You may remember bubble backgrounds from elementary school. It’s fun, satisfyingly messy and gives consistently good results. I can be done on almost any paper, although thick, uncoated stock works best.
Here is the step-by-step for the Grown-Up Artist version of Bubble Background.
- Newspapers, because this is messy
- Acrylic paint in several colors. Thick body acrylics work best. Watercolor in tubes will work, but acrylic are opaque, and that’s what you want.
- Straws. Bendy straws are best
- Clean water in a pourable container
- Dishwashing soap. Not dishwashER soap, not shampoo
- Paper towels. This is messy
- 3 small bowls, smaller than cereal bowls. If you don’t have condiment bowls, use paper cups cut down. About 2 inches tall is all you want. A bowl is nicer because it has a wider mouth. I used small bowls because they photograph well.
1. Put paint in bowl. About a teaspoon.
2. Pour water over paint. About a quarter cup.
Photo above: Not enough paint. I added more later.
3. Use straw to stir water and paint together well.Squirt about 2 teaspoons of soap into bowls.
4. Stir soap and paint water together.
6. Pick up a sheet of paper and put it flat down over the bowl. If you touch the paper to the bowl, it will leave a ring of paint. This can be interesting. The bubbles will leave a print of color on the paper.
7. Put the paper over the whole bowl. I left the bowl showing so you could see both the paper and bowl.
8. If your bubbles aren’t dark enough, you can use more paint.
[I have no idea how come those bullets are there, but I can neither make them go away nor make the numbers continuous without them. ]
In the photo above, I did the red first, then the yellow.
Comparison of one color and three color pages. Both can be used both as they are an in layers or as color-in color. Cutting out a single color square can coordinate nicely with a multi-color background. You can use this technique right in your journal as well.