Before The Ink Is Dry

April Theme
Color Safari (Exploring Inks and Paints)
April 25 – Week 17
Art Challenge:  Inks
Journal Prompt:  Before the ink is dry

This week we play with inks!  I chose to use spray inks for my challenge, in particular Dyan Reaveley’s Dylusions inks by Ranger.  I love that they are water based so they continually blend and change when reconstituted.  The pigment is vibrant and rich!  I started by spraying my pages with a few colors I love.  Then I stood my book up and spritzed water all over the inks so I had nice blending and dripping.  While the ink was still wet, I used my finger to blend some white gesso into the ink to tone the pigment down a bit.  There are so many videos of Dyan using these inks in a million ways on the Ranger website and on her blog and YouTube – be sure to check them out!

I let my journal dry overnight because it was so wet from the inks and water.  You could also use a heat gun to speed up drying time.  I love using dip pens and ink for drawing and writing. For this page I used a sketching-sized nib – #102 Crow Quill and Higgins Magic Black Waterproof Ink.

I created a few sketches on my page and didn’t worry about being precise – I just wanted a fun, loose drawing.

I learned a neat trick from the great Dyan Reaveley herself . . . use a Tim Holtz Water Brush and fill it with her Dylusion inks.  This way, you not only have a spray to use, but also a type of watercolor application.  Cool, right?

I used the waterbrushes to paint my quill pen and ink jar.  I love how one color will change as you paint it over another.  The inks underneath change and you get unexpected, beautiful results!  I threw in a few white contrast marks with a fat Pitt Pen by Faber-Castell.

I used a poignant quote that I just love, “To say she is only a woman is to say a violin is a piece of wood with strings and Dante is mere ink printed on paper” – Bruce Crown.  Powerful stuff.  So here is my finished pages – I can’t wait to see how you all interpret the prompt this week – And guess what, we have none other than the Fabulous Dyan Reaveley as our Featured Artist this week – be sure to stop by her blog and give her some love!  Happy Documenting!

For more information on this week’s challenge you can find us here:
Instagram: #documentedlife #documentedlifeproject

Looking for previous challenges? click HERE

Visit our blogs: Sandi Keene, Roben-Marie Smith, Rae Missigman

Join us on The Art to the 5th™ Academy™ – a thriving “community” and classroom for “The Original” Documented Life Project™!  Find us on Instagram: #documentedlife

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  1. Sandi Keene

    This is so pretty! I love the technique you used on the background. It came out so softly gorgeous! And then the colors you put in the feather are beautiful! Love the quote!

  2. Rae Missigman

    I know I have said this a million times but WOW! Such a creative take! You are great with those dip pens! Please come teach me! Xx

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thanks Rae – I don’t know how much I can teach you, but I will see you WEDNESDAY!

  3. Mary W

    Actually words on paper are just ink but with the readers brain and emotion involved in the reading, the paper takes on "Life" and becomes an experience. I have always been amazed that written words can bring happiness, help, or hurt and this challenge is going to be fun. Saved your post for last (seems I always do) since I love the direction you send me each time. Well the first thing I said was Oh, the feather! It is so meaningful – all that words can bring represented by my most favorite thing – color. (I use dashes too much but they help me talk on paper.) Your feather is like my pencil or keyboard – they contain so much inside and I love letting it do its thing. Never know what will come out when I put them to paper but don’t want to miss letting out what is inside. Your base layer of color is HEAVENLY!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you Mary – I have said this before, but you need to be writing your own blog! You paint with your words! I love that you "get me" – I "get you" too <3

  4. Sabrina K.

    Yes, powerful stuff! Wonderful spread Lorraine. And thanks for the water-brush trick…didn’t know!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you Sabrina – I know, I love having the dye in the pens – just kept saving up those craft store coupons and kept buying them til I had enough – LOL!

  5. Kathy Perry

    So totally cool, Lorraine! You are so artistic and talented with the pen and ink!

  6. cindy arrington

    Lorraine, this is gorgeous. I love the transparency of colors that you achieved. I have two questions…the water brushes are filled with ink instead of water? What type ink? And I recently bought a small set of dip pen and nibs, but can’t figure out how to use as there is no ink resevoir and no instructions :(. Is there a tutorial out there somewhere? Thanks for your inspiration!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Hi Cindy – thank you! Okay, the water brushes are filled with the spray inks. I just used a pipette or a dropper to fill the barrels. You can dilute them if you want, but I use them full strength. Also, the nibs do have a type of reservoir . . . just not what you are probably epecting – dip them in ink and practice – you will see that a lot of ink will remain on the nib. There are a ton of free YouTube videos that show the process. Good Luck!

  7. Avatar

    love your quote!! your pen and ink drawing is fabulous. Thanks Lorraine!!

  8. Roben-Marie Smith

    I was so intrigued when I saw the peek on this one and I LOVE it! Your feather is gorgeous and I love your take on the challenge!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thanks Roben-Marie – just love my dip pens, I’m having so much fun with them!

  9. Avatar

    Yay girlie, fabulous take on the challenge, love that you used my inks. mwah xxx

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Of course, Dyan! There are none better!!! Thank you again for being our featured artist – especially with so much on your plate! You are a treasure! xoxo

  10. Avatar

    This is just soooo, beautiful! I’m happy just to sit and look at it. You are so wonderful at line drawing.

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thanks Suz! I’m still learning, but I once I let go of worrying about everything being ‘perfect,’ I found I liked my work better!

  11. Joi @RR

    I always get excited when I see Art to the 5th in my emails! This is just wonderful Lorraine. So amazing how you just sit down and draw such an incredible ink well and feather. And all the colors are just perfect. I just want to thank you for the time that you take to "teach" us along the way and to tell you that it’s a great blessing to me to be able to learn from you and become inspired every time. j.

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you so much Joi! It is exciting for me too, and I love sharing! We have such a gracious, loving community that it always seems more like fun than work! Thanks for being such a large part of our group and for supporting us the way you do! xoxo

  12. Sue Chesley

    Your work is always so beautiful and intentional! I love the feather, the quote, the whole spread – the background colors turned out so beautiful – no mud there!

  13. Avatar

    I love Dylusions. Any tips on fixing them when you want to add other media?

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Hi Linda – you can try using aerosol hairspray on them or a spray fixative for art products. I always recommend trying something new on a "test" piece first so you don’t destroy your good stuff! Hope that helps!

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