Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Experiments with Bleach/Translating English into English

I had decided to work on nothing but backgrounds this month....but this idea expanded. "Backgrounds" just seem to mean..."experimental ideas that might prove useful for other, future, yet-to-be-determined work". To this end, I've been inspired by various images I've seen on the web as well as by an incredible scroll pictured in one of Valerie Campbell-Hardings books. (Yes, I'm still READING...all of these books...sort of at the same time.)

The pictures fascinated me...the captions were, of course, in English....but not my particular type of English. What, exactly, is emulsion? Somewhere is read "house paint". What, exactly, is that writing ink called something like Quirk...something that turns blue with bleach?

I looked under the sink. I found: Kilz, Semi-gloss interior enamel, oil-based sign paint, and exterior oil primer. All were white. All could be considered "house paint". None had the same chemical make-up. This called for EXPERIMENTATION.

I found an old, ugly machine embroideried piece and cut it into four sections...one per type of house paint/emulsion. After a day of drying, I quartered each of the four pieces...and tried various inks...watercolor based, acrylic based, etc. Then, I started applying bleach. From there...I cut again and tried all sorts of other things...gouache, ink on top of bleach, Modern Options "copper topper" and "blue patina", "weathered wood", and whatever else was on hand. I had to make a chart to keep track of it all. I had a blast and like several of the results.

The end result is a translation of "English" (UK) into "English" (USA): For the best results: Use oil-based exterior paint with watercolor based ink!

The best part: new ideas and a whole bunch of little "things" to add to my pile of "backgrounds/future work".

1 comment:

Stitching with Schnauzer and Siamese said...

You are quite right.. emulsion is house paint ---- the sort you paint on the inside of the house or the cheap white stuff you paint on the ceiling(that's the one I use). Quink (is a brand name) of black ink used for refilling fountain pens -the days before cartidges or roller pens. It is a permanent black ink, it has no shellac in it... which means it turns to some wonderful reddish browns when you bleach it. If you look at my blog .... there are some drawings over the last couple of weeks using quink ink... which have gone quite blue. You need to experiement with the bleach... if it is the strong variety, thin it with water. I tend to use the very cheap "thin" bleach. So be aware of Health and Safety... plenty of ventilation..... but above all have fun!
Would like to know what you call Emulsion and Quink ink in the US?
Best wishes