Get the marbled look with a gel plate and acrylic paints!
Perfect for Christmas, create unique patterned papers with this clever marbling technique. Dorothy Wood shows you how
Have fun and get vivid results with gel plate marbling, then get creative with these unique Christmas cards designed by Dorothy Wood
T he exquisite patterns that occur naturally in marble can be created by floating oil paints on water, but this technique is more akin to the method that floats watercolour marbling inks onto a ‘size’ (rather like wallpaper paste). By using acrylic paints and gloss acrylic medium in place of the size, you can easily create a range of stunning marbling patterns.
You will need a gel printing plate, scraper and wire-ended clay modelling tools – these tools won’t scratch the plate and you can push them down into the sponginess of the plate to go under the paint and create the patterns more easily. Acrylic medium increases the flow of the paint: start with acrylic medium on the plate or mix 1 part paint to 2-3 parts medium. Colouring the medium reduces the amount of white paper showing through the print.
The skill with marbling is to draw tools through enough to create the pattern and get a mix of colours, but not so often that the design blurs and the colours get sludgy! This happens more often if you use opposing colours on the colour wheel, like the red and green here! Have fun – and always use up your ‘practice papers’ on smaller items like tags.