Gold Paint Magic

Quinn here from QuinnCreative and today I’m going to show you several uses of one of my favorite Niji products– 1544950_581670025241554_1539589980_ntheir dish of pale gold sumi-e watercolor paint. Rich with gold and possibility, I’ve found several ways to make the most of it. I can’t help it, I love the 2-3/4-inch ceramic dish it comes in. And my new favorite way to apply it is with a brayer–the roller you use to apply ink to printing plates. For today, we are using the soft rubber insert–the pale one.

Here’s what you’ll need for all the projects today:

  • Gold sumi-e water color paint
  • A dish of water
  • A stiff brush, like a fat glue brush
  • Several different kinds of paper, including discarded acrylic paintings or colored card stock
  • Black paper of a good quality. Strathmore ArtAgain or Arches cover
  • A brayer, about 2-3/4 inches wide, with a pale, soft-rubber insert
  • Shipping tags

Gold1First, we’ll make a card using black paper and gold paint. Use a sturdy black paper like Strathmore ArtAgain or Arches cover. Using a fat, fairly stiff brush (I use a glue brush), mix some water into the dish. Load the brush and then paint a stripe across the paper.

Gold3Immediately, roll the brayer up over the stripe of paint. Some of the paint will push in front of the brayer, some will stick. Lift the brayer, put it over the top edge of the ink and drag it down.

GoldXUse a firm pressure and a quick movement. Pick up some more paint, and shake the brush so it drips onto the paper. Move the brush left to right and back again to develop a cross-grain with the color.

Gold7Create a landscape look. Using a piece of paper from a discarded acrylic work you did (or a piece of colored cardstock), run the brayer over the acrylic. Cut a circle out of the acrylic paper and create a science-fiction-theme card by gluing the circle so part of it extends beyond the edge. Trim.

Gold6If fantasy cards aren’t your thing, you can use the gold sumi-e paint to color shipping tags, too. I had already painted several of them with acrylics and dried them. I splashed some gold ink on them and rolled the brayer across to add bold patterns.

Last week, I went to the Craft and Hobby Association convention in Anaheim, California. Yasutomo had a booth, and I went to demo Splash Inks. Karen Elaine, the woman who developed Splash Inks showed me a new kind of paper Yasutomo was introducing. It’s made of  . . . minerals. Called Mineral White in the origami paper and All Media paper for artists, it is amazing to work with. Yes, it is made from very fine calcium carbonate in a soft binder. It feels like paper, but it has a huge benefit for watercolor artists–the paper doesn’t curl when wet. It stays flat no matter what you do with it. No buckling at all.

Gold4Here is a sheet of Mineral White with gold sumi-e watercolor brayered across it. It looks like a landscape of mountains. It’s great for art journaling or origami. You can also use it for origami or collage.

Gold5This is the Mineral White with a blue and green Splash Ink wash and a spritz of water to create the look of rain. The paper takes longer than watercolor to dry, and can be manipulated more than watercolor paper, too.

Gold9Then I brayered gold watercolor across it for another whole dimension of color and glitz.

Just because it’s watercolor doesn’t mean you have to use a brush to paint it on! Have fun with this new technique.

(I’m giving away a dish of the ceramic watercolor on my blog today.)

Quinn McDonald is the author of the newly-released Inner Hero Creative Art Journal. She is an art journaler, writer, and certified creativity coach.

Origami Paper Collage

This is Quinn from QuinnCreative encouraging you to try collage with origami paper. I also used Splash Inks, Yasutomo’s gel pens, and a touch of the gold sumi-e watercolor paint.

fleur1Yasutomo’s Fold ‘Ems origami paper is double sided. One side is a print, the other a pattern. This was the star pattern, which worked well to give parts of the collage texture.

Start by choosing a sturdy watercolor paper–300gsm is good. I used cold press because it works well for the background. Spray the paper with water, both sides. You want the paper to be covered with a mist of paper, but not slick with a wash of water. The size of this piece is 6 inches by 9 inches. You can make it smaller to make it a postcard, or this size to create a journal page of a piece for framing.

Free-mix Splash Inks in a palette to make green, teal, and purple. If you want to mix specific colors, use the blending palette instructions that come with the inks.

fleur2Dilute the colors with water, then drop the colors onto the wet paper using a fat watercolor brush. As the colors spread, blend with a light hand, allowing the colors to run and mix. Keep the background light to contrast values across the finished piece.

fleur3Allow to dry completely. Select some coordinating colors from the origami paper. I like abstracts and a rustic look, so free-hand drawing loose flowers appeals to me. Cut the majority of the flower from the solid paper, then add touches of the patterned side for contrast, depth, and visual interest. Try several shapes rather than just one. It makes the completed piece look more natural.

Decide on the orientation of the paper–I used vertical (portrait). I placed the cut pieces of paper flowers in an arrangement that looked pleasing, then drew pencil lines for stems. Using Nori glue, I glued the pieces down, including leaves I had cut from the same origami paper.

fleur4Cut double portions of leaves, so you have a mix of dark and light. It makes them more interesting. As a finishing touch, I added a bit of gold watercolor shine to a few of the leaves and darkened the stems with a green gel pen. You can use the purple pen to add depth and give the flower petals some definition. Your work is now ready for signing and framing!

Origami paper makes a great collage element, too!

Quinn McDonald is on the Niji Design Team; she is a creativity coach and collage artist.