Dimensional paint and paint marbling are so fun! I just love playing with paint, I find it incredibly relaxing and enjoyable. Both of these techniques require the right products used the right way. Today I plan on helping you with both.
Some products used in this tutorial were provided by Testors. All opinions are my own.
Supplies – click for shopping ideas
- 4 canvases – 12″ x 12″ each
- various size paint brushes – hog hair works well
- 2 bottles Testors Marbling Medium
- 2 jars Testors Dimensional Craft Paste
- for marbling: 2 bottles each Testors craft paint in: French Vanilla, Coffee, Petal Pink, and Blue Fog
- for flower: 1 bottle each Testors craft paint in: Purple, Fuschia, Passion Fruit, and Sunshine
- mixing cups and sticks – paper cups or cups with pour spouts are best
- pallet or paper plate
- lots of table protection (cardboard, kraft paper, plastic, an old sheet…)
I’ve tried paint pouring in the past, but I didn’t really know what I was doing, and I was really more just playing around. This time I took some time to learn a bit and then did a test run on some smaller canvases I had.
Above you can see that I used my kitchen scale (that I use for yarn), to mix the paint and marbling medium. My scale can be set to zero after something is on it so you can weigh just what you are adding into your container. This is very useful!
Put the cup on the scale and zero it out. Then pour in 50 grams of marbling medium, zero it out again, and pour in 50 grams of paint (almost all of a bottle). Mix well and let them settle for a minute. If you don’t have a scale, just do your best to mix an equal amount of both.
When you want to add more paint, place the cup back on the scale and zero it out again. Poured in all of the second bottle of paint and the leftover of the first. Make note of the weight, zero out the scale, and pour in the same amount of marbling medium.
It turns out that 1 bottle of mixing medium mixes with 4 bottles of paint, so you can also pour the mixing medium evenly into 4 cups. Then pour 1 bottle of paint into each cup.
The top images above are my first try at pouring. It was not enough paint, as it didn’t quite make it over all the edges, and it was not easy to get it to spread all the way.
On my second attempt you can see I used more paint. It worked much better this time. I still had a hard time getting all of the edges covered. See the bottom left image? Not enough paint there.
After the tests I decided that raising the canvases really is a good idea. To do this I just used a small box. This makes the canvas easier to pick up after all the paint is poured on.
For the pouring, I started with the darkest color and moved to the lightest. I don’t know if this is needed, but I figured once I started I should do the same for each canvas. You can see each color pour above. I pinched the paper cup to make pouring easier, which is why I prefer paper cups (that and the environmental issues).
Once the canvas are covered with paint, pick it up and tilt it to get everything spread out. A lot of paint will fall off, but you want the paint to cover the sides as well. Once covered, you can tilt the canvas around to get a look you like. Above you can see the four canvases I made for my final project.
Now most people will wear gloves for all this. After 7 years of art school and twins, I really don’t mind getting my hands dirty. This paint isn’t toxic, so I just took of my ring and went for it. I did end up using a good number of paper towels though.
When I was done I washed my hands. After just a minute or two of washing, my hands were clean. I’m good with that.
I let the canvases dry for 2 days before the next step.
To make the flower, first draw the petals on a piece of scrap paper as a template. Fold two adjacent sides together forming a point at the corner. Fold again and then just the second fold, you can see this on the left image above. The second fold makes a center mark for symmetry. Sketch out the petals.
Re-fold the second fold and cut the outer-most lines. Trace trace the image onto each canvas. Cut off the top petals and trace again – you can see my template on the right image above with the top set of petals cut off. Continue in this manner until the entire flower is traced onto the canvases.
Now it’s time to mix the paint. Scoop some of the craft paste into the mixing cups and pour in paint. I used about an equal amount of paint to paste. More paint will make it thinner, and less will make it thicker.
I also used the jars for mixing. First I scooped about a third of each jar into 2 mixing cups. I used the pasts in the cups for the yellow and lighter pink, and the jars for the darker pink and purple. When I was done I just closed the jars so I can keep them to used again.
Paint the first set of petals with the darker pink and accent with purple. The second set is purple with the darker pink accent. Paint the petals starting with the outer-most petals and working in. Paint all of one row of petals on all 4 canvases before moving to the next.
First used a small round brush to trace the outside of the petal, this will help keep the paint where you want it. – top left image
Use a medium flat brush and drop some paint into the petal. – top middle image
Push the paint to the top edges of the petal so there is a wall at the edges of the petal. – top right image
Dab the bush vertically through the inside of the petal to give it some texture. – bottom left image
Use a small round brush to apply dots of a accent color on the top half of the petal, but not on the wall. – bottom middle image
Dip a medium round brush in the yellow paint, and begin painting from the bottom of the flower to the top. Use a light touch and paint with short strokes from the bottom to the top. This will pull the yellow into the main color and then the accent color into the main color. When the wall is reached, take care to NOT flatten the wall. Brush up the wall and extend your stroke past the wall so it the paint leans out, not in. – bottom right image
The third layer of petals are a bit different. Paint the petal base with the dark pink on top and the light pink on bottom; the accent color is purple. You can see this above. Continue from here with the yellow in the same manner.
For the inside set of petals, use the light pink for the main layer. You may need to use a smaller brush at this point. Accent with dark pink. When applying the yellow, add a thick layer of yellow to the center. This can be seen above.
Next, brush the yellow gently from the inside out, stopping at the edge of the yellow. Then brush the petal as the previous petals were brushed, pulling just a little of the center into the petal.
Let your painting dry for 24 hours. Isn’t it pretty? I’m so happy with mine.
In hind-sight, I’m not sure about the sides where the flower is. I think I may just take some the leftover paint (no worries if it’s not mixed with the paste) and just pull each color all the way down the sides. This way when I hang it with about a 1/2″ space between the paintings, the marbled edge in those parts won’t be distracting.