It’s What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday and I’m particularly happy to share my desk (floor) this week since I’ve been promising this for more than a month!  This is just a taster of what is strewn all over my floor and table. I’ll post more detailed examples in a future post.

Citra Solv ArtI’ve been itching to have a go at some Citra Solv art and after a few false starts I finally got my chance to try it out today. Hoorah!

It wasn’t quite as straight forward as I thought it would be, however, so I’d thought I write this post in order to help anyone else who wants to give this technique a go.


Here are my Top 7 preparation tips for Citra Solv Art:

1.  Use the right Citrasolv product!

As I explained in this earlier post, Mixed Media and Ink, you need to buy the concentrate and not the spray product. The first video tutorial I watched said to use the spray so I bought that but it doesn’t work. Nor do the other citrus type cleaners I tried.

2.  Use The Right Paper

There are loads of examples around of people experimenting with papers and magazines and, whilst some have found items other than National Geographic Magazines to work, my experiments on anything else failed. The general consensus seems to be that the Citra Solv art technique works best on Nat Geo Mags from the 1970’s onwards and so far that seems to be the case.

3.  Keep It Simple

In my first post on this method, Getting ready for Citra Solv I explained how I was going to experiment with:

  • bubble wrap
  • cling film
  • string
  • masks
  • stencils
  • keys

That simply didn’t happen as I found the process trickier than it looked in the video. I would recommend getting some decent results with Citra Solv on its own before you get fancy!

4.  Work In A Well Ventilated Space

Be warned. Citra Solv has a really strong, although not unpleasant, smell. I’m not sure if it’s toxic. Hopefully not as it’s marketed as a natural cleaning product. I’ve been working in the attic which has no opening windows and although I went through a period of sneezing, I seem to be otherwise unharmed!

However, given the strength and pungence of  the odour, I might try the next batch in the garage with the doors open which brings me to my next tip . . .

5.  Prepare For A Mess

This process is messy . . . very messy. I had covered my table with old book pages but the Citra Solv leaked through, even though I was trying to get by with using a small amount. I needed to add another 4 layers of paper to keep the table clean.

6.  Wear Gloves

On some pages the ink doesn’t dissolve well so you need to use your fingers to move the Citra Solv around. Wearing gloves saves you from a whole lot of hand washing later.

7.  Prepare More Space Than You Think You Need To Dry The Pages

I thought having my large table covered with paper would be sufficient when it came to laying the pages down to dry. It wasn’t and I had to rush around trying to find suitable paper with which to cover the floor. Not recommended!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As I write this post my Citra Solv art is drying. Some pages are really luscious and others a bit disappointing. It’s definitely a fun technique though and I’ll be playing with it some more.  I’ll take some photographs and add them and what I learned from this experiment in a future post. If you don’t want to miss the results please subscribe to my list, otherwise check back here in a few days.