Painting, Pages and Paper Collage

  My peek this week is experimenting with translucent washes on book pages and then incorporating these elements into mixed-media pieces.  The main effect we’re going for is to add enough color to the piece, without interfering with the printed text showing through.  I wanted to try several different mediums, to determine which would give me the best result.

The first medium I used turned out to be the most successful: water-based markers.  These markers, by far, gave the smoothest finish, without buckling the paper.  I would refrain from using the darker shades, as the text will not show through.  For my own artwork, I’d use these book page elements as appliques, cutting around each one and then applying it to the surface with gel medium:


The next two mediums used were watercolors and water-soluble pencils.  Book pages are simply not thick enough to absorb the water correctly.  They dry almost instantly, leaving no “working time” for blending out the edges.  The pencils were even less successful, resulting in streaks of unblended color:


My final attempt was water-based ink.  After applying it to the book page, I quickly hit the surface with water.  The ink did not absorb into the surface as quickly as the watercolors and pencils, allowing just enough workability to create a smoother effect.  You can compare the brown ink below with the watercolor on the right.  The watercolor caused the paper to have a more “scrubbed” appearance and uneven distribution of color.  In conclusion: the drier the medium used, the better the results on the book’s printed text: 


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