Marbled artwork is so unique and interesting! I love how no two pieces are the same. Artists use marbled artwork to create cards, journals, home decor items, and so much more! Last summer, I tried marbling with spraypaint to create a series of cards. Today I am sharing this very simple marbling process.
History of Marbling Paper
Marbling has been used for various purposes throughout the ages. Marbling began in Japan around the 12th century. This technique involved floating inks on water and then placing a piece of paper onto the floating ink. This technique is still popular even today. This Japanese technique is suminagashi. Another type of marbling originated in Turkey, Persia, and India during the 15th century. This technique is known as Turkish marbling or Ebru. This style of marbling used thickened water, similar to current marbling solutions today. Ebru produces amazing backgrounds and usually has a design lightly combed into the foreground such as flowers or leaves.
During the 16th and 17th centuries the art of marbling spread to Europe. The marbling industry kept the marbling trade techniques secret. Often decorative book binding used marbling, such as book endpages. In 1853, Charles Woolnough revealed the secrets to marbling in his book, The Whole Art of Marbling. Unfortunately, machines automated book production by the time bookbinders had access to these techniques. Marbling lost popularity until the 1970s, when handmade books emerged and helped to renew the popularity of this art form. Today, marbling has thousands of masters who continue to explore these traditional methods and develop new ideas.
Samples of My Marbled Paper Projects
Over summer, last year, I created these really neat marbled stationary cards. It was a lot of fun, albeit extremely messy. Even my daughter, Atizle, got in on the fun and helped me to pick out color schemes. I love how each card is different from the rest. Marbling with spraypaint is a very fun process with such cool results!
Marbling with Spraypaint
First, you must have a bucket or pan deep enough for your paper to be submerged in. This is very important! I tried to do some different sized objects and I really struggled with the items that were bigger than my aluminum foil pan. By the way, you can usually snag 2 pack of these pans for about a dollar or two at the dollar store.
Prepping for Marbling with Spraypaint
Fill the pan with enough water so that your object for marbling can be completely covered with water.
Choose the colors of spray paint that you will use. The spraypaint cans need to be well shaken. This process is very fast. So it’s important to have EVERYTHING set up and ready before you spray the paint into the water.
Make sure you have some sort of drying station setup. I hung some clothesline and clothespins along the railing on my steps, so that the pieces could easily hang up to dry.
Once you have your paper/objects ready, your marbling pan filled with water, chosen your spraypaint colors and shook them so they don’t clog or spray funny, and your drying rack is setup – its time to play!
Process for Marbling with Spraypaint
Spray 2-3 colors into your water. You can dip your paper or objects in now, or you can use a stick and swirl the paint. Remember to work quickly as the spraypaint will dry very fast. The spray paint sits on top of the water, and once the paper touches the surface the paint will stick to it! Dip your paper/object in the water, remove, and hang to dry. You can usually get 2-3 pieces from for each time you spray paint into the water.
Warning – your hands will get completely covered in excess paint! So you may want to use gloves. I rarely use gloves when I paint. However, I ended up completely covered in paint for several days after these marbling sessions!
Marbling isn’t just for Paper
Marbling is a very unique, and interesting art form that has been around for ages! Each piece is a complete original. So every piece is new and different from the previous ones, even the ones that use the same paint colors! You can use this technique to create some new artwork or even cards to send to your family and friends! This process makes quite the mess, so prepare for that part! Marbling with spraypaint is super quick. If you don’t feel you are up for the mess, feel free to snag these awesome marbled stationary cards from the shop. Marbled artwork also looks fantastic on other pieces of home decor. I’d love to hear from you if you decide to try out marbling with spraypaint, so please leave a comment below!
One of my favorite settings for shooting my photography is in crappy weather. Rain or snow, or even those icky gray days that make you not want to get out of bed. Those are totally my days. I simply love the even tones of light and the sense of calm and peace that the weather can have on the mood of a photography session. I also love to create contrast through my composition choices and the even lighting helps my photographs to still feel cohesive. It was one of these crappy, gray days that Atizle and I stumbled onto the Architectural Sculpture Park in Davenport, Iowa, near the Village of East Davenport.
The Architectural Sculpture Park
The Architectural Sculpture Park in Davenport, Iowa may be a little known secret to many visitors and residents. This park has some really cool sculptures based on local Davenport architecture, history, and proximity to the Mississippi River. The project was originally facilitated by the Quad City Arts, and it was a community wide partnership with nearly 50 citizens and three local artists with the goal of creating a collaboration that focused on visual interpretations of the industrial, environmental, or human heritage of the Mississippi.
All of these architectural pieces are unique, educational, and allow for children to interact with them. Atty loved exploring the various buildings and was quite upset that the Queen Anne style tower did not have a door that she could go into.
The two pieces that we really loved were the Queen Anne style turret and the block house scene based on the block house at Fort Armstrong on the tip of Arsenal Island. While we were at the Architectural Sculpture park we learned that the Queen Anne style can be found in a lot of the architectural designs in the Village of East Davenport, which is merely a couple blocks away from the Architectural Sculpture Park.
Also, we learned that Fort Armstrong was originally built-in 1816 to establish closer ties with the local Indian tribes (Sauk and Mesquaki), as well as to aid in the fur trade along the Mississippi River. I loved all the informational signs that were placed throughout the park to add educational value and learning to this exploratory adventure.
The Mississippi Riverfront
While Atty was playing and running through the building structures, I turned around and saw a gorgeous view of the Mississippi River. Despite the coming storm, the Mississippi River was fairly calm, but it was also partially frozen. This gave the scene a vintagey mood and made me think of times gone by when this area would have been bustling. I was able to capture a few photos of the distant Interstate 74 bridge, along with the boat marina before it started to rain on us. Thus, ended our adventure at the Architectural Sculpture Park with us both looking a bit like drowned rats.
Have you ever visited the Architectural Sculpture Park in Davenport, Iowa? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below! All of these prints are available for purchase at Society 6, simply click on any of the photos that you love and it will take you directly to purchasing options.
I’m so glad you’re here! My daughter, Atizle, and I made cupcakes to celebrate. Please, won’t you have a cupcake?
I have been blogging for the last five years over at The Hippie Art Studio, and I finally decided to take the plunge to create a new site. I really can’t believe it has been five years! Wow! The Hippie Art Studio was a fun hobby for me, and it really helped me define the artforms and mediums that I truly love to work with. But I feel like it is time to move on. I have finally worked up the courage to dive into this WordPress world and create something for my art, and my business, that will have longer lasting impact that my little blog over at Blogger.
Tidbits about Adria Black Art
Just in case you are new to this little corner of my world, let me tell you a few things about myself. I love creating art but my art habit is often focused on current obsessions. So while I do spend a lot of time in my art journals and with my photography, I am also known to create spray-painted paintings, write poetry and stories, brain dump in my bullet journal, create miniatures for doll houses and fairy gardens, create scrapbook layouts, and whatever else may currently tickle my fancy. My goal here is to inspire you to find the beauty around you that has been going unnoticed and to create gorgeous pieces of artwork that you simply fall in love with and bring you joy! I hope you will join me on this new adventure.
Sending you love and light on your current adventure.