Posts Tagged ‘marbling’

liquid watercolor experiments

the other day, N and i set out to play with one of our favorite art media — liquid watercolors. recently there was a $1 per bottle sale on these at discount school supply (regularly $2.99, but they offer discounts all the time,) so we stocked up at a buck each! i just loooove how vibrant and translucent liquid watercolors can be!

i just put out four colors this time: magenta, turquoise, yellow, and purple. (the first three are a variation on primary colors that i just heart, and they mix to create beautiful combos! purple wasn’t even necessary, but it’s N’s favorite, soooo….)

free art play! these are the afternoons i live for. we did tons of experimenting with techniques — such as white crayon resist:

wet on wet watercoloring (saturate your paper first with water, then paint or drop colors onto it and watch them spread like magic):

sprinkling salt onto the painted page and watching the paint gather toward the crystals to create a stippled effect:

then we did N’s favorite method – squirted elmer’s glue onto the page, covered it with salt, and watched the paint get soaked up by the lines and blend into rainbowy goodness:

we played quite a bit. we even busted out the shaving cream at the end and did some paper marbling with the remaining paint in the jars. (because i hate to waste gorgeous paint and just have to use it up!) we did this over two years ago on the blog when N was just a wee thing, so check out that post for the technique. it’s amazingly beautiful and fun!

this day yielded so many lovely creations!

it was such a colorful afternoon with my sweet girlie and our favorite paints.

we felt like the color kittens! (do you know that old golden book? it’s classic!)


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easter eggperiments

oh-so-many colorfully creative ways to dye an easter egg floating around the web this year… we could not choose just one! we had to sample them all!

see our garden flags in the background?

we got out tons of supplies and started on our mission to color a couple dozen eggs!

from one of our old annual stand-bys of the melted crayon dye resist on the hot hard-boiled egg…

to blowing out eggs (until the veins in my neck burst) to create hollow masterpieces we can keep for a while (and keep out of the fridge!)

N tried it too - it was way difficult for her, as well

to decoupaging tissue paper patterns onto eggs a la the artful parent

to sticker masking

to shaving cream marbling (like we did with paper two years ago – and hey, it works on eggs, too! tip: try the darker colors for best results)

to food coloring in a strainer a la pink & green mama’s post

to botanical masking (gone wrong)

to toenail easter eggs 😉

even some of our accidents were pretty…

cracked (oops) then double dipped in red & purple (N's fav colors)

…and some of our accidents were NOT pretty!

the contents of 6 hollowed out raw eggs dumped on our nice area rug

next year i vow to stray from the paas and food coloring to try vegetable egg dyeing. i’ve always wanted to, and have found some great recipes in the past. i LOVE the ones over at tinkerlab this year! but gosh, we had a lot of fun this week…


i also wanted to add that i was quite impressed with martha stewart’s egg dyeing iphone app! it’s 99 cents well spent for all of the inspiration it provides! (oh how i wish martha would give me a kick back for saying that!)

i’m saving some of these ideas for next year. once my neck and ears recover from hollowing out those eggs, i want to try more hollow eggs so i can create and decorate an easter tree with them since i didn’t get around to fulfilling that easter dream this spring.

all in all, it’s been quite an eggperimental easter week over here!

happy hoppy to you and yours!


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oil & water marbling

you may recall that last summer N and i had so much fun marbling paper with shaving cream, and we got beauoootiful results! after recently hearing from a friend that her daughter marbled paper in preschool with oil and water, i decided we should give this method a try.

science: oil and water don't mix

i looked online to figure out how to go about this project, and found this little ditty. so we tried it their way, by mixing one color of paint with water and the other color with oil. however, they used tempera paints and we used liquid watercolors (as i believe my friend’s teacher had.) we got unsuccessful results at first using the instructions because, well, oil and water(colors) don’t mix. see? one of the colors so wasn’t happening.

so then we tried another way. we laid the paper on cookie sheets (the kind with edges) and drizzled oil onto the paper haphazardly. then we poured on pink liquid watercolors (diluted in water) and rolled it around. then some more oil. then blue liquid watercolors (diluted) and rolled the tray around. sometimes we used the eyedropper to drop blotches of undiluted color onto the paper for a vibrant effect, too.

and then we got marbling…

it was fun to see the effects on different colors of papers. the swirls weren’t as defined as the shaving cream method, but random and lovely nonetheless. we hung the sheets to drip dry in the garage overnight.

the next morning, N was pleased with her results…

as was i… the paper made for cute stationery for a little note to a friend.



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marbled paper

today my art teacher friend and her daughter (who is N’s age) invited us over to their house for a paper marbling playdate (and some baby pool action to clean off afterwards, of course.) she had the shaving cream and paints, and we brought paper, smocks, and my trusty camera. the four of us got down to some seriously artsy business…

marbling effect

marbling effect

here’s how we did it: first, we sprayed a cookie sheet (any tray will do) with about an inch deep of shaving cream and the kids had fun smoothing it out with little hands. shaving cream makes for good clean fun!

"this smells like daddy!"

then we chose a few analogous colors (so the project wouldn’t turn brown or gray… which could also be okay if it did) of liquid watercolors and squirted them on. the kids had a lot of fun swirling the paint through the shaving cream with forks.

paint swirling

paint swirling

next, it was time to press some paper onto the tray. any paper will do. we found that drawing paper and fingerpainting paper worked really well. (a brown paper grocery bag produced an interestingly subtle, muted effect, but wasn’t our favorite.)

then, we lifted the paper off of the tray. being the eco-chic moms we are, we scraped the excess shaving cream off of the paper with cut up cereal boxes (any cardboard works) to reveal the stain of the swirled paint.

scraping off the excess

scraping off the excess

we kept adding paint and shaving cream to the same try to produce different color combos and effects. the paintings can become more muted because the colors mix more, but often the later paintings look more interesting.

the tray after much adding & mixing

the tray after much adding & mixing

eventually, we had accumulated a stack of flat marbles… or rather, really pretty marbled paper that can be used as a cool background image for a kid to draw on. it can also be used to make lovely greeting cards or wrapping paper. super fun and a colorful, tactile project for little ones! in art, it’s the process, not the product… but this is one of those activities where the product also happens to be uniquely beautiful every time. the watercolors washed out of their hands easily with soap and water… but a splash in the baby pool afterwards was a bonus!

our marbled papers

our marbled papers


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