Playful Paper Backgrounds (Download in HD)

Artist and author Diana Trout shares a wealth of artful techniques for creating delightfully designed papers using inks, paste, and paints.
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Create a varied stash of beautiful papers for use in your artwork. Artist and author Diana Trout shares a wealth of artful techniques for creating delightfully designed papers using inks, paste, and paints. First, painted papers are thoroughly explored using watercolors and other water-based media; special effects include resists, masks, and experimental mark-making. Next comes an intriguing examination of techniques for use with inks, including orizomegami (folded and dipped papers) and suminagashi (floating ink paintings). The fun continues with a lesson on creating your own stamps for personalized mark-making. Finally, learn to create colorfully patterned papers using paste, acrylic paints, and texture tools. Expand your visual vocabulary and design tools, and gather inspiration to create stashes of papers for use in journals, collage, book arts, and more.

Chapter 1. Painted Papers

  • Stonehenge® or other similar 90 lb. (or heavier) paper
  • Watercolors: winsor blue, permanent rose, gamboge yellow, black; add ultramarine blue, cadmium red deep, yellow ochre, burnt umber
  • Paintbrushes: 1" flat, #12 round
  • Inks: black and various colors (re-inkers, Speedball®, or similar)
  • Caran d’Ache® Neocolor I or Crayola® crayons
  • Waxed paper
  • Saran™ wrap
  • Glaze® 3-D glossy ink pens
  • Salt
  • Alcohol
  • Winsor & Newton Art Masking Fluid
  • Palette

Chapter 2. Inks


  • Containers of water
  • Newspaper for drying

For Suminagashi

  • Clear acrylic photo frame (for water bath)
  • Kodak Photo-Flo: mix in a ratio of 1 tsp. H2O:1 drop Photo Flo (available online)
  • Rice or Sumi-e paper, copper plate paper, Hosho paper (papers should be cut 1/2" smaller than your photo frame tray)
  • Japanese brushes (1 for each color and 1 for the Photo-Flo dispersant)
  • Eye dropper
  • Boko-undu inks

For Orizomegami

  • Japanese rice paper (sumi-e paper)
  • Inks, re-inkers, liquid acrylics or Boko-undo inks
  • Palette with cups
  • Binder clips
  • Pipettes
  • Water (in a wide-mouthed container)
  • Blotting paper or towels
  • Disposable gloves

Chapter 3. Stamps and Stencils

  • Ink pads
  • Staedtler® Mastercarve Artist Carving Block (or similar)
  • Speedball carving tool set
  • X-Acto® knife
  • 6B drawing pencil
  • Printer paper (or journal)
  • Tracing paper
  • Bone folder or burnishing tool

Chapter 4. Paste Paper

  • Stonehenge or similar smooth (hot press) 90# printmaking or watercolor paper
  • Two types of lightweight paper:

-Ingres Antique paper (in colors)

-Johannot Printmaking paper (white)

  • Elmer’s® Art Paste powder (use 2 tsp. art paste:1 cup cold water or increase up to 1 pkg. paste:4 qts. cold water)
  • Container to mix paste in
  • Measuring spoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Whisk
  • Small containers, one for each color
  • Large brushes, one for each color
  • Spray bottle
  • Small sponge
  • Golden Artist Colors® acrylic paints, any colors: tube or fluid
  • Water containers
  • Paint rags
  • Marking tools
  • Craft foam stamps
  • Roller stamps (wallpaper seam rollers)
  • Crochet doilies
  • Old credit cards
  • Traditional scrapers
  • Additional mark-making/texturizing tools, such as brayers with rubber bands, brushes, toothpicks, coffee stirrers, pencil, eraser top, fan brush, fat floppy brush, and Bubble Wrap®


Author/Speaker/Editor: Diana Trout

Format: High Definition Video Download