Using Tissue Paper as a Watercolour Technique for Textures

Materials and Intentions

Materials Used: Arches CP 140 watercolor paper, a 1½” Winsor & Newton Series 965 wash brush, a crumpled piece of white gift wrap tissue paper.

Colors Used: Permanent Rose, Alizarin Crimson, Sap Green.

In this watercolour technique, I started by wadding up a single sheet of tissue paper and preparing washes of Sap Green, and a wash of Permanent Rose and Alizarin Crimson.

I contemplated their fate.

Making a Field of Colour

Using my 1½” wash brush I loaded it up with the previously mixed Permanent Rose and Alizarin Crimson. I proceed to lay washes and cut in the edges in with red.

I dipped the corner of my (red) brush into some Sap Green and stabbed and mixed these two colours on the paper.

Before the Big Cover-Up

I continued to scruff in the middle a bit and then thoroughly rinsed my brush. I finished painting the rest of the surface with a strong Sap Green wash intermixed with the reds from before. The surface is wet and saturated with watercolour paint in strong colours.

Clean it!

I spread the tissue out and shaped it into the approximate size I needed. Being careful to cover the entire area, I positioned the tissue over the wash and gentle pressed down with my palms.

I did not press the tissue entirely flat, allowing the crinkles and creases to do their job. I set the example aside to dry, almost.

Tissue Paper Watercolour Textures

I knew that a couple of the pigments I used have high binder levels (see the salt tutorial) and the tissue paper could be glued to the painting if I let it dry completely.

I lifted a corner to see if the design was set and gently pulled the tissue paper off to reveal the effect you see.