Lesta Frank and I are teaching a workshop this month called Whiter Shades of Pale. Recently we got together at my studio to play with surface design of all kinds and create papers that have subtle painterly textures and intriguing variations of the palest tints.
The workshop has been sold out for a while, but I thought you might like to see some of the results from our pre-workshop experiments.
The first idea, below, is so simple – you just do a reverse stamp onto tan kraft paper (like a shopping bag) using a white stamp pad or white acrylic paint soaked into a damp piece of felt. Another variation we did was to roll white acrylic paint onto a textured placemat and print the design onto the tan paper.
Below, tissue paper has been painted with clear acrylic matte medium, which causes the paper to wrinkle a bit, and then it was sprayed with walnut ink. It’s almost like tinted glass!
This is one of my favorites. Lesta stenciled white acrylic paint onto deli paper using a small paint roller, and after it was dry, soaked it briefly in strong coffee to “age” it.
This is an easy “cheater-ly” way (below) to make multiples of subtle designs for ready-made custom collage paper. We just lay various pale papers on a scanner, scanned them in to the computer, and then printed out 8.5″x11″ composite-designed papers. Lesta tinted the face on the example below with Portfolio oil pastels.
Cheesecloth can be used in so many ways to add interest to collages with pale papers. You can Gesso it and let is dry, then cut it into fragments. You can use Gold Gesso as well. You can also add it as a layer over textures, then paint over it with light tints of acrylic paint.
Finally, don’t forget that you can lighten images with your printer using MS Word – here’s a Renaissance face with its contrast decreased, printed on a plain piece of inkjet paper and mounted to matboard. I punched holes and will attach this to a collage as one of the final layers – hmm, and maybe cover it partially with tissue?
If you want to play around with pale papers, here are some materials you might want to try.
- Dick Blick Matte White Acrylic Paint
- Deli Paper for Crafting
- Patterned Stencils
- White Art Tissue
- Tsukineko Walnut Ink
- Portfolio Oil Pastels
I hope you have a chance to use some of these ideas – you can make just a few pale papers and collage little 3×5″ creations for cards. Or whatever – pale is pretty!