#plastic-free 3

Here are the findings for my research into finding more eco- friendly alternatives to cling- film for creating texture in watercolour . Clearly these are only single samples and as we all know these kind of experiments can vary widely each time according to how the paint is applied, consistency, temperature, luck and so on. So my research is not very scientific- but it is a start. I shall continue to experiment and if anyone has any bright ideas -do let me know and I will pass it on…  

 Tracing paper :  I crumpled tracing paper and placed it on top of the wet wash. It lay uncomfortably with no ‘clinginess’ so I weighted it down under some books until almost dry. It looked interesting under the crumpled tracing paper but once this was peeled off the resulting textures were slightly disappointing. Nb try baking/parchment paper? Other papers too?

Crumpled tracing paper on top of a wet wash
A disappointing result- but will try it a few more times.

 Wax paper : (plastic-free type) I tried crumpling it to replicate cling- film crumples. The finished texture is ‘bitty’ but has potential. I also tried a version leaving the wax paper on flat over the   paint and again, weighting it down until dry. The wax paper ripples leaving an effect like water -exciting!!

Crumpled wax paper removed when dry-the result is quite promising- similar to cling-film
Sample with wax paper laid flat and removed when dry-

 Plastic wrapper/bag : The texture from this was similar to that produced by cling film- but although this is re-used ‘waste’ material it is still non -recyclable  plastic so only a small advantage over cling film.

Re-used plastic bag- not ideal but better than buying new cling film

 Tissue paper : I tried this with watercolour and ink in various ways and each was very promising.  The very thin paper ‘clings’ to the surface like cling-film creating similar marks.  When I trickled ink under the edges of the tissue paper into the watercolour- it seemed almost more successful than when done under cling film- hurrah!   I also found I could concertina it slightly to achieve a linear effect as well as the usual crumples. I took the tissue paper off when the paint was still damp to avoid it sticking.

Tissue paper crumpled on wet wash-before
Textures made by crumpled tissue paper – after
Crumpled tissue paper on wet watercolour wash – with ink introduced-Before
Crumpled tissue paper on wet watercolour wash – with ink introduced- After
Tissue paper pulled into concertina patterns on wet watercolour-Before
Tissue paper pulled into concertina patterns on wet watercolour- After

Conclusion– I shall continue to explore but at the moment the tissue paper is looking very promising- no more cling – film for me! Project was inspired by Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall’s excellent tv documentary on plastic.


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