Monday, May 05, 2014

the many faces of shaving cream.

I wish everybody had a friend like Brandi Cooper. She's what I like to call a 'real artist', and she's been known to teach some really fun and unusual things. She gave me a crash course in marbling paper with shaving cream a few weeks ago (actually, it all began with eggs, but that's a post for another day), and since a few people have asked me how it was done, I thought I'd share what I learned.

The cast of characters:

-something large and washable/disposable to protect your workspace.

-shaving cream, nothin' fancy.

-wet washcloth/towel/paper towel.

-heavy paper that can handle wet media, cut down to a manageable size. I used both hot press and cold press watercolor paper (140 lb).

-acrylic paint or ink.

-a sturdy, moisture-resistant plate, cookie sheet, or disposable aluminum pan (mom, I still have your green tupperware plate, k?).

-a stirring stick, pencil, chopstick or other poky item. Toothpicks are ok, but they'll take much longer to swirl the paint around because they're so small.

-a gift card or other flat, straight-edged scraper.

-container with a narrow, even edge (for scraping off your scraper).

-I also added a few drops of an iridescent medium, but have since replaced that with something from the Golden line that is more compatible with the paints I used.

-despite its presence in the above photo, you will not need the pet hair roller. If you do, you probably have a cat like mine who is constantly getting into things he shouldn't be getting into, and I symphathize with you.

You might also find an assistant useful. Preferably one with opposable thumbs, unlike mine.

First, the shaving cream- you'll need enough to make a plate-sized pancake. Helpful hint: hold your plate vertically and your shaving cream can fully upright, or you're probably gonna wear it. 

Consider this step bonus art... here we have a crouching monster on the left... and the shape on the right looks kinda like a fat seal cramming herself into an inner tube. Although I *might* be projecting a little since summery weather has arrived in Texas and I just ate half a bag of french burnt peanuts. 

Flatten and smooth your shaving cream creatures with your gift card/scraper. Don't let it sit too long, or it will crust over and won't spread right.

 Drop assorted colors in assorted places.

Sorry about the shadows and weird lighting. It was late in the day and my work lamps blow out the color in photos, so I wanted to use sunlight.

Swirl it like you mean it... 

Find an interesting spot, and press your paper straight down into it.

 Pull it straight up...

 Scrape the shaving cream off, let dry, and voila! 

A beautiful, man-scented piece of art. 

Just a side note... microns worked fine on these, but I couldn't get gel pens or paint pens to show up at all. This was before I switched from the W&N iridescent medium, which is designed for watercolor. I only used a few drops, but I don't know if it matters. 

Here are some other cards I did that day. Notice that the more I worked with the foam, the more blended and softer the colors became. That was my goal- so I could use these as background color for tangling (of course).

Happy messmaking!

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  1. Hi Sandy - This looks like fun as well as being beautiful in the end! And, sadly, yes, I have an assistant quite similar to yours but with longer fur. Love your writing! - K2

  2. Your shaving cream seal description made me laugh out loud! What a fun project. And beautiful. Gotta try this! Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Thank you! I'm going to be teaching some Zentangle classes and want to use different back grounds!

  4. These are beautiful - I really want to try this technique now. I can see the potential in the papers for some great tangling - in the swirls there are strings shouting out for attention!

  5. Oh baby! Thanks for sharing! It's awesomesauce!

  6. That looks like it even has some texture. I used the mod podge method and it was really stinky. I have the shaving cream, but haven't tried this yet. Thanks for the clear instruction


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