Artists of MeFi: Can You Tell Me About This Art?
June 20, 2016 6:57 PM   Subscribe

I stumbled on an type of artwork that fascinates me and I'd like to know more. Link to art and specific questions inside:



I am super new to the world of art, but quickly and happily falling down the rabbit hole. I would be interested in the following: Does this type of art have a name? If not, how would you refer to it? What terms could I google to learn more or find other examples? What is the specific technique or materials behind it? How might I go about trying to make my own version of something similar?

I am less interested in the gold parts and more interested in the blue pigment on the paper, but I'll happily learn about any of it.

Thanks, metafilter artists!
posted by carlypennylane to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
My guess would be she's used a very thick paper and soaked it in water then splodged/dropped acrylic or watercolour paint on it and let it spread in patterns. On some maybe treated the paper beforehand with a masking material so the paint was repelled.
posted by KateViolet at 7:14 PM on June 20, 2016

It looks to me like she's doing washes of ink/paints, or maybe dabbing paint and then throwing water onto it. Some of them definitely seem to be paint/ink applied to wet paper, which creates the soft flowing edges. The gold part is simple, just some marks applied with gold paint or maybe even a gold pen.

To try it yourself you could just get some nice sturdy watercolor paper, use a large brush to wet some areas, and then apply paint (probably watered down a bit so it's more of a wash). Then just see how the paint flows. Usually this results in some happy accidents.

I can't think of any particular name for the style except for abstract, but you might have some luck if you check up art that is done with paint washes, or search paintings on wet paper.

It's not quite the same, but it reminds me a little of Heather Day's art. I'm not usually that fond of modern abstract art but I quite enjoy her work.

I am an artist but I work more in animation art.
posted by sprezzy at 7:15 PM on June 20, 2016

It reminds me of Ebru (see this FPP). It might be closer to suminagashi though.

Indigo dyeing itself is a huge and storied field (with traditions spread across the world) so she might have used a technique that didn't involve the standard paper-marbling pigment on water methods.
posted by sparklemotion at 7:16 PM on June 20, 2016

Also for the splatters, if you'd like to try it just load up the brush with paint and then use your fingers to pull the brush bristles back and release. so much splattering and speckling.
posted by sprezzy at 7:18 PM on June 20, 2016

Searching [watercolor wash art] and then viewing the image search showed me a lit of similar art .
posted by amtho at 7:27 PM on June 20, 2016

Well, from the name "ink and indigo," I'd hazard a guess that the blue pigment is indigo.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:26 PM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

The term most water color artist use for this is "Wet into Wet" technique. You will get the best results if you work with a heavy water color paper so the paper doesn't warp while you are working with it. I think she might be using TwinRocker feather deckle edge paper. Indigo is a dye, so it doesn't have a gritty body like pigments, so it drops into the wet paper. A thin film of the dye crawls over the surface tension of the water for the flowing effect. The binder for water color is gum Arabic, a water soluble binder that will readily disperse and drop into the paper with lots of added water. Her top layer is probably an acrylic based metallic ink. Metallic inks will have the grit and acrylic is a plastic, so it will hold more pigment and dry on top of the indigo layer, creating a floating field in front of the indigo. I hope that makes sense. You will probably get crisper edge effects if you allow the underlayer to completely dry, and a softer edge effects if you continue while working. Happy painting.
posted by effluvia at 8:29 PM on June 20, 2016 [7 favorites]

What effluvia said with the addition that I think it might be handmade paper. That would soak up the dye even better and you'd get more random results due to he varying thickness of the paper and whatever fibers she used to make it.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:08 AM on June 21, 2016

Those are very pretty works - thanks for the intro!

Very good thoughts here, although I'm guessing it's not acrylic paint or watercolor. Somehow it looks more like an india ink or acrylic ink to me.

Here's a video demonstrating a Daler Rowney acrylic ink in indigo. The video shows mostly applying ink onto dry paper. As posters have mentioned above, the artist you like is working wet on wet - applying the ink onto wet paper.

Dick Blick carries the Daler Rowney inks - I have a set of the shimmering colors and they are very nice.

You can see all different kinds of watercolor paper here at Dick Blick. This page looks like a good explanation of watercolor paper types, textures, and weights. The paper you choose can lend a lot to your work, or detract from your process if you don't have a good match for what you're trying to do.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:35 AM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

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