Friday, April 20, 2012

Pretty paper freebies

I love nothing more than making books and I love nothing more than playing with paints and paper to create backgrounds or patterns. So it's only natural that every now and then I will take out my paints and just make what I like to call 'pretty papers'.

Not so long ago on a rather dreary day I decided to get some color going and just started putting acrylic to A3 sheets of Fabriano artist's paper. After the first layers of color were applied I started adding details with a smaller brush. I had so much fun!

I think they are so cool they could be abstract paintings all by themselves, but of course I have another purpose for them and that has to do with the book making love.

My intention is to cut up the sheets into four pieces and make them into pages for a ring bound journal/doodle book. I have painted five sheets on both sides so that should leave me with 40 pages in total.
After I have cut them up I will draw on them with paint markers. Right now I'm thinking flowers and other fun colorful stuff. I want it to be a playful colorful doodle book.

Once I had finished the acrylic sheets I couldn't help but long to do the same thing in gouache, so as we speak I am working on five sheets in opaque watercolor and it's amazing how much of a different look a different medium can give even if the concept is exactly the same! I'll show those when they are done so you can spot the difference. ;-)

I also took many photo's of details of the sheets before I cut them up, because they are little pieces of art in themselves and could be used as inspiration for either painting or be printed for collage.

And I made photocopies of the sheets, both in original size and downsized to use as collage fodder. And that's where the freebie part of this post comes in.

I would like to share these papers with you! So I've made scans of the downsized version of the color copies. I had to, because I don't have a scanner big enough to scan the original A3 paper. This means the scans are a little less vibrant than the original, but I still think they are pretty colorful.

I uploaded the scans unto flickr and you can find them there in my 2012 freebie set. They are licensed under 'creative commons'. To me this means you may use them in your art as you see fit.

The originals are pretty big files of approximately 10MB and will print at 300 dpi at A4 size. It was a little mistake actually that they ended up so big, but I figured that those of you who work digitally might actually appreciate that since bigger files are usually more forgiving to digital manipulation. So yes, you may alter them digitally as well. However, if you want a smaller file, flickr offers those automatically if you go to the different sizes.

I hope you will enjoy these papers and find a use for them. As said I think they would make wonderful collage fodder, but maybe you have brilliant other ideas for them. If so, I would love to know about it. You don't have to let me know though if you use them. They are free for all.

When the gouache papers are done I will probably offer them as a freebie too, so stay posted!

When the book I intend to make comes into being I will of course let you know about it too and share some pics. Until then I will sign off by wishing you a wonderful and very artsy weekend!


  1. This is soooo generous of you--thank you for all you do to inspire others! XO

  2. Ooooo! Thank you, Caatje. I love your use of bright colors. These are so pretty!

  3. so very pretty!!!!
    your colors are so clear & bright. mmmmmmmmmm

  4. dit is echt heeel vrolijk.. ik ben benieuwd naar hoe het boek wordt ;-))

  5. Ben gek op handbeschilderd papier en deze zijn echt heeel mooi! Zo vrolijk!

  6. Thanks for sharing! Wat een kleuren, prachtig. Vooral de derde met de ruitjes is heel inspirerend.

  7. Thanx! Love the colors!! Maybe I will try some myself;)

  8. Gorgeous papers! They will make beautiful book pages. Please share the book with us.

  9. They look so nice I'd have a hard time cutting them up! I think they'd make fantastic binding for journals though. That is very nice of you to offer them for free use to people.

  10. Creating backgrounds papers is just about the "funnest" thing to do ever, isn't it? Yours are so very colorful and fun! Your doodle book will certainly look amazing when you have put it together.


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