Coloring Outside the Box

Hi, it’s Tessa from How To Make Art, and I’m going to show you a fun new way to color your art pieces today!

Lately, I have been drawing a lot of animals with my Permawriters.  Here are two examples of bears that I drew recently on my Yasutomo and Company Hosho Sketch Paper:

I have been trying to think of new, outside-the-box ways to color in my drawings, so this is what I did while experimenting and painting to color these in:
I used my Yasutomo and Company Sumi-E Watercolor Set, which I am in LOVE with!  The colors are so vibrant and creamy – really fun to use!  For the first one, I added some extra elements outside the picture area, and with the second one, I used giant dots to fill in the picture area.  It was really fun to try something new with my artmaking, and the possibilities for coloring outside the box are truly endless!  I hope you will have fun trying this out in your studio!
Thanks for creating with me!


I love using my Splash Ink in different ways.  I made this card with some stamps and made a Splash spray on the background.  I colored the stamped butterflies and flowers with Splash Ink too.

To start, I cut some watercolor paper.  Then, I mixed 3 Splash Ink Colors to use.  I picked a navy blue, a true red and a dark green to match the Pastel Yuzen Paper  background.  I loaded a paintbrush with Splash Ink and tapped it with a pencil over the paper.  Then, I stamped the flowers, butterflies and sentiment on top.  Using a very fine paintbrush, I colored in the images and added more dots of color. I finished with my Superfine Black Permawriter, outlining the butterflies.


Have an awesome day!!


Playing With Pattern

Hi, it’s Tessa from How To Make Art here to show you a fun project using Splash Inks and patterns.  I hope you will enjoy it!

Here’s what you will need:

*Yasutomo and Company’s Black Permawriters, .05 and .07

*Paper or sketchbook

*Computer with Photoshop OR Xerox Machine with Scissors and a Glue Stick

*Niji Splash Inks

*Paint Brush

*Two cups of water (one for washing out your brush, one for adding water to mix Splash Ink colors)

*Eye dropper (to add water when mixing Splash Ink colors)

Step One: Create a drawing of something you wish to turn into a pattern.  I drew this deer in my sketchbook using Yasutomo and Company Permawriters:

Step Two: Create a pattern out of your drawing.  You can do this two ways: either with a computer with Photoshop or by hand with a Xerox machine, scissors, and a glue stick.  If using Photoshop, just scan your image, then copy and paste the image again and again, creating two staggered rows of your drawing.  Print out the black and white pattern.  If using a Xerox machine, copy your design over and over, cut it out, and glue it into rows on a piece of white paper to create a pattern.  Copy one last time to get a copy with no cut out pieces, and you are ready to color your pattern!  Here is what my finished pattern looked like in black and white:
Step Three: This is the fun part – where we use Splash Inks to color in the pattern!  I chose two different color palettes for my deer, one was brown/pink/orange, and the other was pink/orange/green.  I alternated the color palettes, making every other deer one color, while all the others were the opposite palette.  Since the palettes were similar, they went together well.  I mixed up my colors using combinations of the four main Splash Ink colors and water, according to the guidelines in the instructions.  I took a looser approach to coloring in my pattern, since the actual black and white lines were so uniform, I decided to fill in my deer and leaves just outside of the lines, giving the pattern a bit of an organic feel:
Step Four: Finish coloring your entire pattern in, then think of all the ways you can use a sheet of patterned paper: for the endsheets or covers or a book, to wrap a present, to make a small card… The possibilities are endless!  Here is my finished patterned paper:
Happy Creating!! 🙂



I loved the name of this collage sheet from Altered!  Altered Pages and Niji Yasutomo Co. are cross promoting this month.  I made my “Not A Red Valentine” using both company’s products.

Altered Pages Collage sheet AP2055 “Not A Red Valentine”

Strathmore Mixed Media Paper

Niji Oil Pastels

Yasutomo Gel Xtreme  Markers

Permawriter Black Marker

Yasutomo Nori Paste

Craft Smart Paint Pen

Baby oil

Random Bits and Pieces: gauze, flowers, leaves, numbers, pearls

Gather your supplies.

Use the white oil pastel to draw words, flowers and hearts.  Scribble over them with multiple colors of oil pastels.  Use baby oil on a paper towel to blend the oil pastels.

The colors blend wonderfully!  But, the white under them stays so you have these fun designs left.  Score the paper into an accordion shape.

Trace over the designs with a Permawriter.

Add some dots and doodles, apply the collage sheet image and other embellishments using Nori Paste.  I like the look of my Valentine.  It’s fun to use a different color for a change.


Zentangle Your Splash Inks

Permawriter and Splash Inks are perfect for Zentangle Collage Fun!

Permawriter and Splash Inks are perfect for Zentangle Collage Fun!

Doodling is fun!  I would love to do more Zentangles but I feel I don’t have the patience.  But I am so proud to have accomplished this just taking my doodling to another level.  AND – it wouldn’t look as fine as it does without the Permawriter and Splash Inks.  Makes the job easier and lots more fun!!!!  Added some extra elements to this for dimension and texture.  Can be used on a journal, as a book mark, altered art, and scrapbook.

Niji Supplies:


Splash Inks


There is a lot of information on how to mix and use Splash Inks.  One is online at the Yasutomo website.  Then there is YouTube, and FB has a dedicated page to Splash Inks!  Tutorials, ideas, so much more.  Splash Inks are delightful!  Any color you want, you can have without buying a lot of different bottles of ink.  Just follow the recipe card and mix colors to your heart’s content.

Mixing Splash Inks is easy and fast.  Just follow the recipe cards.

Mixing Splash Inks is easy and fast. Just follow the recipe cards.

The recipe cards are comprehensive with how many drops of each color needed to create the hue you want.  There is a quick guide to what the codes are, like BL = blue.  I used my Niji palette to mix my colors, but larger batches can be stored in little jars or even spray bottles!!!

1.  Draw your favorite doodle or Zentangle with pencil.  Trace over that with the Permawriter.  Use a nylon, or kneaded eraser and erase all the pencil lines.  Looks like you drew it freehand!!

2.  Mix your inks.

3.  Use your Waterbrush and paint the colors you have created.

4.  Finish art after inks have dried by collaging elements, die cut words, or even adding wire and beads.  Die cuts are painted with Splash Inks!

5.  Enjoy or use art as you please!!!

Color Chart

Color Chart

The color chart has complete instructions including how to hold the bottle for ease of drops into your container!!!!!!

Just these few bottles create all the colors seen above!

Just these few bottles create all the colors seen above!

Happy New Years!  May it hold all good things as well as creativity designing new art.

Cre8tivelea Yours – Lea

Sea Salt Texture

Hi, it’s Tessa from How to Make Art, and I’m going to show you a fun technique using Niji Splash Inks and sea salt!

Here’s what you will need:
*Eye dropper for water
*Coarse (large grain) sea salt
STEP ONE: Do a light pencil drawing that you intend to fill in with paint.  In your drawing, make sure you have a large area that you want to add texture to.  In my drawing, I made a girl standing behind a wall.  I intend to add texture to the wall.
STEP TWO: Mix up the colors of Splash Ink you intend to use on your piece.  Fill in the large area that you want to add your texture to, and make sure you use a heavy, wet coating of splash ink.  As soon as you finish blocking in the area, sprinkle some sea salt on the paint in random areas.
STEP THREE: Allow the Splash Ink to dry completely before brushing off the salt.  Once you do brush the salt off, you will see that it has created a unique, random, and organic looking texture:
STEP FOUR: Fill in the rest of your piece with Splash Inks.
STEP FIVE: Refine your drawing by using the .05 and .07 Permawriter pens.  Start with the .05 Permawriter for fine details, then create larger lines with the .07 Permawriter to finish off the edges of your drawing.  Now you’re done!
Thanks for making art with me today!

Madhubani-Indian Folk Art

                                          Peacock and Fishes

Today, I want to introduce you’ll to a very popular Indian folk art called Madhubani, which literally translates into honey forests. It’s a very old rural art form which originated in a village by the same name in Northern India. These paintings are known for their  simplicity, line work and vibrant colors.

Tree of Life

Madhubani is traditionally done by the villagers to decorate the walls of theirs homes, especially on important occasions like weddings and births. Dip pens and twigs are used to draw everyday scenes and deities and the local flora and fauna. Fishes, peacocks and  the tree of life are some of the more popular motifs. Turmeric, indigo, sandalwood, roses,  rice flour, soot  are hand ground to use as their choice of colors and resin is  always used as a binder.

Lately, this art form has been given a huge impetus and village women have started contributing to  the household income by selling their work and have started using acrylic paints on handmade paper and raw silk to make them market worthy.

Here is how I approach this art form…

I have used Sumi ink, dip pen  and watercolors for my painting today.There is not much in terms of steps to do this art, it’s just
doodling and drawing to fill the space. This could also be compared to today’s popular Zentangle, but the major difference being that there are not tiles or tangles or copyrighted patterns. Each Madhubani artist has his own unique representation of his surroundings.

Shall we talk supplies and start painting?


Yasutomo Sumi Ink,

Dip Pen/ruling pen

Or Permawriter in different sizes

Niji Chinese Watercolors

I have used a dip pen, ruling pen and  fluid ink to do my peacock painting, but it could easily be done with the Permawriter, which is what I use when I take my sketch book out on field trips.

I love this ink, not too thick not too watery, just perfect for dip pens.

Keep drawing and repeating patterns to fill the space and pretty soon  you will have a lovely painting!

Add color…

And more fine lines ..

The tree of life..monochromatic

I have a couple more paintings on my blog, stop by for more inspiration!

Disclaimer-      I do not have formal training in Madhubani art, but over the years this is what I have observed and thought of sharing with you’ll today. This might not be the original way of painting, especially when it comes to colors and ink and certain motifs, so in no way am I claiming this to be an original, but, I enjoy doing it this way and hope to share what I know and inspire people to pick up their pens and start drawing!