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Textured tissue paper backgrounds and layers

There are so many ways that tissue paper can be incorporated into mixed media work that I decided to do a short series on it! Just like with the last series on image transfers, I really hope that you’ll send me pictures to share with everyone of the work you’ve done that incorporates these techniques. And please use the comments section below to share your own tips!

We’re going to look at two really simple textured tissue paper backgrounds today. I’m using white tissue, but remember that you can always multiply your options by using colored and patterned tissue as well.

1. Gather your materials. You’ll need liquid acrylic medium (also called polymer medium) in either gloss or matte, your choice. You’ll also need stock paper or watercolor paper, tissue paper, a foam brush and a sponge, and acrylic paints of your choice.

2. Apply a thin coat of medium to the substrate paper. Place a larger piece of tissue on top, and allow it to wrinkle as you adhere it to the medium. You can pretend that you’re trying to get the larger piece to fit the smaller one. Flatten gently, without losing all the texture you’ve created.

3. You don’t have to wait until it dries before beginning to paint. Use the sponge, and allow the thinned paint to gather in the folds and valleys. Acrylic paint will finish the job of sticking down the tissue paper…it actually is acrylic medium with pigments added.

4. Paint with as many colors as you desire. When the piece is dry, flatten it under some books to take out the curl.

Copyright 2007 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Julie said…
I've read that it's best not to use coloured tissue paper, because the colours fade really quickly. Better to use white, and colour as necessary with acrylics or watercolours.
Cyndi L said…
Well, I prefer to work with white anyway, because the colors are never quite what I want :-)

I think as long as you seal the colored tissue in with acrylic medium and keep it out of sunlight, you won't have the fading problem, but like I said, I almost always use white anyway! Thanks for the reminder!