Painting Sumi-e with Western Sensibilities

by | May 4, 2018 | 0 comments

After a long process of bringing together my art and the blog posts on to the same platform/site (a process which took much longer than anticipated), I am back to where I have left, that is sharing and teaching the way of the ancient oriental art (sumi-e painting techniques) with the western sensibilities.

I find that having had a contemporary western art education was important for me to be able to appreciate, evaluate and understand the similarities and the differences between eastern and western art. Not only for their ways of expression but also for their execution.

Regardless of the ability to paint or draw, the western artist has to develop a sense of flow which in the east was achieved by calligraphic strokes and their writing. Thus to paint in oriental style, regardless if it is a traditional subject (bamboo, cherry blossom…) or any other contemporary subject matter, one needs to be able to do calligraphy. My late teacher Tomoko Kodama used the Latin alphabet as well for helping the students develop this flow…

Sumi-e relies on the execution and expression of the quality of line and strokes of calligraphic writing. This is something that is missing in most of the modern oriental brush painting teachings. I have addressed this in many of my previous posts.

The distinct characteristics of my sumi-e teaching method (sumi-e painting techniques), in essence, can be seen in the video demonstration of painting the pine cone.

I will be posting more regularly videos on my Youtube channel to support my upcoming posts. I have already quite a few videos posted there, so if you haven’t already, I invite you to visit and subscribe to it to receive notifications when I create new ones.

Stay tuned for my announcements of the new blog posts, videos and courses. Visit my online sumi-e school to see the courses that are available now.


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