CleverPatch Crafternoons

CleverPatch Crafternoons: Soft Pastel Marbling

Did you know that you can use soft pastels to create a marbling effect? It works in the same way as marbling inks, except we float the soft pastel pigments on top of the water instead. Join us as we experiment with different colour combinations and explore the textured marble result!
  • Step 1Set up your space ready for marbling. You may need to put down a splash mat or table cover to protect your work surface. We are using a tray and have filled it halfway with cold water. Depending on what you have at home, you may wish to use a large bowl or a bucket.
  • Step 2Have your pastels on hand. Bright colours produce the best results and the softer the pastel the better as you can get a nice, fine powder.
  • Step 3Choose your first colour of soft pastel. Hold it at one end of the tray over the water. Open a pair of scissors and use one of the arm blades to run down the length of the pastel. Make sure you’re holding onto the pastel tightly and running the scissors down the flat edge away from your body. Be careful when using scissors in this way to ensure you do not hold onto the other arm blade. Adult supervision is recommended during this process. You will see the pigment from the pastel is being “shaved” off in small flecks and is landing and floating on the water below.
  • Step 4Choose another colour and repeat step 3 to add more pastel pigment to the water.
  • Step 5Continue to add colours to the water in different areas until you are happy with the result. Think about colour combinations and how the colours may react with each other. It’s also important to note that you don’t want too much pigment floating on the surface – the paper needs to be able to touch the water.
  • Step 6Take a piece of paper and lay it flat on top of the water and pigment. If it is sitting up too much, pat it down gently with your fingers to allow the water to touch the surface of the paper. This is how the pigment is transferred.
  • Step 7Remove the paper from the water surface and allow to dry. If you have used a lot of pigment, there will likely be a lot left in the tray. Continue to use paper to pick the remaining pigment up off the water. Once all the pigment is gone, simply tip the water out, wipe clean and start again.
  • Step 8Once your paper is dry you will need to seal the pastel. The best way to do this is with a spray fixative. You will notice that rather than the smooth swirly patterns created by ink marbling, soft pastel marbling results in a more textured, almost crackly look!
  • For an alternative to commercial spray fixatives, you can use hairspray!
  • Step 9Experiment with different colour combinations – think about cool and warm colours and how colours can mix together!
  • Step 10Your Soft Pastel Marbling Artwork is now ready to use or display. You can frame your masterpiece, use it in collage or create unique cards for gifting. The possibilities are endless!

Materials used in this activity

Product Code: 15518
EACH $3.84 (inc GST) $3.49 (ex GST)
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CleverPatch Cover Paper - White - A4 - Pack of 250
Product Code: 16142
EACH $21.99 (inc GST) $19.99 (ex GST)
8 or more $17.59 (inc GST) $15.99 (ex GST)          
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CleverPatch Exploration Light Tray
Product Code: 16620
EACH $87.99 (inc GST) $79.99 (ex GST)
3 or more $70.39 (inc GST) $63.99 (ex GST)          
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Micador Soft Pastels - Pack of 12
Product Code: 20045
EACH $10.99 (inc GST) $9.99 (ex GST)
12 or more $8.79 (inc GST) $7.99 (ex GST)          
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