Art Life Card

artlifesplash1_webI am thrilled to post the first project on the Niji Creative Collective as the Design Team Leader! In the next couple of weeks  you will meet our talented team of designers and they will post projects and ideas using Splash Ink as well as other Yasutomo products. We hope that this blog will inspire you to create!

Art Life Card by Karen Elaine Thomas

This card has several elements created with Splash Ink Acrylic Mixing Colors.
In this project I used background papers that have been marbled and Gelli printed using Splash and I painted a beautiful flower using a watercolor technique on a specially prepared tag. This card can be made for any occasion depending on the colors you choose and with Splash Ink the color choices are endless!


  • Splash Ink Acrylic Mixing Colors
  • Strathmore mixed media blank greeting card
  • Manila tag
  • Golden Acrylic Glazing Medium
  • Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground
  • White card stock
  • assorted rubber combs and tools
  • Rubber stamp letters
  • Rubber stamp flowers
  • small eyelets

artlifestep1_web Prepare the Tag

Stamp an image that has plenty of lines to color with black ink onto a manila tag. The stamp I used was manufactured by Hero Arts. This tag is 2.5″ x 5″ with a reinforced hole which is perfectly sized for the finished card.

artlifestep2_webApply the watercolor ground evenly across the tag using a flat bristle brush over the stamped image. This will prime the tag to accept watercolor and acrylics and it minimizes the lines so your painting will stand out. You can prime any paper surface with this watercolor ground to make Splash Ink colors more brilliant.


Paint the Tag

Paint the tag using Splash Ink starting with the lighter colors going to to dark. I started by painting a light wash of yellow on the flowers and while it was still wet, I dropped some magenta at the center of the flower. Notice the colors interact with each other as they blend together! Mix some various shades of yellow and orange and paint them on the petals.

Remember, that water is a very important ingredient to the success of watercolor painting with Splash. Use water generously…

Mix a blend of black and magenta to fill in the center of the flowers using a dry brush. Let dry.

Paint the background using blue and a little magenta with a wet brush.

Add a ribbon to the top of the tag.

artlifestep5_webCreate Background Papers with Splash Ink

In this background, I marbled the paper first, then stamped the words Art/Life on the card. You can see our paper marbling tutorial here.

You can create great backgrounds with  Splash Ink and the Gelli Plate! When printing with the Gelli plate, I always add a little acrylic glazing liquid or retarder to the Splash Inks. The glazing liquid slows the drying time of the inks so you can create textures and patterns with stencils and other objects. Please visit for gelli printing information.

In the pink and black example in the photo, I mixed Splash Magenta with interference red and zinc white acrylic paint with a little Nori paste to thicken. I painted it onto black paper and created the pattern with a rubber comb.

Cut the Background Elements and Finish the Edges

Cut the large background to 4.5″ x 6.5″ and the smaller background to 1.25″ x 4″

Finish the edges by running a stamp pad along the sides in any coordinating color.

artlifeprojectstep6_web Punch holes large enough for small eyelets and make sure there is enough room for the tag to fit snugly.

artlifestep7_webInsert eyelets  through both background layers, then mount to the greeting card.

artlifestep8_webInsert the tag into the small background paper and you are completely finished!

For information on how to purchase Yasutomo products please visit

Karen Elaine Thomas is an employee of Yasutomo and Company

5 thoughts on “Art Life Card

  1. Lovely card Karen , can’t wait to play around with these inks!

  2. Wonderful piece Karen!! LOVE the marbling and the flowers!! You speak of “watercolor ground”. Is it similar to Gesso?
    You are an amazing artist!!

  3. Love this. Didn’t know about Niji much. Wish I had known earlier as I looove to color. TFS

  4. This is beautiful!

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