Dot Matrix

Today’s watercolor experiment: 

I practiced a bit more with inks on watercolor paper today. The grid I drew was to be the framework for a series of drips. Although I was careful in my draftsmanship, I threw caution to the wind after flooding the entire rough-surfaced paper with water. My first drip, burnt sienna (I was mistaken yesterday when I identified the yellowish reticulated spot as burnt umber) formed a perfect ovoid shape. However, I was a bit flustered when I applied the other inks. I couldn’t think of a meaningful pattern of colors or types of ink. The wetness was not uniform. Some areas were drying while others still had pools of water. Some drips splashed and some of the crud from the bottles fell on the paper. It was hardly a precise, clean-room experiment.

Here is a detail of the larger image in which illustrates the quintessential difference between calligraphy inks and watercolor inks:

Watercolor detail: Abstract - Inks burnt sienna, ultramarine, vermilion = water-soluble; carmine, dark blue, green = calligraphy

Detail: Dot Matrix

The calligraphy inks on the bottom seem to have very small grains. If you look carefully at the bottom blue spot, you may be able to see very small reticulations. The red spot seems more diffuse.  I really enjoy the patterns that the watercolor inks make.

Dot matrix:

Watercolor: Abstract - Inks burnt sienna, ultramarine, vermilion = water-soluble; carmine, dark blue, green = calligraphy

Dot Matrix
9″x2″ 140# Rough Watercolor Block

The watercolor inks make different patterns depending upon the degree of wetness of the paper. For example, the two ultramarine blue spots to the left of the green calligraphy dot and underneath the vermilion watercolor ink dot seem to swirl. This blue seems to mix slightly with the vermilion red.

The red calligraphy ink seems to shy away from the watercolor ink, while the green doesn’t seem to mind the proximity of the burnt sienna. You can see to instances where the burnt sienna seems to invade the green areas.  Perhaps this is a consequence of the pigment, since both inks are the same type (calligraphy ink).

Rather than designing more experiments to compare and contrast ink behaviors, I would rather compose images that take advantage of each ink’s special qualities.

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