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Anatomy of a painting

This painting was completed during two, three hour lessons with Patrick at his Ryhill Road art studio. The flowers and stems were drawn with fabric ‘puffy’ paints, although Patrick has since perfected  the use of acrylic paints put into squeeze bottles to get the same effect.  Lay the canvas on a table, making sure it is level.
Once the outlines are dry, spray the whole canvas with water using a spray bottle. Apply fabric ink to wet canvas with a brush, doing one colour at a time. If canvas starts to get dry, spray with water again, but spray upwards allowing the water to fall onto the canvas from above. Don’t spray directly onto the ink or it will mottle the ink, unless that’s the effect you’re after. 

Depending on how steady your hand is when you’re drawing the lines, there may or may not be bits where the line is thin or missing. This is where the ink will seep through and make the beautiful effects. I think I did too good a job on lining some flowers, so I had to purposely allow the brush to stray into the white lily to allow some colour transfer.

The ink comes in most basic colours but you can mix the colours beforehand to make a new colour.  I also added one colour over the other straight on the canvas. The plant stems I firstly painted  green, then added a bright yellow over the top to make a yellowy green, but it also  made it mottled when I sprayed it with water, so both the green and the yellow were visible.

The colours available in the ink are beautiful and bright, but I went back over them several times to get some really strong colurs – especially the yellows and the purple.

What I love about this technique is that it’s quick (but I’m such a fuss pot I had to keep going back over the colours to get them just right), and it’s meant to be a bit rough and messy. The colours are supposed to bleed into each other, so if you’re not steady handed (like me), and make a bit of a mistake with the lines or the colurs, it makes it look even better 🙂

And here’s the finished result…

I’m hooked on this technique, watch out for the next one…