I first came across, and started to experiment with this medium, about 20 years ago due to needing a much more vibrant liquid and fluid medium for my art residencies at Burton Agnes hall in Yorkshire, wonderful times.

inks

Some of you may remember my articles in Leisure Painter showing the results? Such stunning flower beds, areas of Delphiniums, daisies and glorious colours that were fine in delicate watercolours, but even better in oils, acrylics or pastels!

market vers 1 dev

I found that the F.W. series of inks used in conjunction with soft pastels, especially Unisons and the, cheaper, garish Inscribe on sale at the time, were ideal.

Burton agnes 1

I have since developed several interesting ways of using the inks both for use with pastels,

Some of you may remember my articles in Leisure Painter showing the results?

Burton agnes 2

Such stunning flower beds, areas of Delphiniums, daisies and glorious colours that were fine in delicate watercolours, but even better in oils, acrylics or pastels!

night city inks

I found that the F.W. series of inks used in conjunction with soft pastels, especially Unisons and the, cheaper, garish Inscribe on sale at the time, were ideal.

Firstly the inks are waterproof once dry, this has pluses and minuses!

PORTRAIT WC

If you are working wet into wet with them then you may require a spray diffuser or atomiser to keep your work wet until you are ready. The inks may be used in conjunction with watercolour, bearing in mind that they are permanent once dry.

demo liz

You may see me demonstrating this method in my introduction on my S.A.A. page? Equally watercolour can be made permanent, also, by adding acrylic medium to the water, sometimes very useful for a first wash that you do not wish to lift?

final girls flowers

They may be used on paper, card and even primed canvas where you can achieve watercolour wet in wet effects and then continue in mixed medium using gold leaf, acrylics, oils, even oils pastels over the top.

Remember that you can use oils over acrylics but not acrylics over oils! Your choice of paper will also assist with desired textural effects – e.g. rough watercolour paper for a snow scene or hot pressed for flowers.

I have many students come to me wishing to “loosen” up in style especially in watercolour and my method of working with the inks has many attaining not only that but doing their first abstracts and not taking the results to a figurative conclusion being happy with the work at that earlier stage. I will explain.

Rosie demo Delphiniums

Two tips – 1. Start loose and you can tighten up as you progress, you are in control, finishing whenever you wish. Start tight and you are limited. 2. Treat the work like a jigsaw, especially a complicated one that is a bit daunting. Simply try and keep the whole work progressing at the same rate over all.

Paint the right colours relevant one to another, in the right shapes in the right places and your work will simply appear as if by magic! Don’t worry about figures, animals etc. just treat them in the same way as if painting abstract facets of a jewel and they will appear.

inks & oils butterfly

I use this method and even achieve large complicated works of figures in flower beds without stress.

Back to the inks. For flowers and landscapes I use them wet into wet, VERY loosely as vibrant under painting for both depth and intensity of colour. Then using soft pastels over the top. Remember that soft pastels my also be used with water, not just dry, but blended and painted over this if you wish. That’s another lesson though.

ME 1

They may be painted with standard watercolour techniques if you wish and used with watercolour, see my painting of the Cuban sailing boats on a beach? Only a hint of pastel and white gouache needed. They may be used to glow through a background of sea or landscape, see my Barbados pastels where I have also used black chinagraph pencil.

Even a wash of deep purple on a hot pressed arches 140 lb. Will give you a lovely ground to work pastel over. The prices vary greatly and there are new brands on the market that my students are finding very good.

I hope that this helps you and gives you lots of new ideas. You may see the work on my website http://peterwoodarts.com or see me use them in my videos, many of which are free, on my youtube channel (over 200 films) http://www.youtube.com/user/faith6651

Step by step under painting in Acrylic Inks then using soft Pastels

Demmo 1

Demmo 2

Demmo 3

Demo final

Barbados

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