I first started playing with tissue paper some short time after Michelle Ward did her Grab a Tissue crusade. But I did something different with it and discovered that tissue paper gives you great texture when you let it wrinkle as you glue it down to a background. I later discovered that I'm not so original with this innovation, but that's okay. I recently rediscovered this technique and have run with it. Some of this stuff you've seen before, so I'll just show the pics to illustrate the variety you can get with plain old tissue paper.
Alter Bridge canvases, and unfinished mushroom canvas panel.
My winter tree canvas and the layered ATC from two weeks ago.
You can very carefully die cut tissue paper, too, which is what I did here. I used a Tim Holtz die to cut this to use as a scarf on a spread for The Night Circus in my favorites journal (still unfinished).
Over the weekend, I was using my stamping on tissue to layer images trick and talking with my tablemates about how much I love tissue paper. So one of my new friends pulled out some beautiful printed tissue and shared it with me! I used some in my book, as a background for this page that I didn't know what to do with. Once I had the patterned tissue down, it gave me an idea for what to do not just with the page itself but with a big chunk of blank watercolor paper I had left over from cutting pages. Funny how one thing leads to another.
Glued down with Elmer's, then dipped in leftover ink from dying the blank watercolor paper for a "mossy" effect (I hope).
So while dinking around with ideas after the workshop, I came up with one that, again, I'm sure someone else has done, but I haven't seen it, so I'm claiming it as my own idea. See, I've taken to Liquitex's Super Heavy Body Gesso as a way of getting a cool raised texture with or without stencils. So, I thought, why not try a relief background with that and tissue paper? That way, if I want the background to be inked, I can ink the tissue paper, which won't work on the gesso too well. So I rushed home after work and started experimenting. Success!
See how the gesso stands out with its peaks and such? And it definitely looks like something applied to the canvas?
With tissue paper pasted down over it, it looks like it's just part of the surface. I love it!
So now I have a couple more techniques in my arsenal with my new favorite material. I'm going to start paying more attention to the gift wrap aisle in places like Target and CVS. I have already been keeping tissue paper from gifts, but I'm hungry for more colors and more patterns. Especially after seeing the beautiful paper that my classmate shared. Is there a material you've started to look at differently, or that you always liked but just recently really latched onto? Give tissue paper a shot. I'll keep you posted on further experiments :)