It’s always great borrowing someone else’s fancy kit; a friend was visiting with some £160 LED light boxes so I thought I’d have a go with using this technique for capturing watercolours or other drawings done on textured paper – something that I’ve struggled with in the past, especially when trying to create icons for websites. I was absolutely delighted with the results, now I just need to find some more reasonably-priced lights that will achieve the same results.
Hand-painted for a kitchen (floral), and three bathrooms (black, blue, and trees-with-bright-backgrounds).
I created these with Pébéo Porcelaine 150 paints, and Marabu Porcelain Painter fine-line pens. They’re baked after drying to become ‘dishwasher safe’, but we have some concerns around durability, so we may add tile sealant or other protective coatings before using them in anger.
The paint is translucent and shows every brushstroke, dries quickly and subsequent layers lift earlier ones, so it’s really tricky to get consistent results with – I especially had trouble with areas of saturated colour, be they solid or gradients. Textures were much easier to achieve. The pen also was tricky to work with – the ink dries onto the special (and fantastic!) nib within seconds of you getting distracted by something, so I had to keep the lid in my free hand so that I wouldn’t forget to cap the pen. When (and I don’t mean ‘if’) the tip gets clogged, I found the best way to clear it was to soak it in warm water until most of the pigment floats away, then flush it through with clean water. I’d then blow through it to get the water out as much as possible (it mucks up the ink), and use a pin and magnifying glass to remove any stubborn pigment from the weird little flanges that channel ink down to the tip of the soft plastic nib.
A very interesting and tricky medium, but I think after this many paintings I’ve got enough of a handle on things to be able to achieve what I set out to when setting paint to tile.