Explorations – Bubble painting II

Some time ago I did a series of experiments with paint and bubble bath. They proved quite popular and I had several expressions of interest in a tutorial, so I wrote up my first fully documented Exploration. Since then I have received a request to do a video of the technique. It has taken me a while to get there as I didn’t have the equipment to actually put a video together, but a few days ago I finally managed to wrangle one out of my iPad. It is nothing snazzy, but it does demonstrate a part of the procedure I had difficulty explaining in the tutorial.

So here we are – Bubble Painting Basics.


For more detailed information and my notes, please check out the original Exploration. Here are a few more notes on the medium:

  • Make sure you don’t add too much detergent. I tried working with bubble mixture (for blowing bubbles) but the concentration required was too high vs water and paint. The mixture will not dry. The detergent will corrupt the paint structure.
  • I did some experimenting with acrylic media. The acrylic media doesn’t bubble like water, so what bubbles there are aren’t strong enough to create a high enough stack of bubbles to scoop up a print from.
  • The water, paint and bubblebath ratio is very important. Having not done the experiment for quite some time, I had to re-experiment to find the best mixture. Fortunately I had kept my mixes from last time and after failing to get a good mix with a new batch, I was able to grab the old batch out of the cupboard and re-aquaint myself with what makes a good mix.
  • Stick with the cheap paints. I tried using some of my Golden Liquid Acrylics with no success. I will experiment further as I was using some acrylic media at the time which likely contributed to my failure, but it appears my children’s paints are more successful. Not to mention that the amount of paint needed is considerable and my bank account was groaning each time I squirted some more of my expensive acrylic paint into the mix.
  • Sealing a board with gloss acrylic media resists the bubble print and you end up with little blobby prints rather than bubble prints.
  • Canvas has the wrong texture to fully work this medium. I tried printing on canvas board, but the dry board wouldn’t take the print and when I used some acrylic media, I encountered other problems. I have had some success with gesso, so I might go back and thoroughly coat some canvas board with that and see what I can come up with.

Here are a couple of the prints I came up with this week. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them at this point, but I do find the colours exciting.

Green-orange-yellow bubble painting

I used a muddy green, a bright orange/vermillion and a yellow, colours deliberately chosen because of their ability to make mud. Fortunately no mud was created.

Journal bubbles

And for this I stuck with just the orange/vermillion, but actually managed to print it into an art journal. Art journalling is something I’ve never done before, but I’m interested in exploring as a technique to free up my art. To tell you the truth, I’m finding it a little scary. The whole concept of not preplanning a work, having the previous week’s work and mistakes sitting right next to whatever I’m working on now…it is a very strange concept for me. But I’ve bought the $5 bound journal and am attempting to follow a challenge over at Art Journalling to get me into the act.

Anyways, this is my submission to Paint Party Friday this week. I hope you enjoyed my first ever You Tube video, basic though it was. You never know, I might actually do some more.

Don’t forget to check out the other great artists at Paint Party Friday, there is some fantastic talent over there.

Best wishes,


27 responses to “Explorations – Bubble painting II”

  1. Hi, Liz! Great tutorial video! Short and sweet! Perfect! 🙂

  2. I used to do this all the time with my classes of primary aged students when I was a teacher but haven’t done it is years… it is great fun and so glad to be reminded of it… it does make wonderful backgrounds and starting points… have a wonderful week and good luck with the journalling…xx

  3. This is such an interesting technique. I’ve never seen this done before. Your video is great! Thanks for sharing all the wonderful tips. Happy PPF! 🙂

  4. I have done this, but not for some time. Thanks for the great tips along with the video. Happy PPF Anniversary! Helen @ Natures Walk

  5. How cool is that??? You are having too much fun! :o)
    Happy PPF

  6. Wow! That’s fantastic! Looks so much fun. 🙂 I’m deffinetly trying this out. 🙂

  7. I remember doing this with my children when they were small. The effects are really scrummy for backgrounds.

  8. You have fun working with art is the best, and leave safe works of genius.Saludos

  9. I am waiting for better weather to try that outdoors. I so love all the paintings you have done, Liz. They are awesome!

    Wonderful tutorial!

  10. This is so cool! It kind of looks like what you see through a microscope.

  11. Bubbles!! I like the orange too. Happy PPF

    Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

  12. Love these!
    I’ve tried backgrounds with paint and watercolors, too, but yours are very inspiring!!

    Happy PPF!!

  13. I am definitely going to try this. Thank you so much for the tutorial. It’s great! Your bubble backgrounds look wonderful.

  14. This a great video/tutorial, Liz! I still need to get around to doing this… The paintings (“Caught” and “Cosmos”) are some of my favorites of yours 🙂
    Your creativity is limitless!


  15. OMG!!! I love this! That looks like so much fun! I am going to have to try this! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  16. Great technique to add to the repertoire of cool stuff to do with backgrounds! Thanks!

  17. Hi Liz,
    Cool painting and great for backgrounds.I remember seeing this technique in some vintage art work but can’t remember the artist.Your video was great and would luv to create one later on down the road when I finish my book project.
    Thanks for sharing, might try it sometime.

  18. cool! happy PPF!

  19. Fun and creative ~ thanks for taking time to make a video ~ namaste, ^_^

  20. I so enjoy this art technique but don’t use it often enough! Thanks for sharing an awesome video! Excellent!!

  21. oh, I have done this at a pottery painting place. It is so fun!!! These look great!

  22. Wow what fun and interesting results.

  23. geckostone Avatar

    Wow this looks fun! These are awesome paintings!

  24. […] S and I played with bubbles yesterday after I saw this http://inspired.gumnut.net/2012/03/explorations-bubble-painting-ii/ WP_SLIDESHOW_IMAGES = { load: […]

  25. Wow, these look really cool! What a fun technique!

    Happy (late) PPF!

  26. I love this! What a beautiful effect! You made it look so easy, but in reading the tips, I can see you really need to experiment with the mixture and surface. Great little video. Happy PPF

  27. i just found an old response from you about this. so sorry i went untouched for so long. I loved seeing your film and the results, really wonderful! I have to give it a try.