See how to use bleeding tissue paper and water to create a gorgeous tie-dye effect on your op art flowers. Use one of Expressive Monkey’s Op Art Flower printable coloring pages.
Wait, don’t print yet!
Using 80-90# drawing paper takes a little more effort. Most likely you will need to cut it to fit in your printer or copier. But it’s worth it to have paper that is easier to work with. I get my paper on Amazon and use the Sax brand. The example on the right (above) was printed on 90# drawing paper.
Why 90# Paper?
This project can be done on regular copy paper but a few things to keep in mind. The example on the left above (the paper at an angle) was printed on regular copy paper. You can see that the colors bled past the design border. If you use regular copy paper, I would recommend just making the tissue paper color extend all the way to the edge of the paper. So wet the entire paper and cover the entire paper with tissue paper. The paper will get totally soaked and will buckle more than the thicker drawing paper. When it dries it might be a little wavy. You can press it flat by putting the dried paper(s) under a book for a couple days. They will still look beautiful!
The Bleeding Tissue Art Technique
Cut the tissue paper into squares (around 3″) They can also be torn to create a softer edge.
Start by brushing water on the paper. If you are keeping to outside border white, don’t brush water on this area.
Brush on Water
Lay one piece of tissue paper on the wet op art flower design at a time and brush over it with more water.
Keeping Colors Bright
One way to avoid getting muddy colors is to use just warm colors (red, orange, pink, yellow) or just cool colors (green, blue, purple). If you are using all the colors of the rainbow, try to not let color opposites overlap. (Red & Green, Blue & Orange, Yellow & Purple) or you will get a brownish color. This project looks simple, but students will have to do a little color mixing in their heads to place make smart choices and keep the colors vibrant.
Carefully brush a little more color over the top to make sure every piece of tissue paper is soaked. Try not to let it make puddles. If it gets too wet, you can lay more tissue paper on top to soak up the water.
The Secret to Success
The example on the right (above) shows what happens if you have any dry spots … they stay white. Having a little bit of white here and there adds interest and sparkle. But getting enough water ensures the colors are vibrant and mostly filled in.
Now the hard part! Let the paper dry for several hours. It’s worth the wait, though.
Removing the tissue paper to reveal the colors below is like opening a present! See my Instagram posts that show this fun step!
Op Art Line Drawing Option
If you don’t want to print out the op art designs that have black on them, you can work with the line designs (or even draw your own design). Here is one idea for how to finish it. You can color with colored markers. I chose to use colors that were just a little darker than the color that was already in that space. You can see a quick video of this on my Instagram page. Notice I didn’t color EVERY space in. Work in a checkerboard pattern so that only the corners of the marker colored areas touch.
Social & Emotional Learning in Art
Remind yourself and others of the social and emotional benefits of art. This is a great graphic to include in parent newsletters or display in your room.
You can read more about Social Emotional Learning in Art in this blog post.
Join my email list to hear about new resources, sales, and tips for teaching art and drawing, and get 15% off your next order!
Continue the conversation in my FB group of art teachers: