Project 2: Acrylic, food dye and shaving cream on thick drawing paper.
Have I lost my marbles? Maybe. But, in the process, I’ve discovered marbled paper! Paper marbling is the process of placing paints onto a medium like water or shaving cream, swirling the paints and then lifting them off the medium with heavy paper or card stock.
Every time I see swirly paints mixed together into a beautiful collage of color I want to know how it’s done. I’m on a mission to try every technique to create the marbled effect.
So far, we’ve tried two approaches: Blick’s marbling paints on water and now acrylic paints on shaving cream. Shhh! We did try it with whipped cream, but I’m not counting that here. The Blick’s paints are oil based and imprint the paper brilliantly clear. The shaving cream with acrylic has a muted effect to print softer, bubbly shades. Both approaches produce completely different marbled effects that are absolutely beautiful. With the Blick’s paints, though, you will have to order ahead if you don’t live near one of their supply houses. If you happen to have shaving cream and acrylic paint on hand, then your’e in business!
We started this project on a rainy September day. I saved an old aluminum serving tray from a fairly recent party. Next, we GOT to squirt a whole can of menthol shaving cream into the tray. The whole room smelled of smooth skin and freshness! After we emptied the can, the cream was lightly tamped down to make a workable flat surface. Of course, we used hands to flatten. Next came the little drops of paint. Three or four droplets of paint from three different bottles is all we needed. Then we stirred. But, be careful not to over mix the paint. You want it folded together, but not completely mixed. Too much mixing makes a nasty greenish brown color. Once we had it swirled just right, then it was time to gently place the heavy paper onto the creamy surface making sure that the card covered as much colored foam as possible. Now for the best part, the wow part! Grab a ruler, preferably one with a fine metal edge, and slide it slowly across the shaving cream. Wallah! What’s left is the print and you’ve got marbled paper.
Now…what to do with all this marbled paper? Bookmarks, naturally! If your’e on our gift list this Christmas, you’ll probably see one of these.
For cheap entertainment, we tried this project with whipped cream and food dyes. Here’s the result:
Whipped cream and food coloring looks cool, but it stays tacky! Tacky is bad. It doesn’t dry and will probably get all moldy over time. No doubt though, the whipped cream marbling experiment was the tastiest art project we’ve ever attempted!
In the end, we loved marbling with shaving cream. It was cheap, fun, easy to clean up, smelled good, and made a legit marbled print. We’ll do it again outside in the spring with access to running water! I would love to know if you try any of these marbling techniques at your house. Let me know how it turns out and if you manage to keep your marbles in the process!