Soufflage Tutorial

I'm a sucker for colorful art. The juicier the colors, the better. I'm always looking for new ways to be inspired to use color, whether it be in bursts, swooshes, swirls, or drips.  I remember being a little girl growing up in New Orleans, taking art classes every summer at The New Orleans Museum of Art. There is a basement at NOMA where children would gather in order to learn how to draw, to sculpt, to paint... and one of my favorite memories was learning about the art of soufflage. We would lean over art tables and blow through plastic straws onto sheets of paper, while droplets of watercolor would run wild across the page. The word soufflage is a French word, and it represents the art of blowing air or wind. My sheet of paper would almost resemble a rainbow rorschach test,  and I couldn't get enough of this amazing technique. I would blow through that straw so hard and so often, completely hypnotized by the way the colors danced and melded into each other, until I grew lightheaded and needed to put my head down on the table and rest. When it was time for my parents to pick me up from art class, I was woozy and exhausted, and thoroughly blissed out. I would carry out multiple large wavy sheets of paper in my arms,  kinked up from all of the wetness caused by the water and the paint. My parents would swoon with encouragement, and the moment we got home, they would proudly display my work of the day on the fridge. 

And now I find myself a whopping 30-something years later (how in the world did that happen?!?!?), and a face and body painter who is constantly looking for new techniques... or at least, new ways to use old techniques. My nostalgia for my childhood in New Orleans brought me back to that classroom in the belly of the museum, blowing through straws. Excited to try this with face and body paint, I jumped up from where I was sitting and ran into the kitchen to grab some straws. My first experiments looked wonderful, and I was delighted with them. But I felt even more lightheaded and woozy than I did as a child. My head was throbbing! If I was going to cover any vast area of space on the body, I was going to either have to build myself a time machine so I could reclaim the lungs I had when I was 10... or I was going to have to form a new plan. That's when the idea to try my Giotto on the wet paint popped into my head. EUREKA!!!! I pulled it out of my kit and gave it a go. IT WORKED! I was excited beyond measure. Try it and enjoy!