(left = water-based, middle = oil-based first try, right = oil-based second try/ different ink)

Last week I asked for your advice, through this blog but also Instagram and Facebook (on my
personal account which is Dutch). I got a lot of reactions and I got very good advice.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond!

Most people voted for the water-based print simply because it’s darker. So people chose
clarity above detail.

The voting didn’t change my mind, I still prefer the detail of the oil-based print but now that I
know the preferences of others I’m going to continue experimenting with different kinds of
oil-based inks and make sure to end up with a nice dark print. Hoping to achieve both clarity
and detail.

Last Thursday I made a print using a different oil-based ink and got a wonderful dark and
detailed print. Before I go on and perfect the printing process I need to see how it holds in
laundry.

For now I’m still waiting for the ink to dry which takes a lot more time compared to a
water-based ink. Fingers crossed it holds!!

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(left = water-based, right = oil-based)

Next to my job at Van Beek Art Supplies, my weekly bug stamp, my watercolour
experiment
 
on panel and the start on a new lino print I’ve been working on another experiment:
printing on textile!
I’ve been using my Sleeping Cat lino from last years’ ‘15 Lino’s in 30 Days’ project.
Next to just trying things out by myself I’ve been reading a lot on the internet too.
The problem I’m running into is that most favourite brands I read about are not available
in the Netherlands and having it shipped here is a bit too expensive for me right now.
A lot of people use Permaset Aqua which is actually made for screen printing but lots of
people succeed perfectly in using it for printing lino on textiles.

After a bit of experimenting with a soft brayer and a thick layer of Permaset Aqua ink I
managed to get some good prints.
But the thing is I also did some prints with some leftover etching ink and I like those
results much better!

As you can see on the picture above, the water-based Permaset Aqua print is much cruder than
the print next to it which is printed in oil based ink. I’ve read more complaints about this on the
internet. Somehow the results with water-based inks in general are always a bit crude.
Not a problem when your design has big shapes but my prints are mostly quite delicate.
And now I’m puzzled on how to continue next.
Do I continue with water-based ink which has a cruder end result but is set after ironing or do
I go for the nicer print which I fear will remain vulnerable for solvents like white spirit.
I tend to go for oil based because it’s more beautiful and I must say next to my studio
clothing none of my textiles ever had a collision with white spirit or any other solvent…
What do you think?

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Two weeks ago I wrote a blog about how I mounted watercolour paper on a wooden panel.
When I wrote that blog I had started drawing my concept but had not started applying
watercolour yet.
Shortly after that blog I started adding watercolour and I’m very happy about how the
surface responds to the paint. The paper stays perfectly flat on the wooden panel so the gluing
process worked well, no bubbles popping up or wrinkly paper whatsoever! The paper responds
to the paint as it should with the only difference (maybe) that it dries a little quicker.
As you can see the painting is not finished yet, I just wanted to show a glimpse of what I’m
doing.
Next week more about another experiment I’m working on.

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(Ladybug, Firebug, Weevil, Common Wasp)

This year I’m not participating in Leslie Saeta’s 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge. I won’t be
able to make what I want to make next to a paid job and spending time with friends & family.

Also it feels kinda nice spending my time on different creative adventures. Nonetheless I
learned a lot participating for the last two years.

For instance I got much better at planning my art and actually doing what I set out to do.
Just because I did big projects and I know I can do it again.

Find out about my 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenges below:
30 Paintings in 30 Days (1) / 30 Paintings in 30 Days (2) / 15 Lino's in 30 Days (3)

For the last few weeks I have been working on a small project. Every Friday I carve a bug-stamp.
For now there is a ladybug, a firebug, a weevil (from New Guinea) and a common wasp.
I'm planning to do a lot more. There are plans for these little critters but nothing conclusive yet.

Not doing a big project but in a way the whole week is a project. Saturday and Monday are for
my paid job. Sunday is my day off. Tuesday is for personal work, Wednesday for blogging,
keeping up my website/ webshop and administration. Thursday is spend like whatever
I feel like and Friday is for printing. Printing bug-stamps, printing linocuts, printing on textiles

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Watercolour on mounted paper in the making

Last week I wrote about my adventures with Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground. It might be a
good product for some (a lot of art friends are very positive about it) but it’s just not for me.

Still wanting to find a solution for not putting my drawings and watercolours behind glass I
also use Ampersand Aquabord and Ampersand Encausticbord. They both work very nice and
because of their surface they offer the possibility to varnish your art.

Still you’re dependent on the sizes Ampersand or your art supply store offers and it’s not
cheap to work on these boards.

Next thing I tried was mounting watercolour paper to board/ wood and here’s how I did it.
It takes a little preparation and time but taking an effort really pays off. Also make sure you got
all the supplies you need close by because some actions need to be done very quickly.


I started out with a panel of linden wood and a sheet of 300 g/m2 (140lb) of
Saunders Waterford watercolour paper.

First I cut the paper to a size a few centimetres bigger than the panel and put it aside on some
paper towels.

Next I sanded down the wooden panel making it a bit smoother than it already was. If your panel
is already very smooth you can skip the sanding part here.

Wipe the dust off with a damp cloth and tape the sides of your panel with painter’s tape.
This is to make sure the edges will stay clean during the mounting and also when you’re
actually painting your art.

Apply a layer of gesso on the panel. The gesso makes sure the acidic nature of the wood won’t
compromise the acid free paper you plan to work on. Let this dry before you proceed to the
next step!

Sand again, wipe again and you’re ready to apply the paper.
To make sure the paper is applied nice and smoothly have a very clean lino brayer on hand.
Apply a good thick layer of bookbinder glue on the panel. It needs to be wet when you fix the
panel to the paper. Glue it to the paper.

Turn your panel with the paper up and use your brayer to even out any glue or air bubbles.
Start in the middle and work to the edges. You can apply quite some pressure here smile

When you’re finished put the panel face down back on the paper towels.
Now you need to weigh down the panel. You can use a stack of heavy books for this. I used
a board first (bigger than my panel) and then stacked some heavy books on top.

It needs to dry like this for at least a few hours.
Now that the glue is dry you can cut of the excess paper with an x-acto knife. To make the
edges look really nice you can sand them with a careful downward motion using fine sanding
paper.

Now your panel is ready to paint!

Before doing this I did a lot of online research what other people were using and what steps
they would take. Also not all brands of supplies are available everywhere.
This is what works for me.

Artist Kelly McKernan has a very elaborate blogpost about how she mounts paper onto
panel which was a great help.

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