Sunday, August 11, 2013

"Stained" Tutorial

After posting my coffee stained piece I was asked to do a tutorial on rubber cement resist.  I really love that people love learning new things and this one is so much fun and rewarding.

First off, let me say I am staining with left over coffee. You can color your piece with just about anything as long as the paper you are using will stand up to a bit of water.  So you can you use watercolors of any type, paint, tea, wine, even turmeric made into a paste and brushed on.

I have two pieces here. One is a Zentangle® Tile and the other larger on is a piece of Canson watercolor cold press 140 lb paper.

*First step is to get the rubber cement onto the paper.  This can be accomplished by dripping the rubber cement from the brush onto the paper.  I have found if you remove the brush from the tin and immediately turn the brush upside down to sort of collect the cement onto the brush you will have a good amount to drip or *trail* onto your paper. You can also brush it on for larger negative spaces or use other appliances like a chopstick, fork, smaller painting brush etc. Once it is on the paper, let it dry completely.

*Now you are ready to color or stain your paper. I have used a little left over coffee and a paint brush to apply.  Brush evenly over paper. The paper may tend to curl.  Manipulate the paper, bend side to side or end to end or simply rotate the paper to get the stain where you want it. Some areas will have a heavier stain than others.

You can even go back once it has dried a bit and add some more color to areas you would like darker.

*When this has dried completely you are ready to remove the rubber cement. You should be slow and deliberate with this step as paper is fragile and can rip. Although, it can add a "distressed" look to your piece if you desire. Two ways of going about this. One is to rub the cement off, although I have experienced more tears this way. The other is to start and edge and slowly pull the rubber cement off the tile.

Here the dried papers and then the papers minus the rubber cement.

You can choose to use the negative space as a string or the space where you tangle or, as I did earlier, just tangle over the top.

I will be back to post what I have done with these in a couple of days or so. Tangle on!


  1. Deb, Have you tried a rubber cement pickup? It removes rubber cement, I used it in art school and loved how easily it removes excess rubber cement.

  2. Great tutorial, Deb! Very clear instructions accompanied by excellent photo documentation.

  3. Thank you so much, Deb! This is perfect, skillfully done. Now I have to go buy some rubber cement and drink a cup of coffee! ♥

  4. This is a terrific idea, and I've heard it mentioned before (perhaps by you?!?). I appreciate your clear instructions with pictures. I thought I had some rubber cement but haven't found it yet. I'm currently on vacation but will hunt down some kind of resist once I'm home!

  5. I've seen articles about using different spices. The rubber cement is probably less expensive than frisket. These instructions and pics are a hell of a great tutorial and I am going to put this on my 2 Zentangle Enthusiasts and Zenspiration Inspiration, FB group's. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to seeing where this artwork flows to.