I couldn’t sit down and draw these kind of organic squiggles, that look like the bark of a tree, like a dry riverbed, like the craggy contours of a rock. These intricate organic details take serendipity to shape in all the unexpected, uncontrolled ways that makes mixed media appear magic to me.
Like a lot of folk I’ve been getting parcels in the mail of stuff I’d ordinarily get from the shops until the upside down of 2020 changed everything. With every parcel I get a bunch of free art making materials, corrugated card & packing paper, bubble wrap & tissue paper. It all gets recycled in some fashion, most often becoming fodder for my studio hoards.
Tissue paper is especially fun, and today I wanted to use the texture of scrumpled tissue as a kind of resist, to explore new ways to enhance these universal patterns.
I used gloss gel medium to stick the paper down. Making sure to get a some places flatter and some places super wrinkly to test this idea out to its fullest. Little torn bits layer up and fill in the gaps and very flat parts.
The gloss gel, once dried, I figured would work as a resist against watercolor ink. But for an extra layer of resist I also used a couple of pinky-magenta oil pastels to skim across the ridges of the dried tissue before dripping on the ink.
I love these intensely pigmented inks by Dr PH Martin (in Magenta + Red-Violet) but I think you’d get the same effect with any drawing ink or watercolor paint (I must experiment more to find out – watch this space!)
I wet the surface with water before the ink and encourage it to find its way through the rivulets of texture with a loose floppy brush. I might have been a bit heavy handed in all the excitement here, but I dabbed up the too much and the patterns revealed themselves again.
I think this would look amazing with a bit of metallic something in the mix to give it some twinkle, so I might give that a try next!
This is the process, and how they all turned out!
“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months
Every month this year I am making a series of mixed media pieces in just one color. At the end of the year I’ll combine them into one big multicolored work.
I’d love for you to join me. TWELVTY is open to everyone, and better yet, it’s free!
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