January 11, 2022 6:55 PM   Subscribe

Artwork seen in a movie: What type of medium is this?

I recently rewatched Enough Said on HBO and I'm very much enthralled with the set design, mainly the house that is owned by Catherine Keener's character. I am interested in the medium used in the tall rectangular framed flower that is in the dining area. Is this paper? If it's paper, is it painted paper or something else? I'm interested in how this piece is made. It might be difficult to see in this photo. In the movie it seems to have dimension.

If you click any photo it will bring you to a slideshow. It is slide 17/35:


Thank you.
posted by loveandhappiness to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I also think it looks like painted paper. Specifically I'd guess watercolor - look at how the blue and pink bleed into each other at the bottom - and possibly it's all one piece that was cut prior to being painted. That I'm less sure about, but the intersections where the leaves meet the stem also have a little bleeding.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:01 PM on January 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yes to me it looks like paper that was dyed and then cut. The hard part of this technique is that the paper will often buckle and ripple, depending on the mediums and substrate chosen, and the glues during assembly, and the methods of assembly. So some of that might contribute to the dimension you perceived, some of it might be intentional.

If I were to try making something like this, I would draw a big shape on cotton watercolor paper in pencil, tape down the edges, do my washes with water, various saturations of pigment, maybe some salt resist, and when completely dry cut the shape out with a blade.
posted by Mizu at 7:18 PM on January 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

It could be pieces of felted wool, too- the blend of blue and pink at the bottom looks a bit felty.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 8:20 PM on January 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: To me it looked like layers of glue-soaked cut tissue paper, sometimes laminated to intensify the colors.
posted by carmicha at 8:34 PM on January 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It looks to me like a collage made from cut up paper which has either been dyed or painted with watercolour. As noted above the bleed between the colours near the bottom looks like watercolour, but to me the strength of the pigment and the coverage you see in the blue at the top makes it look like dye, or perhaps even gouache. If it's watercolour all over then it's expensive highly pigmented watercolour.
posted by mani at 11:20 PM on January 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Could be watercolor or ink. Likely something with more pigment like liquid watercolors or tube watercolors. Could be gauche or acrylic on paper too. Likely mixed medium. I agree it looks to be cut paper as well.

If I were to try to copy it, I would use cotton rag paper and use light-fast watercolor or ink. Maybe a layer of gauche or acrylic for the high contrast more opaque areas of layering. The wetness and opacity of the medium and paper matters for the blending. Then I would cut the sharp line shapes and layer it on a backing paper or canvas.

A more simple version would be to buy pre-dyed art paper and cut the shapes out, and maybe do some of your own blends or splatter on top.
posted by Crystalinne at 1:32 AM on January 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you to all who answered. I would like to try/practice a version with paper and these answers are helpful.
posted by loveandhappiness at 1:34 PM on January 12, 2022

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