Paper Art: An Insider’s Look at Painting Papers

You’re in for a real treat with the January/February issue of Cloth Paper Scissors, which features mixed-media surface design techniques that involve spray paint, paper art, fabric, encaustics, and much more. In today’s post you’ll get a sneak peek at Diane Salter’s article, “A Sweet Life: using printed papers in collage.” Your inspiration starts now!

“I’ve always had a problem with a white canvas staring back at me,” Diane says, “but that doesn’t happen with a plain piece of paper.” Keep reading for Diane’s advice on printing papers for use in your mixed-media art.

Paper art | Diane Salter
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Paper Art: Painted Papers by Diane Salter (Pin this art!)

Painting papers is a very intuitive process for me–sometimes I use my Gelli plate and other times a paintbrush. It’s more of an organic process with the Gelli plate–you don’t have as much control over the outcome of the design, as opposed to painting it. When you paint your papers, you can determine how your layers of paint will look. One of the pros of using a Gelli plate is that it is quick and organic. For me, this can also be a con. I often like to have more control of the outcome. I enjoy the process of adding layers of paint and placing those layers exactly where I want them. On the other hand, painting a paper can take longer than printing one. Paper art | Diane Salter

I always make a batch of papers with a collage in mind, but without knowing exactly what I’ll be making. Creating the papers is my way of warming up for the actual finished piece.

I never know what colors I’m going to use, but I definitely have my favorites. I tend to go for the more intense colors, because I’m drawn to the bold look of mosaic art, stained glass, and art quilts–art I admire, but have never tried my hand at.

I use stencils with Gelli printing to create depth and texture. I usually start with a stenciled layer, add a second layer of just paint, and then add more stenciling in random spots. Depending on the outcome, I may stop there or I may continue to add layers in the same manner. Alphabet stencils are one of my favorites. I also like stencils with words, because I love including words in my art. I often add more layers to my papers with stamps, mark-making tools, markers, and more. ~Diane

Get your copy of Cloth Paper Scissors (January/February) today to see how Diane created this colorful piece, and get more step-by-step techniques and inspiring examples of mixed-media art!

Happy creating,

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Blog, Collage, Paper Art and Zen Doodle


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