Art Kaleidoscope

Between art and craft

Sumi-e black ink painting

Two boats. Sumi-e black ink painting

Two boats. Sumi-e black ink painting

Sumi-e black ink painting, also called suibokuga, is a drawing in ink. Around the seventh century, Japanese monks brought it from China. So, the original home to the sumi-e is China, although the name of this art is Japanese. Besides, Japanese Zen Buddhist monks used sumi-e as a Zen exercise. Indeed, painting in this technique is suitable for meditation, where a person concentrates on lines, shadows and inner anxiety. And single-color painting only increases concentration.

Blossoms. Sumi-e ink painting

Blossoms. Sumi-e ink painting

Technique of Sumi-e is simple, based only on four swabs, called Four Gentlemen. Why such a strange name? There are several versions. According to one, such a respectful name comes from the ancient artists, believing that they, these smears are all shapes and images of the universe. But the second legend is more prosaic: only the rich could have free time for classes focused on sumi-e.

By the way, every stroke has its own name, for example “Bamboo,” “Chrysanthemum,” “Wild Orchid” and “The branch of plums.” If you mastered all four strokes, it means you have mastered the technique of sumi-e. However, mastering these four strokes can last a lifetime. The smear should be perfect, and to achieve this ideal, constant training and honing skills are required.

Actually, Sumi-e is based on inspiration. The picture is drawn in this technique at once, without any preliminary sketches. Inspiration itself manages the artist’s brush. No slowness, no delay. That’s why it is so important to have skills of honed movements.

Consciousness at creating sumi-e picture should be uncomplicated. For each of your picture there is your heart, and no need to invent anything. Simply let the brush apply the line. Precisely because for the sumi-e painting technique the heart is more important than the head. Besides, it is very individual. To copy and repeat painting is impossible. After all, in the paintings of sumi-e is important, not only the composition, form, theme, but each brush pressure, each push of hand.

Topics of sumi-e are often plain. Artist paints a tree branch, leaf, sliding on the wind, the butterfly, resting on a flower, in short, all he sees around him, what fills his heart with warmth.

Class of Sumi-e requires three things: a brush, paper and ink. Brush is called fude, and it has a special shape. It must be a long, pointed, with a very thin tip. This form helps to retain a large amount of ink. Usually it is made of hair of an animal. The main thing – to avoid a mixture of hair of different animals.

Used for sumi-e ink can be different colors, but mostly black. Although the use of other colors does not contradict the art. Finally, paper. Of course, the ideal option – it is rice paper. But in the absence thereof, it is possible to use watercolor paper.

Today the art of sumi-e lives outside Japan. Thousands of people all over the world indulge in this occupation. If you are tortured by everyday life, if the problems piled on all sides, and if you think life is an evil and unjust, take a brush and put a dab of the Four Gentlemen. And believe me, your trouble will leave you.

Sumi-e black ink painting

livemaster.ru/topic/1469487