Ink is a fun medium to play with. There’s India ink, an opaque medium that comes in several colors. (Koh-i-Noor is a popular brand). There is transparent ink (Higgins and Dr. Ph. Martin are popular). But my favorite ink of the moment are stamp-pad re-inkers. The ink comes in small squeeze bottles with a dropper tip and the ink is incredibly saturated–one drop can be diluted with a Tablespoon of water for writing ink, or with a teaspoon for a good ink spray. Re-inkers come in a huge variety of colors and brands. The big difference is between alcohol and dye. I prefer the dye, it’s made for papers.
First, I used re-inkers to dye two rectangles of watercolor paper, each about 4 x 6 inches. I attached one of them on the left side of a journal spread, and the other on the right. The one on the left (show above) was left uncoated.
In each layer, a different color was added to the gel medium–either gold, or yellow or red. The intense colors created a vivid glossy effect. The piece of paper embedded into the middle layer says, “Losing–and finding–his voice.”
On the left side, I drew a rooster, making the most of the red portion of the paper. I love the effect of the chicken-behind-a-screen. This tied in to the “loosing–and finding–his voice” on the opposite page.
The glossy encaustic look also gives a hint of the rooster’s thoughts of what his future may hold. While many people are using bird images in their work, it is easier to make a raven, crow, or silhouette bird look sinister, and slightly harder to cast a chicken as a noir image. I liked the contrast here, as well as the contradiction and tension between the pages.
–-Quinn McDonald is a writer and art journaler who is experimenting with slightly darker ideas.