Drawing Gum

I decided to put away my graphite pencils and fine-liner pens for a week or two (well, maybe not actually put them away, just push them more toward the back of my studio table space) and play for a bit with ink and watercolor. My primary motivation for doing this was that I recently picked up some Pébéo Drawing Gum during my last trip to the art-supply store. (Confession: it was the name of this product that sold me; I just couldn’t help it—drawing gum?)

So, I started to play and create some cards. This stuff goes on very smoothly and easily with a brush and, you can even thin it with water, though I didn’t need to. I would recommend not using your favorite brush, however. Unless you rinse this product out immediately, you can forget about getting it all out of the bristles, but a paint eraser or a wooden skewer works well, too; I tried both.

Drying time is fast—about 10–15 minutes. I experimented with an acrylic wash, acrylic ink, India ink and, of course, watercolor. The only issue I had was with the India ink. It didn’t want to dry where it was over the gum and so when I rubbed the gum off, there was a bit ‘o smearing. But I liked that I could use the heat gun on all my cards and it didn’t seem to hurt the integrity of the gum any. It was fun to create layers of color by brushing new amounts of the gum over painted areas and then adding more paint. I was impressed with how well the gum held together while peeling it off; there was very little breakage, so that made it faster to remove all of it.

While it’s not pictured here, I also tried this gum with alcohol ink and I don’t recommend that. The ink penetrated the gum almost completely, though it did leave a lightened color behind so you could still tell what it was, but not the effect I was going for. But I guess that’s what you’re going to run into when you get a bit wild and crazy with experiments.

So if you like working with water-soluble media and you’ve not taken the resist route before (I know, I know, to all of you watercolor artists, this is probably like cheese to a pizza aficionado), try something fun and new—it’s kind of like magic.
Note: Tonia tried this product of her own volition. Pébéo did not supply any product to her or www.CreateMixedMedia.com. She just thought it was worth telling you about.


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4 Responses to Drawing Gum

  1. Seth says:

    This creates such a great effect. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  2. tdavenport says:

    The effect really is kind of like magic, isn’t it? Always happy to share; gives me a sense of purpose! 🙂

  3. Timaree says:

    I have a big jar of resist stuff and was just letting it sit there. After reading this, I went and drew some flowers on a journal page, brushed over with light yellow and then removed the gum after it was all dry. Now I have a fun page to draw something on. Thanks. I kept thinking this was for special masking jobs.

  4. Tonia Davenport says:

    Timaree, Hooray–here’s to dusting off forgotten supplies and bringing them to life! Glad I could spark your creative muscle. 🙂