Oil Pastel Resist

Hi, it’s Tessa from How To Make Art, and today I’d like to show you a fun technique using oil pastels as a resist with watercolors in your art journal.  This is what the finished page will look like:


Here is what you will need:

*Niji Watercolor Set

*Niji Oil Pastels

*Niji Permawriter, .07

*Glue or Gluestick



*Art Journal

STEP ONE: Create a simple drawing in your art journal with some of the oil pastels.  I chose to make a pattern with the white oil pastel.  You can barely see it in this photo, but here it is!

STEP TWO: Mix up your favorite colors of paint by adding some water to a dab of one of the watercolors from the set.
STEP THREE: Using your paintbrush, paint over the areas where you made your pastel drawings.  I love the beautiful effect that the oil pastel resist creates!

STEP FOUR: Add a word like “adventure” to your page using your Permawriter and a piece of scrap paper, then glue it on!

Thanks so much for creating with me today! 🙂

Layered Portraits

Hi, it’s Tessa from How To Make Art here to share a fun way to make portraits using Niji Splash Inks and Authentic Chinese Watercolors.  I hope you will enjoy the process!  I made two examples so that you can see how varied you can make these portraits.  Here is one of the finished pieces:

Here is what you will need:
*Niji Splash Inks
*Yasutomo and Company’s Authentic Chinese Watercolors
*Water for mixing Niji Splash Inks
*An eye dropper for water (used when mixing Niji Splash Inks)
*A pencil
*Watercolor Paper
STEP ONE:  Mix up several colors of Splash Inks – choose colors that you think would be fun for a portrait!  Get out your watercolor paper and brushes, and paint a loose, abstract face onto your paper, eliminating all the details, like so:
Don’t worry too much if there are little drips and “mistakes” here and there – this will just add to the charm of the finished piece!
STEP TWO: After the Splash Ink dries, do a pencil sketch on top of the loose portrait you already made, defining the details of the face, like this:
STEP THREE: Now it’s time to fill in some details and accent the portrait with the Authentic Chinese Watercolors.  The nice part about using these in conjunction with the Splash Inks is that when you paint on top with the watercolors, the Splash Inks will not bleed or move – this is because they are acrylic inks, so once dry, they can’t be reactivated with water.  This makes them a great first layer to your layered portrait!  Here is a shot of what it looks like to paint some watercolor details and accents on top of the Splash Ink layer:
And here is the finished piece:
Here is another example.  This is the first layer done with Splash Inks:
And then comes the pencil layer:
Finally, watercolor is added, and here is the finished piece:
Thanks for creating art with me!  I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.


Mermaid Love


I know I have used the ocean as a theme for many of my posts and once again I go to my favorite place so I hope you will indulge me yet another time.

Today’s illustration was done using Splash Inks, Niji Waterbrushes, Yasutomo Sumi Ink and a sharp round brush for inking, Nori paste and anothe brush for gluing, an old paperback book and watercolor paper.

I always start with a quick sketch.


Then on watercolor paper, or in this case I used a coated archival chipboard, I redraw the image I want. I made some changes while I was drawing onto the board (I’m sure you noticed the sketch was a little different from the final on top).

Before inking in the lines I painted the water using Splash Ink watercolors and a flat Niji Waterbrush.



I then inked in the whole thing using my round brush and the Yasutomo Sumi Ink which I absolutely love.


I inked in everything but the water. For that I wanted to do in collage using paper from an old paperback book.


I tore some pages out out and ripped them into tiny pieces for my collage water. Then I glued them using the Nori paste we’ve all grown to love. It was time consuming and I did think for a moment that maybe I made a mistake in wanting to be so trendy. But in the end I just told myself this was good therapy.



Once all the pasting was completed and dry, I painted the rest of the drawing. I gave the mermaid a slightly blue face because after all, she is underwater. In the hair I added more dashes with a little darker shade of her hair.


To make the water collage more subtle I decided to add turquoise blue paint, again with the flat Niji Waterbrush.


Then to add that little extra sparkle I used one of hearts that have a sticky back that you can find in a hobby store, I just happened to have one lying around.


And that’s how it’s done, with a lot of love! Have a great day!

Blown Ink

Blown Ink!

…sounds interesting doesn’t it?

I guess we have all tried this technique long before it was even called a technique! Haven’t we all blown watercolors through a straw as kids. I used to do it all the time and really enjoyed coming up with new forms and shapes. Lately it’s becoming extremely popular in abstract art . Sometime back I had tried this with watercolors and created a tree..here is a link. Today, I thought of trying this with Splash Inks.

Here are a couple of stepped out pics. There is not much to it, just blow through a straw and see some fantastic shapes appear before your eyes!


Yasutomo Niji Splash Inks,

Niji Waterbrush,

Watercolor Paper


Dampen the area a bit and drop a hint of magenta and blow using a straw.

Continue until you achieve your desired form. Mix different greens using the color chart provided with the Splash Inks and sketch around the flowers using the waterbrush.

I loved it so much, I made another one and you can see how each one will be different from the other which makes this so much fun!

Hope you like it and give it a try!

I am having a Splash Ink giveaway on my blog , do stop by if you would like to win one of these lovelies!

See ya!

Eye on Splash Inks

I had a blast making this project, I was challenged to make a project that will inspire you to use Splash Inks. I felt that this project would be artful and simple at the same time.

Supply List:
Watercolor Paper
Water bottle

1. I started by drawing out my eye with a pencil, when I had the basics done I started to darken each line with my Perma Writer.

2.   I used Watercolor Brushes and Splash Inks to color in my image.  I used a lot of water in some areas so that the Splash Ink color would run and create interest.  When I finished with Splash Inks I outlined some of the area with the Perma Writer to add depth to the Art.

3.  Frame

Thanks for stopping by today

Terri Sproul


Pouring Inks

It’s pouring here!

…I know it’s not Spring and there is no rain, but it’s definitely pouring out here and its ink!

Pouring is a watercolor technique, where transparent watercolors are poured directly onto  the  paper with minimal to no usage of brush at all. It’s fun and interesting to watch as a painting comes to life after layers of watery, drippy paint.  To be honest after a point,  it looks so messy that you almost seem to wonder if this will end in the trash bin…… but wait until it dries and you remove the masking and voila!

Today I will be demonstrating this technique  in just 10 easy steps, using Splash Inks instead of watercolors. These inks have been created by an artist  and come in a pack of just 3 primaries and black. The primaries are enough to create your own palette of colors and hues.

Here is a  detailed, stepped out demo ….


Splash Inks,

3 containers to hold the inks,

Watercolor paper-140# or 300#,

Masking fluid,

Stamps-Mama Elephant-Central Park

A  spray bottle filled with water

A heat tool to quicken the process of drying -optional

Step 1- Tape a piece of watercolor paper to a board. …this is very important, since we will be working with a lot water and we don’t want our paper to buckle.  Pour the inks into the containers as shown below, adding a bit of water. Stamp the image.

Tip: Thinner the ink,  the paler the pour will be.

Step 2- Take a brush and paint masking fluid “carefully”all over the image… this will protect the image from color.

Tip: I can’t stress enough on the careful part, because the more careful you are at this step, the happier you will be when you peel the masking off! You do not want to be sloppy and ruin the final piece when you see that the colors have seeped into the image! 

Also don’t forget to use an old brush and leave that brush in water as making fluid tends to dry quickly and could ruin your brush!

Step 3- First pour

Dampen paper or brush on water all over the paper . Use a spray bottle to help move the ink around throughout the pouring process.

Pour Yellow directly from the container or use a dropper, and pour at a diagonal to get a lovely mix of colors.

Step 4-  Pour the magenta and tilt the board and let the colors mingle and do their own thing.

Tip: Do not touch or fiddle with it!

Step 5- Pour the blue and look at how beautifully it turns into a lovely green! that’s the beauty of this technique..totally unpredictable results!

Let Dry.

Step 6- Masking fluid is used to save your colors, be it the white of the paper or the colors of the different pours. So apply masking wherever you want to save these colors . I wanted some leaves at this point, so I went ahead and painted some using masking fluid.

Let Dry.

The painted leaves, once dry….

Step 7- Second Pour

To build on the  darks,  pour blue again with a bit of magenta. Keep tilting the board and keep spraying water to move and blend the inks.

Let dry.

TipKeeping the paper damp will prevent hard edges/lines from forming. Also, keep wiping the edges to prevent a back run.

 Step 8- Final pour

Pour a bit of all three and let these mix well to give a wonderful shade of brown…

….now  that looks like a perfect mess! Wait let dry!

 Step 9- Peel the masking  for the final reveal !

Go over the stamped image with a wet brush to push it further into the background rather than popping off the page.

Step 10- Peel the border tape…… and you have a framed painting!

Don’t these inks just glow?

Remember , your project might vary in color tones and hues depending on the intensity of color, you have started with , the angle at which you tilt the board and the amount of water you spray,but, irrespective of all of this, I can assure you the end result will be stunning! So don’t be afraid to experiment and feel free to ask if you have any queries….just leave  me a comment below!

I surely hope you ‘ll have been inspired to give these inks a try…its truly a  rewarding experience!

Mini Wall Plaques with Nori Paste

Hi, it’s Tessa from How To Make Art, and today I’m going to show you a quick and easy project: Mini Wall Plaques.  These little wooden plaques look great on a wall or resting on a shelf.

Here is what you will need:

small piece of wood


dremel tool

color printer with photo paper


Yasutomo and Company’s Nori Paste


wax paper

heavy books

STEP ONE: Cut your wood to the size you prefer.  I cut my piece to measure 3″ x 3″ and sanded the edges with sandpaper.

STEP TWO: Add a hole for hanging on the back of the piece, right in the top center:

(Please ignore the hole at the bottom – that was my first attempt, and it didn’t work!)

STEP THREE: Print your artwork out, making sure to make it the same size that you cut your wood – in my case, 3″ x 3″.  Cut it out carefully with a pair of scissors.

STEP FOUR: Apply a light coating of Nori paste to the top side of the wood.  Don’t make your layer of glue too thick, or it will seep out over the sides.

STEP FIVE: Carefully lay the printed artwork on top of the glue layer, making sure that the hole on the back corresponds with the top of your artwork.  Place a small sheet of wax paper over the entire piece, then place heavy books on top of the artwork so that the piece will dry totally flat.  (The wax paper is used so that excess glue will not stick to your books.)

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy making these little art reproductions with Nori Paste, which has quickly become my new favorite adhesive!  Nori Paste really adheres so well and with no air bubbles, so it’s a paper crafter’s dream come true.

Have a great day!