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OK, I’m going to send you to a few places if you want to go and explore this citrasolv use in art. I love it!  It was first introduced to me by Carol King on her post here. She is the one who gets the blame for why my garage smells like this cleaning agent about three times each year when I go to work making colored papers from National Geographic photos. I explain the process of how to make these papers here.  If you really want to know all the neat things that can be done with Citrasolv and view a huge artist gallery of art created from them, you can visit this site provided by the Citrasolv company here.

My students just shared their creations this week. They each used these wonderful papers in their own creations. There will be a few of them shared on in their student gallery I post in a few weeks. Thank you to wet canvas reference library for the reference image for this handsome turtle. It was not named in the photo, but one of my students looked him up and found this. He is a red-slider turtle. I have also done two collages, without paint,  here and here. When I use them this way, I call it drawing with paper.  I never set aside time to keep one of these going on the side. Maybe I should start doing that this summer. They are time consuming, but so worth it!



  1. I just love it!

    • Thank you, Corey! I should have said he is from Churubusco, that elusive giant turtle! Ha!

  2. He’s wonderful – great textures and patterns! I had a pair as pets in high school. They were called Picasso and Monet and would swim/dance in their tank to the rhythm of my music.

    • I like your names for your pet turtles! Good choices. Thank you for this comment. 🙂

      • I’ve never heard of citrasolv – working with it sounds fun. Thanks for sharing your process!

      • You might enjoy it, especially if you like collage!

  3. Wow! Spectacular turtle, practically photographic. Beautiful background too.

  4. L O V E this! I miss working with Citrasolv, but alas, I have no garage and no backyard. I do have a stack of National Geographic magazines waiting to be “citrasolved”. I hoping to do it up at my sisters who has lots of outdoor space.

    I am so impressed with how you incorporated painting with the citrasolv collage. You’ve done a number of these quite successfully. You should send them into citrasolv. I think I have an email for someone there who may be interested.

    Beautiful mixed media piece. I have to make sure The Husband and The Sister see this. Thanks for the link to my blog too.

    • Yep….the sister’s place. When I tone these, the smell lasts about a week in my garage. I don’t tone on the patio because a breeze could come along and whisk the papers off to places unknown. Thank you for what you said about incorporating the papers. That is the hard part. I usually choose to use the papers as darks and the paint as lights or in contrasting colors. That seems to work best. Thank you, so much for introducing this technique on your blog.

  5. Interesting and stunning as well! Leslie, I look forward to more from you, thanks for sharing the process, can we try it on canvas?

    • I know that acrylic artists have used these toned papers and worked them into their paintings, so I don’t see why they couldn’t be affixed to a canvas using the acrylic matte medium as your glue. Acrylic artists often paint into and through the textures of the papers with interesting effects, also. If you run into any difficulties toning the papers, let me know. I know old National Geographic don’t tone like the ones since the year 2000. It has something to do with the ink they use on the featured articles photographs. Thank you for your comment!

  6. amazing watercolor, just perfect 🙂

  7. What a beautiful painting of a turtle! This guy looks similar to one Michael found in the yard a couple of weeks ago and he is just so darned tiny that we kept him just so he wouldn’t get run over by a car or a lawnmower! I am off to check out all your links!

    • I saw that you had found a little turtle, Sherry. Good for you and Michael for keeping him safe from impending doom. Thank you for this comment.

  8. This is brilliant Leslie – love this level of creativity.

  9. You have captured the turtle totally.

  10. I like this – very illustrative
    A labour of detail, technique and love

  11. wow, that is stunning – love the colours and the critter looks so realistic 😀

  12. Your turtle is beautiful. I like his upturned face as he sits on the log. He reminds me of my Mr. Turtle who appears each spring in my yard. He posed so nicely for me to take his photo last year. I didn’t see him this year and was worried about him because of the bad winter, but John saw him once when he was cutting the grass.

    • How cool is that? Do you think yours is a red-eared slider? I’m so glad your husband spotted him. So many of my plants were lost over this harsh winter. I hate to think that you may have lost Mr. Turtle. Thank you, Ruth!

      • I was pretty worried when I didn’t see him this year, but I wasn’t out much in the yard with the late bad weather. John knows to look out for him. I have seen him 3 or 4 springs now. Box turtles don’t tend to travel too far and I think he lives in a small woodsy area next to the house. I see him as he circles the house in the flower beds and then ends up back in the woods after a couple of days My painting of him is in my etsy shop. He is very cute.

      • My daughter has a box turtle on her property. I heard they are more rare than they used to be.

  13. So clever! I love your turtle, especially her back!

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