Thursday, April 24, 2014

Staining Paper

It's been a busy couple of weeks in the studio, though there just hasn't been a whole lot of really exciting stuff to show (my excuse for not posting last week!)

I'm doing something fun with this old, wooden shutter my husband I picked up from a thrift shop a couple of weeks ago...

... that I can't show you yet because it isn't nearly finished. I promise, though, I'm taking copious process photos and will show the end product as soon as I can!

In the meantime that project led me to this one, a painting measuring 18" x 24".

It's a simple work- black acrylic paint on a gessoed panel- but it was what I need. Unfortunately, I can't tell you how the two projects are connected until the whole thing comes together, sometime in the next few weeks.

So, onward!

If you're anything like me, you tend to put too much paint out onto your palette when you're working and that's just what happened with the black paint that I used in the piece above.

I never waste any art supplies if I can help it, so I was determined to use this paint. I had thinned it quite a bit to apply the drips, so it was really more of a wash at this point, and I decided to use it that way on a bunch of my stamped and gelli printed papers.

Now, as you may know, acrylic paint behaves as a "resist" once it's fully cured. A "resist" in art is a pigment or other medium that repels all other mediums and pigments. What this means when you paint paper or another absorbent ground is that the paint, once dry, forms a thin layer of plastic over the top of the paper leaving the fibers beneath impenetrable, but the paper fibers that haven't been touched by the paint still remain very absorbent. You can use this to your advantage in your art by going back into painted papers with a wash of color to help emphasize the painting.

Using a large brush that would hold a lot of liquid, I slathered the now-fluid paint across the previously painted papers. (I used lightweight and inexpensive copy paper.) After a minute or so, but before the paint could dry, I used a damp baby wipe to gently wipe the excess black paint off, revealing the "resisted" paint beneath.

This is what my gelli print looked like before I put the wash of black paint on it:

Once it had a wash of black paint, I waited a moment for it to soak in and then wiped it clean.

And this is the result once it dried.

Another, before...

... during...

... and after...




As you can see, the change is subtle, but interesting. Because the wash of black was so fluid, it found all of the unaffected areas of paper, no matter how small, and flooded them with color. This can be done with all kinds of colors, too, it doesn't need to be black!

So the next time you have left over paint, turn it into a wash and slather it across your gelli prints... you might be happily surprised by what happens net!

Hopefully, my large project with the shutter will be completed very shortly (I'm waiting on something to be delivered that will help me put it all together and I have no idea when that will ship to me) and I'll be able to show you something neat.

Until then, create with washes!


Lisa Chin said...

Fun projects! Thanks for sharing the before, during and after photos.

denthe said...

Great idea! Amazing that the thin copypaper wasn't torn when you wiped the excess paint off. Love the subtle differences!

Win Dinn, Artist said...

I love this particular technique, and the results on Gelli prints are outstanding. Nothing like using every ounce of paint from the tube - the 3 R's in action!

Sue Marrazzo Fine Art said...


David K Small, artist said...

I just discovered your blog and only started reading back so this might be mentioned earlier... instead of buying a gelli, I purchased much larger silicone baking mats (less than $10 from various sources) which I use not only for a print surface but also for making acrylic skins.