Sunday, November 1, 2015

Ottawa Art School Fair - Liquitex Acrylic Ink and it’s Secrets

Art School Fair (ASF) was held October 31 to November 1, 2015, in Ottawa.

 ASF is eastern Canada's first and only ART MATERIAL TRADE FAIR + ART CLASSES. Organizers brought together the biggest and best names and brands in the industry. Attendees were able to see, buy and try the latest products, take a workshop, demo or lecture.

 This is the second of four reports on the demonstrations, lectures and workshops that I attended.

On Saturday, October 31st (1:30 pm-3:30 pm), I attended the demonstration: Acrylic Ink and it’s Secrets with Françoise Issaly

Françoise Issaly

Françoise Issaly is a Canadian artist who lives and has worked in Montreal, Quebec since 1993. Originally from the South of France, she studied in Montpellier then Bordeaux where she received her M.F.A. Her work has been shown in galleries in Quebec, USA and Germany both in solo and group shows and is part of private collections. Over the past 20 years she has taught art in several schools including The Montreal Fine Art Museum, The Visual Art Center and University of Montreal.

I was interested in attending this class because I have been wanting to try adding acrylic ink to my acrylic landscapes. Liquitex ink comes in thirty colors  and can be used for:

  • Dip Pen   
  • Brush   
  • Technical Pen   
  • Stamping   
  • Ink Brayer   
  • Screen Printing   
  • Fabric Painting   
  • Book Arts   
  • Calligraphy   
  • Stippling   
  • Photo Tinting   
  • Airbrush   
  • Drybrush   
  • Stenciling   
  • Pouring   
  • Watercolor   
  • Collage  
  • Drafting

Obviously, in two hours, we could explore only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the many applications for acrylic ink.

Françoise clearly is passionate (and has a lovely sense of humor) about this medium and was willing to go in any direction that the group wanted. (There were lots of folks who had some experience already with acrylic inks.)

Liquitex Inks
Liquitex inks come in thirty colors, opaque and transparent that are mixable.

The Liquitex acrylic ink color chart

Dip pens used for acrylic inks
Françoise Issaly demonstrated many of the creative possibilities for the ink

Some effects that are achievable with acrylic inks

Liquitex chart
I love charts like the one above. You rarely see these in stores, but the manufacturers always have them!

As Françoise Issaly  walked through many of the additives and mediums that can be used with inks, some key learnings for me were that Françoise Issaly  explained:

  • The 20% acrylic/water ratio rule: how if acrylic paint has too much water added, it breaks down the chemical composition of the polymers and will create disappointing results.
  • This is why folks (most folks in the room) were quite familiar with Liquitex Flow Aid. Folks use flow aid to create watercolor effects.
  • Things got exciting when  Françoise revealed that she used airbrush medium instead of flow aid. Artists, if not doing airbrushing, would not give airbrush medium a second look in the store. Françoise explained that because Flow Aid cannot be mixed directly with the color she prefers airbrush medium to create the beautiful glazing effects in her art. You must mix Flow Aid with water. This is not the case with Liquitex airbrush medium.
  • Françoise left the "pouring demonstration to the very end. In her experience, this is where folks get very excited about creative possibilities

Françoise demonstrating pouring

Some of the beautiful possible effects using pouring medium and airbrush medium.
This was an incredibly brief summary of some interesting points that I took away from Françoise Issaly's excellent presentation today. I am thankful for this opportunity today at the Art School Fair.

We were also given a sample package that had the following paper samples:

  • The Acrylic Book: A Comprehensive Resource For Artists (available for downloading here
  • Liquitex acrylic heavy body and soft body paint samples
  • Heavy body sampler: blue, yellow and red with gloss medium varnish
  • Mediums sampler: pouring  medium, ultra matte medium flow aid, and string gel
  • Acrylic marker sample
  • Spray Paint: Cadmium red medium hue


  1. I'm so sorry to have missed this demonstration. I saw some work done by a lady at a recent art show that got me all excited, and now I want to try it. I know nothing about acrylic inks so this demonstration would have been very helpful to me. With luck, perhaps I can catch it next year. Meanwhile thanks for the link

    1. The possibilities seem endless - it was a great demo - very inspiring!!

  2. This is amazing! What medium was used to create the dots/honeycomb effect during the pouring demo?

    1. I checked my notes for the demo because I could not remember exactly what Françoise Issaly (she demonstrated SO MUCH in such a short period) I wrote:
      Flow aid can make watercolour effects
      Distilled Water
      Spray paint propellant creates colourless layers

      So sorry that I could not remember more details :-)
      (I should take better notes)

      Thanks for commenting on my blog