Grab your art supplies and clear a spot on the couch: it’s time to play doctor!
Many years ago– before Pinterest, before entering the blogging world, before knowing decor was my passion– I created a few Rorschach “tests.” Rorschach tests were used back in the day by psychologists to help determine an underlying disorder with patients. They’ve always fascinated me because like other forms of art, there’s no wrong perception from the viewer. Each person has a unique response to them.
When I first made these it was just for fun, to see what would appear in the blots. I really liked the results, so I framed them and used them as decor. While pondering what art I could create for my living room, I recalled my previous DIY inkblots and decided to make them again.
Creating inkblots is very easy, but one thing I don’t like is that the fold in the paper is visible. Thus, I created this tutorial to show how it can be done without the fold, leaving you with a crease-free piece of art.
*Acrylic craft paint in 2 oz. tubes
*Strathmore 300 watercolor paper (90 lbs.): this can be bought by the sheet or as a pad at most craft/art stores. You can use another paper as long as it’s got some heft.
TIP: Watch out for the watermark so it doesn’t become part of your art. The Strathmore series won’t have this, but others do. It’s usually found in the corners.
1. Prepare your workspace. If you’re clumsy like me, you’ll want to cover your surface (and possibly underneath!). I used old painting boards. Cut your watercolor paper to the size desired and create a pile. Tear off sheets of wax paper to your desired width, fold in half, and create another pile.
TIP: when using this style watercolor paper, there’s a rough side and a smooth side. Both sides will work and will give different results. I used the rough side so my inkblots would have more texture.
2. On an unfolded sheet of wax paper, delicately squeeze paint on one half. Be mindful of how large of an area you add paint, as this will spread out when you transfer it to the watercolor paper. Keep the paint random as you don’t want the inkblot to look planned– this is part of its appeal!
3. Fold over the blank side of the wax paper to meet the painted side. Using both hands, smooth the paper. Your paint will spread, so be careful you don’t push it to the edges.
4. Unfold the wax paper and carefully place your watercolor paper on top. Make sure your watercolor paper is centered with the inkblot.
5. Using your Karate Kid wax on/wax off skills, rub the paper with both hands. (Pun totally intended.)
6. Gently flip over your papers, making sure the wax paper remains attached. Then, slowly peel off the wax paper and dispose.
7. Let your inkblot dry before framing or editing further.
8. Invite friends over for some impromptu therapy sessions. If you’re feeling especially ornery, make up a response that has them questioning their sanity.
I re-sized my inkblots by creating a deckle edge and framed them with clip frames. To add more texture and simulate a mat, I placed the blots on top of paintable wallpaper (painted to coordinate with my whitewashed blinds). I also my inkblots with navy blue and royal blue paint to coordinate with my room’s color scheme.
Other ways you can customize your inkblots:
*Create the inkblots onto colored or decorative paper (just make sure it’s thick enough).
*Transfer inkblots on top of a collage.
*Layer several inkblots.
*Make a coffee table book with your inkblots, further adding to your credibility as an amateur psychologist.
Aside from a short list of supplies and these inkblots being so simple to make, I dig their abstract appeal. This art provides contrast and balance to my living room, as the inkblots’ appeal to a modern vibe and help soften all the lines/angles of the furniture.