Tag Archives: walnut husk ink

Randomness. 2

9 May

d finish

I’m carrying on experimenting with being as random as I can, which isn’t easy for me! I worked on another sheet of vintage watercolour paper from a Winsor & Newton block I was given by a friend, it’s about size A2. I did one a few days ago and I think I’ll do a series and see what happens. I used my home-made walnut husk ink, firstly applying a light wash and when that was dry, brushing the neat ink over with a large, flat brush. I like the way the ink pools at the edge of the brushstrokes.

 

Here are the two that I’ve done so far. I don’t know what I might end up doing with them, at the moment I’m just trying to keep a open mind and be as free as possible.

e one and two

 

Vintage Paper And Liquid Silk

2 May

d second wash

Another development in my current phase of random experimentation. A dear friend has given me a lot of vintage art supplies, mostly lovely papers, and I’m putting them to good use. This is a large block of water colour paper, the kind that where all the sheets are stuck together which saves you from having to stretch individual pieces. It’s quite a big one, about 20 x 14 inches. I don’t usually use watercolour, especially on a large scale, so I watered down some of my home-made walnut ink and brushed it onto the paper, leaving it to dry overnight. Then I took some undiluted walnut ink, a rich chocolatey sepia that flows like liquid silk and poured some onto the paper.

 

At first I had a strong urge to try and make something representational, but I resisted that and brushed across the paper randomly, using a 2.5 inch household painting brush. The ink holds the impression of the brush, which I like. Once it’s dry. I’ll peel it off and have a think about what I will do with it. Probably something with conté crayon and/or soft pastels. Maybe even oil bars.

Please click here to find out how to make walnut ink.

Time To Play

24 Jan

picture 6

As any self-employed person will know, there’s a lot of paperwork and admin, business development and marketing to do and the past couple of months have been full of everything except creative work. If it wasn’t for my daily artblog, most days recently would have passed by without me doing any art work. Except for a couple of days a month with art collective 15 Hundred Lives where we hang out at the Creative Bubble artspace in the city centre to work together and have a bit of a play. It’s a relief to just start out with a germ of an idea and develop it for two days, trying out different materials, working and reworking without having to worry about meeting deadlines or working to a brief. It’s probably trivialising it to describe it as play, but the pressure’s off and it’s a chance to be totally creative, do what I like and see what happens.

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Last month I blogged about the drawings I did in Creative Bubble from sketches I made in the catacombs in Malta. I used one of these as the basis for the much larger drawing I did this weekend, working with the walnut husk ink I made a while ago, applying it with large brushes and a piece of natural sponge. When it was dry I drew on top with a piece of carbon to get some dark definition and then brushed the carbon lines with a largeish brush and water to soften and merge them. I also incorporated a nude male figure from one of my sketchbooks. I’ve been going to life drawing for years and have a pile of sketchbooks filled with hundreds, maybe thousands of life drawings and I am always looking for ways to use these drawings. I don’t know where I’m going with this yet, maybe I never will, but it’s just great to do some creative play once in a while.

Creative Bubble Artspace is supported by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Swansea BID to improve the city centre.

Catacombs & Xmas

24 Dec

catacombs

Following on from yesterday’s post, here are a couple more sepia drawings I did based on sketches from the St. Paul’s Catacombs in Rabat in Malta. The originals are very slight, quick scribbles. I wanted to try working with the walnut husk ink I made a few weeks ago. I don’t normally work with wet media so it’s good practice for me. I used several different sizes of sable brushes and watered the ink down to make a variety of paler washes. I’m really enjoying this and looking forward to seeing where it takes me.

Tomorrow is Xmas so have a Cool Yule and I hope the day is lovely for you. xxx

Sepia Catacombs

23 Dec

cata 6

 

 

You never know where and when you’ll get inspiration from. Husb and I visited Malta last week and I carried my sketchbooks, scribbling as we trekked across the lovely island. But it wasn’t until late in our stay that we visited the early Christian catacombs in Rabat. They are extraordinary and I felt a strong urge to draw, but at the same time the atmosphere was so powerful and ……. maybe sacrosanct …… that I felt inhibited and only managed a couple of quick sketches. Husb felt inhibited from taking photographs there too. I don’t know, maybe it seemed disrespectful to act like tourists in a mass grave.

 

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Anyway, a few days after we got back, I was working with my colleagues in the 15 Hundred Lives art collective at the Creative Bubble artspace and I decided to experiment with the walnut husk ink I made a few weeks ago. I used one of those very quick catacomb sketches as a starting point and just started to develop the drawing with a brush and ink, building up layers in the rich sepia and pale washes onto a piece of Fabriano Accademica paper. It’s a new thing for me, I really enjoyed doing it and I’m pleased with what I have so far. I’ll be doing some more experimenting over the next few weeks – there are some ideas fermenting in there! There’s a lot of marks in the piece and that reflects the reality of the catacombs which have very rough, textured surfaces left by the simple chisels they used to hack out the tombs from the soft limestone.

New male nude

27 Nov

alan nov

 

Just back from life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop where I did some experimenting with my new natural media, walnut sepia ink (I made this a few weeks ago) and Bideford Black, kindly sent to me by artists in North Devon. I was focussed on trying out these media to see what they can do. It was a nice surprise to find out that the Bideford Black is semi-soluble in water but more soluble in the walnut ink, possibly because the ink contains 20% alcohol (surgical spirit) so maybe it’s acting as a solvent? I used Fabriano Accademica paper and applied the ink with a sable brush.

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