Ken Oliver, Dylusions and Hahnemühle

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Lately l have been playing with liquid watercolor, trying some old techniques and some new techniques. Seeing what works and what doesn’t. Yesterday I pulled out a couple bottles of Ken Oliver’s Liquid Watercolor and I want to show you what I did with them.

This project began in my Report & Art Book from Hahnemühle. It’s a really super little sketchbook with a whole lot of potential. I will be doing a full review of it soon. For this particular page I began by tracing out some boundary lines. Within that area I tangled up a bunch of circular patterns – kuke, jetties, ripped screen, cirquital, matahari, cruffle, printemps, papermint. I think that’s it. I chose not to shade because I wanted to add wet media. That doesn’t always work great with shading.

Normally I do the color first, then add the tangling. This time I did the reverse. I knew I wanted to protect the rest of my book because I would be using water, so I took a couple pieces of cut up craft mat – slid one under the page I would work on. The other went over the page to the left to keep it clean. I also added a tape border around my designated area with painters tape. It pulls right off later with no problems.

Here are my colors I chose to work with from Ken’s line of liquids. For those of you who know color theory, you already know these colors have a tendency to make mud. I love me a good challenge! Hahahaha!

I could have chosen to put some of each color into the sections of a palette and work with a water brush, but for this project (mainly due to the amount of time I had to work) I chose to use the product like a huge wash. So I spritzed water all over the page. A good liberal coating.

I began with the Lemon Yellow and squeezed out a drop onto the wet page. Normally the inks and watercolors I work with will begin to bloom and spread at this point. The Ken Olivers did not do that. The yellow just sat on the page like a blob.

I wondered if that was just a fluke with the yellow, so I dropped in some of the Alizarin Crimson and it did the same thing. Although I did get a little tiny bit of edges to begin and then stop. The Phthalo Green just sat on top of the centerpiece like an ugly wad of color. And that was the end of my experiment with Ken Oliver’s Liquid Watercolors. I will come back to them another day and use them in a different way. Probably.

So I blotted up all that mess and I did like the bits of color it left behind, but it needed more. I grabbed my ever wonderful fresh lime Dylusions Ink Spray. There is a reason this line is my favorite of all the products I use.

I liked the way the fresh lime tied in with those Ken Oliver remnants, and that crimson made me want to grab my bottle of bubblegum pink. So I did.

And the lemon zest color as well – and this was the basis for my page. I added water where I needed to – to make the colors move. Being mindful of mud because who likes mud. Not anyone over 50 years old. Hahahaha!

One nice thing about Dylusions is when you have too much – too much color, too much dark, too much mud – you can spray on more water and lift the color away. And I was concerned about making mud right there, so I blotted with my tissue and got rid of the too much part.

And I loved it. I can still see some of the Phthalo Green from Ken Oliver there in that cirquital and I liked the edges it was making with the blended yellow and pink there in that lower kuke. But I wanted areas of the page to pop! This is called a fan brush. You can remember that because it looks like a fan. Think little ole granny ladies sitting in church fanning away with their cardboard fans. Yep. That’s a picture <3 Hahaha! This particular one – because someone will ask – is a 20/0 micro mini from Creative Mark.

Touch the brush into some water and hold it over the index finger of your other hand. Just tap it against your finger and let it splatter tiny little bits of water all over your page. And your desktop and keyboard and curtains, apparently.  Then let those water spots sit for about 15 seconds.

Can you see what it is doing? Check out the big drop in that pink section.

After about 15 seconds or so, dab that water up with a tissue or paper towel and you will get this lovely spotting where the color was lifted away. As it dries, the color will continue to lift.

I wanted more drama, so I added more splatters and blotted again.

I really loved this page right then! It reminds me of a galaxy which gives me the idea to make another page with darker colors – blues and purples.

I used my heat tool to dry the entire page and I gently (mostly) removed the painters tape. You can see it did absolutely no damage. And though I loved the page, I felt it needed something more.

Isn’t this splatter detail awesome?

The page reminded me of stars and wide skies so I figured it needed some white highlights with a #10 gelly roll pen and possibly some sparkle. I used to use these Wink of Stella Glitter Pens a lot. Not sure how I got away from that but I was glad I thought about them for this page. I actually won this set in a giveaway <3

There are some closeups of some of the details, highlights and sparkles.

Such a fun page – and easy one, too! – to make! The Ken Olivers did not work the way I expected them to, although they did leave some lovely remnants of color behind that complimented the finished piece. I will find another way to use them. And I had not tried the Dylusions in this Report & Art Book yet. I am very happy with the way they worked! The Dylusions Ink Sprays? They work every single time. And they are amazing! I hope this inspires you to try some art for yourself today. Doesn’t have be like anything you’ve seen here. And even if you only have 5 minutes , or 10 or 15, any time spent making art is time well used.

Need a place to tangle? Or to learn to tangle? Or just make friends with a bunch of nice tangle folks? I admin an amazing group of tanglers on Facebook, we are called Tangle All Around and I would love to welcome you into our group. Click the link below and it will take you right to our page. The other links will show you where the products I used can be found. Have a super day!

Tangle All Around
Ken Oliver Liquid Watercolor
Ranger Craft Mat
Hahnemühle Report & Art Book here, here and here.
Painters Tape
Dylusions Ink Spray
Creative Mark Micro Mini Brush Set
#10 Gelly Roll Pen
Wink of Stella Glitter Pens





10 thoughts on “Ken Oliver, Dylusions and Hahnemühle

  1. Now I always thought you decided where to tangle dependent upon where you had certain areas of colour – this just showed me that’s not necessary at all. Absolutely love your writing style & am grateful you take so much trouble with it – makes me smile. This new blog of yours is really a brilliant platform for you. The outlining of the area you coloured looks super on the page with that white border & the rounded corners matching those of the pages. I don’t think I’d have dared use all of that water actually on the book itself. Isn’t it odd how some products just don’t behave???

    • I think this is the first piece I did backwards. Tangled. Then colored. But it worked. And the Hahnemuhle paper is so sturdy, I figured why not try.

  2. PS – that purple & blue banner header to the whole blog with your name & ‘Artangleology’ in white is just splendid.

  3. I scrolled up to have another look – where did it go? Now that is fascinating the way that banner changes. Better stop taking up all your commenting space………..

    • Isn’t that cool? You are the first person to make notice of the changing banners. I have 12 of them , I think

  4. That’s a great line, “time spent making art is time well spent”. I am going to put that in my sketch books with your name beside it. Have a good day today and thank you for all that you do and teach. Susan

  5. I love how transparent the Dylusions watercolors are. I’ve used a lot of products in the Report & Art book, and almost everything has worked so I’m surprised the Ken Oliver reacted. They must need something really slick like marker paper.

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