White gesso, Emperor's Gold, Aquamarine, Copper, more gold, more copper

Cards made with these backgrounds.
Click on either card for details and close ups.
The one on the left is made with the #1 background. The card on the right is made with #2 background.

ID: Gesso & Tissue Paper Background Technique

Created: July 23, 2010
Modified: August 4, 2010

I love the look of these papers and the delicate feel of them.

Tissue paper white
Gesso White & Black (cheap brands are fine, I used Palmer & Bob Ross)
Acrylic Paints Metallic (Plaid Folk Art: Inca Gold, Emerald, Aquamarine, Copper) (Deco Art: Emperor's Gold)
Glazing Liquid (cheap brand is fine - I used Palmer)
Waxed Paper or butcher paper
Speedball rubber brayer (semi hard) or Ranger's Inkssentials Inky Roller or similar brayer (not foam, wastes too much paint)

A Note: if you don't have any Gesso, and are unwilling to purchase any, you can in a pinch use the liquid type of acrylic paints (Decorative Paint like Deco Arts or Plaid)  in white or black. A little pricier doing it this way.

Cut wax (or butcher) paper larger than needed, this will be used to protect your surface and to lift your wet tissue paper aside for drying. Cut down Tissue paper to about 10" x 14". Place on waxed paper. Put some gesso (only one color, white or black) in middle of your tissue paper, (about 4"x 1/4" line's worth) - not too much, you can always add, but taking away is very, very difficult. Roll the brayer through the gesso towards the edge of the paper. DO NOT ROLL BACK AND FORTH. Lift brayer and roll through gesso working to the opposite edge. Continue doing this in other directions until your tissue paper has been covered in gesso. Set aside to dry.

Hint: Put a finger at the edge of your tissue paper to hold it in place while brayering in the opposite direction. Careful - tissue paper tears easily, especially when wet.

PS I also did this 1st step with pink acrylic paint (Folk Art Berries n cream) and it worked fine too. So after trying with the white or black, try with other colors.

Do the same thing on the other side of the tissue paper. Let dry. You can repeat these two steps if you want a stronger paper, but I only did it once on each side.

Dilute some acrylic paint in the lids of ice cream or something similar, using the glazing medium. Again, you don't need much and you can always mix more. You want something the consistency of about 35% cream.

Note: The reason we're thinning the paint with glazing medium is to keep the intensity of color and to create a transparent color. You can use water to thin your paint, but your results might not be as pure. Also thinning the paint rather than using it straight is to make transparent layers so the beautiful colors below shine through and create a world of depth.

Roll your brayer through your diluted color and brayer over tissue paper. Again roller in one direction only. Continue brayering, spreading the paint as thin as possible, leaving some underlying color without paint. Dry a few minutes and brayer with a second color, going over the first colors and again leaving areas with this second color. You can either continue with these two colors alternating with a light a darker color until happy with the results, or you can introduce a third color. Just continue layering until your get what you want. Let dry.

#2: Black gesso, Inca Gold, Copper

#3: Black Gesso, Inca Gold, Aquamarine, Copper, more gold

#4: Pink Acrylic Paint, Emperor's Gold, Copper

#5: Pink Acrylic Paint, Emperor's Gold, Emerald, Copper, more Gold.

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