Materials and tools:
- Distilled water
- Gouache paint (Winsor & Newton)
- Alum (sulfate of aluminium)
- Drying paper
- Glass jars with top
- Kitchen pot
- Two atomisers
- Glass agitators
- Blank paper
- Stainless steel tray
- Ox gall
- Marbling combs (optional)
Preparation of the materials
The marbling technique consists of designing a pattern of colors on a denser surface and then pass this design into paper. The surface where the colors will be added is known as bath. The bath can be of different materials depending on the type of paintings you are going to use. In this case, we will use a carrageenan bath. The carrageenan is a freeze-dried seaweed. To make it have a denser consistency, we must follow the following steps. First, we boil distilled water. The number of liters we will use depends on the capacity of our tray. Once it is boiling, we add the carrageenan in a proportion of 7-10 g per liter. We mix with the blender without turning of the stove until there are no lumps.
We need the paint to stick to the paper, so we will have to alum it. Aluming the paper means we spray it with aluminium sulfate. Aluminium sulfate is a poison, which means the tools you use must not be used for anything else. First, we boil water (it can be tap water) in the bowl. Once it is boiling, we add the alum in a proportion of 80 gr per liter of water and we mix. We let the blend cool down. Once it is room temperature, we pour the mix into an atomiser with the help of a funnel.
Once we have sprayed, we use a sponge to make sure all the paper is impregnated.
Once the carrageenan bath is ready, it is time to prepare the colors we will use to marble. First, we cat a card 2.5 cm wide. On the wide of the card we put a line of gouache painting. This is called celemín. On the picture below, we can see three and a half celemines of paint.
With the help of the glass agitator, we pour the celemines into the glass jars, where they will be diluted with distilled water.
Red colors: 5 ml per celemín.
Light colors: 12-15 ml per celemín.
The rest of the colors: 8 ml per celemín.
Once we have diluted the colors, we will add ox gall with the dropper. There is not an exact measure, since the ox color needed depends on the color and the weather.
The color is ready when it expands on the surface of the bath in a consistent way when we let a drop fall. If the color falls to the bottom of the bath, you need to add more ox gall.
From now on, it all depends on the patterns and combinations you wish to make. With the help of the dropper, put drops of paint on the surface of the bath. If you have marbling combs, you can comb the paint moving from one side to the other this tool. If you don't, you can use a needle or make a design only using paint drops.
To finish, spray the paper with tap water using an atomiser to eliminate the excess of paint. Once the paper is dry, the process of marbling is over.