Ink & Tempera Resist Technique process

I haven’t really made a complete art process post on the blog because usually I have to take the pictures myself while I’m creating the art piece and I usually give up documenting the process in full. This time my good friend, Lauren, was eager to take pictures. 

For our final exam (sort of, not really) in watercolor, my professor shows us a technique that she doesn’t necessarily like, but thinks we should do anyway. It’s called Ink & Tempera resist. You “white out” the shapes you want to save later for painting, and leave an outline around those shapes. I found it easy to leave the pencil lines the “open” space. The goal is to create a ink outline around all your shapes, and the ending result resembles that of a very large grown up coloring book page. 
So you sort of got what I just said, right? Yeah, probably not. But what’s better way to explain this method than in pictures? 
1) After drawing your subject (and in this case, it’s lilies), you paint over the positive and negative space, and as you can see I’m leaving a line around every shape. To make the tempera, purchase dry powdered tempera and then add water a LITTLE BIT at a time until the tempera reaches the consistency of toothpaste. You can get whatever color you like. However, remember that the color you use will stain the paper. 

2) The tempera must be completely dry before applying the india ink. It really depends on how you want to do this. Some people pour the india ink or they paint it on. I sort of painted and scratched and experimented a little bit with this process. After you fill in the lines, make sure the ink is completely dry before the next step (the ink needs to seep into the paper!!). 

3) Find a large sink or tub so you can wash away the tempera. Tempera is water soluble, while india ink is waterproof. I sort of poured the water on the piece and lightly rubbed off the tempera. 
Keep rubbing!

4) After rubbing the tempera away, I’m left with a black outline of my shapes and a slight stain of the yellow tempera. 

5) Before painting, I make sure the paper is completely dry. For those who are impatient, use a hair dryer to speed the drying process. This might also help with buckling, which happened to mine after I soaked it in the tub. If you get the paper too wet, you might actually lose some of the paper’s weight. The weight of the paper is how thick it is, or how much it will or will not buckle. 

6) After the paper was dry, I added water color slowly since my paper has buckling issues. 

Almost done….


Here’s the somewhat finished product. I think I want to tackle some of the lily pads again. I’ll find out at my watercolor critique tomorrow. I’m not sure if I would employ this technique again. It wasn’t a pain to do, it was just sort of odd. 

One response to “Ink & Tempera Resist Technique process

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