A new painting. A new medium. An experiment, and most likely a new beginning.

After finishing number 51 I felt drained. I did not really feel the desire to continue with a new painting, despite having over a dozen concepts lying around waiting to be realised – inspiration wasn’t the issue. After Viraemia I felt the same, as if I had a minor burn out.

I felt drained and I didn’t experience much joy in the process. A hobby I started doing to help me relax, turned into a process of frustration. My taste for large sheets and a lot of detail doesn’t really help either, but it was clear I needed to figure out a way to return to a process that is at least for most part relaxing.

The first step? A step back.

For a couple of weeks, I picked up the same pencils I had used little over a decade ago. Just doodling, take the edge off. No colours, no real concept, just force myself to just sketch something. Perhaps I had lost something along the way and this would a way to pull me out of this rut.
It was enjoyable, but limiting myself to only dry pencil-work isn’t my thing anymore. I have grown accustomed to using watermedia, and brushes.

As luck would have it, my solution suddenly was right before my eyes.

Last week, while I was browsing an art shop’s brochure, I came across these new kinds of pencils…or, well, new to me, called ink pencils (water-soluble pencils). Similar to watercolour pencils, but these were supposed to be a bit more versatile with layering. I was immediately energised. This felt like the sort of hybrid I was looking for. A combination dry and wet techniques, not to mention vibrant colours. I ordered a few to test straight away.

This new painting, #52, was my experiment using them with only a select few shades of red. The result for this ‘quick and dirty’ painting turned out pretty much as well as I could have hoped for. The colours were indeed quite vibrant.

Normally I would’ve taken a few more days to iron out more details, but it was exactly what it needed to be – a test, and what a fine test it was. I am already looking forward to working on the next, with a larger sheet.

Literally translated, Inkthart means ‘Ink Heart’:

31 x 41 cm, water-soluble pencil on cotton