In anticipation of a couple of book-binding courses I’ll be teaching in a few months time I’m exploring ways of applying different paints to paper without too much mess and water. Last time I taught at this venue I asked for a room with direct water access but didn’t get it which meant that both myself and my students had to walk through the middle of another workshop to get to a sink. Not ideal by any means. Luckily, on that occasion, we only had to clean glue out of brushes not go the whole rinsing out paint route.
So it’s important for me to work out a way to apply colour, texture and pattern onto paper with minimal and easy clean-up.
My first stop was carding acrylic paint onto paper, spraying with water, drying and re-carding to get watermarks.
I like these but my issue is that I came across this technique through a semi-led event in November by a tutor at a group studio. She introduced us to several methods of mark-making on paper and I don’t feel comfortable using something she has just taught me and passing it on in a class of my own. Seems rather rude.
I decided to look at my Brusho powders. They are lovely and produce a beautiful water-colour effect. To date they have been under utilized.
Colors were applied to wet paper. I didn’t like it so ran my hand across the lot which pushed paynes gray over the whole surface (Oops!). In an effort to improve it I dropped brilliant yellow powder onto the wet surface and pulled a skewer through it. Not my finest work!!
This time I tried to keep the colours apart and was more careful with my paynes grey sprinkling and water spray. Right, well, I can happily live without this thanks. What a shocker of a colour choice!
This is better. Why? Well, I worked harder on the greens and yellows, building them up and letting them partially dry before adding the grey sprinkle. And the colourway is an improvement.
In some ways I like this but it other ways it’s annoying. I used vibrant colours, kept them separate and applied crumpled clingfilm over the surface to get the line effect. The clingfilm was left in place until the paints were dry. However, what’s happened to my beautiful colours? They’ve merged and faded. Nice if you want a soft look.
This is simply a bit of 110gsm Cartridge (the others are all on 200gsm paper) which I used when cleaning up and it’s much more along the lines of what I was hoping for with these paints.
I don’t feel I can use the first acrylic technique I’ve shown here for the reasons already stated.
Using the Brusho powder in the manner I’ve tried above is extremely hit and miss. It’s very wet, you need to spray water and have numerous containers with watery colours everywhere. I feel that it would be easier for inexperienced students to make mud and over-colour rather than come out with pleasing results. So that’s also a no.
Expect more samples in the coming weeks.
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