Using Metallic ink as a ‘Resist’

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Cards_w_resist_paint_web_2 I can hear heaps of you saying……..’What the????’……..after reading the title of this post….(except of course, those doing the ATC online workshop along with me)……….Resist, means the same in art as it does when it is used in everyday language.  It means to ‘succeed in not yielding to’ or ‘to use force in order to prevent something happening or being successful’.   So in this exercise, the goal was to use metallic ink on watercolour paper, then to paint over it with liquid watercolour.  The metallic ink (in theory) forms a ‘resist’ and the paint goes on all of the paper, except where the ink is, therefore your pattern/drawing shows through the ink. The goal was to create an interesting background.  The lesson instructions called for a Krylon pen…..well here in Melbourne, it’s not like you can get one of these at your corner store…….& to tell the truth, I had used one in the past & wasn’t overly impressed with it, so I wasn’t keen to pay out for another one.  I looked what other pens I had on hand that might work.  I also thought I’d try metallic stamping ink & see how that turned out.  At the top of the page are my ATC’s after I have painted in watercolour over the metallic inks.  The first one is the ‘Metallic Painters Medium’ in a stencil; I used the same pen for the second one, but traced over one of my stamped images; the third one is paint over a stamped image in Brilliance Starlight Silver.  As you can see, the stamping ink doesn’t show through at all, the clearest one is the plain pen on paper, however that may be impacted by using a lighter colour.  These were quite frustrating results, After some considerable searching I came up with some alternatives, but none of them produced a ‘clear’ result……I hunted out some other alternatives, but then eventually yeilded & found a Krylon pen.  I SHOULD have trusted myself though…..the pen cost a fortune & is hopeless……..it leaves an unattractive oily film with the ink & has not resisted the ink as well as some of the other, far cheaper alternatives.   To be fair, the instructions called for gold & I used copper, perhaps the gold pen is different.  The one out of all of them that I found to be the best was the Sailor Ball Paint pen & it was a third of the price of the Krylon (which will probably end Resist_atcs_web_3up binned).  There were ok results with the others, comparable to the Krylon without the price. Another issue to consider is the thickness of the ‘nib’ of the pen. Some of them had thick ‘fabric’ nibs which were ok to do thick outlines, however not very good for fine outlining (like the stamp) or for tracing in a stencil.  The ‘plus’ was that these ones (Krylon, Painters Medium & Paint Marker) had a consistent flow of ink, it was easy to make lines with these pens.  Some of the finer (mostly metal points) were easier to draw with, but they did not have a consistent flow of ink, so I had to go over & over lines to make them show up.  The one that was a total NON performer was the Pentel Paint Pen…….I realise the ‘sampler’ hasn’t come up too well, however, if you look past the Uni Paint Marker to the 3rd example & see dots & blotches..that was about as good as I could get out of this pen. I guess you could use it to make random marks, however you have NO control what so ever about Mettalic_pen_testwhere it appears.  It is a matter Mettalicpensof shaking it & where ever the ink ‘blobs’ out, is where it ends up……this is probably ok for a random background, but no good if you want to control where the ink is going…….here are my ATC’s.  The first one is using the ‘Sailor’ pen, the second 2 were made using the Silver Metallic Painters Pen.

OTHER RESIST OPTIONS:  I feel compelled at this point to revert from student to teacher & say, that there are other, just as effective ways of creating a resist, although I admit, some not so convenient as just drawing with a pen & not all of them are able to be so controlled as drawing with a pen. (There are examples of this in my archieves…..Byzantine Dream work (Art, ATC’s) was done using wrapping paper as a resist) If it is metallic look you are after, you can use:
– plain wrapping paper with Gold embossing
– Jo Sonya’s rich gold acrylic paint
– Gilt Wax (ok for creating ‘framed’ look…..but needs to be applied with a cloth or cotton bud, so hard to control placement)
– Gold Oil Pastel (I love Senelier’s)

NON METALLIC
– the simplest resist is a wax crayon, any colour, but I love using black.

The second variable is the paper/card you are using.  I am using a 680gsm watercolour paper (Artistico Fabriano) which is really FAR too good a paper for this type of work, but I had scraps left over from my last journal so it was perfect to use them up for ATC’s.  This paper is quite thick & thirsty.  I hope to do a couple of experiments with some other paper types to see how the pens perform on a different surface.

POST SCRIPT: I have had some feedback from other artists that absolutely swear by their Krylon pens.  So perhaps I have given them the thumbs down prematurely.  The first pen I had continued to dry out & I ‘shreaded’ the ‘nib’ trying to get a consistent flow of ink from it.  It was Rose Gold.  This new one I have bought is Copper.  The colour of the ink & the flow is good, however, on the paper that I have been using, it is not very good.

Resist_paper_trials So here is some trials I did on other papers.  The first one is on top of an already painted acrylic background.  The middle one is on 120gsm thin textured card & the third one is on glossy card.  I have used the same glaze over them all……. Hmmmm still not moved at this end, although the ‘resist’ effect is best on the glossy card & it is much better than on the Watercolour paper I have been using.

two more quick notes: I am really into iconic imagery at the moment……there is no offence intended to anyone with that……..secondly, all of the work so far for this workshop has torn edges, I am using the most beautiful watercolour paper & it seems a shame to try to make it conform to a rigid shape.  The dimensions are still with in a 2mm tolerance of std ATC size.

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