Friday, January 25, 2013

Cat Makes Daniel Smith Cover

Well, I'll be darned. I entered  A Cat of Color in the Daniel Smith Annual Art contest back in late September 2012 and with the help of the voting public and especially friends who voted (you know who you are) I managed to win a place with the weekly winners, then the monthly winners and am now in the running for one of the annual prizes. The final judging won't be done by the public but by a judging panel. I am also excited to see an image of my entry on the cover of Daniel Smith's Spring catalog among a collection of other monthly winners. I'm not sure when the final judging will take place. Possibly May or June 2013. I'll just have to cross fingers and wait.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Another Doob Cat w/GIMP

When I'm stuck or between projects I love to play with Mr Doob ,a free online digital art program. This is my latest 'Doob Cat'. I'm getting better at drawing with my computer mouse. I'm also getting better using the editing tools in GIMP, a photo editing program that has many of the capabilities of Adobe Elements. GIMP is also available online for free download. The cat was 'drawn' in black on a white background with the various brushes/effects that Doob offers, saved to My Pictures and then opened in GIMP where I added color and more shape with GIMP's various tools and brushes. The first image is how my cat looked after I initially created it in Mr Doob. The second image is the results after adding color and effects with GIMP.  (hot link)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Faux Batik Sunflower


This will be my last alcohol ink painting for awhile, probably until Spring. The alcohol has begun affecting my throat and I fear it will also affect my lungs if I continue. Winter is not a good time for me to be working with strong fumes w/o proper ventilation and opening a window in the weather we're experiencing right now wouldn't be prudent. I will be picking up my watercolor brushes again and I have a few references that I've been anxious to get started on. Still, I will miss working with the inks. They are just so darn addictive.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Batik Dragonfly ~ alcohol ink on waxed paper


Instead of using India ink, I thinned black Speedball printer ink with tap water to a heavy cream consistency and used that in it's place. I think I like the Speedball ink better and it's far more economical. One heaping teaspoon of Speedball made a lot of ink.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Playing with Mr Doob Again...

I can't help's so much fun. I created this little vignette of three sleeping cats with Mr Doob , then put it into Gimp photo editor and played some more. This is what I came up with on the fly. I really should start another painting but I've been too easily distracted today.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Demo ~ faux batik on waxed paper w/alcohol ink

I've received requests to post a demonstration of this technique. I had hopes of doing a video demo but the image quality of the test videos I ran with my current camera weren't the greatest so I've done a photo demo instead.

1.) I suggest you cut your waxed paper no more than 1"- 1 1/2" larger than your backing paper. The backing paper is the substrate you'll be gluing your finished batik onto. 

2.) Crumple the waxed paper into a ball, smooth it out, then crumple once more. You want the little creases evenly distributed across your paper. Try to avoid long, straight creases.

3.) Image no. 3 shows the amount of crumpling I prefer.

4.) Ready for the India Ink. I use black India ink(full strength) and an old, stiff bristle brush to spread the ink. I suggest working on two layers of waxed paper underneath your painting to protect your work surface as the alcohol ink will bleed through. One tip: Slip a piece of white paper cut the size of your finished painting underneath both layers of protective waxed paper so you have a size guideline.

5.) The India ink has been spread out and at this point I wait a few minutes to allow the ink to settle into the creases before wiping away the excess with plain water and paper towels. As you can probably see, I also use my fingers to work the black ink into the creases.

6./7./7.1) A few views of the waxed paper after the excess ink has been wiped away. In view #7 you can see I slid a piece of 5" x 7" paper underneath so I know where the borders of my finished painting will be.

8.) If you choose a drawing to use for the painting it can also be placed underneath the waxed paper so it's visible. I used a black Micron .o8 pen to go over all my lines so they were easier to see.

9.) Once I'm ready to paint, I place a small bowl of rubbing alcohol and another of clean water nearby to wash my brushes after each use. Also for cleaning brushes when switching colors. I mix my own colors by dropping the alcohol inks onto the protective waxed paper and picking the ink up with my brush. Use inexpensive brushes for these paintings as alcohol ink isn't very healthy for your good sables, etc.

10.) My painting is now finished and is ready to be glued to the backing paper.

11.) I apply Mod Podge with an old brush to the backing paper(in this case, a piece of Yupo) in a thin, even coat...

12.) and position my painting over the Yupo, making sure it's placed exactly where I want it. Then I use a soft brayer to press it into the glue, working out any trapped air bubbles. I also check for any places that may need another dab of glue, usually the corners. Lastly, I use a pair of scissors to trim away the excess waxed paper and the painting is complete.

NOTE: The koi fish painting has been sold.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Faux Batik Tulips ~ alcohol ink on waxed paper

Here's my latest 'batik' painting. This time I tried a floral. Just some simple pink tulips and their foliage. I'm working small...all are approx. 5" x 7". I haven't mounted this one yet but I may try adhering it to Yupo rather than w/c paper this time. The w/c paper had a tendency to buckle from the moisture in the Mod Podge. I plan to do a photo demo of this technique for my next post.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Alcohol Ink on Waxed Paper ~ faux batik

I wanted to create a batik-like effect for this painting so I used crumpled waxed paper for this purpose. After crumpling the waxed paper I applied black India ink to one side, allowing the ink to settle into the 'crumples' before wiping away all the excess ink with plain water. When it was dry I flipped the paper over and used alcohol ink to create my painting. I then mounted it onto 140# hotpress w/c paper with Mod Podge, using a brayer to work out all the air bubbles. I'm calling this one 'Winter Aspens'.