- Introspection Prompts + Sidekick
- Art journal your personality type
- 10 Minute Art Journal Pages
- Using Envelopes In Your Art Journal
- How to make Watercolour Collage Paper
- Using your own photography in your art journals
- Drawing inspiration from Andy Warhol
- A beginner’s guide to drawing faces
- Finding Words
- How to stencil with mists
- Make a gorgeous mess with bleached paper
- Using Ink Blots to Connect to Your Intuition
Using Ink Blots to Connect to Your Intuition
Hello lovely artists, Vanessa with you for this first tutorial of the Season. I am very much looking forward to where this Season of Introspection will take us, aren’t you? Let’s get started. Open your journal to a blank page and choose three acrylic paints that make your heart flutter. For this tutorial, you need to use acrylics because we need paint that dries relatively fast.
Once you have chosen your colors, put three or four splotches of paint onto your journal. Make sure they are different sizes and that they are not one on top of each other, yet relatively close.
Now the fun part! Take your right page and fold it over the left one.
With the palm of your hand, gently smoosh the pages together. You will feel the blobs of paint moving under your hand. Slowly guide the paints in different directions so they spread out and touch each other.
Make sure you have an assistant there to supervise your work!
Wait about one minute to a minute and a half, depending on the thickness of the paint. Then slowly peel apart the pages.
You will have a lovely ink blot (or paint blot), the fruit of complete randomness, dependant only on the way the paints moved under your hand.
As you can see, waiting for the paint to dry just a little bit creates these lovely ‘veins’ or ridges in the paint.
The colors blend together in intricate ways.
I love this effect.
Now we wait for the paint to dry completely. While you wait, look at the image you created closely. What does it remind you of? What do you see in those paint splotches? Is there an image or is it completely abstract, a swirl of colors and texture? Imagine your are doing one of those ink blots tests and you have to describe what you see in the paint.
After studying my image, I clearly saw a butterfly held within. Butterflies are important to me. My name is a butterfly genus and the Vanessa Io (or peacock butterfly) is one of my favorites. They represent the souls of the departed and I work with human remains. Butterflies are also a metaphor for transformation, evolution…metamorphosis.
Look for the hidden symbols or meanings in your image and finish your spread either with line work or collage. I actually used both for my page.
I suck at drawing butterflies, but I love this page anyway! I may go in later and refine the line work on the butterfly wings. It is also a crying/angry skull face (do you see it?), so I may work more on it to bring that imagery forward as well.
It takes a couple of tries to get this technique down but it is so versatile and fun. I definitely recommend it when you are feeling uninspired. You can also try smooshing together two journals instead of closing your pages. If you vary the drying times or the types of paper, you will see different results. Most of all, have fun and experiment!
Vanessa is an archaeologist and an artist. She oscillates between these two poles of her personality and explores the many iterations of her reality in her art journal. She loves to share her art and process with others.