PERFECTLY IMPERFECT-I may not be the best at what I do, but Nobody has MORE fun trying than I do! :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Rolled Cotton Experiment and CED

This post is for the Creative Every Day Challenge. I wanted to share a cool way to make atc backgrounds, or other backgrounds for that matter, that I discovered. I had been thinking about this for a while and decided to try it finally.

A few days ago I was playing with my watercolors and wanted to experiment, so I found a couple of Playtex tampons (sorry guys), which, after all, is just rolled up cotton. I pushed the end out just a little, dipped it in water (it doesn't take much), then dipped each side into different watercolor and had a blast learning and seeing what I could do with it.

You have to work quickly, because as the water absorbs toward the center the cotton swells out of the tube and the colors get very light and weak. But that's not a problem. It just makes the colors more pastel.

All of these were made in my Moleskine pocket sized watercolor book. Each page will make 2 atcs on wc paper, or several inchies, with a small strip left over. I think these designs would be great backgrounds, or maybe little paintings. I used the same 4 colors on all of them and completed my book. I will go back and add more to them sometime, probably, but for the time being, I like them this way.

Following are 6 photos of different designs made in various stages of the cotton expanding.

This one was made after the cotton was fully "blossomed". I pressed the whole thing straight down each time, rotating the cotton so the colors would be more varied. I only used one layer on all of these, but you could add more layers with different colors if you wanted to.

This one was made by turning the fully "blossomed" cotton over to the string side and pressing it straight down. See the white lines in the middles?

This one was with the cotton tip out of the tube just a little. I pressed it straight down and twisted it to make these circles. Each side of the cotton had a different color on it.

The cotton was fully absorbed. I flattened it out and pressed one strip flat down on the paper, applying pressure to the whole strip.

Both strips flattened and pressed straight down on the paper, applying pressure on the ends. The center was added with an end tip. I cropped the paper to make it square.

This one was done by twirling the partially "blossomed" cotton around over the paper. I saw a face with hair peering from amidst the colors, so I added eyes, nose, and mouth. The hair and cheek color were already there.
Who would have thought it? I guess that's why experimenting is so much fun. You never know what you will discover. I want to try it on a bigger sheet of paper or maybe with oil/acrylic on canvas or something, but the size is just right for atc backgrounds. I just had fun with it, and added another technique to my stash. :)
If you try it, I'd love to see your designs. Have fun! :)
PS-Sorry if the last 3 paragraphs are run together. I couldn't get them to seperate. :/


Leah said...

Beautiful work!! I love working and experimenting in this way. It's so much fun to see what comes out of it!

cheryl said...

What a unique and fun way to design our own paper... I like the end result. Great idea! (found your blog via CED)

carin.c said...

What a great idea - and great results too! I never would have thought of that.

Beverley Baird said...

What a great new tool!
Love the swirls and colours.