Friday, May 15, 2015


So it's a couple of weeks after the workshop and I've been busy getting back into the routine of walking at the park, classes, portrait commissions and landscape painting. In between those things I get to play with little people like these 2 lovely ladies...

I mean, look at those faces- how can I resist? Sometimes I just have to put the brushes down and pick up a puppet or a book and snuggle with little girls on my lap.

Okay, back to art stuff.... while I was at the workshop in Live Oak I was introduced to a new paper (new to me anyway). It's called TerraSkin and one of the ladies taking the class was kind enough to bring a piece of it for me to play with. It intrigued me so when I got home I ordered a pad. What is TerraSkin? It's made from rocks. That alone was enough for me to try it. Here are some basics about it from their website

  • TerraSkin is a combination of mineral powder (>75%) and a small quantity (<25%) of non-toxic resin combined to create an environmentally friendly paper.
  • The production of TerraSkin requires no water, so the TerraSkin papermaking process incurs no water pollutants.
  • Used TerraSkin paper will start to degrade under the proper environmental conditions of high heat, moisture and UV light.
  • Most importantly, in producing TerraSkin, the harvesting of trees is unnecessary, thereby safeguarding the natural environment’s beauty and biodiversity for all living beings.
  • TerraSkin also has beautiful printing capabilities and a unique texture and feel. Because the paper is fiberless, it does not absorb ink like regular paper and also uses less ink than regular paper. Images stay much crisper and cleaner because the ink doesn’t bleed.
  • TerraSkin is water – resistant and inherently strong and durable.

It was originally formulated for commercial uses such as packaging, labels, banners, printing etc.... so there isn't anything about it's use for artists on the website but if you poke around online you can find info and videos about using this stone paper.

Here is my first time playing with TerraSkin.... I wanted to try mixed media with portrait work so I figured this paper would be ideal for it. It's very similar to Yupo paper but has a slight texture where Yupo is very slick. Because of the texture it accepts colored pencil pretty well. You can't build up as many layers as you can on Canson Mi-Teintes or watercolor paper but you can do some layering. I started this one by drawing the face first with colored pencils; I did a few layers of skin tones. Then I started playing with very loose washes of blue watercolor. The paper surface is slightly porous so it absorbs a little of the paint but a lot sits on the surface and takes a while to dry.

When it was dry I started playing with acrylic paint, some right from the tube and some watered down. I also sprayed it with water while the paint was still wet. I scratched into the paint with the handle end of the brush to make some marks and then I kept layering acrylic and watercolor. At one point I splattered the blue and then sprayed it to encourage it run across the face and then let the puddles dry where they were.

The background really looks a mess but it's fun to let loose and experiment. I can always go back into it and paint some more layers over it and change the look completely. I can definitely see playing with these techniques some more. If you work on paper and like playing with mixed media, give this paper a try.

Time to pick up a brush.... 

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