What technique was used to create this album artwork?
January 13, 2015 12:53 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know how to create the beautiful abstract swirls in the background of this album art? My hunch is that it was done using coloured oil, but I really have no idea, and if anyone has ever seen anything like it before and knows how to do it, I'd really like to know!
posted by Quilford to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My guess - colored oil floating on water, and then paper pressed onto that. Like with this.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:00 AM on January 13, 2015

It looks to me like diluted oil paint floating on water. Compare the pictures here. This is a technique that's often used for making marbleized paper.

On preview, I agree with EmpressCallipygos.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:02 AM on January 13, 2015

Response by poster: That's undoubtedly it! Thanks guys, I'd never heard of marbleised paper before.
posted by Quilford at 1:05 AM on January 13, 2015

Response by poster: Although if any experts in marbleising paper want to give me some advice as to how to get close to the sample images, I'd appreciate that too!
posted by Quilford at 1:08 AM on January 13, 2015

If you google with paper marbling you get lots of instructions. Many different techniques are possible. Or google marbled paper.

My mother does it profesionally since some 50 odd years, I have done it myself - you need some basic materials but swirls like the one you linked to are not at all hard to achieve.

The method my mother uses has the paint float on a size made from wallpaper paste (methyl cellulose), the paint she uses is a certain brand of water soluble laquer. If you are interested in more details, feel free to memail me.
posted by 15L06 at 2:14 AM on January 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

I do something similar by pouring liquid acrylics. Here's a couple of mine: 1 and 2 . You can get messier like the Go Team by tipping your surface and pouring blobs in different places. Both of mine were just straight lines. If you're interested, there's lots of youtubes, just search paint pouring technique or similar.
posted by stellathon at 3:04 AM on January 13, 2015

Fun fact, my dad once decorated an entire clavichord lid (inside) using this technique. A quirk of destiny made that the instrument in question ended up with me, so I can see the result whenever I play and remember the mess: a huge metal-plated container in the garden on a summer day, adding the water, the enormous amount of oil paint necessary, the swirling and careful lowering of the massive wood lid, lifting out defying flying insects, etc., etc.
posted by Namlit at 3:20 AM on January 13, 2015 [4 favorites]

From the density of the pigment, I am going to guess it is stellathon's method in acrylics, on an acetate cel, an abstract cel animation style sheet. This makes the title a clever pun on the image.
posted by effluvia at 7:36 AM on January 13, 2015

(Namlit, we're going to need to see a photo, for science...)
posted by bink at 12:47 PM on January 13, 2015

Will try to remember when it's light out so I can take a decent picture.
posted by Namlit at 1:25 PM on January 13, 2015

Okay, it is just really never getting light here in Scandinavia at this time of year, so I iPaded the lid as good as I could. It's gritty and the colours aren't saturated but what the heck, you get the idea.

Marbelized clavichord lid (done by actually lowering the entire lid into a container with water and oil paint).

Marbelized clavichord front flap.
posted by Namlit at 12:56 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I found the artist who was commissioned to create the artwork and asked him! He said it was done with acrylics + pouring medium. Huzzah!
posted by Quilford at 3:18 AM on May 4, 2015

« Older Lie by omission or be brutally honest?   |   Tooth extraction and returning to normal teeth... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.