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My Super-Secret, Absolute Favorite $5 Supply

May 5, 2010

Okay, I promised to reveal my favorite $5 Supply, so here it is:

Origami Paper!  No, I don’t fold it up and make cranes to put in my journal.  I layer with it!  Origami paper is about $3.50 a pack at my local Hobby Lobby and you get several sheets.  Make sure to buy the kind with the designs on them, and not just the plain stuff.  Here is what I do with it (I made a video, but it didn’t turn out so great; my arm was in the way, oops).

First I select a couple of origami papers that I like (go by the patterns, not the colors).  Then I tear them to whatever size I like and glue them down to the page.  Next I put a layer of paint, which the fibers in the paper absorb.  This changes the color of the origami paper, but you can still see the pattern.  Then I continue to layer with gesso, and maybe more paint, and so on.  Oh, I’m no good at explaining this, but just try it!

The subtlety of the origami paper is really something you have to see in person.  All of the intricate details show through your paint.  I just really love the way it reacts with acrylic paint.  The light and dark values of the pattern show through.  And since the pretty gold foil parts won’t accept paint, you have pretty, glittery designs, too.

Here are a couple of close-ups of some work I’ve done with origami paper.

I believe this paper was originally purple.  It soaked up all that pretty yellow paint, allowing the patterns to show through.  You can also bury the spots you don’t like in gesso, so you just have patterns here and there.

This one doesn’t have as much paint on it.  I think I just did a wash over it.  You can really see the pattern and the foil in in this photo.

My latest piece with origami paper.  You can see a bit just over the words “deep down”.  There is also some origami paper on the right side of the page, but I ended up covering a lot of it up with the girl.  This is one of the prompts from the Tell Your Story class.  I tried imitating Natalie’s style by washing out the details on the girl, then tracing them back in with a black pen. I like it!

I still plan on making a video on this subject soon, since origami paper is one of my favorite supplies.  So far, I have not come across any other artists who use it like I do, so I would love to see your take on it.  Yes, let’s have an origami paper challenge!  Make a page and send me a link, and I’ll post it on my blog next week.  Fun!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 5, 2010 7:00 pm

    I would have never thought to use origami paper! Thank you for the tip!!

    • May 7, 2010 11:12 am

      You’re welcome! I like your blog. Are you enjoying the Tell Your Story class? I’m pretty far behind on the prompts already!

  2. May 5, 2010 10:23 pm

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!
    I’m a classmate from Tell Your Story

    • May 7, 2010 11:16 am

      Thanks! Looking at your blog makes me want to start catching up with the class! Are you enjoying it so far?

  3. May 6, 2010 12:14 pm

    I sometimes use origami paper the same way as i use patterned paper, but i never thought of this cool technique. Tomorrow i am going to go shopping to buy some and create lots of paGES with them:)

  4. liza permalink
    May 8, 2010 5:15 am

    hey there,
    your work is beautiful! can you please explain the part about “washing out the details on the girl, then tracing them back in with a black pen”. how is that done?

    • May 8, 2010 10:38 pm

      Hi, and thanks for the lovely compliment! Actually, the “washing out” technique started out as an accident! I got paint on the girl’s face, and I tried rubbing it off with a damp paper towel, but it took off some of the color in the photo, too. So, I decided to just go with it and I used the paper towel to rub off the paint in random spots, then I traced most important features with a black pen.

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