19 May 2013

ink & pouring medium experiment

I've had this pouring medium sitting on my shelf for quite a while and finally decided to try it out and see what it does. I used an Ampersand watercolor panel but later realized that it was kind of a waste since the pouring medium doesn't really need the panel's special properties of absorbency and such. However, it was nice to have a clean, white and sturdy surface.

I had a selection of inks to use and decided to dropper the ink straight in; in the future I think I'd like a more subtle look so will try pre-blending the color with the medium before putting it on a canvas.

I had the idea that the medium might dry in a thick layer of I blocked it from coming off the edges, so I got some clear packing tape and made a rim around the edge of the panel. Then I poured a little medium down and put some drops of ink in it.

When I tilted the panel, the ink ran and started to blend in some interesting rivulets, but I could see that I'd need more pouring medium to fill the surface.

So I tried a few more drops of color and added a little more pouring medium. The tape on the edges seemed to be working.

I liked it at this stage, but I had to keep tilting the panel in various directions to cover the whole surface.

By the time the entire surface was covered, the ink had spread quite a bit more and it looked like this. I figured that for a first experiment, this was a good place to stop even though it would be interesting to add more layers. I thought it best that this one dry first.

And I was right because gravity was at work and the pouring medium was seeping out from under the tape in one corner. I lifted the panel on blocks to dry so that the drips wouldn't cause the panel to stick to the paper underneath. I was also curious about painting with these excess drips, but as you can see, when I put a brush through the drops and spread them around they became quite transparent. Also, some of the residue remained in the shape of the drop of the brush itself, which was interesting. It was too sticky for me to feel very comfortable with it as a paint.

Since it was dripping anyway, and since I had the panel raised, I decided to cut the tape edge off and let the medium flow off the edge.

Somehow, in the process of removing the tape, I got bubbles in the pouring medium. I tried to pop one but it only flattened a little. I decided they were an interesting texture and left the rest alone.

As it was drying, I decided to check what would happen if I added some paper to the surface. I cut some yellow tissue paper in tiny leaf shapes (tissue paper because I hoped for some transparency) and laid them on the sticky surface. As it dried, they stuck fast. Also, the surface became increasingly shiny and hard.

I ended the experiment there but plan to try putting on another layer with color already mixed into the medium so I have more control over it. I also want to try perhaps drawing on this layer with a Sharpie and/or putting a collage image down before pouring the new medium on top. I think it could be pretty interesting to create a couple layers that are each sealed in by a new pouring. The transparent nature of each layer could make some neat effects.

I don't care for the glossy surface, but maybe some matte medium as the final layer will handle that? Future experiments await!