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Paint a Chrysanthemum

Sumi is the Japanese word for ink. Sumi-e literally means "ink picture." The Chinese saying "the brush dances and the ink sings" is a perfect description of the art of Sumi-e. A sumi-e painting captures the spirit or the essence of the subject such as flowers, birds or landscapes. Sumi-e is a very spontaneous art form and it is beautiful in it's simplicity. Here, you will learn how to paint a Chrysanthemum using basic sumi-e painting techniques.

 

 

Supplies

Supplies needed:
  • Yasutomo Sumi paper roll or pad
  • Sumi bamboo handle brush
  • Inkstick and Suzuri stone or liquid sumi ink
  • Flower painting dish

Instructions

Grind the ink on a suzuri stone and use this time to calm and focus yourself for painting. To grind the ink, simply pour some water into the well of the stone and move the ink stick back and forth in and out of the water until the ink becomes very black. This will take a few minutes. Fill your flower shaped dish with light, medium and dark ink. Lighten the ink by adding water until you obtain several different shades of the ink from light to dark. Lay the paper on a flat surface and load your brush by first dipping the whole brush head into the light ink, medium ink to the mid point and the the tip in dark ink.
Posture: Sit upright with feet flat on the floor. Hold the brush perpendicular to the paper with your arm in the air so that it can move freely.
Paint: Foreground to background, unlike western painting where you would paint the background first.
 
Sumi ink stick and Suzuri stone.
To make the calyx stroke, paint four short strokes with the tip of the brush in dark ink.
 To make the leaf stroke, paint seven flat strokes with medium to dark ink.
 
This is the brush stroke sequence for the leaf.
 
This is the brush stroke sequence for the flower and stem. Start with the top of the flower and work your way around the petals.
 
For the stem, paint one long stroke starting with the tip of the brush then slightly lift as you go down the length of the stem. To create a leaf stem, start at the stem edge and paint one stroke up wile making it curve slightly to the side.

 

Tips

Practice the brush strokes first on another sheet of paper until you feel you have mastered the stroke. Newsprint works well for practicing the strokes.
You can paint the flower in black or add sumi colors.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 August 2010 13:20
 

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