Posts Tagged ‘Artist Karlyn Holman’

Under the deep 2

. . . one more trick, that is:  Isopropyl Alcohol Magic.  I first learned of this one from Wisconsin fine artist, Karlyn Holman.  Simply dip a paint brush or Q-Tip in alcohol, and spatter droplets onto your wet paint.  The “magic” works especially well on YUPO paper, because of it’s glassy surface where the paint sits without soaking in.  The droplets scatter the paint particles and cause whitish rings, often with a colored dot in the center—or fan out into interesting patterns resembling bacteria under a microscope.  You can see a microscope effect above, in “Under the Deep”.

Then, just this week I did still another “Underwater” (below) and discovered a variation of the alcohol trick.  Wanting to move the microbes around a bit, I sprayed water on them while they were still wet—shattering the rings and sending them scurrying, while creating a marbleized look.  Not knowing when to quit, I went even further.  In some areas I applied alcohol before the paint, causing a kind of resist which also sent color particles scurrying.  As the paint dispersed, sedimentary colors deposited speckles simulating texture.


I was delighted with this seemingly inadvertent happening and the additional ideas to share with children and adults who occasionally join me for a day of painting at our dining room table.  Then I recalled something fine artist Jean Haines says in one of her DVDs—that there will always be more to discover about watercolor.  According to Jean, when we experiment we may stumble on something new—at least to us.  Admittedly, when I heard Jean Haines say that, I figured I’d probably not be one of those pioneers.  But now, here is a discovery indeed—a mutation of Isopropyl Alcohol Magic.

If life were to get any more exciting, I don’t believe I’d be able to handle it!  🙂

Margaret L. Been . . . January, 2014

NOTE:  In “Under the Deep”, alcohol formed the dots, blurs, and blobs.  But the sea-creature type points, prongs, and “flowers” were formulated with my paint brush.

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