Soap Bubble Painting – Less is More

And so to my next post about watercolours and soap bubble painting. If you missed the first post, you can read it here. 

I’ve used lots of photographs for these posts so they do come out a little longer than usual – but hopefully they show the progress and results better than I could describe them in words.

A google search revealed another interesting post about soap bubble paintings by Lemon Zest – but using a different technique. This is one I have heard of, but haven’t yet tried. I sort of made up my method as I went along. I’m sure it’s not unique, and it takes longer than the one I discovered on Lemon Zest’s page.

For the next stage, I thought I would try using smaller amounts of the soap foam so that the paper was less wet. Unlike in the first tests, in these most of the paper stayed dry. I prefer the results of this test. The effects seem clearer and I think there’s the potential for more control.

I used two different paper – both NOT, but one was much smoother than the other: offcuts of Langton and Hahnemuhle.

But, for those who are interested,  the results of part 2 of my soap bubble painting are detailed below.

 Soap bubble painting in pictures:

On Langton paper.

I didn’t tape the paper because I was just experimenting. Once the soap bubbles wet the paper, it started to buckle and the soap bubble painting started to get a life of its own.  Sliding down the sides of the paper it left a stain where it travelled. I put a glass jar on the corner to hold it down slightly and stop the soap moving as much.

watercolour soap bubbles 8
Just let it slide

Paper and soap bubble painting dried the next morning left beautiful ethereal marks.

Soap bubble painting
Let it slide – 24 hours later

On Hahnemuhle paper

This paper, while not a HP paper, is somewhat less textured than the Langton paper.

watercolour soap bubbles 6
Less is more – just a small patch on  dry paper

I decided to move the soap bubble painting by blowing on it to open it up a bit. I found the soap was almost too easy to move this way – it shifted very quickly in response to very little activity.

watercolour soap bubbles 7
Blown soap bubbles – making it move

I really loved this effect and now have loads of ideas for how to use this – unpredictable as it is.

Soap bubble painting
Blown soap bubbles – 24 hours later

And here’s one of my favourite bits of the delicious soap bubble painting.

Soap bubble painting
The details can be ethereal and really beautiful

There’s a third stage of this for those of you who aren’t completely bored with my soap and watercolour games, but I’ll give you all a break for now and post the rest another day.

2 thoughts on “Soap Bubble Painting – Less is More

  1. I haven’t done much water colour lately so I have a question. Can you wet it down from the back by spraying, tape and dry again, without messing up the front painting?

    1. I presume you are wanting to re-wet a painting after you’ve already started working on it? You can spray the back of the paper – that will make the paint stay wet for a bit longer. An alternative could be to very lightly and carefully spray the front of the paper after the previously applied paint has dried really well. After that, you have to be very careful not to shift the lower layer of pigment when you add the next glaze. Hope this helps.

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