Citra Solv Discovery

posted in: CRAFTY HOW TO | 17

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One of my favorite art mediums is using CitraSolv concentrated cleaner on National Geographic pages to dissolve the deep, rich inks into unexpected designs and effects which can be used as elements in your collage and mixed media artwork.

I like to have a big CitraSolv “party” once in awhile where I make big stacks of CitraSolv papers to have on hand for my arting needs.  I cover the table with an old vinyl tablecloth, and have at it.  I like to tear apart old National Geographic magazines so the pages are already separated.  Then, working with stacks of 7-10 pages, I spray CitraSolv between each page.  I spray pretty generously, then put the soggy stack in a 9×13 inch pan to catch the inky dredge that will ooze out. I let them sit about 5 minutes, and then start peeling apart the pages to see what will emerge.  Less time leaves more of the image, and more time gives more of a bubbled pattern effect.  Peel apart the wet pages and lay out on the table, or better yet, once they are no longer “drippy” hang on a clothesline to dry.

Here are some resources for your own CitraSolv project:

Cathy Taylor’s instructional video

CitraSolv Artist Site

To view my art on the CitraSolv Artist Site

And, for my Somerset Studio magazine article on using CitraSolv

'Dream' 2012 mixed media published in Sept/Oct 2012 Somerset Studio magazine prints available at
‘Dream’ 2012 mixed media published in Sept/Oct 2012 Somerset Studio magazine 

To order ready to use CitraSolv altered pages from my etsy shop:


To see my mixed media artwork using CitraSolv:

Also see my Deep Roots CitraSolv collage blog post


To order CitraSolv


17 Responses

  1. is it the cleaner & degreaser? Or the citrasolv citra spot? Or something different? Thank you!

  2. Okay, what am I doing wrong—I have 1977 to 1983 National Geographics, Citrasolve concentrated cleaner and left them for 20 minutes—and the pages look the same! HELP!

    • I prefer to use magazines dating from the year 2000 and newer. The results seem to be more dramatic. Also, make sure you are using the concentrated Citra Solv, and not what comes in a spray bottle. Hope that helps!

      • Thanks—I will try again with NEWER National Geographics!

      • Ok, I tried with 2015 mags, concentrated Citra Solve, and didn’t use the spray bottle. No luck. What am I doing wrong? I left them for over an hour and I can still see the pictures and no spotting or smearing. Help!

        • Hmmm, I am not sure what else to suggest. Do not use the ad pages at the front and back as they will not usually work as well. Put plenty of the concentrate on, they need to be drippy wet with it. Make sure you close the magazine while it does its thing.. but should work within 30 min. or so. Good luck trying! If all else fails, go here for download and print Citra Solv pages!


            Maybe my expectations were too high. I did get some smearing after leaving them overnight, but not what I had anticipated. Will see if I can use what I got. Thanks for following up!


  3. Barbara Allen Frost

    have you used any other magazines than National Geographic?? I have not been able to find any of those to use because no one I know uses them….and not in any of the thrift stores I have visited. BUT…I do have Architectural Digest and some others that have heavy pages with lots of color printed on them….


    • Kayann Ausherman

      I have been able to modify the ink on other magazines, but it doesn’t make the cool bubbly effect. You could certainly give it a try though. You might also try finding National Geographics at your local library store if they have one to sell off old and discontinued material. Or, if you have a Craig’s List or Buy, Sell, Trade type service for your area you could list a Want to Buy Ad. They are out there… and in my area they are fairly plentiful. Hope you can find some because they are worth the hunt! Good luck!

      • Barbara Allen Frost

        The library store is something I never thought about….will stop in there today. Meanwhile, I pulled out some heavily colored printed glossy pages from an Architectural Digest to try out. Thanks!

        • Kayann Ausherman

          Wishing you great success! Be sure and let me know if the Architectural Digest works out!

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