Ink, Water and Oil Time

Today’s experiment:

I had a bit of success in blending the 12 yellow pigments from my paint box, I mentioned yesterday. I began by drawing the curve of the metaphoric time line I developed in my Time’s Arrows post. At the narrow end of the curve, I began with lemon yellow (a yellow with a greenish tint) and ended on the left hand side of the paper with the orange tinted yellows. I poured sepia ink onto the still-wet, wide end of the time curve and let it merge with the yellows. I tilted the paper and the ink dripped to bottom of the paper, through my time line.

I wet the area around the yellow on the right side of the paper and applied and ink called ‘bordeaux’, hoping it would be purple enough to create a contrast. Following the same method, I applied yellow ink to the right side of the paper, surrounding the sepia.  The orange color that resulted from the merging of the yellow and bordeaux inks informed me that bordeaux was more red than purple.

I painted blue/white texture above the sepia drip line, and red/blue/white texture below, and outside the yellow of the timeline.  In addition to the color contrast, I wanted to provide a contrast with the ultra smooth texture of the watercolor and ink areas.

Watercolor, Ink and Oil Paint: Abstract, Using Time Line Metaphor

Ink, Water and Oil Time
9″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper


As I mentioned, I began with my timeline metaphor. The fortuitous dripping of the sepia ink physically divided the composition. I spent much time inking the area around the yellow curve with bordeaux and yellow ink, below the sepia ink line. I wanted a shock of color above the line. Although the blue oil paint is not exactly shocking, it differs significantly in color and texture from the area below the line (before I added texture around the narrow end of the yellow line).  I outlined the narrow end of the yellow line with a combination of ultramarine blue, alizarine crimson and titanium white oil paints to create a contrasting purple field. I used a palette knife to approximate the same texture as in the blue area of the composition.

This abstract composition began with the same kernel as my other compositions in this series: the representation of time past by a curved yellow/sepia line. Development beyond the kernel was governed by random events (drips) and other visual considerations (i.e., using complementary colors, etc.).

9 thoughts on “Ink, Water and Oil Time

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