Do you remember the first tests I did with Spectrum Noir alcohol inks on Yupo? (I shared the results with you in that blog post if you missed it.) It’s been a long time. Well, I’m back with two paintings created to have a better understanding of the inks behave on Yupo as comparison with  Adirondack inks with which I am used to work.

Glimpse on two paintings done to experiment Spectrum Noir alcohol inks on Yupo paper. July 2015. © 2015, Louise Lamirande.

Glimpse on two paintings done to experiment Spectrum Noir alcohol inks on Yupo paper.
July 2015.
© 2015, Louise Lamirande.

Working with a new medium always offers its array of surprises and requires some time to learn to get the maximum of it. In addition to the observations made during my first tests with the inks, here’s what I noticed about the Spectrum Noir alcohol inks (SN):
(Please note that I worked with t he ink from the refill bottles on Yupo. I did not used the markers.)

  • Fluidity and adherence. The SN inks disperse less on Yupo paper than the Adirondack inks from Ranger and allow nice dripping effects. This also means that if one wishes the SN inks to disperse easily, it is necessary to work with diluted ink or to add alcohol to the surface before applying the ink.
  • Potency and dilution. They are so concentrated that they can be diluted in alcohol before being applied to give lighter tints and increase their fluidity. However, I shall do further tests to find the best type of container to store the mixtures. It is impossible to keep the mixtures on a painting pallet because the alcohol evaporates fast.
  • The dropper and the bottom of the bottle. When the ink level in the bottle is low, it becomes very difficult to use the dropper to get ink because it did not go to the bottom of the bottle. Even when tilting the bottle, it is not obvious and I do not speak about the risk of a mess! The solutions I found so far?

Use a longer dropper.

Mix the ink from the bottom of the bottle with another ink to create a new color.

Add alcohol to the bottle to create a lighter color.

  • Paintbrush and alcohol ink. It is possible to use a paintbrush with the SN inks, even on the smooth surface of Yupo, to obtain a level of detail difficult to obtain with Adirondack inks which spread out far too easily. I especially like using a fine paintbrush soaked with alcohol to lighten specific areas. Just be careful: alcohol damages paintbrushes. Do not use your best brushes for this task!
  • Adherence and white spaces. The Spectrum Noir inks adhere really well to Yupo. Sometimes more than we would like. It is especially important to think about preserving white areas if needed. Even if highly concentrated alcohol is applied the colors, it is almost impossible to get back to the white of the paper. The area remains heavily tinted. (Note that I did my tests with the strongest colors and note the lighter range.)
  • Light raised texture. It is with surprise that I noticed that the SN inks, when used in high concentration, leaves a raised deposit which reduces during the drying process. The texture is light and subtle, but still very present. Interesting effect needing more tests…

Shortly, I’ll show you two other paintings created with Spectrum Noir alcohol inks taking into account what I have learned through these tests and paintings…

Thanks for you presence and see you soon,

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