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Old 08-01-2005, 06:26 AM
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Charlie's Mum Charlie's Mum is offline
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Lightbulb AUGUST 2005 CLASSROOM: The Brilliance of Acrylic Inks.

I have always been excited by colour – I think the term ‘Eye candy’ was coined especially for people like me. Colour cards in paint stores, embroidery silks and wools on display, all are very eye-catching and inspiring.
One of the reasons I enjoy using gouache and acrylics is because of the intensity of the colour and the huge range of tones available: yet I also love the effects water colours can give, so I was delighted when I read late last year about acrylic inks. Here was something to give me the brilliance and permanence of colour which could be coupled with many of the techniques of watercolour. I ordered some, and hey presto! I was hooked!

The first I read about them was an article by Liz Seward Relfe in The Artist magazine where she was demonstrating her painting of flowers. She achieved such luminosity and clarity, I obviously had to try!

I must state firmly, I am no expert! I’m still in the learning process with these inks but so many friends here on WC! have asked about the medium, this seems a good opportunity to share my little bit of knowledge gained so far.

I shall be delighted if any of you can join in and also share your experiences …….. together we’ll make progress!

The inks I use are Speedry Magic Color, made in England but I know other manufacturers also make the inks – W&N, Daler Rowney – I haven’t used liquid acrylics from other makers, but they may be similar; perhaps those who use them may tell us.

They are semi-transparent generally, although the white is opaque, and come in 28ml dropper bottles. Because they are highly saturated colour, only a few drops are needed, therefore, they seem to be quite economical.

I began with a selection of colours, two yellows, orange, two reds, violet, cobalt blue and green, added white (I had mistakes in mind!!) and have also added cyan blue. There are still another dozen or more to collect!
They can be used with brush, pen, airbrush or any other tool you can think might be appropriate!
I use nylon brushes, pipettes, sponges, old toothbrush, cling film (food wrap),bits of card, cocktail sticks - whatever I can lay my hands on at times!

I work on watercolour paper, at least 140lbs – I’ve tried a variety of makes, I prefer it with some texture, but not rough, and because I often use a lot of water, I stretch my paper first.

So, here’s the set up!



You can see the state the palette is in – the ink dries and is permanent!
It doesn’t wash off, neither does it dissolve with further colour.
I also collect little plastic liners from lids of coffee jars, they make good palettes because we’re dealing with small quantities.
The little bar of soap to keep brushes clean – mustn’t let the colour dry on them; wet wipes for hands, paper towel to remove excess water from brushes during use.


This colour chart is something we should all do!




Just in case the names are too small to read, they are, in order from the left :-
Astral Yellow. Process Yellow, Omega Orange, Solar scarlet, Mars Red, Delta Violet, Cobalt Blue, Process Cyan and Gamma green. There is also Lunar White, which is opaque.

Colour chart #2 shows the colours overlaid with each other. This will give you some indication of just how transparent some of the colours are. These colours were painted from lightest to darkest, but the effect of painting lighter colours over darker can have interesting effects which are very useful. (Those of you used to watercolours will know that this is not easy with soluble watercolour paint!)



The third colour chart gives some indication of the wet colours mixing together.
I did a whole sheet, but part of it will suffice to give you an idea.



The first column is Astral yellow mixed with each of the other colours in turn.
To allow ‘bleeding’ the colours must be wet – and they dry very quickly!
I don’t know how many of you have colour charts, but with each new set of materials, I prepare charts to see how colours behave with each other, what their properties are etc. It’s worth knowing in advance how strong a colour is, which colours go well together and which combination to avoid!

__________________________________________________ ________

Shall we look at some paintings then?

I think this Azalea was the first painting I did using the inks, so there was some experimentation here!
The reference was in one of the WDEs of February this year, by Kyle - a beautiful azalea just waiting to be painted!

Ref:

In the sketchbook, I first studied the flower (file; WIP, initial drawing), exploring with pencil then pen.



The next stage was to do a pen outline drawing on watercolour paper (Hahnemuhle Brittania matt), approx 8 x 10ins (19 x 25cms).



I then soaked the paper and dropped in colour – cobalt, mars red and green, and moved the board around so the colours would bleed and merge together, but trying to keep some areas light or untouched near the centre.
Whilst still wet, I used the cling film to cover the entire piece, scrunched it around a bit and left it to dry.
The colours will dry lighter because of all the water.
After drying, I re-soaked, dropped more of the same colours, shuffled around and added the cling film again. I tried to make shapes to suggest foliage.
This was also allowed to dry.
(My apologies for not having a scan of this stage, I wasn’t intending a WIP at this point!)

Painting the flower came next – I love that bit!
The colours were applied in layers using mars red and the violet. Where extra depth was needed I added touches of cobalt. Some of the light areas in the central section needed the opaque white – but most of this has just the hint of the other colours mixed in.
The stem, sepals and stamens have astral yellow, plus the other colours overlaid to build up the browny/greeny colours there. The reds in the petals were enhanced with scarlet to deepen the magenta colour.
To finish off, I picked out foliage-like shapes in the background using the green, violet and blue with a little bit of negative painting or enhancement of some of the ‘accidental’ shapes made by the cling film.
And this was the result:



I was practising cutting oval mounts, and this seemed to suit! I have also, since February, learned a better way of saving this kind of work (in PSP), so it's usually clearer


Is that enough to be getting on with?

I'll be back later with the next work
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Forum projects: Plant Parade projects in Florals/Botanicals, Weekend Drawing Events in the All Media Arts Events forum. Different Strokes in the Acrylics Forum.
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Old 08-01-2005, 08:40 AM
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Re: AUGUST CLASSROOM: The Brilliance of Acrylic Inks.

Hi Maureen,
I don't have acrylic inks, but this is very interesting all the same. So if you don't mind I'll just sit in the back of the classroom and look and listen.
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Old 08-01-2005, 05:17 PM
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Charlie's Mum Charlie's Mum is offline
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Re: AUGUST CLASSROOM: The Brilliance of Acrylic Inks.

Of course Connie - and hi
(We'll just pretend all your colourful pics are really in inks! )
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Old 08-01-2005, 07:12 PM
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Re: AUGUST CLASSROOM: The Brilliance of Acrylic Inks.

Quote:
One of the reasons I enjoy using gouache and acrylics is because of the intensity of the colour and the huge range of tones available: yet I also love the effects water colours can give, so I was delighted when I read late last year about acrylic inks.


This part had me curious, then I saw the brilliance of your beautiful flower painting am in the process of convincing myself I need some inks!
Thanx for that! LOL!

I started painting with watercolours and love the way the layers build up and blend but have really enjoyed the intensity of acrylics, this seems to be the middle medium.

I'll be following along, reading, soaking it all in Maureen and who knows....If I manage to convince myself in time, I may even post an acrylic ink painting of my own right here!.......Watch this space!

Few questions to help me decide if you don't mind:

What is the clean up process?
Do you mix them with a medium or water or nothing?
Are skin tones such as Sienna, ochres and perm reds available?
Can they be used on the same surfaces as acrylic paints? Such as woods, canvas, etc....
What is the drying time? Longer or shorter than acrylic paints?

I'm sure there are more questions but I shall leave it there for now...Hope you don't mind being bombarded.
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Old 08-01-2005, 08:55 PM
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Leslie Pz Leslie Pz is offline
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Re: AUGUST CLASSROOM: The Brilliance of Acrylic Inks.

Wow! Wonderful!!!! Expert or no expert, this was nice to read!

Love the work, themselves! The backgrounds are wonderful and think the detail in the flowers are amazing.

Thank you so much, for writing this!
-Les
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Old 08-01-2005, 10:01 PM
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Re: AUGUST CLASSROOM: The Brilliance of Acrylic Inks.

Where did my comment go?

I know I commented after Connie..................

I think I said something like you have made this look so easy.
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Old 08-02-2005, 07:09 AM
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Re: AUGUST CLASSROOM: The Brilliance of Acrylic Inks.

Hi
just lurking about and saw this - I'm another one who loves bright 'eye candy'. Have been toying with oil pastels,watercolour and watercolour pencils and was thinking about adding some acrylics. The inks look great - think I will have to try them - the colours make my mouth water
Did you buy them locally or mail order - I'm located in Newcastle but I noticed the SAA sell them along with a video.
Are they similar to the Dr PH Martins Hydrus Watercolors which I've seen on USA sites?
I'm looking forward to seeing some more pictures
Sharon
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Old 08-02-2005, 08:07 AM
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Re: AUGUST CLASSROOM: The Brilliance of Acrylic Inks.

Maureen -

I'm so excited to see this!! I didn't get to log in much yesterday, so I wasn't the first to sign up...but I will right now!! I think I'll head on over to my fave art supply website and see what I can find...I HAVE to try these!!

Thanks!
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Old 08-02-2005, 09:22 AM
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Charlie's Mum Charlie's Mum is offline
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Re: AUGUST CLASSROOM: The Brilliance of Acrylic Inks.

Quote:
What is the clean up process?
Do you mix them with a medium or water or nothing?
Are skin tones such as Sienna, ochres and perm reds available?
Can they be used on the same surfaces as acrylic paints? Such as woods, canvas, etc....
What is the drying time? Longer or shorter than acrylic paints?

Hi Anita -

Clean up - brushes, water and soap - as with acrylics.
Palette - suffer it, once dried it won't budge!
Clothes - ditto, so be prepared!

Mix with water to dilute - to strength required.
I bought a bottle that says "Dilutant and Laquer" - I used it once, the smell is so strong I thought I'd choke!!! - but the label said 'harmless'
So I use water only.

I can only speak for these inks as they're all I have, but-
Also available in the cataloge, ....Flesh, Golden Sand, Rust, Sepia and Earth Brown.

The only reds are the scarlet, mars red and process magenta, but other makes may have other reds.

I haven't tried wood or canvas - neither texture appeals to me for this medium - sorry!

What I did try was mountboard - unprimed, they soaked in too much and I wasn't happy, promed with gesso, the inks just lay on the top and took forever to dry - they also slid around a bit!

Drying time - depends how much water you use (as in w/c painting) and the humidity, but it's pretty fast.

Hi Sharon -

Quote:
Have been toying with oil pastels,watercolour and watercolour pencils and was thinking about adding some acrylics

If it helps, I find these much more controllable than OPs! I can get fine detail if nec, or looseness ..... a wide range, whereas OPs are like bulls' lugs to me!!!!!!! (Sorry to our friends across the pond, that's a local saying )
W/c pencils I also use, but I'm never really excited about the result! They're very convenient though - and inks are not for travelling (in MHO!)

Quote:
Did you buy them locally or mail order - I'm located in Newcastle but I noticed the SAA sell them....

I bought mine from SAA too - a good buy I thought! I didn't bother with the video, prefer to just find out!

Normal price for a set of eight inks is approx £19 - roughly $32 I think - at SAA, they're £18 for members ($30).

I haven't used the Dr Martins, so sorry, can't compare

Thank you Les and Carol - (Carol, I've lost posts too!!!!).

I'll be posting more works soon!

Watch this space
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Forum projects: Plant Parade projects in Florals/Botanicals, Weekend Drawing Events in the All Media Arts Events forum. Different Strokes in the Acrylics Forum.
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Old 08-02-2005, 07:23 PM
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Wayne Gaudon Wayne Gaudon is offline
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Re: AUGUST CLASSROOM: The Brilliance of Acrylic Inks.

this is lovely but I need another medium like I need a hole in the head .. ah, like I need another hole in my head .. LOL .. I will just keep an open eye this time round. I did try press ink once but it was very tough to handle
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Old 08-02-2005, 08:00 PM
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Re: AUGUST CLASSROOM: The Brilliance of Acrylic Inks.

Maureen, you are the best. I am so glad you are doing a classroom on your inks. I have several other brands, but have generally used them to write or do really small add-ons to other medium. I have Tri-art brand (about 2 dozen colours, I believe), a Canadian brand, and unfortunately discontinued here in the States, and the Speedball colours (tiny little eye dropper bottles) that I use with yes, a small brush or eyedropper. I think they have about a dozen or so very vibrant shades.

I did find one distributor of your brand, but haven't called them yet.
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Old 08-02-2005, 08:13 PM
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Re: AUGUST CLASSROOM: The Brilliance of Acrylic Inks.

o, Maureern, this is just inCREDible!!! i enjoyed playing with the cartridge inks last week or whenever it was... this would be terrific, having control of it, and choices of color!!... o my.... like someone already said: i need another project like another hole in the head.... EXCEPT i did just get some WONderful instruction books on drawing flowers at the local used book store..... hmmmmmmmmm.... i was trying dropping some w/c today, but it was just too wet, loose, nothing worked.... the intensity of these inks REALLY turns me on.... oops, yes, candy... i just got a pimple on my nose from looking at them!!!! and another clappie for your demo
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Old 08-02-2005, 09:10 PM
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Nitsa Nitsa is offline
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Re: AUGUST CLASSROOM: The Brilliance of Acrylic Inks.

Quote:
Hi Anita -

Clean up - brushes, water and soap - as with acrylics.
Palette - suffer it, once dried it won't budge!
Clothes - ditto, so be prepared!

Mix with water to dilute - to strength required.
I bought a bottle that says "Dilutant and Laquer" - I used it once, the smell is so strong I thought I'd choke!!! - but the label said 'harmless'
So I use water only.

I can only speak for these inks as they're all I have, but-
Also available in the cataloge, ....Flesh, Golden Sand, Rust, Sepia and Earth Brown.

The only reds are the scarlet, mars red and process magenta, but other makes may have other reds.

I haven't tried wood or canvas - neither texture appeals to me for this medium - sorry!

What I did try was mountboard - unprimed, they soaked in too much and I wasn't happy, promed with gesso, the inks just lay on the top and took forever to dry - they also slid around a bit!

Drying time - depends how much water you use (as in w/c painting) and the humidity, but it's pretty fast.


Maureen, thankyou so much for taking the time to answer my stampede of questioning....Very helpful indeed!

Glad to hear the SAA stock them too!

Have you ever tried a portrait with them?
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"Love art... Of all lies, it is the least untrue." - Gustave Flaubert, letter (1846)
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Old 08-02-2005, 09:31 PM
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Nitsa Nitsa is offline
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Re: AUGUST CLASSROOM: The Brilliance of Acrylic Inks.

Ooooh, just thought I'd share....For those of you in the UK they have a set of 8 here for just £13.40
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Old 08-02-2005, 09:59 PM
Margaret 59 Margaret 59 is offline
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Re: AUGUST CLASSROOM: The Brilliance of Acrylic Inks.

Hi Maureen, interesting classroom. I'm watching what goes on but still getting the hang of paint would you believe!!

Anita, I sent you a pm about Escoda paintbrushes that's obviously got lost so I wonder if you can remember the website you bought yours from??? They sounded a real bargain. Good to see you back!

Margaret

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