Recently, I've been on a kick for finding new art techniques I might actually be able to try for myself. I've always found watercolors, oil paintings and pencil drawings beautiful, but it would take me years and years of practice to really feel like I can make anything beautiful with them.
I want to try to make something beautiful, in a short time, and in a fun, new way. And luckily, I just found suminagashi, which can be translated from Japanese. Let's just call it Floating Ink Paper Marbling. Similar techniques have been used in other areas of Asia, Europe and the Middle East as well, so you may hear it called by different names.
This is a Japanese master of suminagashi (墨流し) in action. Mr. Tadao Fukuda works with so many different brushes in his hand, but he's at total ease with the water and the inks he is working with. He uses a brush dipped in each color (these inks are mixed with pine resin) and a brush dipped only in pine resin. You dip them one after another after another as they form circles, and then you can use a fan or your breath to get the circles to change design before laying your paper down and making the "print" of the pattern you created!
Here's another great look at exactly what is happening in the water as you are alternating between ink and resin--I noticed that in many people's videos who try this technique, they don't use resin, but I think that is because they are using inks that already at the right solubility to the water, unlike some others!
If you're like me and you want to try this at home, there's a few great videos on Youtube (it seems that some art teachers have been using this for kids, since no matter what you do you can make something beautiful!) This one was my favorite--she shows you a lot of different techniques and it's all still pretty easy.
Since I really want to make something simple but fun, I think this will be something I have to try soon! I'll need to go get some inks (thankfully, I don't think I need pine resin based on this tutorial) but it'll still be a few weeks before I get a chance to try it!