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231puzzlement over terminology; help

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  • Jan Walker
    Jun 8, 2000
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      Hi all. I am still new to this fascinating art and am looking to nail down
      the meanings of various terms I see used.

      Could someone talk about the distinction between "waterbased marbling
      paints" and "marbling paints" that are acrylics? Since i've always thought
      of acrylic paint as being waterbased paint, I'm puzzled by this because the
      two things do seem to be described differently in various books, catalogs,
      and instructions. But what is the difference technically? They are mixed
      with different media and/or binders? Use different surfactants?

      Since acrylic paints are put onto paper anyhow, what is the alum doing when
      you marble paper with acrylic based marbling paints? Compared to what it
      does for the "waterbased" ones?

      The technical things I've read seem to be saying that the mordant (alum)
      somehow is involved in "turning the pigment into a dye" (their words, not
      mine). Does that mean a chemical reaction of some kind? or a physical
      binding one?

      And how would one go about marbling, say on silk, using dyes instead of
      paints? or is that not a well-formed question?

      Continuing with questions about paper -- can anyone talk about effects of
      the surface treatments of the paper itself. It seems as if a soft unsized
      paper should pick up marbling color really easily but that a hard sized
      paper would have trouble. Yes? I was trying some various lightweight
      watercolor papers and drawing papers. I got quite different results (in
      colors and intensities) but that was over different sessions so I don't
      know how much was variables between days and how much was due to different
      papers. Comments? Experience?

      I like to have a basic technical understanding of anything I'm doing --
      helps greatly with solving mysteries. Can someone point to a list of books
      or journals with relevant technical info?

      Hope this isn't too many questions for one message! Thanks,
      Jan Walker
      Cambridge MA USA