Hahnemühle FineArt has designed a special paper for Japanese sumi-e painting. This very absorbent paper is ideal for “freestyle” brush painting. Translated “sumi” means “black ink” and “e” means both “path” and “painting”. This “free style ink painting” is plain and yet highly aesthetic drawings, which are made of powerful, mostly chasing and rapidly made lines. Pictures are created with a great deal of inner peace and meditative harmony, which capture the nature and movement of a motif.
The natural white paper creates strong contrasts as the brush glides across the surface. Sumi-e is acid free and extremely age resistant. The paper is thin but absorbent and allows the water to flow further than the ink. This permits sharp outlines and delicate drawings with pen strokes that are clearly visible. In between each page is a thin cartridge paper to protect your art and prevent accidental smears.
Sumi-e painting evolved in the 5th century from Chinese calligraphy. In the 12th century, Zen monks brought the technique to Japan where even today Sumi-e painting has a decisive influence on lifestyle.
The Philosophy behind Sumi-e Art
The main subjects are normally taken from nature.
East Asian writing on aesthetics is generally consistent in stating that the goal of ink and wash painting is not simply to reproduce the appearance of the subject, but to capture its spirit. To paint a horse, the ink wash painting artist must understand its temperament better than its muscles and bones. To paint a flower, there is no need to perfectly match its petals and colours, but it is essential to convey its liveliness and fragrance. In this, it has been compared to the later Western movement of Impressionism.
In landscape painting the scenes depicted are typically imaginary, or very loose adaptations of actual views. Mountain landscapes are by far the most common scenes depicted in ink wash landscape paintings.
Once a stroke is painted, it cannot be changed or erased. This makes ink and wash painting a technically demanding art-form requiring great skill, concentration, and years of training.
East Asian ink wash painting has long inspired modern artists in the West.
Ink wash painting uses tonality and shading achieved by varying the ink density, both by differential grinding of an ink stick in water, or when using prepared liquid inks, by varying the ink load and pressure within a single brushstroke. Ink wash painting artists spend years practicing basic brush strokes to refine their brush movement and ink flow. In the hand of a master, a single stroke can produce astonishing variations in tonality, from deep black to silvery gray (Wikipedia).
More info on Hahnemuhle
With more than 430 years’ experience, Hahnemühle have been inspiring artists all over the world and is known for its high-quality papers. It is Germany’s oldest paper mill and their products stand for quality, consistency and inspiration.
As they continually look to improve the performance of papers, Hahnemühle relies on the combination of new technology and innovation, to make its world class papers; it is their commitment to quality and determination to use clean water, the purest of natural fibres and the knowledge of their craftsman has resulted in Hahnemühle’s reputation as the finest producer of specialty artist papers,( success for more than 430 years.) Which has resulted in our reputation within the global arts community