This week was spent doing a few "tests" with a variety of inks and paints. I generally always do a quick test with what ever materials I plan to use, wanting to know how they will fare when subjected to water and how they will leave the "hand" of the fabric.
Other artists and I have been discussing some difficulties experienced recently, when working with particular supplies. For example, Tsukineko inks are very fluid, they are difficult to control and want to rapidly flow and bleed out through the fibers. I have a supply of those inks and wanted to see if there was a way to use them with more control.
Also, I have noticed that my recently purchased Sharpie markers are bleeding when I draw on fabric, I am not getting near as crisp a line as I usually do and wanted to see what else I have on hand that might work better.
here is a quick look at a few of the many test samples I did this week
First lets talk about that old stand by Sharpie marker. I have used an ultra fine tipped sharpie marker for drawing on fabric for a long time but as I said, lately it is not giving me the same results.
A favourite pen I use for drawing (on paper) is a pigment liner made by Staedtler but I have had trouble with it "running" on fabric.....I now know that it is waterproof once heat set.
Can you see the difference between the 2 pens?
Now, for those Tsukineko inks, I used the ink in a variety of ways to see what would happen, in the photo below, the leaf on the left had clear Aloe Vera gel spread over the drawing but not beyond its borders, I then carefully painted on the ink.....as you can see in the close up detail the ink still flowed where I did not want it.
That did not happen to the one on the right which was painted with the ink only after it had been pre-mixed with the gel.
I always like to have reference samples so I made this little piece. I drew several circles and used the ink in a slightly different way each time to see what my results would be.
I have clear aloe gel....the ink....and then created mixtures of gel and ink as well as gel and shaving cream
for the second circle, I brushed the aloe vera gel over and beyond its borders (the dashed line is where I brushed the gel to) even though I only applied the ink to the inside of the circle....as you can see, the ink kept moving
next I applied the gel carefully making sure the gel stayed with in the lines....and so did the ink, but you may notice that the colour is not as vibrant as the one below it
for circle number four, I premixed the ink into the gel, it seems a bit awkward at first to work with it this way but it actually yeilded pretty good results and gave me good "open" time (important if I am doing something where I want to be able to blend colours)
In this last circle.....I tried something I have never done before, at the wonderful suggestion of Gwyned Trefethen, I mixed the ink with some shaving cream....it actually worked quite well! (although it did not give me the same "open" time as the gel.) I will definitely want to explore the use of shaving cream in my studio now....Thanks Gwyned!
Here is a sample showing 2 paints.... I drew the circles....covered the entire surface with the aloe gel and then painted within the circles.....because of the thickness of the paints, they stay exactly where they are put and do not migrate out at all
and so it went, I played with a variety of little tweaks with the paints, inks, gel and shaving cream....then I thought maybe it was time to start organizing some of these little test samples. I happen to have a supply of these page dividers that are made of decent cardstock, using doubled sided tape, I adhered the samples to them that I can now keep together in a binder. I can lift each sample piece and place lots of notes too.
Until now, most of the samples I have done in the past are stuck on a bulletin board, filing cabinet, or hiding in drawers scattered about.....now as I come across them I will finally have a place for them to all live and will be able to easily reference them
below is an example of a test I did many years ago.....it was still lying at the bottom of a drawer, do you know what this is? any guesses?
it's Friday.....so I am linking up to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday.....pop on over and see what other creative minds (and hands) have been up to.