks like Mamas' got her ink on again. I finally have a new direction and it's about time, too. 2015 kicked my behind health-wise and I'm still dealing with the aftermath. It's difficult for me to sit for any length of time at my work area because of severe arthritis in my spine and I wound up losing all my forward momentum. This past week I told myself I will paint two bugs every day no matter how I feel and so far I'm doing it. And it feels good. I just love bugs and I love alcohol ink so this series makes perfect sense to me.

I'm using the frisket film still which allows me to pour the inks to my bugs with abandon. Occasionally I use a little liquid masque as well. I'm only limited by my imagination. In addition to the alcohol ink I've been embellishing a few of my bugs with Brilliance Archival pearlescent inks .  
Jo Ann's was having a sale on these ink pads and I couldn't resist.

All the paintings are small (5" x 7") and are surprisingly labor intensive. If anyone wishes to give this a go let me give you some tips.

  1. Make sure your working Yupo is completely covered by the frisket film. Otherwise the inks have a way of sneaking underneath and winding up in areas they shouldn't.
  2. When applying the film be sure to leave no creases or bubbles, again for the reason listed above.
  3. Be sure to keep a sharp blade in your Exacto knife for clean cuts. The moment the blade starts to drag change it.
  4. When cutting out the shapes fight the urge to bare down too hard on the blade. You don't want to cut through the Yupo. A light hand on the handle of the knife helps.
  5. You can draw on matte frisket film to give yourself guide lines if you wish. 
  6. After you've made your cuts hold the Yupo up to the light so you can see your cut lines. I miss spots all the time so I recommend double checking. Also double check after you've removed the Yupo from your cut shapes and before you start inking. Frisket film tears easily and some little pieces might get left behind.  
  7. Work as clean as possible. Nothing is more heartbreaking than a big ink smudge on a new ink painting. This is one of the biggest challenges for me.
  8. Happy inking!