Watercolour Soap Bubbles – experimenting again

Sunday seemed like a good day to make some watercolour soap bubbles.

Having got back into the painting groove a bit with a few wisteria paintings and an asparagus or two, I wasn’t feeling particularly blocked. But I did say that I would blog about a few ways to break creative blocks so this was a good excuse to play. And play I most certainly did.

First I whipped up some foam using baby shampoo. (I will try dishwashing liquid at some stage in the future to see if those watercolour soap bubbles behave any differently). Then I prepared my paints and an eye dropper. I assumed I would have to work fairly fast.

Watercolour Soap Bubbles Results

As always I want to compare results so I wet one piece of paper and left another dry. Applying the soap bubbles is messy, and can be a little tricky. And definitely, more than a little bit random.

watercolour soap bubbles
Watercolour Soap Bubbles on wet paper
Watercolour Soap Bubbles on wet paper
Watercolour Soap Bubbles on wet paper

I wondered whether the wet paper would make the soap bubbles stay for longer – but in fact, there was very little difference. I got impatient with the bubbles on dry paper and tried a gently hairdryer to see if I could speed things up. Mistake.

Watercolour soap bubbles
Watercolour soap bubbles – Don’t use a hairdryer!

The bubbles just disintegrated instantly and the effects just blurred into a pretty bland texturing. I guess it was a bit obvious.

The watercolour soap bubbles on wet paper took ages to dry – I had to leave it overnight. That required extreme patience – I was itching to see the results.

Patience paid off – when I went back 24 hours later having left the paper to dry completely, the effects were revealed.

watercolour soap bubbles - patience pays
Patience pays off

There’s no doubt that the results are more than a little unpredictable (and quite beautiful in parts) – but with practice, I think this could reveal more interesting textures.  I used the back of a discarded painting for this, and chose colours that I wouldn’t always combine in these proportions – where the watercolour soap bubbles gradually contracted, the pigments has become very dense, and has bonded with some of the soap residue. There’s a balance to be attained in the amount of soap to water ratio, and further the pigment to bubbles ratio. But even so, there are some wonderful details to be discovered in here.

watercolour soap bubbles
Lacy details

There were a few other watercolour soap bubbles experiments – but more of these in another post.

10 thoughts on “Watercolour Soap Bubbles – experimenting again

  1. Lovely to see, although I have never tried this, Vandy…but it looks like fun. I wonder how much of a different outcome there would be on HP paper.

  2. I like the experimentation of this and the outcome of the one you let dry naturally – very pretty and interesting textures. Makes me wonder if it could be used to create splashing water…hmmm.

    1. Funny you should suggest that, Rhonda. There’s one I’m about to try that with. Will post pictures if it works out. 🙂

  3. It’s fun to experiment with textures and sometime one gets surprising and wonderful results. I like the one where you let dry naturally. The textures are interesting and have lots of potential for using in a painting.

  4. Dear Vandy – this looks like a great experiment. One I have never tried but am going to set aside plenty of time to try it and learn from your trial with the hairdryer (I would be impatient too)! Have you ever tried rubbing alcohol? It forms circles if done correctly – fun for painting negatively. Have a great day and thanks for sharing.

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