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.

8 thoughts on “Raw-Art Journaling: Resisting the Dark

  1. Quinn! The layers of color and form seem to be floating into and ontop of each other. Enchanting. And how delicious that Thomas’ Nunc Dimittis is one of the layers! Creative curiosity triumphs here.

  2. Frisket is still used as a resist with watercolors. I had to get some for a workshop last year.

    The bleach pens are fun to draw and write with and rubber stamps dipped into bleach and then stamped on dark paper or fabrics are fun to play with also. Just make sure to rinse the fabric and stamps right away!

  3. I think the effects are stunning Quinn! The gold dots somehow make it complete and that is some pen resisting even bleach.

  4. What if you threw bleach on the paper…??
    That’s brilliantly NUTS. I love it. Seriously great idea. I was just reading about a masking fluid from Schmincke and some call it “Frisket.” It’s rubbery and pulls off at the end. Looks fun.
    Yet somehow the bleach is talking to me from under the sink now too…
    Best wishes from germany, tj

    • Friskit used to be (in the olden days when carbon paper was still in use) a plastic coating you cut and applied to areas. Then it became a rubber-cement-like liquid. It still exists? How fun. This idea needs work, but I do love the premliminary results. When you do it, show us what happens!

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