Warm-Up Exercise

I was really excited when I read about the warm-up exercise. It was confusing to think of a temporary drawing. I wanted to work on my backyard with the leafs but I wasn’t sure how I was going to work them out. So before overthinking it, I chose to work on Yupo paper. If you don’t know Yupo paper, is a great paper to experiment with mediums that you can actually change and manipulate after some time. (I highly recommend it if you want to experiment!!!).

The exercise mentioned creating unusual drawing activities. And Yupo is perfect for this. When I first purchased it, I was trying to do some art with alcohol inks and alcohol. But I didn’t have the right materials. Later on, I came across a tutor that mentioned I could simply use ammonia and ink. At first it was frustrating due to my lack of experience with the materials. Ammonia is not an easy material to handle, and you must be careful from inhaling. Yupo paper also has a very different result, and going back to the memory of my first attempt at painting with it (see pictures below) I thought: This is really terrible!

The materials I used for the warm-up exercise were white glue, ammonia, water, indian ink, brushes, old credit cards, spritzer, cotton swabs, dropper and Yupo paper size 9inx12in. A technical issue was that I hadn’t tried my spritzer in a while (it had ink) and when I was trying to record my process it didn’t work. So I had to improvise and simply drip the paint. I used other materials as well to spread the ink and ammonia. At the beginning, I wasn’t sure of what marks to make. I let go once I put the ink on paper. I wasn’t looking for any shape in particular, as much as I wanted to create a working flow, something I could manipulate. I loved the way the ink flowed and its vibrancy -I know it’s black but it had such shine. As it dried, I noticed that it was looking differently from what I had seen at first. I moved on to add other elements, and play with the shapes that have come out of the exercise.

The ink really gives endless possibilities to work with. I moved from one direction to other, from thin lines/spreads to thicker ones. The ammonia and water helped create more working time with the ink and achieve other effects. Yupo paper really helps when I rethink the shapes once they dried.

The first two images I dragged, scratched and made very random marks. At the end they both look like eyes or something like that.

For image 3, I used glue first and allowed it to dry. The mark with the glue was random as well. I moved the glue around as it came out of the jar. After, I added the ink and brushed it “off” and added ammonia to see the interaction with the ink. Image 4 made itself. Apart from the first shapes I did with water and a brush, the rest just came as I added the rest of the materials. I’m very happy with the result on this one. I wouldn’t change anything because I feel it is a “happy accident” of experimentation. Image 5 and 6 were similar. On image 5 I used more ink and ammonia, and once it dried I kept working on removing some ink to create more white “drips” always following the flow of the shape. Image 6 has more water and less work of removal or editing of ink. Image 7 I want to keep working on, eventually. It came darker than the rest and I’m not sure the ink I added, once it had dried, created any visual “pleasantness.” Was this the purpose of the exercise? I think not. However, because is Yupo paper and the exercise is a temporary drawing I’m happy that I’ll be able to edit it later.

With some pages I lost the intention when it dried (the ink) but the same versatility of the materials helped work on it. More than a warm-up, it really pumped me to keep going. I couldn’t just do one. I had to keep “finding.”

I really enjoyed this warm-up exercise. I discovered new materials and new possibilities, and it was a great start for Drawing Skills class.


***All images are scanned to provide more close-up detail. I share with the readers my first attempts to ever use Yupo paper (last two images). If you have any suggestions about using the materials, thank you in advance!***

Image copyright by Ana Barahona



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