Ink Art Forest (Tutorial)

Accidental art is a type of Raw Art–you deliberately give up control to create art. For perfectionists (or us recovering perfectionists), it’s hard to give up control voluntarily. The resulting joy is seeing accidental art develop in front of your eyes.

Niji9For years, I’ve been working with an ink technique based on a mix of control and complete lack of control. Here’s a short video of that technique:

A few days ago, I created a journal page for the Niji Design Team that was both simple and stark.  It does not require you to be an illustrator. Here’s how to do it.



Here’s how you make the journal page

1. Spray a very fine mist of water on the front of the watercolor paper. It will curl slightly, with the middle higher than the edges (convex).

2. Wet the larger watercolor brush, blot, and load with ink. Very carefully, touch the tip of the brush to the drops of water. The ink will jump across the water droplets, forming interesting spidery shapes. These are pine branches.

Niji34. Work slowly and carefully up and down the page, creating these patterns. It takes a little practice–use less spray water than you think. The droplets should be separate to avoid a black wash of ink.

5. Repeat the process on the same side of the page, on the other edge. Allow to dry. Add an ink line down the vertical edge of the page. Rinse your brush.

Niji66.  When the paper is dry,  use the thin brush to draw a horizon line at the bottom third  of the page, between the trees. Use the waste water, it will still produce a light gray line.

7. Fill in some of the white areas with a very pale gray wash to indicate clouds and the ground. You have a journal page of contrast and visual interest. You can add hand-lettering if you’d like.

Niji8You can create different pages with creative use of different details.

For complete direction for this page, visit the Niji Design Team page.

Quinn McDonald is a Niji Design Team member. She was not paid to belong to the team, but did receive free products to experiment with from Yasutomo /Niji.