View Full Version : Coleus, demo, Acrylic inks.

Charlie's Mum
09-17-2009, 11:12 AM
This was painted for the current week's WDE in the AMAE forum - link in my signature if you need to understand the event and the forum!:D
The reference was supplied by Artastic - Bonnie.

I used W&N w/colour paper, 140 lbs, which I stretch because it will get very wet with this method. 1/4 sheet, approx 12 x16 inches.

The ref:

Stage 1: wet paper and drop in pure ink colours, approximately where I'd like them to be for the finish! Move board around to encourage spread then add food wrap (cling film in the UK, saran wrap in US?). I moved the film to try to create the semblance of stems and broken leaf areas.
Leave to dry thoroughly.

The colours are more subdued once dry and the film removed but already some of the organic shapes I was after are evident:

The next stage is to start the light pen drawing - I use a sepia Pitt pen, fine, but any waterproof pen will do .... I wanted to keep this light but if you want to have the pen work more in evidence, use a stronger line and or weight/size of pen.
Full size .................................................................................... Detail
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Sep-2009/30494-ink_drawing.jpg ** http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Sep-2009/30494-ink_drawing_2_detail.jpg

I then started to add colour and shape, building the strength with layers, sometimes the same colour, sometimes different ones.
Working wet into damp areas allows some spread and some hard edges, so around the edge of a leaf I dampen (practice for amount of wetness needed!) then add the colour.
This was the 2 hour mark where I needed to let WDE'ers see how far I'd got in the allotted time!


After a total of about 3.5 hours, continuing to build colour and shape and developing the composition,I arrived at this:


I usually try to scan rather than photo the final piece because the colours are truer. With this size, it involves a number of scans and 'stitching' together, but I do get some rather nice crops when doing this - I quite like the results here and can use them for cards etc!
See what you think!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Sep-2009/30494-bottom_crop_wc.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Sep-2009/30494-right_crop_wc.jpg

09-17-2009, 12:10 PM
Maureen, this had outstanding results!! Thank you for taking us along for the adventure! Beautiful!!


09-17-2009, 06:15 PM
Thank you so much for this post!

Is there a reason why you use a waterproof pen, rather than a pencil?

Vivien Maloney
09-18-2009, 06:36 AM
Thanks Maureen for this great demonstration. The finished result is wonderful! I've added this post to my Favorites.


Charlie's Mum
09-18-2009, 02:44 PM
Thank you Viv - wow! ... favourited! :D

Gillian - thank you too.
Using a pen is entirely personal - I prefer drawing with it as pencil over inks is shiney and can get dirty!
I could use a non-waterproof pen, and sometimes do if I want the ink line to bleed.

09-18-2009, 08:33 PM
Wonderful technique - thanks for sharing. Are the ink colors used just for the background, or throughout the painting? Any watercolors used?

Charlie's Mum
09-19-2009, 08:52 AM
Thank you Kathy.

This is acrylic inks throughout - wouldn't like to try w/c on top of them - they seal the paper just as regular, heavier acrylics do - these are just fluid ones! :) The beauty of them, for me, is that w/c techniques can be used, and used much more easily than with the regular acrylics, because the inks/fluid one are such heavily saturated colour.

09-19-2009, 12:48 PM
Maureen, fantastic painting - the colour shines through.

Thanks for showing the demo, makes me want to immediately get those inks which I've been meaning to for quite some time. You make it look so easy.

09-19-2009, 02:17 PM
Maureen, this is amazing! I love it. You did so many crazy things and they all worked perfectly, that coleus is shimmering with light and color yet true to the plant. I'm awed. This time I'm just stunned. Cool idea using the inks and then pen and then watercolor, it's so beautiful.

Charlie's Mum
09-19-2009, 06:56 PM
Thank You Marion! - I think you'd like the inks. :D
Robert -thanks for looking and commenting - no watercolours though - all in the inks. ;)

Terry Wynn
09-20-2009, 10:45 PM
This is gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your process.


Charlie's Mum
09-28-2009, 12:27 PM
Thanks Terry - and sorry to be tardy in replying :o :)

09-29-2009, 12:41 AM
Thanks, I've been wanting to try something like this. You certainly set the bar high!

09-29-2009, 09:04 AM
thanks for the demo! I am so glad you did this, as I have alot of trouble with acrylic inks, you did a wonderful job of my ref!

Charlie's Mum
09-29-2009, 10:13 AM
Thank you cj and Bonnie :D

cj - you could try this with w/colour if you haven't already - the difficulty would probably arise when you try the painting of layers after the background is dry. On the other hand, with w/c you can lift out! But do try it and shout if you need help!:D

Bonnie - you know I'm always around if you need more explanation etc! ;)

03-18-2014, 06:44 PM
Maureen this is beautiful. Looks like I really have some work to do....learning, learning...
Thank you

03-18-2014, 09:33 PM
Maureen, this is gorgeous, thanks for sharing :thumbsup:

03-19-2014, 07:53 AM
Maureen.....a great demo and finished work....just beautiful...:thumbsup:

have you done this type of painting on a full sheet?.....140Lb or 300lb?....


Lady Carol
03-19-2014, 01:16 PM
very pretty. You have a knack with those inks.

03-21-2014, 06:25 PM
What a beautiful burst of color Mum... You are so good with the inks.. Love it! :clap:.. The crops are great too...wonderful idea to use them for cards.

03-25-2014, 06:01 PM
I Love It!!!!!!!!

03-25-2014, 08:41 PM
Maureen, love this demo and the bright colors that you get with the inks. Never tried the alcohol inks or even have them but it sure gives some beautiful effects. Thank you for sharing.

03-25-2014, 09:08 PM
Fantastic! I really enjoyed seeing the process photos. I haven't yet tried liquid inks, but the clear, transparent, gem-like quality is surely tempting. :)

03-25-2014, 09:12 PM
WOW! Gorgeous colors, and thank you for sharing the process photos. Amazing!

Charlie's Mum
03-28-2014, 07:56 AM
Oh! I didn't realise this thread had been revived! It's from 2009!!! But thank you for the comments everyone, they're much appreciated!

blue - I haven't worked on full size sheets for years - except for a pencil drawing/portrait - also about 5/6 years ago!

03-28-2014, 02:00 PM
Excellent painting and demo. Thank you for posting.

03-29-2014, 11:59 AM
This is Beautiful, thank you for sharing your process.

04-03-2014, 01:44 PM
Oh so lovely! I grow coleus from seed every year. I have a coleus that I believe is the same variety as the coleus in your beautiful painting. It is a hybrid so it produces no seeds for me. Instead I take a cutting every year and keep the plant going on and on that way. Thanks for the step by step tutorial.

04-03-2014, 05:58 PM
Maureen, Amazing! Lots of expression in these leaves. Thanks for posting your steps.

04-06-2014, 03:04 PM
Wow! Such beautiful bright colors! And yes, those crops will make great note cards! I am very impressed by this!

Vivien Maloney
04-14-2014, 10:59 PM
Maureen, gosh was it all those years ago!
I still love this thread and yes it's still one of my favourites!:clap:

04-23-2014, 01:27 AM
wow this is wonderful

Delmus Phelps
04-24-2014, 12:51 AM
That's incredible! I think I'm going to adapt the technique with oils. Glazing is a lot of fun. Love the colors. beautiful piece of work.

Charlie's Mum
04-24-2014, 12:52 PM
Thank you so much everyone ..... I keep forgetting about this old thread - it's so nice that you take the time to appreciate it :)

Delmus - I'm honoured! If you try this with oils, I do hope you share it here - would love to see the results:)

05-07-2014, 12:54 PM
Fabulous painting. You are a master at these inks. I would love to try them.
Keep showing us "how it's done."

05-07-2014, 01:36 PM
Thank you for your wonderful demo. Your use of vibrant colors is just as beautiful, if not more beautiful, than the original photo. Your use of inks has given me the courage to go that route with my paintings, which add more perspective and character. Kathleen, Sarasota, FL

05-07-2014, 11:46 PM
Maureen, I guess this is a few days later!!
But, had to tell you, I was thrilled to see someone honor the peasant, COLEUS!
It really should be the Painter's Flower, because it is the leaves that have all the colors! This was a fascinating demo. Hope you sold long ago for mucho money...
Thanks for sharing, is Very Beautiful ......

Charlie's Mum
05-08-2014, 06:08 PM
Thanks again for looking and commenting on this old thread!

Willy - nice to have a plant appreciated!;) - they are indeed, beautiful! I think it's still in a folder somewhere :eek:

Kathleen - welcome to the forum and to WC! - if I can help, just send me a message!:)

Maria, thanks .... I'll have to think of another plant for a demo again!:lol:

05-09-2014, 01:43 AM
Beautiful work. Thank you for the demo

Steve Matthews
05-09-2014, 03:59 AM
Wow, I really like this, I love bright colors used properly and they give it such life, I'm going to give color a try "Bright Colors"

05-09-2014, 04:34 AM
Great painting, interesting technique! Thank you for showing.


Charlie's Mum
05-09-2014, 08:45 AM
Thank you Donna, Steve and Brigitte ....... Steve, do give it a try - either in Acrylics or if the subject is plant-based, here in Florals/Botanicals.:)