I’ve posted previously that I have been doing an online course with the wonderful @lornacrane called Perfectly Imperfect: Discovering Your Visual Language
It has been a real voyage of discovery.
Not only have I made my own brushes, I’ve also been experimenting with acrylic inks (both firsts!) and I’ve even been staining papers with coffee.
The whole experience has been a great inspiration.
In fact, I’m desperately trying to make it last by not racing through to the end. So more excitement to come! This week I took a break from the exercises to try my hand at making some inks from natural ingredients.
I spotted Jason Logan’s book on someone’s Instagram feed and thought I’d treat myself. It’s a stunning book – a lovely read and the photographs are beautiful – I’d thoroughly recommend it.
So, feeling inspired I thought why not give it a go?
I started with some simpler formulas and thought I’d try my hand with ingredients I had knocking around the kitchen. So my first creations are……
Created by boiling some clearly-past-its-best-beetroot which narrowly escaped being thrown in the bin by my husband. Allowed it to cool, added a pinch of salt, vinegar and gum arabic. I was quite impressed by the vibrancy of the colour (which shouldn’t have been a surprise as whenever I cook beetroot it looks like a murder has taken place and leaves my hands stained for hours!)
Red Cabbage Ink
Probably my favourite colour – apparently this can either make a blue or purple ink. The version I created is definitely more in the purple camp – subtler than beetroot.
A different process for this concoction – I simple blended leaves in the bullet with a little water, stained through an old tea towel, added vinegar, salt and gum arabic. The least successful of the colours: not only is it very pale, but in the blending it also lost some of the brightness of the green
I ran out of nice bottles for this so had to scrabble around for glass containers but it is a nice colour – probably more for staining paper than anything else. This was the easiest to make – stewing tea bags in boiling water then just adding vinegar, a pinch of salt and gum arabic.
The colours are understandably a lot more subtle than the vibrant hues you get with Liquidex inks but beautiful none the less!