Sunday, April 19, 2015


Why buy collage papers when you can make your own, really cool
papers for mixed-media creations? CitraSolv is a natural
cleaning product that dissolves the inks in some magazine papers.

Guhin, art+blog, lesson
I tried to avoid obscuring the figure completely.
Needed Supplies:
CitraSolv (the concentrate)
National Geographic magazines as old as the 60s! I also had luck with Bazaar.
Smock (optional)
Latex gloves
Foam brushes
Q-Tips or a rag (optional)
Container for product (glass or plastic)
Stencils (optional)
Clothespins and a line

Here’s How:
Work outside if possible, as the product has a very strong scent.

Prep a surface to work on. You will want an area to dry your papers,
so you might set up a string clothesline on which to clip your pages.
NOTE: Use care that the product should not get into your eyes or mouth!

1. Prepare a work area. Set up your drying area as well. Put on your gloves. Pour some CitraSolv into a glass or plastic tub (margarine containers are good) and use a foam brush to spread CitraSolv liberally on the colorful pages in the magazine, working from the back to the front of the publication. Smear each page around a little to soften the dyes!

2. When you are done, let the magazine “cook” for about 5 minutes. Check it by opening a page in the middle to see if it looks good yet When you like the results, cut or tear the pages out and hang them up to dry. Both sides will be altered and it may be hard to choose which is better!

NOTE: Be sure that the image you altered is unrecognizable. If it cooked long enough, it will be nothing like the original. This will avoid any copyright issues…don’t use it in your art if you can still tell what it is and where it was from.

My favorite technique for removing ink is to use a stencil as a mask over the page, wiping the exposed parts with a CitraSolv-doused rag. 

tute, Guhin, how-to, art+lesson
Using a stencil is easy with CitraSolv!

how-to, Guhin, art+lesson
This one took a stencil well.

how-to, tute, Guhin, art+blog
Here I masked with rubber cement!
I also suggest trying a mask of either rubber cement or acrylic medium. When either has dried
(though rubber cement remains sticky), THEN use the CitraSolv with a rag! You can rub off the sticky rubber cement later!
When you have finished papers you like, I recommend spraying your page with a workable matte fixative to stabilize the ink and reduce smudging.

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