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Monthly Archives: September 2017

  • The Art of Paper Marbling


    The technique of Suminagashi originates from Japan. It's name translates to "ink floating", as the ink patterns that marble the paper are prepared on the water surface.
    You can use this impressive, versatile technique to decorate sketchbook covers, wrapping paper or to dye fabrics.


    The practice of paper marbling was invented in Japan in the 12th century, and it's still a popular technique today, all around the world.

    In 15th century Turkey and Persia they developed a similar technique called Ebru ( “cloud art”) but they used oil or gouache paint instead of inks to create the prints.

    The technique of paper marbling came to Europe in the 17th century, and was mainly used for the purpose to decorate book covers.

    You will need:

    • Watercolour or Japanese Ink Paper / fabric
    • (Chinese) brushes
    • Tray filled with water
    • Marbling ink, or Acrylic paint and Turpentine
    • clear dispersant (Photo Flo, or alternatively dish soap or conditioner)

    Do It Yourself

    The name Suminagashi describes the technique in one word, as it really as about floating ink on the surface of water.

    All you need to do to create these unique patterns is to switch dipping coloured and clear brushes on the surface of water. While it sounds rather easy, it can be a bit tricky, as you basically can't really control how the image will turn out.

    the technique comprises of the variation of colour(s) and clear 'circles', and when you have enough, you can try to create new patterns by blowing into a straw.

    Useful Tips:

    • you only have to touch the surface of the water with the end of your brush - but even if accidentally touching the bottom of the tray, it won't influence the whole image.
    • if the ink doesn't "float" properly, try wiping the water surface with a piece of newspaper to get rid of all the dust
    • try to lay your paper in one even motion - otherwise tiny air bubbles might appear that will leave white dots on your image
    • change the water every now and then
    • or try the technique on other surfaces like fabrics and wood!



  • Photo Transfer Gel

    Introducing the Amsterdam Photo Transfer Gel

    Why would I need something so "niche" as Photo Transfer Gel? Well, if you have doubts about this product, keep reading to find out what you can use it for, and who knows, you might want to give it a try, after all?

    What's Photo Transfer Gel for?

    Photo transfer Gel can be used for many purposes, from craft to fine art, everyone can find a good use for it. You can use it to transfer a sketch directly from paper onto the canvas or wood, saving time with sketching before painting. Or you can just transfer your images in order present them as they are, on a more durable surface than paper. It is also comes handy for craft projects!

    How to Transfer Photos onto Canvas & Wood?

    For the project, you will need:

    • Photo Transfer Gel (obviously)
    • Brush (make sure you choose one that will give an even coating!)
    • (stretched) canvas or wood panel
    • Photocopy of your image
      note that especially with writing, you will have to use the reverse of the image! Also, generally Laserjet copies work, but Inkjet won't. It's also useful to choose images that aren't coated (like magazines and postcards tend to be)
    • water and a tray
    • sponge or a cloth

    The Method

    Place your image on the surface where you're transferring; and mark the edges of the photocopy to make sure you will know where to put it.

    Spread the gel on the surface evenly; look out for small gaps, otherwise the photo won't transfer perfectly.

    Place your photocopy onto the surface, and press it with your hands or with the help of a roller.

    Leave it for at least 24 hours, but leaving it for a few days is fine too!

    Especially with unstretched canvas, it's a good idea to soak the surface with water, as it makes it easier to peel off without ruining the image. Peel off the first layers of paper, then rub off the excess with your fingers, a wet sponge or towel.

    Enjoy the results!

    image source: Fast Image Transfer with Melanie Matthews

    Transfer a photo to wood:




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