Monday, March 11, 2013


Having seen the pictographs and petroglyphs in the southwest of the US, I had a few photos and postcards to use as reference for these watercolor and ink trials.  It was fun to put down the watercolor background, using some granulating colors; then put the ink down to "carve" into the background rocks :)  These won't last as long as the originals out in the southwest, but they were fun to do.

I think the ink on this one is too intense and clean - perhaps I will go over it with a bit of sandpaper, to scrape away some of the black and make it look more aged.

A background with a touch of blue added.

I didn't see any hands on the southwestern rock paintings - but I did see some of the Australian aborigines when I visited there.  Of course, they either painted their hands with the color and pressed them on, or placed their hands on the rock face and then blew the paint around the hand, outlining it.  

More to come tomorrow.  And my thanks again to Maggie Latham, who got this whole ink and watercolor thing started!  If you're interested in using ink with your watercolors, go over to Maggie's blog (see my sidebar for her blog) and try out some techniques.


Anonymous said...

Rhonda, I love these. If you blot the ink straight away with a paper towel (gently) will blot out some of the intensity of the ink and sometimes (if you are lucky) leave texture. The other thing you can do, is to wet the entire piece and float in a white gouache wash..right over everything.......then blot it here and there to create a veiling effect. Never thought about sand paper...but will try it. Love the colours in your background washes.
.....glad you are excited about these.

irinapictures said...

Very interesting to see your ink experiments' results. I use waterproof ink now, after failed attempts of "artistic waves" which turned into uncontrolled dirty spots on the paper..

RH Carpenter said...

Maggie, I hadn't thought of the watered down gesso pour - good idea! I am going to do some sandpapering on it, too. Anything to make it look more ancient :)

Irinia, I made the mistake when first trying this of using non-waterproof black ink and it went all over! ha ha

Anonymous said...

Rhonda.... just wanted to say.....Gouache, not Gesso as gesso is acrylic based. Sand paper sounds good.

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks, Maggie! I do think Alex Powers uses watered down gesso? I'll have to check my book - but I will make a note to self that it's gouache, not gesso, to use on this to tone it back a bit.


i love the handprint rhonda ! see your signature crow below too ..i have been pouring ink today .

RH Carpenter said...

Jane, your ink pouring is great - I really like what you did. I'm going to have to use some gouache on these, too, just to add more texture and push back some things - so much to learn about painting with black ink that tends to take over.