- Colour Prompts + Sidekick
- Colour Inspir-action
- How to make and use your own colour catalogue
- A guide to creating your ideal colour palette
- Journaling in monochrome
- Painting With Tissue Paper
- Finding Inspiration in the Process
- Using colour with more confidence
- How to give your figures colourful hair
- How to experiment with unfamiliar colours
- Colour symbolism around the world
- Paper marbling with Ink
- A guide to mixing your own colours
- Expressing yourself through colour
Paper marbling with Ink
Hi guys! It’s Riet here and I’m so excited to show you a very easy technique to marble paper! I love marbling so much that I always look for easy ways to achieve it! Until now marbling with shaving cream was my favorite but I found something even easier and a lot less messy than with cream! I was inspired by the ancient Japanese form of paper marbling called Suminagashi. Suminagashi literally means “floating ink” and that’s basically all we will do. While this is a true art form and can’t be compared to my cheap brushes/ acrylic inks marbling I promise it will be fun nonetheless!
- Acrylic inks in two different colors (I used Liquitex). You could also use Indian ink, mostly common in black but since it’s the Season of Color you may look for something more colorful
- Two round brushes, approximately the same size
- A plastic container such as a lunch box. Please use it just for your art.I bought mine in a dollar store and use it just for creative work
- Water from the tap
- Printer paper. Don’t use watercolor paper for this. You’ll need paper that absorbs very quickly. Cheap printer paper is just perfect for this which makes this even more affordable
Step One – Preparation
You want to make sure that everything is prepared before you start. Check if your paper fits into the plastic container. Cut it if needed. Fill your container with water and wait until it’s calm and still otherwise the movement of the water will affect your marbling. At this point we don’t want this. Open the ink bottles. Put some paper towels aside in case you need it and I suggest that you lay down some newspapers where you put your marbled papers to dry.
Step Two – Floating Ink
Now take you two brushes in every hand and dip it into your inks. (You see me just holding one because I’m taking pictures with the other 😉 ) Don’t load it with too much ink otherwise the weight will drag it immediately down to the bottom and won’t float. You can always dip it again if you need more ink. Start to dip the brush one at a time in the water, don’t push too much, you don’t want to touch the bottom of the container, just the surface of the water. Hold your brush very straight, in a 90° angle. You’ll see it creates a circle. It may be faded but it’s there and it will get stronger when you continue. Now dip the other brush into the circle, and go on and on. Soon you’ll see many circles.
Step Three – Patterns
Decide when to stop, this is up to you. You can fill the entire surface of the water or just a bit. Now you have to options:
- You can take a toothpick or the end of your brush and drag it – slowly!- through the circles, creating a pattern
- Or you can blow a bit of air or wave air with your hands. The air makes the water move and creates a pattern on its own
Step Four – Printing
Now gently lay your paper on top, it only takes 2 seconds until it absorbs the color. Lift it up and put it on your newspaper. As you know paper warps when it dries, I find it helps the best if you lay it really flat. That’s your first saturated print. Now put another paper on top of the water, there is still ink left, that’s your ghost print. This is more faded but somehow it’s always my favorite one, it’s more subtle but because of all the movement more intriguing. One setting always gets you two prints. One strong, one faded.
Step Five – Repeat
You can now start all over without changing the water. If you notice that your ink starts to sink to the bottom it’s ok if it’s not too much. Otherwise it’s time to change the water. My absolute favorite is to make dots all over the surface and then slowly dragging the end of my brush though the dots. It creates the most beautiful patterns! This also works just with one color! Play around and have fun!
KEEP IN MIND
- If your ink sinks to the bottom it can be that your water from the tap is very “hard” where you live. You can try distilled water. The water from my tap is somewhere in the middle and it works well.
- If you want to make circles just with one color you can mix a bit of soap with water and use it as your second ink. This way the soapy water separates the circles
- Construction paper works really well, too, if you want to use heavier paper
You can use your marbled papers now for making covers for your hand bound journals, as a background for your spreads or for collaging! The possibilities are endless!
making circles in two different colors
dragging a toothpick through your circles
making a pattern with only one color
Riet lives with her husband near the coast in North Germany where she enjoys capturing her memories and feelings in journals and albums. If she isn’t covered in paint and glue she writes stories or photographs the nature outside her door.