One of the best things about marbling is that there is an easy way to fix a mistake or a "bad" or "ugly" piece...thanks to the overmarble. Overmarbling is a technique that sounds just as it is--you marble over another pattern. It has become one of my favorite ways of "cheating" to save a piece of work. I overmarble most often when a piece doesn't turn out the way I want it to (for example, the colors don't work with the design) or there is something wrong with it (such as when an air bubble gets trapped as I lay the paper down into the bath leaving behind a big white gap) or, as with the example below, is just plain hideous. The piece below started out with bulls eyes that not only were in what turned out to be obnoxious colors (those rounded-square things in magenta and light pink and I think a sage or olive green) but also got away from me (the bulls eyes just kept getting bigger and bigger). I didn't realize how atrocious the piece was until I pulled the design off the bath and saw it on paper (the bath can be deceptive that way)...and then I proceeded to nearly threw up. So I let the paper dry, re-alumed it, and then overmarbled a pretty stone pattern in soft colors. I was quite pleased with the final result (below is just a one-quarter section of the total piece). While I don't think it's my best work, it's definitely an improvement over the original piece and will be lovely as a cover or signature wrap for a journal! Lately, however, I've been overmarbling ON PURPOSE...not just to save a piece but as an intentional action. My very first marbling teacher, Tom Leech, is known for his overmarbles and they are quite fantastic. You can see an example of his work here. My overmarbles are a little less planned (or, to put it another way, less well thought out) than his but that's only because I'm just beginning to see the technique in a different light. Here is one of my recent loosely premeditated overmarbles:
The base for this piece was a simple stone pattern in three very light colors. I then overmarbled with a bolder, sweeping freehand design using brighter colors. I find the end result to be fluid and striking. It's one of those pieces that would be beautiful framed.