Altered Books - Workshops and techniques

Workshop 2 - Colour and Texture

Colour creates a mood and reminds us of the places we've been, seasons of the year and even the football team we support. Texture in the form of fabrics, handmade paper and different paint techniques can give the pages a tactile quality.

To prepare the page paint it with white emulsion or Gesso. This will start to cover the text but will also provide a good surface for paints or inks. Colour and texture can be added to the pages in several ways. Here are some useful ideas:

1.Cover the page with a wash of diluted acrylic paint. Be careful not to add too much water. Different types of paper accept paint in different ways. Mask any text you wish to keep free of colour.

2.Add some acrylic glaze to the paint. This will give a transparent effect and a glossy finish. Try layering different coloured glazes. Make sure each layer has dried before putting the next layer over it. Experiment with different brush techniques eg. Scumbling.

3.Try using Brusho inks or similiar instead of paint. Try not to get the brush too wet.

4.Try using a stencil or masking tape. Be careful, masking tape will stick too firmly to some paper. Try putting an acrylic glaze onto the paper first and then, when it's dry, use the masking tape.

5.Try different printing techniques on the pages - you can use sponges, rollers, crumpled aluminium foil, paper, random shapes, letter shapes, found objects, acetate printing etc.

6.Create textural background with a wax crayon rubbing. Then paint over the rubbing. Or you could try adding sand to your paint or glue down crumpled tissue paper.

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