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How to paint a patterned portrait with India Ink and mixed media

Patterns are fun, you can include them in your paintings for graphic effects, like this Indian ink patterned portrait with lots of stripes and dots.

This summer we took a picture of my daughter as it was raining and she was under this doted umbrella, wearing a striped jacket and I really liked the interaction of the patterns and the idea of making a black and white painting from this picture.

Here is how you can paint a patterned portrait with India ink

Start by preserving white areas with masking fluid

Transfer your drawing to your canvas, outlining the main elements of your portrait and patterns.

applying masking fluid on canvas with a silicon brush

After your drawing is done, the first step is to mask all those tiny dots and stripes with masking fluid. Masking fluid works really well on canvas with watercolors, acrylic inks or India ink. A silicon brush is a very convenient too to apply masking fluid as you can just peel off the masking fluid from the brush once it dried.

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Colour Shapers Tools

Apply oil or acrylic straight from tube with a Colour Shaper, then carve back into paint for unusual surface effects. Also for calligraphy. Use the rubber tip shapes to lift or blend paint, draw line, and draw contours.

all the stripes and dots have been preserved with masking fluid on canvas

Masking fluid works well on canvas but might pick up the layers of paint underneath it when removed. In that case it wasn’t a problem as this is my first layer of paint and the dots and stripes are going to be white.

Apply India ink to the background

painting with India ink on top of masking fluid on canvas

When the masking fluid has dried, I get ready to apply India ink.

applying India ink on the background, leaving the portrait unpainted

This must be done very carefully so as to not lift the masking fluid. You can paint all the background and then leave the portrait unpainted for now.

Let dry the India ink on canvas overnight

Then you can leave the ink to dry overnight.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.

Speedball Super Black Waterproof India Ink

“Super black” means its blackness will be very permanent and fadeless. Contains 100% carbon black pigment. Also free-flowing, non-clogging, and waterproof.

taking masking fluid off the canvas to reveal patterns

When you take off the masking fluid, you might notice a few areas where the paint did smudge a bit.

fix smudges with a bit of white acrylic

You can fix those areas with a bit of liquid acrylic.

Painting the portrait with mixed media

face in mixed media

Then I am working on the face, I am using dry pastels and black and white watercolor crayons as well as the liquid white acrylic on the face.

patterned portrait painting with India ink and mixed media

Rain Geometry, mixed media on canvas

buy prints from North Vancouver artist Sandrine Pelissier

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How to paint a patterned portrait with India Ink and mixed media
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