As my artist's statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance. -- Calvin and Hobbes

Friday, March 12, 2010

#11 Sumi-e (Japanese Ink and Wash); 31 days of rhinos!

You don't like this knock-off? So Sumi-e!!!



#11 Sumi-e (ink and wash); 31 days of rhinos
India ink on watercolor paper
Another mediocre example of a complete knockoff from a sumi-e painting found on Wikipedia. I added the "indigenous ghost rhino of the Valley", naturally.

[wiki excerpt "Ink and wash painting
is an East Asian type of brush painting also known as wash painting or by its Japanese name sumi-e (墨絵). Ink and wash painting is also known by its Chinese name shui-mo hua (水墨畫, Japanese suibokuga (水墨画?), Korean sumukhwa, Vietnamese tranh thuỷ mặc'). Only black ink — the same as used in East Asian calligraphy — is used, in various concentrations."]

Ink has the oldest history perhaps next to charcoal. as we talked about the other day, pigment mixed with water and slapped on a substrate..doesn't get any simpler than that! Well Wiki says it dates back to the Tang dynasty in China about 600 BC! Wow, that's old. But, charcoal still has it beat by about 30,000 years. Ink is very practical, and it even worked to mark criminals and village idiots' foreheads. Still used today on college campuses! Pretty practical, indeed.

Lots of fun, and quite similar to watercolor. It is best if you lay it down in washes of extremely light to dark, as you would watercolor or colored pencil, if you will. 1) Lay the ink, let dry, add another layer. 2) lay ink and pull the color with a bit of water to manipulate, blot if desired, and let dry. Continue to add layers until completion.

If you haven't yet experimented with watercolor yet this month, now is your chance..or play with a little ink. Simple calligraphy brushes can be dirt cheap, often in multi-packs. Practice dragging the brush around the paper with a drop of ink in there, making a rich heavy line. Then, add some water to your brush and pull some color away. Let some lines dry completely before going near them again. Although you will still get some movement, the original ink has already permeated the paper. Experiment to see the different looks you can create! If you add an India ink pen for accents on a wash, it will dry waterproof and stay put if you wash over it again, which is cool (although, it wouldn't really be true Sumi-e at that point; more like Sumi-e-Gandi?).

Click here for more on Japanese art

To read all about the art of Ink and Wash, start on Wiki here and then explore! (it seems like I am endorsed by wiki, but I just like the ease of access)

See you tomorrow!
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