Saturday, 26 October 2019

Experiment with Indian Ink

I've been trying an experiment.... this definitely works on absorbent watercolour paper, but does it work on a canvas board? I wanted to find out.
First I used water soluble blue gouache paint to sketch out a negative image on a cheap 4" x 6" canvas board from the Dollar store. I didn't want to waste a bigger more expensive canvas.  Everywhere I wanted the canvas to stay white I painted with the gouache.

When the gouache paint was absolutely dry, I covered the whole canvas with Indian ink, taking care to spread the black ink lightly so I didn't smear the gouache underneath. The canvas was a black rectangle, nothing else showing. Uhoh, what next?
Then when the Indian ink was completely dry, it's time for the experiment. I held the canvas under the tap and scrubbed gently with a soft paintbrush. When the gouache started to soften in the water, it washed off the canvas taking the ink with it, and leaving black ink where there was no paint.
I may have rubbed too enthusiastically as some of the ink came off the canvas too.
So I darkened some of the greyed out lines with more ink and added a light colour wash of ink and gouache paint. It doesn't look too bad. Sort of what I intended.
This was on plain untreated cheap canvas. Perhaps the ink might stick better if I had used some gesso.... maybe I'll try that next week.

Saturday, 19 October 2019


Some good looking winners at the poultry show at the Fair!
When I was a child, my dad always kept chickens for eggs, and later for meat, when they stopped laying.  We got a delivery of two dozen baby chicks from the hatchery every spring, and it was my job to feed and water them for the first few days.  When they were big enough, they went outside to the henhouse and the enclosed chicken run, to keep them safe.   I don't think we ever lost any to the local fox.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

The Musical Ride

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride were at our local Fall Fair at the beginning of October. They performed in a much smaller area than they are used to and had to cut some pretty sharp corners with their horses when executing some of the more complicated maneuvers.

I spoke to one of the riders while we both waited for lunch to be ready at the hamburger stand. She said she had been a rider for 3 years, and had almost finished her time with the Musical Ride and was going on to other duties in December.  I was surprised to learn that many of the riders had no knowledge of horses in their previous civilian lives, and when they apply to be part of the Ride they go through a year of training, and then are able to complete all the complicated patterns. I enjoyed watching the Ride so much, I watched it twice!

Monday, 14 October 2019

A Walk in the Woods

With the sun shining and the sky a vivid blue, I decided to get some fresh air. There are not many of these lovely days left and the cold winter winds are not far away. We haven't had a real frost yet, although one is forecast for tonight.
So I walked though the nearby woods by the local reservoir. The sign says "No Pedestrians, Sensitive Environment" or words to that effect, but if I stick to the path I'll be OK.  I could hear the Canada Geese on the water, honking and flapping their wings. No geese pics.... the bulrushes were too tall and I didn't want to get my feet wet!

 And a big surprise.... art in the forest! Lovely idea.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

RCMP and YRMU Horses

A couple of horses and riders from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (red jackets) and the York Region Mounted Unit (blue jackets) of the York Region Police Force were at the park for a "meet and greet" yesterday.
The Mounties are in town as they are performing the RCMP Musical Ride twice a day at the nearby Markham Fall Fair.

Pictures taken by Max age eight. He very sensibly didn't want to get too near those very large horses.