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!! 🙂


Spooky Surprises


Halloween is the perfect time to surprise a friend with a tiny treat. I’ve crafted up some spooky candy bags with matching gift card envelopes. I plan to leave them lurking on a few desks next week.

Supplies I used:

  • Small craft paper bags or other small bags
  • Craft paper gift card envelopes
  • Origami paper in a variety of designs
  • Circle cutters, scissors, and punches to cut a variety of shapes
  • Nori paste
  • Plastic skeletons
  • Watercolor paper
  • Yasutomo Permawriter II pen, black
  • Yasutomo Chinese Watercolor paints
  • Small paintbrush


I bought small craft paper bags and gift card envelopes at my local hobby store, but inexpensive brown lunch bags would work well too (and they would hold more candy!)


Cut origami papers into strips, trims, ruffles, and circles to decorate paper bags and envelopes. I used my circle cutters to create several different polka dot sizes. You might choose to use other scrapbooking scissors and punches to create a variety of trim designs.  Use Nori paste to glue down your design.

Inexpensive plastic skeletons are easy to find in the Halloween decoration aisle at the $1 shop, craft store, or drug store. Use Nori paste to glue down a crown, bow, or other hat.


Your friends might love a coffee gift card, but you can also craft a personal watercolor card. I cut these cards and rounded the edges to fit into the envelopes. Using a black Permawriter pen, I drew fun Halloween-themed greetings. I added color with my Yasutomo Chinese watercolors.




The final step… fill the bags with candy (without sampling!)


Puppy Love

Hi, it’s Tessa from here to show you a quick and simple art project that you can make to honor your pets…

Here is what you’ll need:

*Watercolor Paper

*Yasutomo Traditional Chinese Ink in Ultra Black


*Yasutomo Pale Gold Sumi-e Watercolor

*Yasutomo .07 Permawriter

Step 1: Paint your entire piece of watercolor paper black using the Yasutomo Traditional Chinese Ink in Ultra Black.  Allow to dry completely.

Step 2: Paint a picture of your pet using gesso.  My dog is white, so that made it easy, but if your dog/pet is a different color, use the gesso as a base, let dry, then add other colors on top.  Using the Pale Gold Sumi-e Ink, add some fun details like leaves and a banner.

Step 3: Add some more details with the black Permawriter pen, including the phrase, “Best Friends,” and you’re all done!

Thanks for reading,


How to Make Art

Purrfectly Paper Doll

cat paperdoll

October brings out the kid in me. I love the falling leaves, the cooler weather, and all things Halloween. I can’t wait to decorate with tacky Halloween decorations, buy mounds of candy for the neighborhood children, and help my own children create their costumes. In my excitement for the season, I decided to create a black cat paper doll set including some festive Halloween costumes.

Supplies I Used:

Step 1: With the pencil, draw a paper doll body on the cardstock. I chose to make a cat. Just for fun, I created a calico cat who is wearing a black cat suit. Go over the pencil drawing with the permanent black marker.

cat drawing

Step 2: Paint any large black areas with the ultra black ink.

cat painted with ink

Step 3: Paint color details with the watercolor paints and use the metallic pens for any accents. I used the silver pen to make the zipper on the black cat suit.

cat with painted face

Step 4: Place the deli paper over the paper doll and use a pencil to create clothing items that will fit the paper doll body. Move the deli paper off the cat drawing and use the black permanent marker to trace over the pencil lines. Use Nori paste to adhere the deli paper to cardstock. Once dry, cut the pattern pieces.

cat costume pattern pieces

Step 5: Trace the patterns onto decorative origami papers and cut.

Step 6: Use Nori paste to adhere the origami papers to cardstock. Outline each piece with the black permanent marker. Remember to add tabs to the pieces so that you can attach them to the paper doll. Cut the pieces. Add accents with metallic gel pens.

go-go suit

Step 7: To create fairy wings, paint deli paper with metallic watercolors. Add sparkle with metallic gel pens. Cut two wing shapes. Glue or machine stitch the wing shapes to the wing piece. To create straps, cut small strips and glue them to the top and bottom of the wing piece.

Step 8: To create a fairy tu-tu, paint two rectangular pieces of deli paper with metallic watercolors. Add dots with the metallic gel pen. Match the long edges of the rectangles and baste a single stitch across the top. Carefully pull the threads to gather the paper. Use Nori paste to glue the tu-tu to the body suit.

metallic painted pieces

fairy suit

Step 9: For a fancy mermaid tail, paint a sheet of deli paper with metallic watercolors. Cut a small strip of the deli paper (about 6″ x 1/2″). Accordion-fold the strip and cut a fish scale shape. When you unfold the strip, you will have a row of fish scales. Continue making these fish scale rows, as you’ll need quite a few to fill up the tail! Layer the scales onto the tail using Nori paste.

gold deli paper


Step 10: Carefully cut the paper doll.

cat in cat suit

Step 11: Enjoy your new paper doll set!


cat a go go

Cat Fairy:


And my favorite… Mercat!

cat mermaid

You can use paper dolls in so many unique ways. Create fun displays in frames, arrange them on your mantel, or use them in a garland by hanging the pieces onto twine using tiny clothespins. Once you get started, you’ll discover your own way to play!

A Simple Silhouette

I’m Tessa from HowToMakeArt. com.  Today I’m going to show you a quick, simple art piece that anyone can make…


*Digital camera or camera phone

*Black and white printer with regular copy paper

*Yasutomo and Company’s Gel Xtreme Metallic Rollers


*Watercolor Paper

*Yasutomo and Company .05 Permawriter

*Yasutomo’s Traditional Chinese Ink in Ultra Black


1. Take a profile shot of a friend, relative, or even your pet.  I asked my friend Heather to sit for a quick portrait.

2. Next, print your profile shot in black and white onto regular copy paper.  You can use your home printer to do this, since the quality doesn’t have to be great.  I printed Heather’s photo to 5″x7.”

3. Draw a line all around your silhouette using a contrasting color of Yasutomo and Company’s Gel Xtreme Metallic Rollers.  This will be a guideline for your art piece, and you can feel free to change it up a bit as you go – I changed the shape of Heather’s hair a bit but kept her face the same so it would be recognizable.

4. Use graphite paper to transfer the image onto a piece of watercolor paper, or make your own “graphite paper” by using the following technique…  Use a regular pencil and color all over the back of the photograph like this:

Now, sandwich the papers like this so that your watercolor paper is underneath, then your photo is picture side up:

With the same pencil, trace over the lines you made with the Gel Pen, and it will transfer onto your watercolor paper like magic!  I refined the image a bit more with my pencil after it was transferred.

5. Using the Yasutomo and Company .05 Permawriter  go over your pencil or graphite lines.  Wait for the pen to dry, then erase any pencil lines.  At this point, I decided to add Heather’s name over the top of her silhouette.

6. Fill in the image with Yasutomo’s Traditional Chinese Ink in Ultra Black ink by using a small paintbrush around the edges so that you can get all of the details.  I used a bigger brush on the inside of the silhouette after going around the edges with my small brush.  Let your painting dry completely.

7. Using a metallic gel pen, write and journal inside of the silhouette.  If you aren’t sure what to write, choose one word you like, or a word that goes along with the person you drew, and write it over and over again.  I wrote “Strong, Sweet, and Fun.” to describe my friend Heather.  I also used a gel pen to create a border, which you can see in the photo at the top of the post.  This project would make a great gift for someone special!

Have fun making art!