I “discovered” this technique when I lazily left a stack of colored tissue strips from a project too near the sink in my art room. Naturally, they got splashed and soaked with water, and by the time I noticed that they had formed a soggy lump, my inborn and irremediable sloth kicked in, and I chose to leave them there overnight instead of cleaning them up. (Sorry Mama; I know you raised me better than that!) The next morning when I picked up the then-dry tissues, I noticed that the dyes had bled all over each other, creating a gorgeous tie-dye effect on the strips!
If you are having one of those days where your Muse is missing in action, try making some cool tie dyed paper you can use for the awesome idea you are gonna get tomorrow when she sneaks back home wearing last evening’s eyeliner and borrowed sweatpants.
- Decent quality drawing paper. I am in love with Canson’s Mixed Media paper (98 lb). It is reasonably priced and holds up to water based media, glue, or markers without ever buckling. Any sturdy white paper will do though and if you find yours did buckle up while it was wet you can always flatten it between that copy of War and Peace you never got around to reading and the Dictionary your Grandma gave you for graduation before spell check and the internet saved you!
- Inexpensive tissue paper in a variety of colors. I buy a multi colored pack at the Dollar Store . In this instance (unlike Tequila), cheaper is better since the dye used to color the paper is less stable and will run more.
- Scissors or Paper Cutter
- Spray Bottle filled with water
Cut tissue in to strips about 1.5 ” to 2″ wide, using scissors or a paper cutter.
Lay your white paper on a flat surface and spray lightly with the water.
You may want to protect your work surface with newspaper since the dye from the tissue sometimes bleeds over the edges.
Spray each layer of tissue lightly with water and continue laying strips down until all the white paper surface is covered.
Spray again with water.
Let the strips dry, leaving them in place. Note, the strips will loosen as the water evaporates so you would not want to do this outdoors or in a very breezy area.
When the tissue is dry lift off of the paper and reveal the colored paper beneath.
Here are some Artist Trading Cards and postcards I have made using backgrounds I dyed with this technique.
Wonderstrange wants to see what YOU make out of the papers you create. Please post comments, questions or links to your artwork for us all to admire!!