Japanese Marble Painting








Despite being a terrible artist and having a strong dislike for getting my hands dirty…I absolutely love doing messy play with my children.  There is just something about the look of pure joy on their wee faces as they experiment with different textures and mediums.  And all three daughters come at painting from different perspectives, and the psychologist (in training) in me loves watching their wee personalities manifested in their play.  My eldest is a scientist so she loves experimenting and everything she does is a “I wonder what happens if I…..”, my middle daughter is sensory mad so loves the feel of paint and just sits there happily sliding her fingers through it for ages…and my youngest is an avid paint and sand eater..which is not quite so exciting haha.  It does make for some hilarious photos though!


One of my favourite mediums to work with is Japanese marbling paint…I believe the art form is called Suminagashi.  My kids just love it as its sort of a cross between art, magic and science.  The beauty of it is that you really don’t know what the finished product is going to look like until you peel the paper off the water…which really appeals to young children.  I usually buy the paints in a  set of six (I get Marabu ones from Warehouse Stationery in NZ), but I have just found out there are a couple of online art supply places that sell lots of colours separately so I am going to explore those soon.  It’s between $20 and $30 for the set and they last for ages so its a pretty cheap activity too 🙂


dropping colours in

IMG_9316Basically the process is filling a tub large enough to hold your piece of paper with about 5cm of cold water.  Then you drop in the paint: it flows out in circles instantly, then you can place another colour inside the circle and so on..to make a beautiful pattern.  Or, you can get a bit crazy placing drops all over the show which is pretty much what my kids do!  I have to remind myself it’s about process, not end product..


before placing the paper on


putting the paper over the paint






When you have got the pattern you want, you just gently lie a piece of paper on top of the paint then lift it up straight away and the pattern will be all over the paper.  These also make great wrapping paper if you don’t mind the homemade variety 🙂









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