Remembering Summer Fun

niji good.jpg

Lea here, I am so excited to be a part of the Niji Creative Collective DT!  Fall will be here with a blink of an eye, so I am remembering summer fun.  My art piece is really a fantasy of mine, but my friend went to Florida, so this is dedicated to her!

Remembering Summer Fun by Lea Cioci

This mixed-media art piece has elements created with Niji Pearlescent watercolors, Authentic Chinese watercolors, Splash Inks, Nori Paste, Pale Gold Sumi watercolorNiji WaterBrush, and PermaWriter.

The project is a mixed-media art card with an original watercolor painting, collage elements, and flower accent made with Splash Inks/Gelli Plate/die cutter.


 Niji Pearlescent Watercolors

*  Authentic Chinese Watercolors

*  Splash Inks

*  Nori Paste

 Pale Gold Sumi Watercolor

*  Niji Waterbrush – medium

* PermaWriter

* Hot Press Watercolor paper

* Cuttlebug Die Cut Machine

*  Elements of Choice:  Mesh, My Mind’s Eye flag and pin element,  Pearl/Rhinestones, Accent decorative letter F

niji sept drawing

There are many ways to add an image to your watercolor paper surface.  I did a simple sketch to give me the idea of a flamingo, but you can go to Dover Books and find clip art to use.  They have free monthly images.  You may also Google the word “coloring book” flamingo to find an image, and the easiest, is to use a rubber stamp image and permanent ink (Permanent ink is a MUST so the watercolors do not smear with the ink.).  A 4×6 size is perfect, but any size larger or smaller will work.

Follow directions on package and fill your Niji Waterbrush.  It is as easy as removing the middle barrel, squeezing into water to fill, twisting the barrel back together, and removing top.  Squeeze barrel slightly to get a drop of water to the tip.  The Niji Waterbrush is the best waterbrush because water does not leak out when you do not want it.  Water stays in the barrel until you squeeze.

For each color of paint you want to use, squeeze a drop of water onto the color, and let sit for a few seconds, then swirl the color with the brush tip.

niji sept pearlescent palette

Paint image in a “free-form” manner using Niji Pearlescent Watercolors.  I tend to be an artist who likes a messy, semi-realistic look to my work – sometimes abstract, or surrealistic.  Do not worry about being perfect with your brush strokes that is the beauty of nature.  I used blue and pink watercolors, along with a light gold, white, and black outline.  When changing colors, wipe off your brush on a paper towel or cloth and continue into the next color.

niji sept drying with heat set

A rubber stamping heat tool is used to dry the basic painting when you want to add more colors on top when you don’t want colors to blend together.  Most times I do want colors to blend, but sometimes, I want a color as shading or outline, so I want to dry the area before adding the color.  See below, the Authentic Chinese watercolor hue I used, I wanted to use it to shade, and that is why I dried the piece.  Also the gold around the eye.

niji sept tube watercolor

To shade the blue areas, I used the Authentic Chinese watercolors.  These are in tubes, and how opaque you want the color depends on how much water you add to the color.  A little watercolor goes a long way.  Yasutomo has many palettes, this one is the oval, plastic palette.

niji sept water brush

niji sept gold watercolor

Black is used to paint the beak and to add deeper shadows randomly in spots.  The Pale Gold Sumi watercolor is used to rim around the eye.  After this is dried, I used the PermaWriter to outline the eye and make the iris more pronounced.  I also used the PermaWriter on the edge of the beak to make it stand out more as well.

niji sept mixing splash inks

niji spet splash ink

niji spet splash ink color chart

To create the flower element, Splash Inks were used.  Each package comes with complete instructions of use, and how to mix your own colors!!  I love that I can create the exact shade I want.  If you notice in the photo above, there are photos that illustrate how to hold the bottle for adding drops of various colors.  The color chart shows how many drops of each color is needed to mix up the color.  To see an instruction video, look at the Splash Ink Page (see link above) or go to YouTube and look for Karen Elaine Thomas – Splash Inks.  Once you see how easy it is to mix colors, you will be mixing a ton of them!

Once your paper is made, use a Cuttlebug or any die cutter to cut out a little flower.

niji spet finished painting

Finished Painting.

niji sept planning layout

Starting to plan my layout.

niji sept nori paste

Adhere elements using Nori paste.  Nori is thin and easy to use.  Sometimes I use an old credit card to spread out the paste, sometimes a brush, and most times my fingers!!  If you use a brush, make sure to wash it out quickly so the paste does not dry in the bristles.  I have a rag on hand to wipe my finger.  I like to use a brayer to adhere the paper, but I am going to get a baren from Yasutomo as I can get the same effect and use it with my Gelli Plate for prints.

niji very good.jpg

Here is the finished card.  The black background is a piece of black mat board.  Now you have a finished work of art to display!!!

For more information on how to purchase Yasutomo products please check out their website:

Cre8tivelea Yours – Lea

Lea Cioci is a current member of the Yasutomo/Niji Design Team.

7 thoughts on “Remembering Summer Fun

  1. This is so gorgeous Lea! Absolutely love love love it! You are soo very talented! Hugs!

  2. This is by far my favorite post I have seen ALL SUMMER!!! I love flamingos so I am a bit prejudiced. But this is just BEAUTIFUL! You are a true talent!

  3. Great Job Lea! I too Love flamingos!

  4. Awesome work!! I love everything about it!! Your flamingo is divine!!

  5. Gorgeous piece of it Lea!

  6. Love Flamingos! And you did a great job with the color and composition!

  7. Pingback: Tuesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #tutorials #giveaways | lifeimitatesdoodles

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