Abstract 053015

Today’s watercolor and ink experiment:

The temptation to resist was too great (pun intended). Of course, I’m referring to liquid latex resist, which I have been using to begin my recent studies. Today I poured out a bit onto my paper and tilted it around to create drippy patterns. Later, when I applied color, it soaked into the watercolor paper everywhere except underneath the dried masking fluid. Thus my first step in today’s artistic process was to create a negative space.

Today’s negative space resembles a street map.

I used my Winsor Newton inks and others that I happened to find, rummaging through my art supplies, to drip straight traces of color through and around the curved ‘streets’ formed by the latex rubber.

Photo: Ink Bottles

New-found Ink Bottles

After the ink dried, I started to wet the paper so that I could apply watercolor pigments. I was surprised to find that not all my ink was waterproof.

Watercolor and Ink: Abstract with Latex Resist - Stage 1

Abstract 053015 Stage 1

Not all my mistakes are fortuitous, but the smears of the water soluble inks looked good. It also made me aware that I should be very careful about future applications of water.

From this stage on, I worked with earth tones (raw umber, raw sienna, Moonglow) and other muted pigments to create pools, which I allowed to drip across the paper. This was the inverse of the process I used to apply the liquid latex. Instead of creating traces of absence of color with the latex, I created the presence of color as narrow, positive spaces.

Watercolor and Ink: Abstract with Latex Resist - Stage 2

Abstract 053015 Stage 2

Here is the study with the masking fluid removed:

Watercolor and Ink: Abstract with Latex Resist

Abstract 053015
12″x16″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block


My wife thought I should call this composition, ‘ant farm’. I can see why. It has the look of a subterranean plexus of  tunnels and geological veins of minerals. Alternatively, it could be an aerial view of a neighborhood, detailing streets, waterways, lakes, fields and other landmarks.

I like that there the viewer can assign any meaning at all to this abstract. I hope my own speculations of the meaning of this composition I hasn’t spoiled any other interpretations a viewer may have.

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