WHAT YOU WILL NEED

Marbling tray, plastic kitty-litter pan, or photo tray
Newspaper
Small paintbrushes
Surfactant solution, such as Photo-Flo
Boku Undo marbling dye
Watercolor mixing tray
Absorbent paper, such as rice, block-printing, or charcoal papers

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WHAT TO DO

1. Prepare the dyes you’ve chosen by mixing 1 teaspoon of the dye, 1 drop of surfactant solution, and 1 teaspoon of water in the watercolor mixing tray. In one of the tray’s wells, mix 1 teaspoon of water and 1 drop of surfactant solution. Mix each one, using a different brush for each color and for the water and surfactant solution.

2. Fill the marbling tray with 2 inches of water. Skim the surface with a strip of newspaper to remove any dust. Using the brush with which one color was mixed, allow the brush to soak up dye, and touch the brush to the surface of the water. Next, touch the brush with surfactant solution in the middle of the color you’ve just applied to the water-filled tray. Keep alternating between colors and surfactant solutions until you’ve formed a number of concentric rings of color. Remember that the more rings you create, the more visually appealing your suminagashi paper will be.

3. To pattern the colors, you can swirl them using a single strand of hair or a cat whisker, or simply blow gently on them. Slowly lay a sheet of absorbent paper onto the surface of the water, lift off the paper, and lay it out to dry. Skim any excess color off the top of the water using the newspaper.