Thursday, March 28, 2013

Marbling Paper Is An Art, Not A Science

Tips When Marbling Paper With Oil Paints 

I have been experimenting with marbling paper in my art studio. My first attempt at using the oil paint method to marble papers was a messy, hilarious yet creative afternoon. I had a lot of fun despite the fact that everything did NOT go according to plan. The morning of my oil paint marble day, I  started off watching tutorials online on You Tube. I also did some reading.

Many Different Methods To Marble Paper

There are many different methods of marbling paper. I  settled on the oil paint strategy after watching a science teacher's demo on You Tube. He said he likes to use fun projects to engage his students. While the teacher acknowledged that marbling paper  is ...."art" he said he gets to "the science" behind the "art" afterwards. (Next time I'll listen to an art teacher).

Using oil Paint To Marble Paper

I chose the oil paint method over many different marbling technique options because the science teacher came up with a method with fewer steps then others. His plan was pretty similar to a version I had tried years ago in a mixed media collage class, so I thought I was in the right ballpark.

Marbling Paper Calls For Practice And Experimentation

Looking back on the pictures  that I took after the afternoon of marbling, I can only say that ART is ART and not science. Marbling papers is indeed something that you have to practice and be patient with. The instructions called for mixing oil paint with Turpenoid (thinner) in small empty plastic (pill) containers. That sounded simple.

Beware, it isn't so simple to blend Turpenoid with oil paint in tiny containers.  You will need several long mixing sticks such as coffer stirrers or wood skewers. Forget tooth picks, they are too small to mix the paint in the plastic (pill) containters. I would use plastic squeeze bottles the next time.

Mastering The Oil Paint-Turpenoid Consistency

Essentially, you prepare a shallow pan with water and drop colors of paint on the surrface of the water and then gently place the paper on the water surface to pick up the designs of paint. This is of course in theory. Getting the paint at the right consisitency so that the oil paint doesn't sink to the bottom of the pan or create globs of paint is not so easy. (The good news is that the pan cleans up easy at the end of yur session with a little more Turpenoid on a rag).

Trial And Error

I discovered that you need more pigment than I started with, but indeed you need to have a very good blend of  the thinner ad the paint. The science teacher offered no precise measurements. He urged studentsw to experiemnt. Experiment is what I did. I made a big mess, but I learned plenty.

Now I am off to Dick Blick to look into suppliles for another method of marbling called method called  Suminagashi An  ancient Japanese method, this marbling process is said to be meditating. After the oil paint method,
I'm ready for a more relaxing and cleaner method!

By the way after I finsihed marbling there was a lot of extra oil paint in the bottom of the pan. I used it paint papers for future mixed media projects.

Readers have you marbled paper?  Please share your stories and tips.

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©. To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at Visit my website, Dianne is a member of: The American Society of Journalists and Authors The Society of Professional Journalists

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