Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

My First Alcohol Ink Painting - Koi.

alcohol ink on Yupo NFS

Artist Note
My first time with the alcohol inks.
I found the inks powerful
in saturation, luminous
and tricky to work with.
I can see the benefits of
experimenting especially on
the Yupo paper.

Last week I joined
some  painting
 buddies on a trip
to Santa Fe to paint the
aspen leaves turning gold.
Guess what interested me more...
remembering I have been involved
with a series from the
waterlily pond?
Yep - my mind was still
on the water reflections and fish.
Funny how I couldn't just
be attracted to anything else.
A series is a series!

For those of you who have
never been to
Santa Fe
 there is a gallery
with a magical sculpture garden.

Formally known as the Fenn Gallery
It is now the Nedra Matteucci Gallery.
I have been visiting there for many
years. Look how gorgeous it is.
(click to enlarge).

I did do a plein air of the aspens
up by the ski area.

And loved seeing all the 
Chamisa  (rabbit grass)
in full bloom.

I encourage you to treat
yourself and
explore the link
Nedra Matteucci

 I am going to enjoy catching up 
with everyone's blogs.


  1. Wonderful work with alcohol ink! It's very tricky media and I am amazed how well you managed it. My couple of attempts only resulted in a bunch of colorful bookmarks.

    1. LOL at the bookmarks - I understand. I miss the neutrals and they stain so cannot wipe back to the white the same as watercolor. It is complex enough to hold my interest though so will be trying more.
      I think we share a love of the same colors because your floral is right up my alley! Congrats on your sale, too!

  2. Welcome back, Julie. I am so delighted that you were able to spend some time in Santa Fe. It's a wonderful place for inspiration and history. What an amazing gallery with artists from "then" and now! And, the architecture and garden add more on top of an already rich collection of art.

    Your alcohol ink piece is charming. It is luminous with the bold colors and contrast of the inks, and good, old Yupo does its mixing and pooling thing. Beautiful values of blue and green add depth and interest.

    1. You are so nice, Carol. I am pleased you checked out this amazing gallery.
      While in Santa Fe I went in the Artisan art store and looked at the Brusho products you had done a neat post on. I had to choose between the crystals or the inks.($$$) Hard choice because as you pointed out - the Brusho would be good for my nest paintings. but what about painting water? Anyway - they had this little kit on sale with tiny bottles so I went for it. If I like it then I can invest in a better color range. Just what I need...more colors!
      Hope to see you post a new painting soon.

  3. What fun! I have a real respect for inks, even after having had some personal instruction from artist Kristen Dukat. Your painting is awesome and I know your photo doesn't do it justice. Hope to see more, Julie!

    1. Hi Chris - thanks for the vote of confidence.
      Also thanks for letting me know about Kristen doing alcohol inks. I perused her work with admiration. I did know she fused glass but what a talent she is.

  4. What a gorgeous spot. I see why you sort of ditched the aspens and focused on those pools and fish! It seems like an oasis in the middle of the desert. And I liked the interior of the gallery also, what I could see.

    Glad that you were able to take a trip like that. I envy you!

    The alcohol inks are interesting aren't they? I used them a bit (not to much success) in card making several years ago. They would be difficult on yupo I would guess but they gave a watery feeling to your piece which is a great dimension. I love the little areas of pooled ink also.

    1. Yes, Libby, they are interesting...I started to read about the inks and understand about the use in stamping and cards etc...great for decorative painting. I have to find out the benefits of ink over the water color to know if I will use it. My son called me about this one and said it looked like a kaleidoscope.
      You would have enjoyed the trip and it would have been neat to see Santa fe through your eyes.

  5. Wow! I've never used inks, but this is beautiful! I think I would have painted koi also. The trees are beautiful but there is something about those fish gliding through the water that is irrestible.

    1. Hi Sharon. The inks can be painted on anything non absorbent so metals and foils are popular. I can see you doing well with them in your classes.I really like the slate painting you teach
      Talking about classes I really laughed at your line about your online classes
      Paint in your Jammies!

  6. the water really looks like it is rippling :)

    that gallery is a gorgeous area! I could spend hours there taking everything in :)

    haven't used alcohol inks on anything yet, keep meaning to but can't find the time

    1. Good for you for visiting the gallery.The building is a beautiful old adobe structure and has been expanded with the success of the gallery. They have paintings with a price tag of $700,000. and some at $2,000. All by the best artists.
      I enjoyed your idea of inktober. Cute little squirrel - drawn so well.

  7. Beautiful piece Julie..Nice are one creative person

    1. Thanks Page - hope your show was fabulous.
      I enjoyed reading about you and your friend.

  8. Replies
    1. Thanks Kim. Your sketchbook work is masterful. A real pleasure to see.

  9. I love this piece Julie. It's so vibrant. I hope you will show us more of your alcohol ink work. Unfortunately they are not sold here and I don't want to get involved with ordering over the border.

    1. I agree it is vibrant. I am not sure yet how I feel about that.
      I will be trying different ways of using the inks. I have watched some youtube
      videos but none of the way I want to use it. Just a matter of experimenting.
      Your auction idea is very good and I love your three paintings.

  10. What a great job for a first attempt, Julie. I hope you will paint lots more with the inks on yupo.
    I can certainly understand the attraction of the Koi fish in that beautiful setting.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Thanks Christiane - I am so impressed with your work ethic. You are a fabulous and popular artist.

  11. So glad you enjoyed your trip. That alcohol painting is soooo rich. Luscious. And you are having fun!

    1. Thanks, Helen.
      Have you ever used the inks? They are fun when you first try them out, but like all paint - the more you know the harder it gets. Dont know if I will get that far though.
      I really like your tree - especially that great area of red.

  12. So much inspiration for your series in this garden . I know nothing about ink and alcohol , but this painting is so bright and fresh, love this very vibrant piece!

    1. Thank you, Jane.
      Love your latest figurative painting. Quite stunning.

  13. Great abstract painting with so amazing colours !!!
    Have a nice day Julie !!!

    1. Thanks for the comment Stelios. Have a great day yourself...have to say how great the railings are to the steps you painted.

  14. Beautiful rich and deep colors with the inks. I've heard about them and hope to try them one day. I love the movement in the koi, especially the way one is coming out of the water and the other one is hidden deeper.
    I can see why you are so inspired by this series, thanks for sharing your beautiful photos! I am checking out the link now.

    1. I am trying to figure out the benefits over watercolors. I clearly see the use in decorative work and that is fun. I will have to learn what the different colors can do in mixing and overlays, etc, before I know any more.
      I find it is good to get me all mixed up once in a while.
      Love your plein air on the beach. Fresh and airy. I like that.

  15. Beautiful painting and beautiful garden. Thanks for sharing the photos. Someday I hope to see your part of the world. So different than New England.

    1. You are welcome to come and visit. I love it here but had a lady come from New York City
      who complained about the lack of green! The very reason I like it. Nothing like trees to block the view!
      Your apples are fab. I love the viewpoint on the green one and all the angles on the new one.

  16. Your work in alcoholic inks is intoxicating :) The sharpness of the colours has a real appeal to my eye.

    A great post, Julie, thank you.

    1. My son liked it too. ..must be a male thing about contrast?????
      I enjoyed reading about your boat building early background. neat photo.


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