More Sink Art – How To

I am posting this new version of sink art as the first post did not come out quite the way I wanted it too. I’m still struggling with wordpress. Hence the funny alignments etc… bare with me. My really great web designer Nik Guinta tells me this is the way to go and to persevere, so here goes… http://humachine.us. Please bare with me, I am still figuring out this program and have not figured out how to make quick links to the sites I have mentioned.


Sink Art

I worked in our laundry room, on top of the washing machine. A little cramped, but it worked. This is a great way to “color” your own paper, and is lots of fun. Be prepared for a mess and wear old clothes. I didn’t and am still trying to scrub the ink out of my beat jeans! I learnt this method from Karen McDermott of the Book Arts roundtable in South Orange. Karen has been running this really great book binding group for many years now. I love it! Karen first saw this technique described in Judy Melvin’s book Art Expose, Judy coined the phrase Sink Art. Check out:  http://www.judymelvin.com/artexpose.htm and http://www.southorange.org/TheBairdArts/page.asp?page=7

You will need
100% cotton rag paper. The paper must hold up to getting very wet several times. I used 90lb Arches cold pressed water color paper. A text weight can also be used.

Sumi black ink. Once dry this great Japanese ink is pretty much water proof.
Sumi vermillion ink
Lumiere – light body metallic acryllic by Jacquard
Adirondak color wash. On the advise of Karen, I got mine from Joggles. They were really quick and the package arrived beautifully wrapped in pink tissue paper. A great touch. It put me in a good mood! http://www.joggles.com/

newspaper, plastic sheeting, large sink, hairdryer, paper towel, a dish to put ink in.

something to apply inks and color with, anything will do. I used a foam brush, toothbrush, popsicle stick… the possibilities are endless

1. Place paper on a plastic covered work area. Make sure the size of your paper works with the size of your sink!
2. Make marks on paper with Sumi ink. The black works best. Move the paper around to make the ink run.
3. Allow the ink to dry for about 30 seconds. The dryer the ink the less that will wash out.
4. Wash the paper under running water, keep washing until you are satisfied with the look. The black ink will wash out and leave a great effect.
5. Lay the paper to dry on a sheet of newsprint. To speed up drying, I blot the paper with paper towel and use a hair dryer.
6. When the paper is dry, repeat the process on the other side. If you are the impatient type, you can try doing both sides at the same time. I often do this.
7. Not happy with the results add more Sumi ink to the dried sheet and repeat the process. This will add depth. You can add vermillion the second go around, or just go for it all at once. The vermillion will not wash out as much as the black does.
8. Wet the paper again. Lay it on a plastic sheet and spray with Adirondak color wash. Move the paper around to make the colors run. Add touches of Lumiere color. You can do one side at a time, I do both at once. If you need the paper to be wetter spritz it with water from a spray bottle. If you do one side at a time try not to get the done side very wet as the color will run.
9. Blot the paper with a paper towel. Place it on newsprint or plastic to dry. The Lumiere will stick to the newsprint if you are not careful. You may want to just do one side at a time with the Lumiere, or dry one side off with a hair dryer, before placing it on the newsprint.

10. Use the beautiful paper you have created for a project. I use mine for book binding. I also intend to draw beasties on it. Check out: beasties.tumblr.com. Be creative and experiment!

Supplies for Sink Art

Supplies for Sink Art

So much fun to receive this package of Adirondak color wash from Joggles

So much fun to receive this package of Adirondak color wash from Joggles. I used a toothbrush to apply the ink first time around. Second time around a squirt bottle.

I used thick Sumi ink directly from the squirt bottle. The paper was then tilted and shaken to move the ink around.

I used thick Sumi ink directly from the squirt bottle. The paper was then tilted and shaken to move the ink around.


The ink was applied from the squirt bottle. I liked the effect, so did not wash it.

The ink was applied from the squirt bottle. I liked the effect, so did not wash it.

Getting ready to wash the Sumi black ink off in the sink.

Getting ready to wash the Sumi black ink off in the sink.

Adirondak color wash was sprayed on to the wet paper.

Adirondak color wash was sprayed on to the wet paper.

Two different color washes have been applied to the wet paper.

Two different color washes have been applied to the wet paper.

Two colors of color wash and two colors of Lumiere metallic acryllic applied to the wet paper.

Two colors of color wash and two colors of Lumiere metallic acryllic applied to the wet paper.

Using different colors.

Using different colors.

The color on this piece was picked up from the plastic bag I was working on. Every piece is unique!

The color on this piece was picked up from the plastic bag I was working on. Every piece is unique!


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3 responses to “More Sink Art – How To

  1. those are great! I really like how you get the thin dark edges on the thicker lines of black paint. Kind of like an outline. I’m going to have to try that one day soon.

  2. Pingback: Mystery Mail: Decorative Names | Ann Vollum Calligraphy

  3. Thanks! The name was written out once and then the second line was added. I often use my old pen nibs for this kind of work. I keep the new nibs for the more traditional calligraphy. These were done using Sumi Black ink. Have fun experimenting!

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