Raw-Art Journaling: Resisting the Dark

Using a resist is a depth-creating journaling technique. A resist covers the paper you are working while you use other techniques. When you are done, you remove the resist to reveal the original paper. You can use commercial resists, or rubber cement, tape, even a china marker. Some resists don’t come off, so you are stuck (literally) with the technique you use them for.

After playing around with a Sakura Glaze (clear) gel pen and watercolor wash, I got curious. What if I used the same gel pen on black paper, and then threw bleach on the paper? Would a Sakura gel pen resist the bleach?

Using a gel pen, I wrote a portion of Act II from Christopher Fry’s The Lady’s Not For Burning on Strathmore Black art paper. After the bleach dried, I threw on Golden’s acrylic in Interference Gold Mixed with Gold Fine.

The results are uncontrolled and wonderful. The bleach settled in puddles and created a variegated effect. The black writing is clearly visible through the bleach.

The gold interference covers the resist in some areas, but when you turn the page, it’s visible. An interesting effect. If you tilt the page, the writing is clearly visible. Had I written more or painted the bleach more evenly, it would have created a more uniform effect.

There’s always a next time.

The entire segment of Act II appears below:

JENNET:What can you see
Out there?

Out here? Out here is a sky so gentle
Five stars are ventured on it. I can see
The sky’s pale belly glowing and growing big,
Soon to deliver the moon. And I can see
A glittering smear, the snail-trail of the sun
Where it crawled with its golden shell into the hills.
A darkening land sunken into prayer,
Lucidly, in dewdrops of one syllable,
Nunc dimittis. I see twilight, madam.

But what can you hear?

The howl of human jackals.

–Quinn McDonald is a writer and raw-artjounaler who once memorized all of Act II of The Lady’s Not For Burning.