Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Citra-Solv + National Geographic Background Images

D-Limonene is my new playmate!

I discovered a 'new' technique while trolling the interwebz the other day. It involved using something called citra-solv and old National Geographic magazines to make interesting background pages. Now, I don't know how I ended up seeing these backgrounds, but one site I got to was that of Pam Tucker who has done some amazing pieces using these backgrounds. But there was almost no information as to HOW to do it.

Googling Citra-solv got me to their Art Pages, but again, no instructions (They've put Pam's name on a label on the bottom for handy artist tips! How about that for fame!). Found a few other sources of images, and finally, a discussion group. Now, it turns out that this is only new to ME - it was really 'in' around 2010 - figures - only 2 years behind the pack, lol. Anyway, of course it's really hard to find Citra-Solv in New Zealand. It contains the citrus oil D-Limonene, which you find in a lot of cleaning products. We have something called De-Solv-It (made in Australia), but it's 70% Hydrocarbons, 20% D-Lim, and 10% other stuff - not strong enough!

THE TECHNIQUE So, assuming you can find some D-Lim or Citra-Solv, what do you do? You find copies of old National Geographic magazines, and paint the pages with this stuff. The theory is (which may be urban legend) that NatGeo uses a gold-based paint on their nice glossy paper. There's a chemical reaction that occurs when you paint it with D-Lim, which causes it to 'hubble, bubble, toil and trouble' - and the original pictures becomes unrecognisable, changing into something quite unreal. Humidity and temperature made a big difference in how long it takes to 'cook'.

Out in the garage, sitting at 10degC, it took a couple of hours for any change to happen - bring it inside, at 18-20decC, and it only took about 10 min - it was a lot more humid in the laundry than the garage too. Wear gloves, and make sure there's plenty of ventilation - this stuff stinks! Also plenty of newspaper (which you'll need to get rid of) is useful.

Grr - went back to Citra-Solv's site - and guess what I found - a tutorial!!!!

I tried another glossy mag I picked up yesterday too, (a Japanese interior decoration one!), but the magic didn't happen.

So, here's my first attempt:
[Original image: fisherman & fish]

[Original image: women in burqa holding child - I deliberately kept the child's face visable]

[Original image: water and fish (I think!)]

[Original Image: bow of boat and fish]

[Original Image: dog and water]

Oh, and because I couldn't bear the smell, I actually put the pages into the bath, sprayed with Spray-n-Wipe (which also contains Citrus oil), and hosed them down with warm water. It got the excess oil and a bit of the smell of.

Specialist Cleaning Supplies in Palmerston North have 750ml bottles of D-Limonene for about $30 + shipping.

A friend has said I can have their collection of old NatGeo's (thanks Theresa!), so more to come. I'd love to see what they look like under wax, and also done as ATC's.


Coleen said...

Very interesting idea, Sue. Tho' I've read about it before, you are not the only one behind on the latest rage. Going to look around here for something that might contain those ingredients, but not holding any hope in finding Citra-Solv. I do have the National Geographics. Really like the one you did with the child's face peeking thru.
Coleen in Ukraine

Susan said...

Ah, great minds think alike, eh Sue? I'm impressed that you did some thoughtful design, especially leaving the child's face, that was brilliant! I was more into the slop the stuff school of learning. : )

And you're right, it stinks!

the paper addiction said...

I found you via google as I was looking to see if Citra solve available in NZ. I did find it through fishpond for $100+ so I am thrilled to find an alternative. I am at least 2 years behind everybody as well, so at least you are ahead of me!! I haven't found the magazines or citra solv but it will be worth it as your papers look amazing!! Many Thanks for the tips xx Michelle in Wellington

Erinne Kennedy said...

National Geographics (main sections) are printed on clay coated glossy papers. Their ad papers are made of normal wood pulp papers. the Citrasolv works on National Geographics because of the Papers that its printed on. high quality magazines do use the Clay papers for their main photo pages but those who do high bulk printed do not.