How to Use Ephemera Step 3

Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active; it is concentrated strength.

~ Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Moving along with the flower painting using ephemera in the background.  Yesterday I showed you the second step, adding color to the background.  Today I’m sharing with you what is for me the most difficult step: adding texture using walnut ink.

Closeup of Walnut Ink Masking

This is the tough step for me because the walnut ink takes a while to dry.  I am not a woman of terrific patience…I tend to walk by constantly, touching my art, asking “Is it dry yet?”  I hate the waiting.  I mean, I really hate the waiting.  I’m ready to move on immediately to the next step, and walnut ink makes me crazy.  I’m not sure why I use it so much for exactly that reason.  I just happen to love the way it looks.  Ah, well…

If you use walnut ink much, you know that when you spray it on a flat surface, like on paper or on flat paint, it doesn’t take forever to dry.  But when you’re using it to spray on a surface with a lot of Mod Podge, it takes a really long time.  The Mod Podge surface is not so absorbent like paper or flat paint.  So it goes.

Walnut Ink masking

I used a foam tree that I showed you in an earlier art journal post, Child’s Play.  The first two paintings in this set have other shapes that I used for the masks.  I tend to use mostly organic shapes with both stenciling and masking.  I don’t so much like sharply defined geometric or what I think of as forced shapes.  I like the look of organic so that it doesn’t look so contrived.

I just put the foam tree down on the canvas board, I blocked off the other parts of the canvas where I want to use the shape again, and I sprayed walnut ink around the tree.  The tree is masking off on the canvas where the walnut ink doesn’t go.  Then I lift everything up, move it over to another spot on the canvas, and do it again.  And repeat.

Closeup of Walnut Ink Masking

You’ll see in the closeups of this step where the ephemera underneath is showing through the walnut ink step.  Much of what is showing through in this step will be seen in the final piece.

It will be a day or two before I will move on to the next step, as I wait for the ink to dry (it takes even longer here where it’s been colder lately, and will take even longer if you try this in a humid environment).

Coming up next: adding vellum paper tiles…

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5 thoughts on “How to Use Ephemera Step 3

  1. Pingback: How to Use Ephemera Step 4 | St. John Studios

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