Fantasy Water Spirits Based on Japanese Suminagashi

Japanese suminagashi is the art of floating ink on water, then capturing a print of the forms it makes on paper.

The forms it makes often take the shape of what we think of oriental paintings and prints of fantasy animals, mainly dragons. While this series of fantasy water spirits are based on the suminagashi I created at a workshop given by the Japanese Society in New York City, many cultures practiced this form of art that we know today as “marbling.”

I hope you join me in finding water spirits in the suminagashi I post. You’ll notice as you do it that your drawings will start to resemble the images you’ve seen in ancient paintings and needlework. Below are some of the pieces I did at the Japanese Society under the direction of  Linh Truong as demonstrated on YouTube.

I’ll be posting updates on this page over the next 30 days.






Marbling is created by floating pigments on a wet surface that includes water and even frosting! As the next 20 days go on, I’ll be adding links for you to learn more about it.


Karen Little –

Note: All art and photos on this website are the property of and and may not be reproduced in a fee-based publication without permission. Do you want to post these images in a commercial article? Request permission from Karen.