You probably know by now that I am completely obsessed with painting papers.
This will be the third (and final) installment in my "painted love" series and I saved my favorite for last.
I've tried a number of different techniques for marbling paper, but this one is my favorite. It's cheap, easy and (relatively) not messy.
I start by pouring about an inch of liquid starch into an old 9"x12" pan.
(The only place I can find my liquid starch is Walmart - in the laundry aisle. It's dirt cheap and comes in a big bottle)
I mix cheap acrylic craft paints with water to make it drippy. How much water? It depends -this is a trial and error kind of thing because every paint has a different consistency. The goal is to get the paint to float on top of the liquid starch. If it's too thick it won't come off your brush in the first place, and if it comes off your brush but immediately sinks to the bottom of the pan it means you need more water. Here are two colors floating on top:
I gently stir them with a chopstick:
I move the chopstick up and down until it looks like this:
I drag my handmade comb lightly across the surface to feather the paint.
(the comb is made from toothpicks sandwiched between 2 pieces of cardboard. I think I learned it from Martha but can't find a link)
Now the surface of the water looks like this:
I lay a piece of card stock on top of the water and gently press it down to make sure the whole surface of the paper touches the paint:
I quickly peel it up. (this picture was from a different experiment, hence the orange paint)
Then I dunk it in a bucket of water. You can also run it under the faucet, but I don't have a sink in my studio and I hate working in the kitchen. This bucket works just fine. I swish the paper around to get all the gloppy starch off the surface. The paint stays on the paper.
Here's the finished piece:
If you're continuing with the same color palette, you can reuse the starch for many many pieces of paper. You can drag scrap paper or a paper towel over the surface to pick up any paint you didn't catch on your print, or you can leave it there and just add more paint for your next print. Eventually you'll find your prints aren't as crisp or the colors are muddying - rinse out your pan and start over! The big bottle of starch will get you through several sessions.
As much as I like the traditional feathered look, I absolutely adore the abstract "blobby" look, like this one:
Same technique, only this time leave the paint floating on the surface without stirring or feathering. you might want to gently tip the pan or blow on the surface just to get the paint to spread, but leave it loose.
You can see a whole bunch more of my papers in this old post.
And here are some recent projects using my papers.
I used this one as a background for a poppy painting:
I used this one more traditionally - as endpapers in an altered book.
and check out the book - it has little DRAWERS in it. I learned this trick from Amy in her awesome (free) altered book class on Flutterbye.
I've also been using them to decorate Altoid tins: