Kingfisher – Detailed Demonstration
March 21, 2018 by Diane Marcotte
I was watching a YouTube video recently that showed how the artist layered coloured pencils over an alcohol ink base. It intrigued me as painting with alcohol inks and also with coloured pencils are two of the mediums I enjoy. When I came across a Kingfisher photo on http://wildlifereferencephotos.com/ I thought it would lend itself well to a painting done in these two mediums.
I took photos through-out the painting process in order to better explain the steps. I hope you are encouraged to try this method of combining both mediums. The substrate used is Yupo paper. I wanted the finished painting to be 11″ x 14″ so I used a piece of Yupo that was approximately 13″ x 16″. This would give me some leeway to crop the painting as often the edges of an inked background do not come out smoothly due to back-runs, concentration of ink, etc.
Tools and Alcohol Ink Markers Used
I used Touch and Spectrum Noir brand alcohol ink markers which had the colours I needed.
The Masked Drawing
Large shapes are easier to mask with Frisket film. Ensure you have the edges securely pressed onto the paper otherwise ink may seep underneath. I used Incredible White Mask applied with a ruling pen and a colour shaper for the water bubbles beneath the bird. I tore pieces of paper towel and placed them on the painting where I did not want any bubbles. Then I coated the bristles of an old toothbrush with masking fluid and splattered it over the exposed painting. As the splattering caused some unsightly blobs I waited until the masking fluid was completely dry and then carefully lifted them off.
I laid the paper on a large sheet of paper toweling and applied lots of Blending Solution over the entire painting. Then I generously dropped Ranger’s Adirondack “Caramel” ink with a smaller amount of “Sunshine Yellow” ink quickly over the entire paper. Picking up the paper toweling beneath the painting I rocked it back and forth until I had achieved a fairly smooth background. NOTE: Unfortunately the paper towel absorbed the ink run-off which was then transferred to the back of the painting on the right-hand side and was visible on the front. Fortunately I was able to crop most of it off but in hindsight it would have been better to pick the painting up by the edges instead (with gloved hands of course.)
All Masking Removed
You need to delicately remove the masking without scratching or otherwise damaging the background. Using a “Pick-up Rubber Tool” would definitely damage the background. I’ve found that tweezers are good for this and smaller pieces come off by pushing down on a mop brush. Don’t rush this part! After removing the masking I added more bubbles using a Fantastik Tool. You dip the point into some Blending Solution in a palette well and let the tool soak up the solution. Dab it on a paper towel and then quickly dab onto the background where you want a bubble to form. (You may want to practice first on an inked scrap piece!)
Re-masking Highlights on Bird
As I wanted to get fine lines of masking fluid, and my ruling pen had stopped co-operating, I decided to try out a relatively new product – Pepeo Drawing Gum in a pen format. This product is tinted blue. Unfortunately it later proved very hard to remove and I actually damaged the Yupo paper in one spot. So I wouldn’t use it again on Yupo. Thankfully I was able to camouflage the area and it did not detract from the painting.
Underpainting with Alcohol Ink Markers
Removal of Masking on Bird
Addition of Coloured Pencils
I used a variety of colours to bring out the detail of the feathers, etc. Prismacolor and Luminance pencils worked best. I slowly built up layers until satisfied.
Please check out my Fine Art America website at – https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/1-diane-marcotte.html?tab=artwork – to view my art.
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Nice job. I never thought of using CP on Yupo, Thanks for such a nice tut.
Thanks Susan! I too thought you’d need some tooth to the paper if using coloured pencils. Laying down some colour first (ink or markers) seem to allow the pigment to grip. Cheers, Diane
I love the way you document the whole process. It still seems like magic to me! 🙂
Thank you for sharing your process!