Origami Bunny Collage

daimyobunnyfinal Today’s project is making a collage illustration using Yasutomo’s beautiful origami paper. What you need: Archival Chipboard, which I also gessoed hard and soft pencils and tracing paper Yasutomo Sumi Ink and watercolor paint brush Nori Paste scissors I start the project with a quick thumbnail sketch. I chose to do an Asian bunny theme to go with the origami paper I will use.

.bunny1sketch origami-paper

I redraw my daimyo bunny onto my gessoed chipboard that I have cut into a square. Then I trace it. On the reverse side of the tracing paper I retrace it again and then on the first side I go over the line work with a soft pencil so I can draw patterns onto origami paper.


I redraw parts onto origami paper on the reverse side using the tracing paper pattern and the hard pencil. It should be mirror to the original so that when cut out the origami design side will be the correct shape.


back side of origami paper

I paste each piece with the Yasutomo Nori paste which dries clear. When it’s all pasted down I waited over night to make sure the paste was completely dry before going over the drawing with my brush and sumi ink.



Of course I didn’t want my little scraps of beautiful origami paper to go to waste.


Have fun with your own design.


Etegami and Beautiful Friendships

Etegami postcard

Etegami is Japanese for picture postcard, literally, “e” is picture and “tegami” is letter.

Today I will show you my process.

What you need:


•postcard stock

•Yasutomo Sumie Ink

•Yasutomo Traditional Chinese Watercolor paint

•a palette

•2 brushes, one for the ink and one for the watercolor paint. For the watercolor paint I used the Niji waterbrush.

•Magic Rub Eraser or your own name stamp if you have one.

First you actually need a subject to paint. Usually, Etegamis portray something seasonal, specific to where you are and painted from life if possible.  Here in Hawaii we don’t really have fall colors, so I thought maybe I could paint some dried protea I had in my studio. It’s not vibrant, more muted in color, kind of fallish, right?


In this first example I started with a Strathmore watercolor postcard paper. Taking my chinese brush and holding it perpendicular with 2 fingers I dip it into the Yasutomo Sumie Ink and begin to slowly draw my image, guiding the brush but not being too careful, letting “accidents” happen. They make for more interesting paintings.

EtegamiA-postcard  EtegamiA-brush


I’m now ready to add color. Taking my Niji Waterbrush I mix white with a little blue, red and brown for the tone I want. With Etegami you don’t really stroke the colors, you dab it and let some places have no paint, whatever happens, it’s all okay.



I squeeze the waterbrush  while painting, letting the paint kind of roll around, and then blot out the excess with a paper towel.


When you finish painting, since it is a postcard, an etegami, you write a short message. Maybe a poem, or something philosophical.  At first I wrote Beautiful Friends are Forever, relating the image and the message to whomever I was going to send this to. In this case, a very good friend who first introduced me to etegami this summer. But then I thought the message had kind of a double meaning so I made “Friends” “Friendship” so there would no mistake. Next, I added some more color to the message toning things down to match the flower image.


Finally, in Etegami instead of signing the artwork you stamp it with your own mark. Here, I carved my name with an exacto on to a Prismacolor magic rub eraser. Please be careful here. If you have your own stamp already by all means use it. As you can see, my stamp is pretty crude, but makes for an interesting mark.


I did one more on real etegami paper. Real Etegami paper is kind of like rice paper. The ink spreads and makes more interesting lines. But it’s only my second effort at this and my frugal self was saving the paper for when I could do better. Anyway, here are images from that effort. Click on any image to see them larger.

Etegami2flower Etegami3 Etegami2

Finished postcard.

Finished postcard.

Much Aloha from Tuko Fujisaki.