Saturday, 5 May 2012

Retrospective : Tissue Paper

During the month of May, I always do a full 4 weeks of work at the local university. This is quite a tiring task having been fully retired for 10 years. By the time I reach home, and do all the usual daily tasks like washing and cooking ( very little cleaning!), there is very little time left for painting. In order to keep the blog going, I thought I would offer you a bit of a view of some of my much earliuer work, when I was interested in texture. I went through a phase of using either cling film or tissue paper extensively in my paintings, and as I try to keep a record of all my work, I am able to take a nostalgic look back at some of my earlier work from time to time.
In light of modern trends, maybe it is time to re-visit these techniques. See what you think. I will post the tissue paper paintings this time and save the cling film examples for the next post.

When painting with 'tissue paper' I used one of two methods, I either a) wet and painted the background with soft shades of whatever flowers I intended to paint and then covered this with crumpled and then slightly flattened white good quality tissue paper. I used PVA to stick it down, taking care not to disturb the colours when brushing on the glue. Then, when dry, I proceeded with the painting as normal, or b) Istuck the crumple tissue paper directly onto the white paper and then painted the subject. Mostly, I prefered the first method as this gave me beautifully muted colours for the background. Any whites required in the painting could be retrieved with acrylic gouache or white pastel.The surface of the paper aquired a lovely texture of slightly raise creases, and as I painted, any excess paint ran in delicious fine veins across the paper giving a really unusual effect. It is not totally controllable, so if you try it do not expect it to work every time!

'Field of Lavender'




I suspect that all the paintings were done with W&N paints, but I have no idea what paper I was using in those days!!


  1. They all look very good indeed.

  2. Hello Yvonne:) Wow this is amazing. Both the background and the flowers are beuatiful! With your permission I'm going to try it today. If it works out I will mention your blog and name on my blog. Fingers crossed. Have a nice weekend!

  3. Thanks, Peter and Renate for your nice comments.
    Of course you can do what ever you like with any technique I describe on these pages. The teacher still in me really enjoys sharing what I have learnt. Do be reserved with the water after sticking on the tissue. It is very fragile. Lots of gentle layers is better than one heavy one! Good luck with it. Look forwards to seeing the result, let me know how it goes.

  4. Hola Yvonne. Es un placer muy grande para mi ver nuevas obras suyas. Las cuatro pinturas son preciosas. ¡Felicidades!

  5. Hola Sonia, Gracias por sus lindo comentarios. Me alegro de que gusta el trabajo

  6. Herrlich, wie Du malst. Kompliment zu Deinen Aquarellen und liebe GrĂ¼sse

  7. Hi Janina
    Vielen Dank fur lhre schonen kommentar. Froh dass lhnen die Arbeit

  8. Hello Yvonne! Nice to meet you at the blog Renate! I love your watercolors and experimental techniques!Rita

  9. Hello Rita
    Thanks for the lovely comment, will try to keep on with things that might interest you.

  10. Dear Yvonne I paint with normal techniques but to loosen hand for example,last week, I painted using rice paper, which I have not still glued on cardboard.
    Even I, when I experiment, or I find book of watercolor very "experimental"(as Elizabeth Groves)
    I share these things on my blog.
    It will be nice to communicate from now on!As the theory is theory and practice is something else ... it's often good to communicate with someone who has already tried!

  11. Hi Rita,
    Yes, sharing experiences is always good. I will continue to publish anything I think people will find helpful or/and interesting.Please do look at the Cling Film Post which is BELOW the Tissue Paper Post1

  12. Beautiful ... you are very talented.

  13. Yvonne, just tried this today with what I think was a lovely result. Thank you for your generosity in sharing your technique and tips! Suzanne Ford in Delaware,USA

    1. You are very welcome. I am delighted that you had a go and are pleased with the results

  14. I see this blog was originated a long time ago!-not sure if you check back, Yvonne, but I wanted to say that the delphiniums are absolutely gorgeous! The observer can see how much fun this must have been to create. I wish I could find a tutorial on the tissue paper methods you speak of. I'll see what I can do! I'm self-taught and just beginning to set a pace. God bless you

  15. just beginning to learn watercolor and interested in texture also. love the tissue idea just have some questions? do you remove the tissue after drying? what is PVA and you mentioned glue?