My challenge to myself for the month of March is to master Tsukineko inks. OK maybe not master, but learn to be much better at them. Long time ago Judy Coates Perez gave me a quick lesson on using them, but my brain is a sieve... I just remembered something about using aloe vera gel instead of water. So I whipped out my inks and started painting. Disaster? Not quite, but not all that pretty either. I was tired of doing abstract, decorative doodles and figured the best way to teach myself would by trying to paint actual objects. I am not looking for absolute realism here, just close enough, mainly learning to control of the medium. Judy was kind enough to answer my question or two and I am slowly getting better. Her main tip in my opinion was to heat set as soon as you like what you see before going further. That has certainly helped! The only problem with this is that I have an ulterior motive as usual. I would like to possibly do some pleine air painting when the weather gets warm enough and definitely would like to use the inks in my life drawing class which starts in April. Having a plugged in iron in the great outdoors is a problem and may be a safety hazard in a studio of an art center too. So.... where does that leave me? Why of course I must master my materials with out the benefit of heat. Wish me luck!