Trying something different this year may mean looking outside the polymer realm for new techniques pulled straight from other mediums. Our innovators all did that back when there were no techniques yet and many polymer artists still do. And why not? With the flexibility of polymer, it is not hard to work out a way to recreate effects or adapt other techniques.
Recently, I landed on a page of watercolors with a texture that I hadn’t seen before. With a little exploration, I found a how-to on a plastic wrap texture technique and just had to try it with polymer. The technique, as you can see on this page, is a simple application of crumpled plastic wrap which causes the watercolor pigment to pool where the plastic touches the paper. Although watercolors don’t do so well on polymer, I figured the technique should work with alcohol inks, with some adjustments. So I gave it a try.
The image on the top is from the link I just mentioned, from Dr. Anastasia Halldin’s blog site, HealthyMamaInfo.com. It’s watercolor on paper and is so simple, that almost all the pages I found instructions on were for kids. The one below is my experiment on polymer. It’s a sheet of pearl clay with the right side dusted and burnished with pearl mica powder. I did this because I wondered if I would need to keep the ink from sinking in too quickly and the mica powder and burnishing acts as a mild resist. As it turned out, I didn’t need it to make the ink pool and it came out brighter on the unburnished left side.
I did spray the whole polymer sheet with a good amount of alcohol before dropping the ink on it so there would be plenty of liquid to pool, then quickly but loosely laid down the plastic. It all pooled quite nicely. It took three hours to dry enough to remove the plastic so the technique takes some patience. I’ll play with texturing and stretching the sheet to see how that affects it. And maybe next time, I’ll texture the clay first to see what that does to the pattern. I might try watered-down acrylics, too, to see how that works and what can be done with it.
So, you see how just playing with the basic idea taken from watercolor can lead to all kinds of wonderful ideas? It’s also a lot of fun. So go out and research a little and then play a lot with the ideas you find out there from all corners of the art world!