Category Archives: Exercise 2..1

Exercise 2.1

I decided to go for things I’d never tried before so the ink drawn with a stick and graphite were out. Still left a lot of choice!


Painting in coffee sounds easy – but it’s hard to get the tones. I tried espresso and two different instants but getting a dark tone was really hard!

Next up was Humbrol enamel left over from my husband’s airfix obsession.


I painted the background in the morning and the shoes many hours later as it takes so long to try. This stuff is thick and gooey and needs a lot of stirring. It’s not very kind with mistakes, so you just have to go for it. I thinned it with some Sansodor but next time would use Humbrol thinners. As it’s so thick I could draw the tiles with a cocktail stick. This is my favourite of them all. I like the gloss sheen. I want to investigate this medium further and have stocked up on different colours. You need definite shapes with it I think, as I’m not sure how you would paint gradual tones, perhaps the thinners will help there. How George Shaw paints his trees in enamel I’m not sure. They look so realistic. If I can get to the National Gallery before his exhibition ends, I will take a closer look!


Next I tried some acrylic ink ice cubes, mixed with some water. I froze in cocktail sticks and used thick smooth watercolour paper and rough paper to try different effects.

These are the first of my jewellery collection. It quickly became clear I couldn’t make distinct shapes with these and just tried to reproduce the circular shapes of the necklaces, bracelets and rings. The ink had formed small granulations.

These last three are my favourites. It was not an easy technique to master, melting cubes, so easy just to make a giant muddy mess. I put them outside and tipped off excess ink every now and then. The paper was really wet and took many hours to dry. I’m not sure if these are interesting enough as stand alone paintings or whether it would be good jsut as a ground to work over. It reminds me slightly of Hilda Af Klints paintings I saw at the Serpentine gallery recently; maybe that’s the swirling patterns.

Of all these techniques my favourite was the enamels by far. I’m going to experiment on metal using them.

My least favourite was nail varnish.

The nail varnish dries so quickly. The second painting was only 10 minutes after the first and it was almost unworkable, despite adding some acetone to it. I have limited colours in nail varnish. I think Humbrol enamel would be easier to work with.