A beginner’s play in alcohol inks, alcohol
markers, pencil, India inks,
and digital image editing…
• “Drift” is the latest in the alcohol ink drip playing series as a relief
from the stresses of the SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 pandemic, which
• The initial impetus in the series was to both de-stress and to learn
more about analog materials for drip playing…and about digital image
editing (capabilities, efficiencies, expressiveness). Once an initial level
of learning was achieved, a year and a half in, I took a breather.
• I need to improve all around. Especially, I have plenty of work to do in
learning how to draw. I need to get better at making original shapes.
• Making shapes using a diagramming tool sometimes reads as too
“adamant” when it is the line shape alone.
• However, with sufficient editing, it is possible to acquire something more pleasing.
• I need to keep experimenting broadly, given that every bit of learning can
benefit sometime in the future, even if I can’t see the application today.
• One of the works here uses an inverse mask, which I am slowly learning
how to use. Masking is such a useful tool, but I have not used it sufficiently
to where it becomes second nature to reach to as a function.
• Digital image editing enables the weaving together of various disparate
visual elements. It also enables editing at granular levels, which enables
more diverse creative applications in some cases.
• The software maker is so central and engaged that I feel that they
anticipate all my wants. They are informed by professional illustrators who
use these tools. There are more capabilities than I currently know how to
• The heavy lifting is all computational, but the experimentation is on the individual.
(Part of this involves remixing sequences in the digital image processing.)
Numerically, the possibilities are near infinite, so the idea is to start with the humble
and move the work forward incrementally.
• It helps to be able to troubleshoot. It helps to be efficient. It helps to be able to find
several sequences to solve an issue.
• Visual communication involves storytelling, built into human visual
processing. There are cultural elements, too.
• This work involves all edited visuals, without pure unedited scans (the
• The magic for me is not directly in the inartful seeding images but what may
be produced with the digital image scans and editing.
• I want to keep some mystique in the visuals.
• Sometimes, I set up challenges. For example, I want to create a
limned edge, suffused with light or color. How would I do that with
various seeding works, software programs, and digital image editing
sequences? With various backgrounds? Various objects?