Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Watercolor and Foil on Text

by Jo Reimer

I've seen several examples of watercolor and drawings done on top of the text in old books so I decided to try my hand at it after reading Jane Fazio's post this morning. My first attempt wasn't the greatest but it lead to another discovery... using foil with watercolor, a lemons into lemonade experience.

I used paint straight out of a tube of M. Graham watercolor which had sat too long and had a bunch of sticky honey right at the top. I was working too quickly and didn't notice the honey until it was on the paper. When it refused to dry right away I  looked around for a solution, something to soak up the stickiness or to cover it.  I grabbed a sheet of foil, the sort used by rubberstampers and surface designers, and applied it to the image. This left sparkles of foil on the petals of the flower. Pretty in person but it doesn't show up in the scan where it looks like black blobs. Metallics don't photograph well because of the way they reflect the light.

Following Jane's example I cut around the drawn and painted image and glued it into my journal. Now I'm thinking that I'll keep an old book handy and take a few minutes here and there during my day to sketch something and add watercolor later so I'll have all this wonderful material available for other uses. It'll refine my drawing and observation skills and give me another opportunity to record the beauty of my days.

The book page I worked on had glossy paper which didn't take the color well. Use uncoated paper pages.

If you don't have sticky watercolor paint just rub a glue stick across your drawing and apply foil to that. Experiment first so you'll know at what point in the drying stage is best to apply the foil.

You can draw with liquid glue and then foil that. Have fun and tell me about your successes and failures.

Go here for more information on using glue and foil. Jones Tones makes glue and foil which is available at craft stores.


  1. Sounds like a fun day of creative thinking. Bet the foil looks wonderful in person. Love the look of text it adds some mystery and depth to things.

  2. great idea! (I even have m. graham paints.) and I have foil and always forget to use it. I like the subtle of this idea.
    thanks for the shout out!

  3. Anonymous7:03 PM PDT

    Compliments to you and your work. I love the colors here!

  4. Thanks friends. It's encouraging to read your comments


I appreciate comments and questions.

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