Cotton swabs let you see how an ink spreads itself on paper, and also thins out the color so you can better see hue and tone. If you’re testing colors, you might as well have fun. These swabs are round on one end and pointy on the other — twice the fun potential!
Many friends are celebrating the coming of the Chinese New Year, so I thought that would make a good theme.
J. Herbin Rouge Hematite, Platinum Mix Free in golden yellow, and De Atramentis’ Petrol came out of the ink drawer. To make an ink swab snake, make a swooshy S with the cotton swab side down to the paper. Add yellow dots with the pointy end. Dark green dots for eyes and a tongue in red complete the snake.
Make inky fireworks using a spray bottle with water and a loaded ink swab.
Experiment with the distance from the spray to the swab, and from the swab to the paper.
You can add a greeting while the paper is still a little wet.
Children love receiving ang pao, or red envelopes with money gifts, during Chinese New Year. You can jazz up a simple brown envelope with an ink swab doodle.
Or try a card!
If one swab is fun, why not use two at the same time?
The colors blend on paper as you draw, leaving parts of the stroke orange and parts distinctly red and yellow.
Writing with cotton swabs is not easy. Use a light touch. I should have used new swabs per line for more consistent color, but I like the gradual fade of this too. Happy Chinese New Year, everyone!