Paper marbling

What with our pinterest party coming up on 18th February it was time to try out a few of those techniques we’ve been coveting on pinterest!
Our aim here was to find out what kind of paper to use and what kind of printing methods are easiest and produce great results.

Shaving Foam

First up was the kids shaving foam method. I’ve heard reports that the colour can just wipe straight off if you aren’t using the right materials so definitely wanted to sort out how to make this work. We were only using small tester pieces of paper – about postcard size, so I just filled a plastic plate with shaving foam, blobbed on some food colouring and gave it a mix. I only have gel food colouring in my cupboard and for my first try I dipped a cocktail stick into the gel and swirled it in the foam. And then I printed onto heavy printer paper.

I was pretty happy with the results on the right, but wanted to try a more colourful method, so I thinned my gel colours with some water and then with a new tray of foam dripped more colour into the foam.

Then I tried my watercolour paper to see if it would work better. This was the result on the left – on the right I added more colour and over-swirled (i.e. got a bit carried away!) and it came out colourful but blurry and not really marbled – I do like it, but wasn’t the look I was going for.

Nail Varnish

Then came the nail varnish. Now, this looks so awesome on pinterest and I was dying to try it – chuck some nail varnish in some water, mix it around a bit and stick some card in. Right? Easy. Nope, I’m afraid not. So, the chucking the nail varnish in bit is easy. But then comes the swirling. Now, this is not like paint – nail varnish makes a hard film on the water – and when you try to swirl with a cocktail stick all that happens is you pick up the entire film of nail varnish onto the cocktail stick. So I tried doing this very carefully, and I was kind of able to do it, but it was really tricky and several times I ruined the whole thing and had to chuck it. This was my best attempt:

Looks nice right? Yes, until you touch it. A slight rub and literally all the colour peels straight off. I guess there must be some way to fix the varnish to the paper, but I clearly didn’t have that trick whatever it is. So whilst I love this print, I think we won’t be including this method in our pinterest party just yet.

Oil Paints

On to oil paints. With these you need to thin the paint with turps. And you need to get the consistency just right – too thin and the colour will just disperse into the water, too thick and it’ll sink to the bottom. But it was relatively easy and I think gave good results. On the left using the watercolour paper – which I think gives a more blurry look, and on the right with regular heavy printer paper.

 

 

Overall

Overall I would say the shaving foam method was awesome and very easy and worked well with both regular paper and the watercolour paper. Another advantage of this method is that the paper doesn’t get too wet and so it dries much quicker – with the watercolour paper drying a bit faster than the regular paper.

The nail varnish method is a no for me – too tricky to get nice patterns and colour doesn’t stick to the paper. I will have to do more research on this method before I could recommend it.

Oil paint works really well too, and whilst I prefer the sharper colours on the regular paper as opposed to the watercolour paper, the regular paper was really wet and took a long time to dry. I didn’t dare blot it because I didn’t want to remove the paint, but perhaps this would have helped.

I do have some “proper” marbling paints on order for the pinterest party, so have to try thoseĀ  out when they arrive!

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