Collage Materials: Dyed papers
Updated: Oct 27, 2019
Procean dyes have long been a favourite medium since I discovered their vibrant colours and the variety of ways in which they can be made to flow across the paper. They can be used on thickly textured watercolour paper or the thinnest smooth paper to produce very different effects, and wet or dry, spattered or flowing. I rarely use other paints on my papers now.
The colour from dyes will bleed if they are not sealed so I usually do this with acrylic gel as soon as they are completely dry. Procean dye is toxic so wear gloves until it has been sealed, and avoid breathing in the dust.
It is relatively easy to soak and then peel some of the thick paper off the back of the collage material to keep the layers thin. Removing all of the paper leaves a transparent film of dye which can be effective against a pale backround and helps blend the piece in on the edges. But if too much is removed and the background is quite dark the colours will look muddy. So I then paint the back of the film with thin gesso so that the dyes are seen against a white background. It is all very time-consuming but the different effects possible fascinate me.