Let the Learning Begin!

My alcohol ink painting online class started just over a week ago, and since Dawn asked how it was going, I thought I would share with all of you. It’s a new way of creating for me, but has some resemblance to water color painting – an art I never did successfully manage.

The first week’s lesson dealt with learning about the inks, how some colors have more alcohol content than others and will, therefore, flow more readily. The lighter the colors, the more alcohol. Included in this lesson was adding texture using alcohol mist, cotton balls, cotton swabs, bits of felt – pretty much whatever was on hand that you felt like using. Our challenges were to play with the flow of the inks, and to add texture. My attempts with flow and texture looked like this:

2016-07-03 09.32.40
20160710_192637

20160710_192650

20160702_144439

Much of what I’ve done has been on 4″ x 4″ white ceramic tiles, because those can be cleaned off with alcohol and reused. I have a limited amount of Yupo paper, which is the “preferred” media – the only real requirements are that the media be nonporous – but have ordered more and will be using it more in future attempts.

Week two introduced more challenges – brushwork, lifting, and masking. The brushwork assignment was to create an apple, containing the flow of the inks to inside the lines. You will see that I was relatively successful, although there are some small places where I went outside the lines. Sometimes that’s okay, sometimes it’s not. My first attempt at the apple went like so:
2016-07-09 11.56.05

Then, a little more color:
2016-07-09 12.00.36

And some refining:
20160710_192711

I found lifting a little more difficult, and my first try was done on Yupo paper. Unlike ceramic tile, Yupo will stain a little from the inks, so your tree trunk will have a hint of color. In my attempt to make the lifting a little easier, I used lighter colors for my background, ending up with this:
2016-07-10 14.36.44

Fail. Not enough contrast. So I went to a 4 x 4 tile I had done earlier when practicing with flow, and added a tree:
2016-07-10 14.12.00

Better, I think. I was happy with this one. I used cotton swab and brushes – some aqua brushes I’d purchased, which have tubes into which you can add whatever liquid is appropriate for what you’re doing. I had played with them, adding alcohol first, then trying blending solution, but I found too much of the liquid was released and I needed more containment for what I was doing. I switched to simply using the brush, dipping the tip into alcohol or blending solution as needed to lift the inks from the surface.

I have not yet attempted the masking assignment – that will be next.

I’m having fun – loving the concept that you’re never to old to learn something new.

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About Carol

I'm me - nothing unusual, just me. Widowed, 2 grown children who are my best friends, 2 dogs, 1 cat, retired, loving being retired. I am woman, I am strong.
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27 Responses to Let the Learning Begin!

  1. Dawn says:

    Loved your ‘flow and texture’ tiles and absolutely loved that last one with the tree. Amazing. Hope you are keeping some of them and not cleaning them off and starting over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carol says:

      Yes, I’m keeping the last one with the tree and one other – the second flow/texture one with the white space.

      Like

      • dawnkinster says:

        So is there a fixitive that you put on it to keep it stable when you’re done?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Carol says:

        If you’re working on Yupo, you can frame it behind glass. Ceramic tiles need to be sprayed with a clear protective coating, like Krylon acrylic spray, but from what I’ve read the inks might still scratch off. I might spray one I’m not crazy about and try it as a coaster to see what happens.

        Like

  2. Wonderful, and what fun! Are you naturally artistic? I always think it would be fun to take some painting classes, but I have no natural talent whatsoever. I love your creations, especially the first, fourth and the next to last. šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carol says:

      i guess perhaps I am a little bit naturally artistic – at least I’ve always been interested in pursuing artistic endeavors. I took one class in oil painting many years ago, and did quite a bit of it for several years, but the cleanup was such a pain in the neck. Then I discovered a computer program called Painter and spent a few years playing with artistic endeavors on the computer. I am not nearly as talented as I would like to be though.

      Like

    • dawnkinster says:

      I found a community ed water color class once, called “experimental watercolors” and it was great. It wasn’t that we were trying to do photographic painting. We were taught how watercolors flow, and techniques to use with them. You didn’t have to have any natural talent, you could just experiment and see what happened. It was great fun. My mom used to teach art too, and people would tell her “I can’t draw a straight line.’ and she’d reply:. “There are no straight lines in nature nor in art.”

      So I encourage you to look around, see what you find, an opportunity to take an art class is out there!

      Liked by 1 person

      • That sounds like a fun class, Dawn. There are art classes offered around here, and I’ve always felt intimidated as I feel I have no talent at all. I really will have to try one out! Thanks for the encouragement!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Fun to watch the progression.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. loisajay says:

    I think you are doing great! And on 4×4 tiles–that is a pretty small surface to be working on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carol says:

    I failed to tell you about the class instructor. She is Sheryl Williams and her website is https://sherylwilliamsart.com/classes-online/

    Like

  6. Phyllis Lake says:

    The first one reminded me the Mediteranean and the third of moss on rocks.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the abstract style and the way the colors and lines blur into each other. So glad you are having fun with the online class even though your community course collapsed. Have fun and keep sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Heather says:

    I’d call this a raging success! You’re already making beautiful art (and I disagree that the first tree was a failure!), and you’re only a couple weeks in šŸ™‚ I like the idea of being able to paint on tile and reuse it. You could keep any favorites you wanted (I’m sure there’s a way to make that permanent?), but you’ve also got a fresh “slate” at the ready too.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You are cooking, Carol. (I’ve heard of cooking with wine, but you’ve done well with one hundred proof alcohol content!) I really think you have a lot of artistic talent. That last tile in particular is complex and compelling–very beautiful work. Keep us posted!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. jay53 says:

    Yep, that does look fun! I like the last one best. Nicely balanced composition and I love the colour combinations! I’d like to find time to do more art…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dawn says:

    AND I saw some tiles for sale on Etsy.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh my blessed word ā€” they’re beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. suzicate says:

    Really cool, absolutely love the tree!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Lisa says:

    These are so fun! I’m happy you are enjoying this new venture. The colors are fabulous. Will you frame any of them?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carol says:

      I have one 4×4 tile I’m have mounted on cork and have on the coffee table, and a couple I’ve put mounting tape on and hung on a pillar wall in my dining area. Eventually I want to do some larger for a small wall in a bedroom.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. pattisj says:

    I just watched a video today of alcohol inks on a ceramic tile. I love your tile with the tree! Can’t wait to see what the masking does. I hope you’ll share. Your apple was quite good, too!

    Like

  16. leendadll says:

    now i have to read back and catch up on “alcohol inks”. I think the first samples would make great scarfs (they look like watercolor painted scarfs to me). And your last tile looks great! Good for you for trying something… I’m in an casual online photo workshop and finding the time to take pics has been hard. But the real intent is just to get us to think about photographing things differently and that part has worked, even if I don’t get as far as taking the pics.

    Like

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