papermaking studio safetygeneral studio safety

Marbling Size







Different marbling techniques require a suitable combination of materials. For example, water is a proper bath for oil paints, but not for water colors. Turpentine can be used for special effects in water colors, but never in acrylics.
  • Only an inch or two of depth is required.
  • Size is a suspension mixture which the paint floats upon. Traditionally tragacanth, a gum plant, or carrageenan (seaweed Irish moss) are added to water to thicken it. Starch can also be used.

    Possible Sizes:

    • Carrageenan
      (spelling an pronunciation vary
      (seaweed Irish moss)
      Carrageenan is mixed with water to the consistency of syrup and forms the "size" on which the colors float. No cooking is necessary. A non-toxic food product.
      Must be at least the consistency of buttermilk but pudding like is too thick and interfere with the paint spreading.
    • Starch (Liquid or powderd)
    • Water
    • Methocel
    • cornstarch
    • methyl-cellulose
    • water thickened with tragacanth, a gum plant



Take care getting size on the floor. It is very slippery.

Beth LaCour 2001-2003