Sunday, March 17, 2013

More Marbled Paper: Lots of Color

I've done three marbling sessions since my last post. The photo (above) is one from the very last session - I like it a lot. I love the colors and I love the shapes: circles and loops/hoops.

For the first batch (of the three) I used week-old size and didn't have much success. It looked like the paint was cracked all over, rather than covering the size smoothly. It's hard to see here, but this one was on a light blue Strathmore charcoal paper. It looks washed out to me, because it doesn't have the white paper as the background to make the colors stand out. I won't repeat using that colored paper anytime soon.
Another one from that first batch:
I think this one is pretty with all the orange and pink and dark blue. Plus I like the lines. I especially like how the yellow/orange/red turned out:
This was just a pull of some of the left over of the above, which is why it only covered half the page:
After that, I made some new size (using carageenan) but realized after pouring it from the blender to the tray that half the carageenan powder was stuck to the side of the blender. I used the size after letting it sit for only a few hours in the refrigerator. I also alumed up a bunch of Masa White on the smooth side, which is what I used for the last two batches. I like this pink/red one the most. But look closely at it - the paint is all feathered when I really want it to be gloriously smooth! I don't know what's going on, so that's frustrating! But it's still lovely even though it's not the marbled paper of my dreams:
I don't like this one at all:
I think it was due to the thickness (insufficient) of the size, and that I hadn't allowed enough time for it to sit. All in all, I've stopped 'testing' non-alumed papers though - there really is no point, since it's clear that alumed papers turn out much better than non-alumed papers.

I did mess around with the paint at the bottom of the pan after that batch. Here are some non-alumed japanese fibrous papers that I pressed into the leftover paint scraps at the bottom of the tray after pouring off the size. Look how pretty this is:

I made another batch of size and let it sit overnight. The paint did not spread as much as I would have liked, and the paint had tiny 'cracks' again. I'm wondering if that's because I didn't let it come to room temp (after taking it from the refrigerator) before using it. Amidst all the lessons learned, I did play around with a few techniques, including making a comb with nails and cardboard, and a double rake:

Because of how the paint was 'cracking/feathering,' I didn't have much success combing the paint. Here is the size with paint dropped on it:
This is the paint with one pass with the comb. I then made another pass going back the other direction, then raked it in zigzags (based on something I read online, trying to make the 'peacock' pattern - no such luck here):
I wanted it to be a beautiful peacock pattern like this one I saw on the internet, but instead I got this result:
I'm going to look for a good book with detailed pattern how-to, not just a written explanation, but pictures or diagrams. I haven't found any really good (free) resources on the web yet for making the more intricate patterns. Of course, it would help if I could figure out why my paint is feathering/cracking all over the place. Maybe it's the airbrush medium I'm using.

On this one I only combed part of the surface, and didn't comb the left side. I like the dark purple rings around silver and pink paint with green. The colors in this one are wonderful:
I liked the rings of dark purple in the above one, and because of the feathering problems, I started dropping paint inside drops of paint over and over, and leaving them just like that without combing them. I came up with the following pieces (plus the one at the top of the post, which is my favorite).

At the very end of the batch, I dropped paint onto the size in the shape of a flower and pulled this one. The size was tired at that point, and the paint did not adhere as much to the paper:
Finally I did this one on the Kitakata (Japanese) paper, no alum. I really like it, especially the yellow on the inside, and the way it kind of pools outward between the blue circles.

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