Creating Textured Bubble Paper for Collages
Hello again! Today I want to focus on a technique for creating paper textures. There are thousands of different textures you can use to create paper bases for collages and paper projects, but one of my favorites is the bubble.
Using Textured Papers
To create my collages, I always use handmade, pre-painted papers. I prefer a white, heavy weight paper that can withstand a good paint base. I use acrylics because once dry it is more resistant to water and forgiving with rubber cement and gel medium.
What I Use
Heavy, white paper – cut into roughly 5” x 7” rectangles
Acrylic paints of choice (a metallic or glitter paint is nice to add light into other colors)
Household dishwashing soap
A paintbrush or spoon to mix the paint
An open shallow bowl or tray.
LOTS of paper towels and/or newspapers
The Steps I Take:
First I spread out my drop cloths or newspapers and prepare all of my materials. This technique can be messy so I always make sure to wear work clothes and have enough room cleared around me.
I start by mixing about 1 1/2 cups of lukewarm tap water with ½ tbsp. dish soap. The more soap, the more bubbles. But I don’t want so much soap that the bubbles get too tightly packed and cannot carry the paint.
Then I select my first paint color. I usually start with one lighter pigment then keep adding more colors or paints for more saturation as I work. This creates a selection of colors to work from. Using the brush, I mix in a healthy 2 tbsp. of paint. This will increase with each paper layer.
Now the fun part, I BLOW BUBBLES. (Also the messy part)
Quickly holding the paper over the bubbles I press the paper down lightly, popping the bubbles on the paper but careful not to keep pushing after the first bubble layer so not to blur the paint or let it fall into the water.
Lift, and set to dry.
The most important step: Adjusting the mixture. Playing with techniques is a learning process, and I like it this way. No measuring cups, no rulers. Play, learn and create something fun.
Finally, let dry and clean all the little paint drops that have naturally gone over your drop cloth.
Using My Bubble Paper
My current favorite use for the bubble texture is in water works. You can see I used a blue version in the orca collage below. The paper I create for this post does not have a plan yet, but I am thinking about trying it out with a garden scene, like dew drops on leaves.
If anyone tries to make bubble paper, send me a photo of your results. I’d love to learn from others’ experimentations!