Smooshing Bubbles


I am always looking for new ways to add color to my art. Bright, beautiful, in your face color. Hahaha! Yep! It’s true! Yesterday I tried smooshing bubbles and it worked like a charm – let me show you!

Supplies are very basic. I work on a non-stick surface. For me that means a craft mat. I found out recently that a teflon non-stick pressing sheet used in baking is the same thing as the Ranger craft mat I have, except – for the two dollars less my Shovan non-stick pressing sheets came in a set of ten. Now I have a nice pretty, clean looking sheet to work on and nine in a holding pattern. My journal is one I made myself using a Bind It All machine and Pen and Ink Drawing Paper from Hahnemühle. You will notice that I use neither pen nor straight up ink in this technique. Cause that is how I am. Hahahaha! The bubble wrap came in the mail stuffing a box of something I probably ordered from Joggles. I cut any bubble wrap I get down into 6″ x 8″ pieces and stack them on a shelf in my closet. Any water based marker will work, I am using Ecoline Brush Pens from Royal Talens. The only thing I don’t have in this photo is a spray bottle filled with water.

This technique goes like many others you have seen me do. Scribble some color right onto your non-porous surface. This is the magenta color.

Then spray some water right on top of the color. I love those little beads, they look like gems!

And here comes the fun part! Place the bubble wrap right on top of the color and smoosh it. You don’t have to smoosh hard, just tap the bubbles down into the color and lift.

Lay the wrap with the color on top of your paper. Just look at the texture! You can either lightly lay it down and lift, leaving color behind OR you can smoosh it down with your hand and smoosh that color right out onto the paper. That’s what I did. Smoosh!!! Jules, you paying attention?

And this is how it turns out. I like the feathering, smooshing away from the main dot part you get when you smoosh. Looks like little splashes of color. Because the bubble wrap is plastic – you are going to have a bit more water than with some of the other techniques I have used. And this paper really wasn’t meant for much water but it handled it great!

I noticed I still had color on the mat and I don’t waste product. For the most part. So I placed my bubble wrap back down and picked up some more of that lovely magenta.

And stamped it down onto the paper. Not smooshing quite as much and the color coverage wasn’t as great since it was residual color. And a little softer in brightness as well. And again, I didn’t worry about the water on the paper. I knew it would eventually blend with the other colors I was going to add.

Next I brought in some sky blue color and smooshed it on the right and stamped it on the left.

There really is no wrong way to do this technique. You can see in the places where I had water on the paper it served to lighten and blend the new colors. And where the blue overlaid the pink I got purple. Basic color theory.

Can you reuse the bubble wrap? Absolutely. I have this roll of shop towels that I just rolled over the wrap and it cleaned right up. No scrubbing needed.

Another nice thing about using bubble wrap is you can see where you place the color.

If you feel like you need a little color in that lower right section – you can add it in the lower right section. Exactly where you want it.

And you just keep smooshing and adding where you need to. Or want to. I stayed with four colors – magenta, sky blue, green and deep yellow. And because of the water and the overlaying of colors – I got even more colors. Like that yummy purple.

And then I had another idea.

What if I didn’t add water? What I just scribbled on the mat and lifted the color right up?

Can you see a difference? The color is much darker because it isn’t watered down. And it doesn’t spread as much since there is no water for movement. But I got some nice texture and a hope that it would work.

And it worked but I didn’t like it. Way too dark for my taste. I did like the texture of the bubble innards. Hahahaha! Is that a word? But the color was too dark for me. Again . . . because there was no water to lighten it up.

So I added water. I sprayed a little right onto that area and let it blend a bit.

When I liked the results, I used my towel roll to blot up the rest of the water and sat it aside to dry. This paper handled the bit of water I used very well. It dried completely flat.

And the bubble wrap? Just a roll over with my shop towels and it is ready to go again. All that color came right off!

And here is my page completely dry and flat. Hahahaha! Look at the individual cells of color and how they work with each other to make even more colors. Next up with this piece? Maybe some neurotangling because that seems to be all I can wrap my head around lately. Hahahahaha!

13 thoughts on “Smooshing Bubbles

  1. Such a colorful fun idea! Looks great, can’t wait to see it tangled and finished.
    Happy Labor Day!
    🥰 P

    • it was unexpected and fun. and only happened because I had a piece of bubble wrap I needed to put away and there was too much stuff in front of the closet. hahahaha!

  2. Amazing how many different ways you can add texture using just ink plus water with a texture provider. This has all the hallmarks of what I think of as an “Alice” project. And yes, it will be interesting to see how you neurotangle this one!

  3. Absolutely spectacular!! I knew I was saving bubble wrap for more than just mailing fragile things … You ALWAYS inspire me, Alice! I’m off to play now … 🙂

  4. I love your books. Don’t want to use the beautiful pages! Love just looking at them. Thank you

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