Acrylics is a good stable medium to begin your learning.
I started marbling with acrylics 30 years ago. I used regular, plain water
then at my home in Austin and also now at my home here in Houston. I do not
need distilled or other special water, to dilute the acrylic colors.
However, water in different places can be very different. You may find that
you need distilled water.
Different colors and different brand names can determine the ratio of color
to water. I currently use Golden but you have Liquitex so try it, but
others may differ. sometimes the water may affect the color. Buy small
amounts at first. (For colors that do not work, do not think of them as
wasted, instead think of them as a push for you to being a career as a
famous acrylics artist. You should see my walls; maybe you should not see
It is simple and easy to experiment in order to learn what your
circumstances need to make a "good" solution of color/water. I no longer
measure to achieve a ratio; I just start mixing. However, you may choose to
just add a measured amount (maybe a quarter cup; a 1/4 cup holds 4
tablespoons or 12 teaspoons) of color to a container and then add 1 or 2
tablespoons of water, stir, allow it to rest a few minutes, and sprinkle
onto the size until it spreads to a desireable intensity on the size. If
the color is too thin, add a little color to thicken. You may have troubles
with bubbles or undiluted granules, but to begin "just add water."
If you started with a quarter cup (4 tablespoons) of color and if you added
1 tablespoon of water your ratio is 4:1 or 2 tablespoons would make 2:1 .
(If you need the information there are 12 teaspoons to a 1/4 cup.)
What would be the equivalent Spanish measurements? Are your "cups" the same
as ours? What about your your "spoon" measures? (Do you cook, do you cook
according to recipes, do you strictly follow recipes?)
If regular, plain water works for you, after a few sessions of apparent
success, get some distilled water, use it instead, then compare and contrast
the results. If you do, however, remember to use the same color and same
brand name, so that you do not change two variables at the same time.
Special fluids may be used to get special effects - alcohol, olive oil, ox
gall, and others. But this is separate from the basic color/water solution.
It is sometimes added directly to the color before sprinkling and sometimes
directly to the colorful pattern while it rests on top of the size bath.
But don't complicate your learning right now with those, "just add water,
As you apply the sprinkles, do not make too hasty a judgment as to whether
it is the proper ratio. Remember that as you apply more layers of color
(2,3, maybe 4 in all), each color will tend to intensify because of the
pressure of the added color on the water's surface. It's sort of like tears
or a spray of laughter oozing or suddenly bursting out, depending on the
emotional pressure attending.
As you begin your learning, write a few notes to yourself, maybe a diary. I
used a book of blank pages. It will help you to understand yourself and to
discuss your procedural problems with others. In a way we all have varied
languages on how we describe what we use as well as when and how we do
Until later, we wave to the Spaniard, buena suerte.
From: rajugar [mailto:rajugar@...
Sent: Monday, March 31, 2003 9:25 AM
Subject: [Marbling] Some doubts of a novice
I am one of the newer members of this community, just arrived. I read
with interest your messages, the spirit to learn some of the
techniques of marbling.
Now I am learning applying acrylic colors. I have bought some of the
Liquitex mark, colors for artists "extra - fine", they seem to you
appropriate?. It can work if I mix them in an equal proportion with
distilled water?. Is necessary also the use of some medium?. The
acrylic color with oxgall is compatible (hiel of ox)?.
I would like to also contribute something to your group, but at the
moment I am learning of the "greater ones".
Sincerely, from Madrid in Spain.
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