Oct 25, 2012

Crazy Watercolor ATCs

It turns out that lemon juice does a pretty cool thing if you leave it on a watercolor painting. Give it a few minutes to soak, dab away with a tissue, and some crazy shapes are left as a result.
1. Cut watercolor paper to the standard ATC size: 3.5" x 2.5". Paint with liquid watercolor paint, overlapping areas so that they bleed together. NOTE: I used Dr. Ph. Martin's paint to get the intense colors. If possible, use full strength paint to get maximum color. Let dry, or make many cards so to give the first ones time to dry.
2. Use a brush or eyedropper to place small dots of lemon juice on cards. Let sit for a couple of minutes before dabbing with a tissue. The citric acid will “bleach” out the color below it.
3. Use a black ball point pen or marker to trace the shapes that are created and turn them into whatever creatures come to mind.

17 comments:

Kara S said...

SO COOL!!! science art too

Elizabeth - Dream Painters said...

This is a lovely project Kathy, thank you again! It's like looking at clouds, isn't it? So much scope for the kids to 'see' their own artistic interpretation within the bleached shapes.

Christie - Fine Lines said...

LOVE the bright colors!! This reminds me of the "secret messages" my brother and I used to write each other using lemon juice. I think the message showed up when we heated the paper over a light bulb:))

artteacher said...

Rubbing alcohol does amazing things to watercolor as well. :)

Miss Trayers said...

Thank you for sharing this! My kiddos will love it! :)

NotJustChild'sPlay

Anonymous said...

I love these!! Beautiful colors! Will the same technique work on canvas? Need a cute canvas project that preschoolers can do for parent gifts.

CreativaCale said...

Great!

Saumya said...

this is a super cool idea...thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Also, if you drop grains of salt onto the wet paper they will soak up the color. This is even easier than lemon juice. Vary the density of salt grains to make different effects.

StaceyNunny said...

Can you use ordinary paper or does it need to be water color paper? Thanks for the help. I love the idea but I live in China so it's a bit difficult to get specialized resources.

Kathy Barbro said...

Watercolor paper really does make a huge difference. Copy paper just looks dull, but some drawing paper can look OK. I'd experiment.

Splendid Little Stars said...

This is very cool! I teach after school art to kids and I will share this with them!

Anonymous said...

What's the best way to frame/mount this please? Doing It for class artwork to be auctioned. Thanks its great.

Kathy Barbro said...

Thanks for asking, I haven't thought about permanent mounting for this before. Maybe mounting the cards to a black background with space in between? And framed in a modern black frame? Hope that helps. Let me know if you come up with a better solution...

Grannet said...

This might make neat pages in a flag book.
Jeanette McCauley

Virginia said...

I tried this but could not get the lemon juice to react. Vinegar did not work either. Any suggestions?

Virginia

Kathy Barbro said...

Hi Virginia,
I just added a note to my post that I actually used Dr. Ph. Martin's paint on my sample. I have a feeling that if you are using watercolors that are not as bright and intense as the Dr. Martin's, the bleaching with the lemon juice may not show very well. I think that using really bright paint, and letting the paper dry well before "bleaching" might help.