One of the keys to the bold, brilliant colors found in artist Christopher St. Leger‘s large cityscapes is his use of acrylic ink with traditional watercolor. “Inks make sense for large works because the color is so saturated, and I can work with it as a liquid,” the Texas-based artist says. “I sometimes dilute the inks, but I also work with them at full strength right out of the bottle.” Besides their vibrancy and even consistency, acrylic inks offer a unique characteristic: Unlike traditional watercolors, they can’t be rewetted once they’ve dried. This forces a decisive, active work process in which floods and pools of color must be worked while they’re still wet.
Once dry, the inked surface provides a permanent film that can be painted over without being disturbed. “You get a different look from traditional watercolor—a glazed look,” says St. Leger.
Learn more about St. Leger’s watercolor and acrylic ink painting process in the February 2014 issue of Watercolor Artist.
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