Abstract painting- “Master Plan”

Ok, confession time- this had been a rough week.  I won’t go into all the details, but suffice it to say that the past few days have not been pleasant.  So, I headed to my studio and started painting.  I had no idea what I was doing, I just started working and let this abstract painting take shape on it’s own.

IMG_2961-compressorAbstract Painting Tutorial

I love this style of abstract painting because the way the paint and ink blend is so soft and spontaneous.  I can control the way it looks, and yet at the same time, I can’t control it.  Learning the way the paint and ink behave and allowing them to work the way they’re designed to work is so essential and powerful, and really easy.  When you let things go, the result can be fantastic!

In fact, since I just worked on this abstract painting without any really thought as to the finished result, I find it a little ironic that I named it “Master Plan”.  Perhaps it’s the gridded lines and squares and the map feel of the piece that makes me think of designed streets and a master planned neighborhood.  I guess not all good things have to be planned to the hilt.

And I have to say something about the purple- it was definitely therapeutic, working with my favorite color.  The different shades and brands of paint worked beautifully together.  I find it fun to use different brands of paint when I work, because they each have different qualities that are fun to watch and work with.


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Creating abstractly, especially when you’re not sure what you’re trying to create, can be a bit terrifying.  Don’t worry- even if you end up painting over what you’ve done, you still learn something in the process, and it’s exhilarating and so satisfying when you see where the piece has led you.  So throw aside your fears and give it a shot!!

PearlEx Calligraphy Art- “Rivers of Truth”


PearlEx CalligraphyHi everyone!  I hope you all had an awesome Halloween.  🙂  I have a new video for you today showcasing a technique I experimented with this weekend.  I shared a little bit about it in my last post.  A calligrapher I know on instagram shared how she uses pearlex powders to create bright and colorful inks that work perfectly on black backgrounds.  I couldn’t wait to try it, and though I will confess that I made mistakes and need to practice this technique quite a bit more, I had so much fun and I hope it inspires you in the same way I was inspired by colorsofchrist.

I’ve had these black canvases for awhile, and I had actually started several paintings on this particular 6*6 canvas.  They all looked terrible- I just couldn’t make my vision a reality with the paint and the ink I was using.  So when I saw how well these inks stood out against black, I painted over what I had done before with black gesso, and started fresh.

  • I built the background by adding 3 torn pieces of Tim Holtz’ tissue wrap, using matte gel medium to adhere the pieces to the canvas.
  • I wanted to dirty them up a bit, so I splattered some black india ink, spritzed it with water, and let it dry.
  • Now with the text!  I concentrated my writing in the crevices between the paper pieces, varying the size of my writing and using three different colors.
  • I made quite a few mistakes-  there were several times my pen blotted a large amount of ink in places I didn’t want them, and trying to clean them up just made those spots worse.  I was able to clean them up a bit by painting over them with black paint.
  • When I do this again, I need to be careful of how much powder I add to the water.  I think when I had too much powder was what made it harder to manager.  Also, not overloading the pen nib would help, as well.
  • I added some modeling paste over the paper, in specific directions.  I let it dry overnight before I began to write on it.  Once it’s completely dry and set, it’s much easier to write on.
  • Since this ink is fairly easy to smear, especially if it gets wet or damp, I sealed it with a coat of Krylon crystal clear acrylic coating.  Now I can rest easy.



I’m looking forward to trying this pearlex calligraphy ink with lots of different color combinations, and hopefully improving my calligraphy skills a little bit, as well.  I definitely need to work on not overloading my pen nib, being more patient so I can achieve a better result and not splatter and leak all over the place.

pearlex calligraphy mixed media artpearlex calligraphy art


Thank you for reading!!  Do you like adding calligraphy or text to your art?  What do you think of this technique?  I’d love to see your projects!!  Leave your links in the comments!


Shellac Burn Encaustic Paintings with India Ink and Calligraphy

encaustic mixed media calligraphy painting

mixed media calligraphy encaustic painting

Good day!  It’s been awhile since I’ve shared anything with you- sickness has been visiting my home and sapping all my energy.  But I’m so excited to share these new encaustic paintings, especially since I’m using a technique I’ve never used before, but been dying to try- Shellac Burn.

  • I began with two pieces of craft plywood, both 6*6.
  • I start with white encaustic medium and then began layering clear wax on top- white, clear, white, clear.
  • After each layer of wax, it’s essential to fuse the piece with a heat tool.  It doesn’t take much to fuse each layer- you need to at least make sure a wet sheen begins to appear- this will let you know the heat has done it’s work.  I usually go a lot farther than that.
  • After several initial layers, I added some purple india ink to the cooled surface of the wax.
  • Shellac Burn!  I took everything outside to the cement slab on my back porch, sprayed the pieces with a generous amount of shellac, and lit them on fire.
  • The Shellac on the surface was very sticky after the burn, and to make sure the colors of the ink wouldn’t run or stick to my brush, I dabbed the surface with a paper towel.
  • Then, it was repeat mode.  I added another layer of clear wax, some more india ink in a different color, and did another shellac burn.
  • One more layer of wax, one more color of ink, and one more shellac burn.
  • Once I had all the colors I wanted, I added some trails of white ink, and fused them heavily into the existing layers of wax.
  • After everything cooled, I used my calligraphy pen to add text in different sizes and colors.
  • I’m using PH Martin’s Bombay India Inks here- there are two full sets and I have both for a big range of colors.

Shellac Burn encaustic painting
For my next step, I need to do some more experimenting.  I want to see if I can achieve a floating effect by adding more layers of wax between the colors.  Also, I’d like to use the fluid shellac instead of the spray, and let it dry as well before I light it on fire.  Maybe I’ll use some oil sticks or pastels instead of ink to add some color. We’ll see!!

shellac burn encaustic painting encaustic shellac burn technique

Have any of you done this technique?  I’d love to hear your process!  And if you have any questions, just shoot me a comment.  Thanks so much!!

Gesso and India Ink Journal Pages

india ink journal pages using a single stamp

I’ve been using india ink a lot in my recent projects.  It’s highly pigmented, blends well when wet, is permanent when dry, and is also transparent enough to show other ink colors over and under it.  In other words, I love this stuff!

I wanted to add text to these pages, and I wanted to use the same stamp to do it.

  • I applied a thick layer of gesso to both pages, and I stamped into it while it was still wet.
  • Once it dried, I added some splashes of purple ink and let that dry.
  • Then came red ink, covering the pages. I didn’t have to worry about the red covering the purple- remember, it’s highly transparent as well as highly pigmented.
  • When the background colors were dry, I used the same stamp I used for the gesso to stamp all over the page in white, purple and red ink.  It’s looking so awesome!
  • I used different sized lids to add circles of black india ink to the surface and splashed them with water a tiny bit.
  • I used a thin layer of gesso in the inside of the circles to highlight them a little.
  • The final touch was outlining the circles with lines and calligraphy.
  • Now these pages are ready for journaling!

Here is an affiliate link to the ink set that I use- there’s different sets of colors, and I’m on a mission to collect them all!!


india ink journal pages

india ink journal pages over gesso

india ink journal pages

Speech Bubbles- mixed media quilling art

speech bubbles with india ink mixed media art

Man, this piece was so much fun!  I hope you guys don’t mind the overload of pictures, because I love every angle of each canvas.  I’ve also added the video I made of the whole process.  Watching how the ink feathers and spreads when it’s hit with sprays of water is just awesome.  Can you tell how much I love this stuff?

speech bubbles mixed media art with india ink

speech bubbles with quilling piecesWhat I love about this piece is how simple it is.

  •  I used the lids of various gels and pastes and ink as a template, brushed the ink onto the edges, and stamped them onto the surface.
  • I used my waterbottle to spritz the circles with a small amount of water.
  • Once the surface was dry, I used a circle stencil I had cut as a mask, so that the stamps I added to the surface would show as circles.
  • I did get a little lazy, and didn’t cut a smaller one when I should have…  sigh… sometimes I try to work too fast.
  • I added quilled paper pieces in matching colors and various shapes and sizes.
  • The final touch was to use my calligraphy pen to add lines and words around the circles.  I should have done that before adding the paper pieces- it would have made the process easier, but sometimes I get good ideas later in a piece.

So, not a difficult process.  The longest part is waiting for the ink to dry.  Well, that and adding the individual paper pieces.  There aren’t too many on this piece so it didn’t take long.

The name Speech Bubbles seemed appropriate, especially after adding the script stamps.

speech bubbles mixed media art with quilling pieces

speech bubbles ink splashes

speech bubbles mixed media art

So, what do you think?  I’d love to hear your comments!  And don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any future posts or projects.

Supply list-  (This list contains affiliate links, which means I will receive a commission for any purchases made through these links.)