Now back to art. This was the post that was supposed to happen last Friday. I was sure I had written a tutorial on paste paper, and when I went to find the link, I realized I had never written one. I already had these photos off my memory card when I realized I should write this up as a tutorial. So, sadly, the photos are going to enlarge, but will be extremely pixelated. I really try to save my tutorials at a higher resolution. I was actually just playing around, trying to find a "teal" color for a color swap I'm doing and was concentrating on color mixing more than paste papers.
I was struck by something Susan Leschke wrote in a comment on Saturday:
"I have made paste paper before but it was with a somewhat time consuming recipe that had to be cooked."I have made those same paste papers as Susan made. In fact, several of you noted you had seen recipes for making paste paper. In case you have never seen one of these recipes and are wondering, it involves cooking either wheat paste, rice paste, or methylcellulose with distilled water (if you want archival quality paste) for an extended period of time, stirring and beating as you wait, then when cooked, straining it through a colander or window screen (but never cheese cloth because of fiber contamination) to remove any lumps. Next you place the cooled mixture into small containers, to which you may now add gouache, acrylics, tempera, poster, or pigment paints (but never oil paint). Then use it like crazy because it forms a film rather quickly, molds within a day, attracts bugs, doesn't refrigerate well, and should be thrown out after 2 to 3 days. Oh, did I mention you have to wet your paper on both sides before applying the paste and you really should be using a heavy (140 lb or higher) watercolor paper?
If this sounds like something you want to try, and are willing to invest in the ingredients, tools, and time, I have links to several sites you can visit that should get you started. However, if you are a low tech kind of person like me, lets do it the simple way. This time the tools are a bit different, but the supplies are primarily the same. I'm repeating them in case someone missed the tutorial on making paste papers I posted last Friday.
Supplies (clockwise from lower left):
Various cheap acrylic craft paints
Foam brushes (or whatever old brush you want to use), one for each color
Plastic cups (one for each color)
Sta-Flo liquid starch (found at discount stores, drug stores, and supermarkets in the laundry section)
Various substrates (I used 110 lb white cardstock and 140 lb green cardstock)
Various tools that will create lines (I used purchased ones, but you could cut up old credit cards, use bamboo skewers, combs, anything that will create a line or pattern)
I was on a quest to make teal. Even the internet isn't sure what "teal" is, with answers ranging anywhere from "blue and green" to turquoise. Still unsure what color teal is, I decided to play with colors. You can see I have various blues and greens, along with gray and some yellow I decided I might need after I took the photo.
Again, I have not heard from anyone in other countries as to availability, so I am not sure if Sta-Flo is available in all countries. However just look for concentrated liquid starch, even if it's not the same brand name.
I began with these two: Essential Blue (a JoAnn's exclusive) and Kelly Green. I knew the green was more intense, so wanted to start with only two drops.
Those two drops changed the color a bit, but it was still too light.
That's when I grabbed the black and added a bit. At this point, I realized these colors wouldn't get much darker without a lot of black, so I declared this color ready to try. I think I'll call it "beach baby blue."
Next I added the liquid starch, a little at a time, stirring after each bit I added
until I had the consistency I was hoping for. If your mixture is too thin, simply add more paint (unless you are insanely trying to come up with your own color). If it's not thick enough, add a
While I had the black out, I thought the two colors looked good together, so made up a batch of black paint and starch.
Now, referring to Friday's tutorial, paint the first color on your substrate (cardstock or watercolor paper works best).
Allow the first color to dry (or not if you prefer a bit of mixing).
Paint the second color over the first color.
While the second color is still wet, run a comb, skewer, or tool of your choice over the page.
This one (and all the ones I made using black as the first color) was a disappointment. The black read gray after I applied the turquoise.
The ones I made using "beach baby blue" as the first color and black as the second color, are much more fun. Be sure to wipe your tool after each swipe. I wiped mine on a piece of sheet. The sheet accepted the color quite well.
Lessons learned today:
1. Don't "assume" just because you've done the technique, it's been turned into a tutorial on the blog.
2. Using a dark color on top of a light color works better than the other way around.
3. Straight lines are not as interesting as wavy lines.
4. Practically any weight paper will work for this project.
Today's blog is Threads of Inspiration, written by Susan Leschke who lives in Wisconsin (in the northern US). Because of her comment on Saturday's post (see above), I went to her blog and found it really did contain threads of inspiration. Besides crochet, she also loves to garden. Her veggie garden puts mine to shame. Susan also likes to cook. I must warn you, don't go to her blog if you are hungry. The photos of some of her concoctions will make your mouth water with delight. And she likes her iced coffee similar to mine, although I like mine quite a bit whiter. So pop on over and enjoy the lovely sights, good food, and humor Susan dishes out at Threads of Inspiration. And try to stay cool, too unless you live in the southern hemisphere!