The Art of Paper Marbling: Explore Monotype on Water | Anna Sokolova | Skillshare

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The Art of Paper Marbling: Explore Monotype on Water

teacher avatar Anna Sokolova, Berlin-based Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Demo 1: Oil Magic Marble


    • 4.

      Demo 2: Oil Timeless Space


    • 5.

      Demo 3: Happy Peacock


    • 6.

      Demo 4: Zebra Forest


    • 7.

      Demo 5: Emerald Garden


    • 8.

      Demo 6: Mystic Fields


    • 9.

      Your Task


    • 10.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

In this class, I'll show you a magical technique called Paper Marbling aka Monotype on water. We'll create 6 different artworks starting with the easiest method and continue with the traditional approach.

By the end of this 44-minute class, you’ll learn the Paper Marbling technique and will be able to create a unique piece for your Portfolio or add it as a one-of-a-kind Product to your Online Shop.

No previous experience needed! Both advanced and beginner creative can find valuable insights in this class. You don't need to have special drawing skills.

Lessons include:

  • Materials
  • Inspiration
  • Modern technique
  • Objects marbling
  • Traditional Technique
  • Experimentation

Meet Your Teacher

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Anna Sokolova

Berlin-based Artist

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Anna Sokolova is an award-winning illustrator and artist based in Berlin, Germany.

Anna works with mixed media and is inspired by merging the traditional and innovative approaches in arts. A member of the NYC Society of Illustrators, Anna often collaborates with other international and local pro... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro: Hi, guys. My name is Vans Calower and I'm a Berlin based artist and designer. Thanks so much for your beautiful projects and great reviews in my previous classes. Today, I want to share with you really ancient and mysterious technique called Paper Marclay. Speaking of ancient, we're standing now in a really legendary place, we're in Florence, Italy. This majestic city is the birthplace of renaissance, and I'm still on the stronger impression of works by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci in Uffizi Gallery. Paper Marclay is very, very old and is known by different names in different countries. For example, as Valentine Paper here in Italy, as Sumii Lagash in Japan, Ebru in Turkey, and Monotype on the Water in Russia. In this class, we will work with different kinds of patterns. We start with the really simple ones and continue with more intricate skill in designs. We'll even create a painting on water. We'll try different papers and materials, and you may find helpful a PDF I've created to cover all the essentials. As a result, you'll be able to create a unique piece for your portfolio, or edit as a one of a kind artwork to your online shop. Sure, there is a giveaway too. Create your project and post it in the project gallery before March 25th for a chance to win a florentiles surprise from me. So, before we get back to the studio, let's stop for a moment and enjoy the beauty of Florence one more time. 2. Materials: Welcome to the studio. Let's talk about the materials you may use for paper marbling. I'm going to show you three different options. Well, the first one is really easy. You just have to get an easy marble painting your local hobby shop and that's it. The second option is more interesting. You may use oil paints and any kind of solvent. So, you dissolve the paints till they have a consistency of a milk, so the color can be easily spread. The third option is the most traditional and professional one. You'll need a special water thickener. It makes the water thick, but not sticky. It's created, I think, it's made of some kind of a plant. You need 20 gram for four liters of water and total dissolve it. I got mine online along with that Ebru set. Ebru is a Turkish name for paper marbling. Of course, we'll need some brushes. In traditional technique, they use this kind of brush. It looks really weird, but it's not necessary at all. I'll use the usual brush. You may need some same tool like this one. Any neat needle or a toothpick will do. Of course, we'll need some paper. We're doing paper marbling. There are no rules. You can use any paper. I'll be using cold press watercolor paper. I'll try to marble artificial coated paper. It's sees as little free, and it feels like it has a glossy surface and feels like the one they print ads on. I'm going to try to marble some objects, which I'm really excited about. It's a sketch book, which can be really unique product for your online shop. That [inaudible]. That's my favorite kind of paper product. So, and last but not least, you'll need some kind of shallow pan, where we put water actually. So, I'll cover this whole once again in a helpful PDF. You might find in a class project section. This class will focus on these two methods. Well, I think we're ready and I can't wait to begin marbling. 3. Demo 1: Oil Magic Marble: Welcome back. So, let's start creating. The first design I called Magic Marble, and it's really simple and really beautiful. As you can see, I've dissolved my old paints with a solvent. I'm using Studio Oil Paints. They're really inexpensive, which means that they're not professional, and we don't need something like that. So, I've prepared for each color separate brushes so we don't mix the paint. What I'm going to do is, I take the first color, and take the biggest brush. With sprinkling movements, I'm going to throw the paint on our water canvas, just like this. Or you can do it like this. I already like the design. Yeah, the process is really messy so make sure you covered all the important stuff. Now, it's time to use the second color. This is one of my favorites color. When they produce guitars, they call it fullerton red. Awesome. Sprinkling. Of course you can put bigger drops, but I like the design when it looks like this. Everything around, it's already messy. Now it's the last turn of the white. So, you've noticed I used the darker color at first, and then gradually moved to the lightest one. It's really good practice. Beautiful. I think this is it and we can marble our first piece of paper. It's easy to start with a small format. That's why I cut the paper in two, and hold in this opposite corners, we're gently putting the paper for that. Nothing will happen, it's a watercolor paper. So, even if it will be absolutely under water, it's okay. Several seconds, and let's see the result. Pure magic, isn't it? Let's try another one. 4. Demo 2: Oil Timeless Space: So, now when we feel the flow, let's try to marble a passepartout. I'm sure it'd be beautiful. I decided to add pink color and to start with it. Sorry, wrong brush. Remember, that separate brush is used for separate color. So, some sprinkling. We can be never sure with the effect we'd got but the happy accidents are so amazing, this technique. I'm really thrilled with the results each time I do this. I think it's enough and let's try a couple of bigger drops. Maybe a bit more here, maybe couple of red ones but just a little, just to add some interest a bit. Some white. I feel I should put paper all around so we'll get lots of artworks at the end. I think I want to be back to the blue again. Let's see. Was it a good idea? Or it was a terrible idea. Well, look they're beautiful swirls. That's the real marbling and so easy to perform. Where's my passepartout. Here it is. We won't be afraid. We're super brave. Let's do it. A couple of seconds, couple seconds. You can't twist your canvas and you can blow on the water and use different types of effects. Isn't it awesome? Amazing. It's simply amazing. Now, I'll put it right here and let's try to marble a sketchbook. I'll add some blue here. I think we should add maybe pink over it. Looks beautiful. Maybe a couple drops of red. I love this color. Of course, you can use the bigger brush and the drops will be bigger. You can even try to touch and move it a little bit but I won't do this. We will work with it in another part of this course. Of course the white at the end. Why is it such a mess? Why? Because well, the more you dissolve the paint, the wider it spreads, obviously. The laws of physics are very important even for artists. I think it's enough and I always have some towels with me. Let's try our new friend and how it will work. I don't know but let's see. A couple of seconds, couple of seconds and we're done. Amazing and absolutely unique. After it gets dry, it will be a really beautiful item. You can marble it from both sides. So, I think we really must serve the oil paints technique and they're ready for the traditional paper marbling. Let's move forward. 5. Demo 3: Happy Peacock: So now, we're going to try this ancient technique in a traditional way. Can't wait to try that alchemy and the magic of it. So I've got my water prepared over night. Before we start, I'm going to put that old newspaper to clean any part of dust or something we don't need. So you may already see the water has a consistency of a milk. So go away. Nice to think that but I don't need you anymore. Okay, so let's try. I've called this design Happy Peacock and let's start with violet. The principle is almost the same. We're sprinkling the paint beautifully here and there, and see the magic marbling. Now, the second color is going to be yellow. I think it'd be better if I put it closer. Yeah, exactly. Let me see. Let's try to add red, the bright. It looks like I'm always using the same color, don't you think so? Okay, and the last one is going to be blue, sort of blue. So what I'm going to do now, I want to take this thin tool or you may use a toothpick, it will be the same effect, and create a movement and make the paint follow. Beautiful, isn't it? Intricate design and it's always different. So what I want to do, is to add some drops. So put bigger drops of paint to make more interesting design. I have no idea what will happen but I have a feeling that can be really beautiful. You can just go ahead and use your favorite colors and I promise you, you'll like the result. Okay, just don't put your new dress when you do this because everything will be totally in paint. So I will add drop of the red here, here, and a bit here, and what I want to do is maybe, you see my paints have this sort of plain but I can say I'm happy with it. I like brushes more. So let's move our paint a bit. So it will remind sort of flower. Don't you see? Beautiful and so simple. I think I can do it all day and the result is not so important. Do you agree? Magic, real painting on water. Oh, I think we should finally make a print, or I'm afraid I will spoil everything. Well, it maybe here, a bit more, yeah. So I'll take and put the color of paper to the opposite sides and lay it flat gently, more gently than we did with oil colors because it's a different situation we have here. Okay, let's wait a little bit and gently pull paper and see our amazing traditional paper marbling. Beautiful, simply amazing. I think we're ready for a new design. Let's move forward. 6. Demo 4: Zebra Forest: Welcome back. Now I think we're ready for a big scale. It's a bigger pen and we will try the really, really popular pattern called zebra. I want to show you my invention. Well, it's actually, it's not my invention, but they use a special combs to create some patterns. I didn't have one, so I decided to make it myself. As you can see, it's a toothpicks and a piece of cardboard taped all over. I think it's good. Well, let's begin. I will use orange as a base color this time. This my parrot part. Then as a contrast, I want to use sort of a brown. We'll cover everything with paint here. It feels like we have too much in the bottom. Let's add. Without any reason all over, and yellow. So, this will be a warm design. Not so. You can add as many colors as you wish. It's totally personal preferences. This art is so old so there are no canons or any rules you should be following very, very strictly. Well, I think. Okay. I think here it should be more. Yeah, this looks like a pumpkin soup. Big beautiful wallpaper, I think, very cheering color. I don't like it in clothing, but I really like it everywhere else. Done. Now it's time for our new friend. Yeah, I think it's time. No, I think we should add a bit more. Okay. So, what I'm going to do, is I'm going to make this movement here, and back. Let's see if we'll get zebra. Do you see it, do you see it. Let's get back. Beautiful. Now I think we should make a print urgently. I'm using coated paper. Carefully, we'll put in it, holding to the opposite corners, laying it flat like a magician with our magic stick. A bit here, a bit here. And careful, careful, careful, careful. Amazing pattern. I'm very happy with the result. Look at this yellow spots. Amazing. It's absolutely dry, so you should dry it of course a little bit, but it won't spoil. I'm really happy with our work. By the way, don't forget to push blue button right here, so you can follow me, and be informed about all the other classes. I think they have it with a blue design. I'm so happy it turned out great. So, thanks for working with me. 7. Demo 5: Emerald Garden: So, let's try another design. I've called it Emerald Garden. I've prepared different palate colors, and let's begin. I know you have a feeling that you can stop marbling. The funny thing is, you can marble almost anything jackets, t-shirts, objects, paper, so many possibilities. So, you know what I'm going to do. I'm applying a very, very thin layer of green, then I want to continue with orange. I wonder if I were to use, this way, because I feel I want to add more orange. Yeah, this design is a pretty experimental. You just go with your creative feeling and create whatever you like. I think, I can even make something like this. Pay attention to the bubbles. We don't want them because inside the bubble, there is a space and this will stop the paint from spreading properly on our object or paper. So we should get rid of them. Maybe a bit of red. Yeah. I'm too brave. I think, this is too much to look already nice. Well, sometime during the process you just do something and you're not sure about the result, but that's not lucky with a creative process. Let's get rid of this small enemies. Got you, got you too. Go away, go away and these two bubble. Okay, and this one. I will be back to you later. Great. So, I think white is a good option and maybe red again. Let's make something really colorful. I want to apply several layers of different colors. This design, we'll try intricate swirling, and we'll try to make beautiful pattern. That's what I'm trying to do. Some more white. Some right here, right here. Well if you want, you may work really carefully and create less abstract but more well-thought designs. But I like this technique because I just can work and be surprised with the result. It's a really nice practice to combine with commercial work. Okay. Some more orange again, maybe even, and white again. Now, I'm going to, "Oh, splashes,splashes." Take my thin instrument without a nail and you may take a toothpick. I'm going to create this kind of movement. It's like an S but reversed. Each time, I'm going to clean it. So, swirl. Once again, swirl. It's like really strange. The things I'm talking about when I do that. Swirl. Maybe some small swirls here. I just like to create them so much here, and if it's not necessary, maybe even here, it won't destroy the design, and here. Beautiful. It's like a Victorian style pattern. I really like what I see. Now, let's print it. I'm trying coated paper this time into artificial paper. I'm taking it with opposite corners and gently laying it flat. Put it here. We got rid of the bubbles, and let's see the results of our hard work. I hope they won't be terrible. Pure beauty in our hands. Amazing, isn't it. I'm really happy with the design. There is one more beautiful pattern, I want to share with you. Let's move forward. 8. Demo 6: Mystic Fields: We did great. I hope you've enjoyed the process. I hope you followed me up here and you left a review here. Now, let's create something super, super bright, but before that, we need to clean our surface a little bit with the old newspaper. So, we'll get rid of some dust and some rest of the paint we don't need. So now, our surface is ready, and let's start once again. I'm sure you'll learn by heart what I'm doing each time. So bright, bright, bright colors. I like when the background is dark. Now, I want to add yellow. I use this water several times as long as the surface is clean enough or your designs have similar colors. As you can see, colors push aside, and they behave differently each time. So it will be your feeling how to control everything, which can't be controlled. I shouldn't speak, I know, but it'd be too boring just to watch. Bright, bright, bright. As you can guess, my plan is to apply tons of layers. Now, when I have the opportunity and the reason to do that so, I just can't help myself but to. Beautiful pattern. It's really different, look what's happened, what's happening. Bubbles. Now, I want to add a lot of yellow. Oops. My brush just mixed with something, so I have to use another tool. All right. Now, a bit of carefully mixed white. So now, I want to create a movement. You know what I'm doing. Another direction. Nasty sound. Now, I'm going to put big drops of one color here, here. I think that will be enough, maybe here. I like the five numbers. Then the red, lots of red. Now, even orange. Now, white again. This can last for hours. It's nice to bubbles but okay. Here. You can work more accurately. I'm just very expressive in some kinds of arts so I don't pay too much attention to details. I want to paint with paints with a computer, and now, I plan to do like this. Beautiful, isn't it? You can even create more twirls if you want. Let's get done of the bubbles anyway. Beautiful, isn't it? I think we can add some white on top of everything, once again, to make it brighter, and red also, and maybe, you can always improvise. Okay. I think this is it and let's print our design. A couple of minutes here, why minutes, I mean seconds, and lifting up. Great. As expected. Super. I can't wait to see your works. 9. Your Task: So now, you've mastered the mysterious technique of paper marbling. Your task is to create your own artwork using any tips from the class and share the process along the way. Try to experiment according to your artistic feel and style. I'd love to see your works in the project gallery. If you like to be featured in one of my social media channels, just tag me on the images so I could share your work. 10. Final Thoughts: Well, this is it. I hope you enjoyed watching the class and feel inspired. Monolink always creates a one of a kind artwork, even it the same exact process was used. Variations on the water, artist hand movements, it all preference an exact duplicate. So, just try this magic technique. If you find this technique interesting, you might also like my class on monotype. Thanks again. If you like the class, don't forget to leave a review here in the right corner. It's super important for a class to trend very well. Can't wait to see your beautiful projects. See you next time.