- Sumi-e translated means “black ink” and “e” means “path” and “painting”
- Sumi-e paper is specifically designed for Japanese Sumi-e painting
- This special 80g paper meets the strenuous requirements of the Sumi-e technique, and is ideal for a very free-style brush painting
- Although extremely thin it is absorbent and allows water to flow further than the ink
- This permits sharp outlines and also delicate drawings
The style of brush painting is both a simple and yet highly aesthetic drawing made of powerful, mostly chasing and rapidly executed lines. East Asian Painting and writing developed together in ancient China using the same materials —brush and ink on paper. Emphasis is placed on the beauty of each individual stroke of the brush. The Chinese speak of “writing a painting” and “painting a poem.” Patience and inner harmony are essential in brush painting to capture the spirit of the subject. Sumi-e is therefore not only an Asian painting technique but also a form of spiritual relaxation therapy. Sumi-e painting evolved in the 5th century from Chinese calligraphy. The main subjects are taken from nature. In the 12th century, Zen monks brought the technique to Japan where even today Sumi-e painting has a decisive influence on lifestyle.
Patience and inner harmony are essential in brush painting to capture the spirit of the subject. Sumi-e is therefore not only an Asian painting technique but also a form of spiritual relaxation therapy and is becoming increasingly popular in Europe.
Traditional material used in Sumi-e Painting:
Sumi Brushes are made of soft goat hair covered by select pony hair.
Typical sumi-e ink used for painting and calligraphy are made from grinding an ink stick against an ink stone with a small amount of water. The ingredients used in ink sticks are soot from burning wood or tree/vegetable oil and specific combinations of animal bone glue, water and fragrance.
In this video Tohun Kobayashi is showing the Sumi-e painting technique.