Suminagashi: Marbleized Painting

Suminagashi is a Japanese art where you create your art on water first and transfer it to paper. It is beautiful and very relaxing to do. My kids loved it!

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    We found these marbling paints at our local art store. (I'm curious if liquid watercolors would work for this. The consistency is very similar. If you try it, let us know!)

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    First we added water to two trays. I think baking sheets would work best because you want a very shallow layer of water, about 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) deep.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    When we started to add drops of color to the water it was very magical. The colors swirling together were beautiful.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    Next, we used the skewer to swirl the paint sitting on the surface of the water. Don't mix too much or it just becomes brown water. You have to work fast while the paint is sitting on top.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Step 5

    A piece of paper pressed gently on the top of the water catches the marbleized paints.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

  • Step 6

    What was on the water is now on the paper! Very cool.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 6

  • Step 7

    Another dip in the clean water tray.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 7

  • Done!

    We laid them all out to dry while we continued this for quite some time. I think my daughter would have made this until the supplies were all gone!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 8

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