Monday, 18 May 2015

Wet in wet marks

In the last few days, while working to produce one mark a day in a special sketch book, I've been investigating the use of the wet in wet technique with various inks and with acrylic paint. This was not a new technique to me with water colours, but with inks and acrylics, the small pieces shown below are first attempts.

The first shows a heavy application of black acrylic dropped onto wet paper and left to spread and dry naturally to form an amoeba-like shape - high on drama and low on skill!

After several other slants on this idea that produced varying success (but that is what this is all about), I turned to a landscape theme, using black fountain pen ink (Quink for UK readers) dropped onto wet paper. I then pulled out various lines with the end of a brush to break the 'horizon'. The result seemed very reminiscent of many a Norfolk coast salt marsh ...

In the next, I used black Quink again, this time over-printed with Indian ink using a print block of mine to give a much more abstract result.

After that, I went back to the landscape theme, this time with Indian ink and a small streak of resist in a white oil pastel.

After many more - I've really been on a roll in recent days - I felt compelled to introduce some colour and used a vivid mid-blue oil pastel to draw in a horizontal. I then added the ink - Quink again as it often breaks into a blueish colour to link to the blue horizontal - and some lines with the end of the brush to break the 'horizon' again.

I've generally been avoiding colour in this exercise as I really wanted to focus myself on the mark itself. However, this time I couldn't resist the temptation, though it seems to have photographed rather crudely.

This whole exercise is proving extraordinarily liberating for me. I feel able to let myself go into unfamiliar territory without worrying about errors, themes or any other pre-occupations. I can well see how some artists have such daily 'warming up exercises' as part of their normal practice.


  1. I have been watching your experiments in mark making with interest and I like these results very much.

    1. Thank you Sharron. Some ideas are obviously more successful than others - but even those that I don't find visually appealing teach me something. It's altogether a stimulating exercise and one I intend to keep up, certainly for the time being. I've just bought the next sketch book so no stopping for the moment!


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