I've been having a ball with a technique I saw somewhere on the web using gesso and aluminum foil and adding inks and paints on top of it. It's tough to get good photos of this kind of thing, because of all the glare, but I'll give it a try here.
First, you take a piece of mat board or illustration board and coat with gesso. Then lay strips of foil in the wet gesso, and push the gesso up around the edges of the foil to be sure it's well adhered. I also added bits of crumpled tissue paper and some pieces of the woven-type butcher paper Cheap Joe's wraps all their shipments in. While it's still wet, you sprinkle on sand, salt, and sugar.
Let these dry completely, which can take a day or so. Be careful where you put the one with sugar on it! I left it outside on my deck over night, and it was covered with ants in the morning!
Now the really fun part begins. Take those little re-inkers for stamp pads, calligraphy ink, or any other liquidy color you have around, and drop spots all over the sheet. Spray with a little water, then set vertical and let it run. Watch what happens in the areas of salt and sugar. Turn the sheet around to get the drips to go where you want them, especially across the foil. Let that layer dry a bit, then add some walnut ink spray, Adirondak Color Wash, or whatever you want to try. I think some Pearl Ex mixed with watercolor would be great. You can also drop on fluid acrylics with an eyedropper. Spray with water again and let it flow!
Here are a couple of in-progress shots:
After this part was dry, I also rubbed on some Rub 'n Buff in various colors, scratched in colored pencils and graphite, and worked in some oil pastel in some areas. Oh, and a fantastic addition is some drybrushing of Micaceous Iron Oxide acrylic paint!
I cut the sheets into 3x3, 3x6, and 6x6 tiles for use in a "squares" series I'm working on. Stay tuned for photos of finished pieces!
This is the kind of artistic process that really gets me out of my head and into the flow, just letting the materials lead me and I watch where they go.