How to Create a Kintsugi-Inspired Painting

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Inspired by kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken pottery with pieces of gold, learn how to use a simple fold-and-press process to create stunning, dimensional abstract acrylic artwork. The gold lines aren’t just beautiful — they tell a visual story of healing, persevering, and embracing impe...



Preparation: Cut watercolor sheet into fourths (11" x 15" pieces)

1. Fold one piece of the watercolor paper in half. Open and push flat. Place on palette paper sheet to protect tabletop.

2. Squeeze acrylics directly from the bottle onto the page in random patterns. Refold paper, then press from the fold out to the edges using hand pressure or a flexible Catalyst wedge. If paint emerges from one side, either stop pressure or push in the opposite direction.

3. Open and view print. If desired, add more paint and press again. Be careful - the more pressure, the more paint will blend and flatten patterns. As an option, print may be dried and a second layer of paint printed over dried first layer. This works well for keeping accent colors (such as flecks of gold or complementary orange hues) clean and not mixed with the blended layer of blues beneath.

4. While first print is drying, create more prints using the same process and colors. Allow to dry completely.

5. Select a print and place it upside down on the table. Place panel over the sheet and trace around it using a pencil. Cut the print to the size of the panel using scissors.

6. Tear the print into 5-7 pieces. A white deckle will form on one side of each tear where the paint pulls away from the paper. Cut deckle off with scissors, following the shape of the tear. Also, trim torn edges where paint has pulled away from the paper, forming a thin edge (without the white deckle). Do not cut straight edges.

7. Reassemble print on the surface, aligning the straight edges of the paper on the edges of the panel. A freeform gap should form between the pieces.

8. Using a stiff, wide paintbrush, apply Yes! Stik Flat Glue the back (unpainted) side of each piece and the corresponding portion of the panel. Use hand pressure or a brayer to smooth and secure. Allow to dry for a minimum of one hour.

9. While glue is drying, paint the edges of the panel as desired with any of the colors used.

10. Apply Pouring Medium over the surface of the piece. Pour directly from the bottle and spread evenly with a foam brush. Apply around edges as well. Pouring Medium will seal the painting with a clear, level, gloss coating. Allow to dry for a minimum of one hour.

11. Fill spaces between torn pieces with gold color. Position long nozzle tip in gap and gently squeeze fluid paint, moving along the line with a slow, steady motion. Squeeze just enough paint to fill gap. Keep in mind that acrylic paint will level out as it dries and imperfections will be minimalized.