How to Make Watercolor and Ink Using Plants


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Finished abstract landscape ink painting  

For anyone reading this, it’s a given you love plants and nature. I am constantly looking for new ways to use plants in my life. Whether it’s in a new reciepe, ways to incorporate herbs in my daily life, new ways to incorporate them in my skincare routine, and in my art practice. 

My art revolves around nature. She is my inspiration; my muse.  I am always looking for ways to incorporate nature more into my practice.  Earlier this year, during the pandemic, I started experimenting with plants even more. I did a little bit of research and started making my own ink to paint with.  Now, I don’t consider myself a painter, but I do enjoy the meditative practice of putting my inks to paper to create abstract landscape works.  I’m going to share the basic concept of how to make your own inks using plants that you can grow or forage for right outside your door!

*Qusai disclaimer - I am an intuitive artist, so I rarely have any ‘real’ recipes giving actual measurements. I prefer to go with the flow, allowing nature to take control. There is no ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ way to do this- I am simply offering my method, feel free to add/change to this process to suite your own artistic needs.  Different plants will give different color results depending on the processing time, whether it’s fresh or dried, any additives to shift the color, different seasons will give different color results too. I prefer to work this way, always being surprised by the colors I get- I think of it as a gift from Mother Nature.



Gather Plants for Making Natural Paint

First, gather your plant material. I’d say a nice size bunch of fresh or died plant material, say 1 to 2 cups. You can use plants from your garden or forage in your area for materials. You can use leaves, flowers, stems, berries, bark, and even roots. *be sure to practice sustainable foraging. 





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