Sunday, August 9, 2009

Painting Collage Papers, Part One

Making a Mess!
I spent several hours this morning hand painting papers for future collage work. Every couple of months I pull out the paints and the plexiglass covered in a trash bag, and the brushes and the papers and I make myself a bunch of custom colored papers. It's so messy and time consuming that I only do it when I am really motivated. My friend and fellow collage artist Jo Reimer suggested  that I try fluid acrylics, since they retain their intensity when watered down. I said to her, "Jo, are they REALLY better? Because they are REALLY expensive." Well she said "YES" and I took her advice, guess what? They are REALLY AWESOME! 

You can water down fluid acrylics and spatter and splash and blot into them and they stay very intense in their color. This paper painting session I used them to the full extent! I loved experimenting and seeing what kind of new effects I could achieve.

Today it was really HOT in Florida, with a mild breeze. I knew this was perfect weather for letting the papers dry on the grass outside my backyard studio. My son Connor came out to help me by picking up the dry papers and bringing them in to me, what a help!

Stay tuned for some specific techniques and photos.


  1. So true about the beauty and intensity of fluid acrylics. I LOVE them and use them just like watercolor. In fact, I'm so hooked that I choose them over transparent watercolor all the time now. Looking forward to see what all those papers become!

  2. Wow Elizabeth, I'm impressed by your industriousness (& can we all borrow Connor at the studio? too cute!). Personally, I've been putting off colorizing batches of tissue paper, but they'd be nice for future collage. You're right. Paper coloring is so time consuming. It takes me the whole day...LOL.
    Golden fluid acrylics are beautifully vibrant, aren't they? I am slowly phasing out all my heavy body paints & stepping up to invest in 100% fluid acrylics. p.s. they're expensive but you're worth it :)

  3. When I saw this photo I thought, "The path to an artist's house is always colorful!" And it is :)

  4. You are so generous in crediting me with helping you! I'm so glad you find the fluids to be as good as I said. Your pathway of colors is such a fun shot. Now I'm wanting to spend a few hot days painting paper. My next step is usually ironing the papers. They're so beautiful when they've been flattened, and they store easier, too. Is that darling shed your studio? I'm jealous. You can walk to work.

  5. It reminds me of falling leaves. Not TOO far away.
    I believe that Eric Carle uses acrylics thats he has made fluid. I'm getting some acid-free tissue paper and painting it...or at least that is my intention...Can't wait to see your productions!

  6. How cute is that boy!!?? You forgot to mention that you have to pay him to pick up your papers! LOLOLOLOL

    I loved hearing about the paint! I am not sure my husband is ready for me to hop into another hobby! hahaha

    I Love your painting pictures! Were you talking about it being hot today????? Because from my vantage point at school I was freezing!

    Thanks for sharing your work with us!

  7. Jessica, this is an old post, I just thought it would be interesting to those new at collage, and that it told my story about Connor and the papers again!


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