Be Spooktacular!

Be Spooktacular!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


MASKING with flat paper cut-outs enhances this
first technique, monoprinting. I usually roll
water-based printing ink onto a sheet of
Plexiglas and draw or scrape designs directly
on that surface. I used rubber tips and many
other scraping tools to make lines, shapes,
and patterns.

TIP: Work quickly so the ink doesn't get too

 Then add the paper masking shapes, which                            
you could prepare ahead of time if you know
what your theme or motif is.
Lay the paper shapes on top of the still-wet
ink, wherever more white is to be preserved.
Place the sheet of printing paper onto the
inked, designed surface. Press all over the
back with the flat of your hand. Peel the
Guhin, copyrighted, blog
I used oil pastels on this monoprint.
print off, let dry.
While the black-and-white
prints have graphic appeal,
they’re even more delightful
when partly colored. Use
dry media when the print is
thoroughly dry: colored
pencils or pastels (oil or chalk).
However, if you printed with oil-based ink or acrylics,
the print is not water-soluble and you can colorize
with inks or watercolors!

Guhin, art, blog, tute
This page spread appears in the November issue of Arts & Activities
Magazine, which any visual arts educator should have!

IMAGE TRANSFER with waxed paper is exciting. 
Computer images that are graphic and black &            
white work best on the waxed paper.                                 
The final print will be reversed.

First, the computer image must be no larger
than 8.5” x 11.”  Cut both smooth watercolor
paper and waxed paper to that size, too.
Then dampen the watercolor paper with
water and wipe it off, because too much
water will make the print blur terribly.
Set that aside but don't let dry too much.
To prevent wrinkles or jamming the printer,
scotch tape the waxed paper smoothly to a                                                
sheet of printer paper at the top. 
how-to, tute, tutorial
Image transfer on waxed paper.
Or use repositional adhesive spray at the top end.
Either side of the waxed paper works.

Feed the sandwich into the printer and print.
TIP: Definitely use an inkjet printer.

Don’t be alarmed by the “faint” print you get
on the waxed paper…it’s supposed to look like
that! Gently lay it ink-side down onto the pre-
dampened watercolor paper. Holding the
waxed paper firmly down so it doesn’t move,
press all over with your hand. Then carefully
Guhin, art+blog
Watercolors on sealed print.
lift the waxed paper. It will still have ink,
so be careful not to drag it.

These prints are water soluble,
so colorize with dry media only.
Or spray the print with
clear acrylic when dry,
let that dry too,
then add watercolors or inks.
Both techniques are easy and fun to do,
so I hope you enjoy them.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


 Today’s post is an addition to or further exploration of my last post, where I used Future floor polish (now called Pledge Floor Care with Future shine), basically a clear acrylic emulsion about as viscous as vegetable oil. I learned that it was a great extender or flow improver. Future floor polish is also both a great clear coat on finishes (especially on Yupo!), and a barrier between two different kinds of finishes.

Thin, flowy acrylics can be used to drip, spatter, pour, as an ink in pens, airbrushes, and squeeze bottles. They also make great glazes, especially when added to clear acrylic medium. But thinning acrylics can be tricky! Your paint MUST be like skim milk WITHOUT any lumps! I thinned and creamed the tube or craft paint with a little water first.
Many of you may already know that isopropyl alcohol can be splattered into wet, fluid acrylics to create a cool effect.
Well, it can also be used as an acrylic paint thinner! But this time I will discuss another unconventional, unexpected thinning medium. 

Guhin, blog
This stuff works great to liquefy acrylic paint!

Thinning Acrylics with Glass Cleaner
In its usual form, glass cleaner is a blue tinted liquid. Unlike the floor polish, glass cleaner has no acrylic binder so it cannot extend the paint, merely thin it. Glass cleaner has a tiny amount of detergent and some alcohol to reduce surface tension of the water. Most glass cleaners also have ammonia which helps to keep acrylic emulsions liquified.

TIP: Next time you finish a painting session with leftover paint, make some of it liquid and pour into a clean spray or squeeze bottle. Be sure to label the bottle as "fluid." 
Hey, thanks for viewing this post...I hope you try this stuff, as well as
the floor polish and the alcohol!
And have fun, fun, fun till your daddy takes the T-Bird away!

Monday, September 26, 2016


Y'know how expensive fluid acrylics can be? Or acrylic airbrush colors. Even the tiny little bottles aren't cheap. I made my own with the method explained below.

tutorial, mixed-media, manic
A fun experiment!
First, I mixed Liquitex tube acrylic in Prism Violet thoroughly with acrylic floor shine.

Guhin, art+blog
Go more opaque or
more translucent, as desired.
Be sure to get the mixture
as smooth as possible.
I should have strained mine, but didn't,
and it turned out okay!

Next, I poured the now-fluid acrylic paint into a clean,
empty eyeglass cleaner spray bottle.


Dr. Ph. Martin's Bombay India inks come in many colors, in a convenient dropper-stopper glass bottle. These highly pigmented India inks not only remain lightfast and permanent, but are also totally waterproof when dry. The colors are brilliant and transparent (except black and white).

My support was white Yupo, which I first sprayed with clear water. Then I added violet India ink in places. While that was still wet, I sprayed my homemade liquid acrylic in some areas. Silly me, there wasn't enough difference in the two colors (duh), so I grabbed orange airbrush acrylic to add a few accents.   

mixed-media, tutorial
I also splattered pure floor shine!
Adding droplets of clear floor shine at the end, but before the India ink is too dry, will create some cool effects.
I'll include this example, below, using Teal Bombay India ink diluted with water on Yupo. Then spattered with clear acrylic floor wax (the liquid). Then I used the ink bottle's dropper to add dark accents back in.

Guhin, how-to, tute
The India ink is repelled by the acrylic wax!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


My gratitude to those who entered last week's contest...please stay with me even if you didn't get lucky this time!
The random drawing was done by my impartial, totally uncaring husband. Okay, he cares about me, but not my blog.
mixed-mediaHe chose Meera's name from the hat, so MEERA RAO, please send me your mailing address privately. You won the art book prize!


Tuesday, September 13, 2016


This contest is now closed. See the following post for the name of the winner.
mixed+media, blog
Corrugated cardboard, acrylics, inks, papers, stone, fibers.
The mixed media piece shown above appears in the freebie prize, a book in new, never used, excellent condition.
book, prize, free, giveaway
Just leave a comment with this post to be considered!

Randomly selected winner will be announced in the next post. Winner must privately provide me with his or her USPS address. Thanks!


mixed+media, blog
Corrugated cardboard, acrylics, inks, papers, stone, fibers.
The mixed media piece shown above appears in the freebie prize, a book in new, never used, excellent condition.
book, prize, free, giveaway
Just leave a comment with this post to be considered!

Randomly selected winner will be announced in the next post. Winner must privately provide me with his or her USPS address. Thanks!

Saturday, September 3, 2016


Besides the permanent ink in a shallow dish, you'll need a single-edged razor blade.
how-to, tutorial
This is the ink I used, and it worked fine.
My first example, below,
was done on watercolor
paper, but do try Yupo or
even a canvas!
Dip the sharp edge of the
blade into the ink, and use
it as a drawing tool
on wet or dry paper.

art, blog
I've done both here.

In this demo, you'll pull a wide brush of white gesso through wet color and ink lines. But you must be quick and work while it's still wet! I used a primed canvas as my substrate. Do limit your paint palette to three or four colors that work together. You'll also need a spray bottle of water, a rag, and the goodies we used above in method one.
FIRST: Paint swatches of your colors all across the surface, leaving some bare white above and below.   

art, blot, acrylics
Colors included several metallics and Quin Nickel Azo Gold.

SECOND: I used the trick from method one, both horizontally and vertically, before the paint could dry.

Is your wide brush filled with gesso for the next step?
Note that I extended my black lines to the bottom but not at the top of my painting.
THIRD: Pull the brush and gesso down through some of the paint and ink at the left of the page, and continue across in the same manner. Beware of might wish to clean the gesso brush once or twice. Don't do anything at the top of the artwork just yet!
painting, art+blog, mixed-media
Still not finished, but cool beans, huh?
FOURTH: Spray clear water on the top portion and tilt the paper, encouraging it to run a bit. If the paint and ink is now too dry to flow, add a little more as needed. I also tipped my canvas for some flow toward the bottom!
Blot anywhere it's needed, or blend with a clean brush, or add more lines, or dots of color, spattering, even a few scribbles! (I had a great time with mine, below.)

technique, tutorial
I even used gesso to make more razor blade lines.

Thanks for viewing this post! Do come by again.