Collaging with Lisa Myers Bulmash
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- Print out a toner copy of your chosen photo. Do not use inkjet copies, as they will bleed A high-contrast photo with plenty of “negative space” is best to show off collage layers and color beneath the image.
- Use a filbert brush to coat the printed image on one side of the paper only with even layers of matte medium. TIP: Apply four to six evenly-spread coats; try not to leave thick brushstrokes. Each coat needs to be applied in a different direction (vertical layer, then a horizontal layer, then two diagonal layers). This creates a web that traps the toner ink.
- Allow each layer to dry before applying the next. Let the coated image set overnight.
- Meanwhile, use painter’s tape to hold down a sheet of watercolor paper to your work surface. Add watercolor crayon to the paper, using a damp brush to spread the colors around randomly.
- On the following day, place your image in lukewarm or cool water. Let the uncoated side become fully wet; this will take less than one minute. Remove the paper, then pat dry the coated side with a towel or rag.
- Place the paper face down on your work surface. Use your finger or a synthetic sponge to very gently rub off the paper. As the paper disappears, you will be left with a “gel skin,” a translucent toner image held together with matte medium. TIP: Go slowly and gently, rubbing in a circular pattern. Rubbing too hard or too fast will rip the gel skin.
- When you think you have removed all of the paper, let the gel skin dry somewhat. Any leftover paper will show up clearly. Rub that away gently.
- Brush matte medium onto the gel skin, so you can adhere the collage paper to the gel skin. Smooth out any air bubbles, moving from the center of the skin outward. Let dry for at least ten minutes.
- Adhere the gel skin and collage papers to your painted watercolor paper, using matte medium or regular gel medium. Let dry for another few minutes, then remove the painter’s tape and free your new collage.