Chigirie Tip of the Week

Joan Mead-Matsui Tuesday Chigirie Tip

Working with Layers

How to Layer Your Design With the Best Results

If you stopped by last week to read my Tuesday Chigirie tip about working with your background, now’s the perfect time to take a moment and review that tip. We’ll briefly focus on working with paper this week.
The longer you’ve practiced Chigirie the more details you’ll likely to add to your art. Take a moment to review the background in this image. Watching my mother-in-law’s Ikebana (Japanese art of flower arranging) student was a treat but as you can see, this piece has a lot of details. Exercise patience. Don’t rush the drying process.

Take Your Time

This Chigirie Tip of the Week shows you how to work with layers. Many designs require at least two layers of paper. The Chigirie shown above was created on a large sheet of your favorite watercolor paper but art paper is typically more difficult to work with. Specifically, if your brush is saturated with water and glue, there’s a possibility your paper will have some rather unsightly raised areas. Allow your first layer to completely dry before you apply another layer over it. even after the paper and glue have completely dried.

Be sure your background and the most recent layer you’ve applied is completely dry before you begin to add paper to the foreground.

Don’t look at those raised areas as a total loss

What should you do if the edges of your paper curls?

After your paper is completely dry, place a large book on top of the raised area. Most times, the weight will flatten your paper.

Achieving the perfect balance of water and glue takes practice. Of course, you want to be sure the torn paper you’re working with is completely attached to your art surface but resist the urge to load your brush with adhesive. The water to glue consistency should be thick enough to cover the edges of the paper you are affixing to your art paper but completely spreadable.

Apply the tips you’ve learned here at in my new members-only Facebook group. Sign up for my online Chigirie art classes at

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