After my tutorial last week, I created the specific oval board shapes in the wood workshop as well as ordering around 10 rectangular MDF boards too. This was so I could create a series of experiments using the 4 new alcohol ink colours I had bought by Ranger (Tim Holtz), these included:

  • Rust
  • Latte
  • Lettuce
  • Espresso

Since discovering this medium, I immediately wanted to use earther tones in order to represent the darker and more vulnerable side to my pieces. I was excited to see whether this would portray my concept deeper too, with the ‘dirtier’ colours mixing together.

I also prepped all of the MDF boards with 3 layers of primer so that the ink wouldn’t sink in, however, wanted to test out what the alcohol ink would look like if used on different coloured and textured surfaces. Therefore, I painted a few of the rectangles black, some brown and some a mixture of white and grey. I still found that using the masking fluid was successful in areas with my last pieces so used that on 2 of the rectangles as well. It was interesting to see how the ink worked with the different colours as previously I have only used the white primer. Below are the 5 white backgrounds:

Using these white backgrounds first made me understand the intensity and pigment that the inks were going to be, therefore, I could work out how much I was going to need to use on the darker shaded backgrounds. I have also included a video of the separation created by the ink and the alcohol as I feel its useful in understanding how the ink moves on the surface.

I then mixed white and black unevenly as to create grey streaks on two of the boards. Below are the 2 grey backgrounds:

Out of all the backgrounds I tested out, I feel as thought these were the most successful. The white backgrounds have always been too artificial, but the grey allows the ink to be seen but dulls down the intensity that the white background held. It slightly reminds me of rust of metal gates or fences etc.

I used two shades of brown to see which one worked better (raw umber and burnt sienna) and below are the 2 brown backgrounds:

For the first image, I actually spilt some masking fluid over the top of the brown acrylic once it had dried so rubbed it off and it left a mark where it had stripped the paint away. I thought this would be quite fun to work with so repeated this process several times before applying the ink, the end result however I wasn’t so keen on. I do feel that the raw umber background worked better than the burnt sienna but feel that could have just been chance with the ink.

I knew I wanted to go from the extreme of the white to the black so below are the 3 black backgrounds:

I tested using the ‘middle’ alcohol ink which is a white shade however is quite pigmented so mixes well with the other inks. This allowed for some inks to blend into the dark background and others to stand out. Overall, I feel that the black background was also quite successful and produced a better atmosphere and appeal than the bright white ones.

I then wanted to use my 3 oval boards I had made, so used specifically the rust colour as the main shade on most of them. However, once creating them I realised that using the white primer as the background made them too white again so am not sure whether to keep them as they are or choose the grey/black colour instead. I have attached these 3 below:

Next, I would like the focus on layering the unpredictably, so possibly going back into the smaller pieces to see what would happen if I used more natural processes on them to correspond to my continuous approach to using the weather. I am definitely going to create more boards as the project goes on as I start to think about what I want my finished pieces to be like.